Massachusetts’s Safest Cities of 2024

Alina Bradford
Mar 18, 2024
Icon Time To Read3 min read
SafeWise is pleased to release the 10th annual Safest Cities report.

Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Massachusetts for 2024

See crime rates for the safest cities.

Massachusetts saw increases across the board for per capita property crime and violent crime. But The Bay State still boasts some of the lowest crime rates in the nation.

Despite rising crime rates, we found that Bay Staters are less concerned about their safety than the nation's average, which correlates to lower reports of experience with crime from State of Safety Survey participants.

In this report

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NOTE: If your city is missing from our full report, it means that it was below the population threshold or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI in 2022.

2024 Massachusetts crime rates

Image: SafeWise

Massachusetts' crime rates rose year over year—the first increase we've seen in the state since at least 2020. Despite this year's bump, Massachusetts consistently sees lower violent crime and property crime rates compared to the rest of the country.

Massachusetts’ violent crime rate this reporting year is 3.7 per 1,000 people (US 4.0), which is the nineteenth lowest in the US. The property crime rate is 11.3 incidents per 1,000 people (US 19.3)—the third lowest in the nation.

Property crime in Massachusetts: Fear vs. reality

Massachusetts residents currently enjoy the third-lowest property crime rate out of all the states in our report. However, the property crime rate saw a 9% increase from last year. It came in at 11.3 property crimes per 1,000 residents as opposed to 10.4 the year before.

  • Concern about property crime rose 17% year over year, with nearly 1 in 2 (48%) survey respondents voicing high concern.
  • Those surveyed who said they had a personal experience with property crime in the 12 months prior to the survey dropped from 17% in last year's report to 11% this year.
  • 28% of survey respondents said they increased security measures in the 12 months prior to the survey (US 35%).
  • Fewer Bay Staters use security measures to protect their property (64%) than the national average (75%).
  • Of those who use security measures, security cameras are used most often (33%), followed by security systems (30%) and guard dogs (24%).
  • 35% of respondents said they had a package theft in the 12 months prior to the survey, and even though 78% don't do anything to protect their packages, those that do rely on asking delivery people to leave packages in a safer location.

What security measures are used most often in The Bay State?

Security measures used most often in Massachusetts: security cameras, security systems, guard dogs.

Image: SafeWise


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What crimes are Massachusetts residents concerned about most?

Image: SafeWise

Violent crime in Massachusetts: Fear vs. reality

Bay Staters had fewer personal experiences with violent crime in the last year, according to our State of Safety Survey. Violent crime in the state rose from 3.0 incidents per 1,000 people to 3.7 per 1,000 people. That's a 23% increase year over year, but still 6% lower than the national rate of 4.0

  • Concern about violent crime rose 4% year over year, while reported experiences with it fell 10%.
  • The number of people who feel safe in Massachusetts dropped from 59% to 51% in our most recent survey.
  • Massachusetts is ranked as No. 19 in states with the lowest violent crime rates. 
  • 2 in 10 Bay Staters regularly carry some form of personal protection—below the national average of 36%.
  • Pocket knives are the most common form of personal protection used (35%) among survey participants, with pepper spray coming in second (30%).

Attitudes about gun violence in Massachusetts

Overall, gun safety is a big concern for The Bay State, with worries about gun violence up 31% over the year before.

  • 51% of those we surveyed named gun violence as a safety concern, matching the national average. It's the most concerning crime and safety issue for Bay Staters.
  • 7% reported that gun violence had happened to them. That's the same percentage reported the year before. (US 12%).
  • 20% of those who use personal protection said they carry a concealed firearm (US 41%).
  • Only 9% of respondents told us they rely on a firearm to protect their Massachusetts home (US 28%).
  • There were 7 mass shooting events in Massachusetts in 2023, an increase from 3 each the previous two years.

A closer look at the safest cities in Massachusetts

For the purposes of this report, the terms “dangerous” and “safest” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.

  • Northborough rose 3 places to nab the top spot, reporting a total of 7 crimes in the reporting year.
  • Ipswich jumped 41 spots to land at No. 5 this year.
  • Holliston and Lexington also made impressive moves up the list this year, climbing 28 and 22 spots, respectively.
  • All of the safest cities reported fewer than 1.5 violent crimes per 1,000 people. None of the safest cities reported a murder.
  • All of the safest cities reported fewer than 5 property crimes per 1,000 people.
  • Northborough and Wayland each reported zero burglaries.
  • Clinton, Scituate, and Medway each reported zero car thefts. 
  • All of the safest cities reported less than one violent crime per 1,000 people.

The 20 safest cities in Massachusetts

Image: SafeWise

Northborough, Massachusetts
#1
Northborough
(
+3
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    15,699
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    0.3, 0.3, 0.5
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    0.1, 2.1, 4.2
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Wayland Massachusetts
#2
Wayland
(
-1
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    13,601
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    0.1, 0.0, 0.1
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    1.6, 0.0, 0.0
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Clinton, Massachusetts
#3
Clinton
(
-1
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    15,432
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    0.5, 0.3, 0.4
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    0.3, 0.5, 0.6
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Grafton, MA map
#4
Grafton
(
-1
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    19,965
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    0.6, 0.5, 0.5
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    1.7, 1.3, 2.6
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Ipswich, MA
#5
Ipswich
(
+36
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    13,735
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    0.4, 1.0, 0.6
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    2.5, 3.8, 4.5
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Winchester, MA map
#6
Winchester
(
+9
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    22,496
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    0.4, 0.3, 0.5
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    2.7, 3.6, 4.3
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Sharon, Massachusetts
#7
Sharon
(
+11
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    18,553
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    0.4, 0.7, 0.4
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    2.9, 2.7, 1.8
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Scituate, MA map
#8
Scituate
(
+1
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    20,147
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    0.7, 0.7, 0.6
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    1.6, 1.7, 2.5
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Holliston, MA map
#9
Holliston
(
+19
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    14,754
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    0.3, 0.7, 0.7
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    3.6, 3.8, 3.3
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Lexington, MA map
#10
Lexington
(
+12
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    33,889
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    0.4, 0.7, 0.4
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    3.1, 3.0, 3.4
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Medway, MA
#11
Medway
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    13,261
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    0.7, N/A, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    2.2, N/A, N/A
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Sudbury, MA map
#12
Sudbury
(
+2
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    19,314
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    0.7, 0.8, 0.7
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    2.3, 1.9, 3.4
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Bedford, MA map
#13
Bedford
(
+7
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    14,034
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    0.1, 0.3, 0.8
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    5.1, 4.3, 4.5
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Pembroke, Massachusetts Map
#14
Pembroke
(
-4
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    19,289
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    0.8, 0.5, 0.8
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    2.4, 2.6, 3.1
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Westford, Massachusetts
#15
Westford
(
-9
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    24,270
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    0.7, 0.3, 0.2
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    2.8, 2.4, 2.4
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Medfield, MA
#16
Medfield
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    13,107
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    0.8, N/A, 0.5
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    2.7, N/A, 2.1
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Norton, MA map
#17
Norton
(
+8
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    19,374
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    1.1, 1.3, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    1.5, 1.2, N/A
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Milton, MA map
#18
Milton
(
+1
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    28,454
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    0.2, 0.4, 0.3
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    4.9, 4.0, 3.8
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Duxbury, MA map
#19
Duxbury
(
-11
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    16,861
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    1.0, 0.6, 0.7
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    2.0, 2.1, 2.1
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Marshfield, Massachusetts
#20
Marshfield
(
+3
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    27,064
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    0.9, 1.0, 0.7
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    2.5, 2.2, 2.5
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime

How we determined the safest cities

Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.

How to make a safe home anywhere

Over 6 in 10 Americans surveyed don't have a home security system, despite over 50% of all burglaries being residential. Unfortunately, a majority of people who have a security system added it after they had a break-in. One of the best ways to stop a burglary before it happens—and get immediate help if a break-in is detected—is to add a monitored home security system.

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Best professional home securityNo *
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Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Full ADT disclaimer

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Find the safest cities in each state

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Endnotes and sources

Find all endnotes and sources in our full methodology.

FBI Crime Data Explorer, "Documents & Downloads." Accessed March 18, 2024.

  • 2022 and 2021 Crime in the United States Annual Reports
    • Offenses Known to Law Enforcement
  • 2022 NIBRS Estimation Tables

Bureau of Justice Statistics, "National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)." Accessed March 18, 2024.

Gun Violence Archive, "Mass Shootings." Accessed March 18, 2023.

SafeWise experts have years of firsthand experience testing the products we recommend. Learn how we test and review

Alina Bradford
Written by
Alina Bradford
Alina is a safety and security expert that has contributed her insights to CNET, CBS, Digital Trends, MTV, Top Ten Reviews, and many others. Her goal is to make safety and security gadgets less mystifying one article at a time. In the early 2000s, Alina worked as a volunteer firefighter, earning her first responder certification and paving the way to her current career. Her activities aren’t nearly as dangerous today. Her hobbies include fixing up her 100-year-old house, doing artsy stuff, and going to the lake with her family.

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