Massachusetts is famous for being one of the first American colonies—home to Plymouth Rock, and the birthplace of basketball. But did you know it’s also one of the safest states in the country? It’s clear that Massachusetts takes safety very seriously. In late 2017, the state legislature voted to extend federal workplace safety standards to all public employees. And their hospital system shines when it comes to safety. Over half of all Massachusetts hospitals received an A grade for safety—that puts the state at seventh in the nation for A-rated hospitals.1

But you don’t have to be a state employee or medical patient to benefit from the state’s emphasis on safety. All residents enjoy Massachusetts’s low violent crime rate—20% lower than the national average—and even lower property crime rate—46% lower than the country as a whole.

This safety track record is even more impressive when it comes to the safest cities in Massachusetts. Franklin, which moved from seventh to the top of our list, has a violent crime rate 99% lower than the national average. Of the twenty safest cities in the state, 90% reported no murders to the FBI in 2016. And we applaud the commitment to safety shown by the fifteen cities that weren’t on last year’s list.

Massachusetts can also take pride in its even lower property crime rates. Across the state, property crime is down 7% from 2015, and these top twenty safest cities have rates at least 73% lower than the national average. That’s fewer than 1 property crime per 1,000 people in the city.

Even if you’re not lucky enough to call one of these safest cities home, you can check out our Massachusetts Safety Directory for tips and advice on how to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

The 20 Safest Cities in Massachusetts

1. Franklin

Population: 33,264
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.03
Property crimes per 1,000: 2.95
Total crime: 1.02% violent, 98.98% property

2. Shrewsbury

Population: 36,874
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.11
Property crimes per 1,000: 4.77
Total crime: 2.27% violent, 97.73% property

3. Hopkinton

Population: 16,960
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.12
Property crimes per 1,000: 3.77
Total crime: 3.13% violent, 96.87% property

4. Winchester

Population: 22,523
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.18
Property crimes per 1,000: 7.37
Total crime: 2.41% violent, 97.59% property

5. Needham

Population: 30,733
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.20
Property crimes per 1,000: 5.76
Total crime: 3.39% violent, 96.61% property

6. Northborough

Population: 15,109
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.20
Property crimes per 1,000: 9.67
Total crime: 2.05% violent, 97.95% property

7. Hanover

Population: 14,466
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.21
Property crimes per 1,000: 7.95
Total crime: 2.61% violent, 97.39% property

8. Milton

Population: 27,317
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.33
Property crimes per 1,000: 8.16
Total crime: 4.04% violent, 95.96% property

9. Sudbury

Population: 19,035
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.37
Property crimes per 1,000: 2.15
Total crime: 17.07% violent, 82.93% property

10. Dedham

Population: 25,402
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.39
Property crimes per 1,000: 19.84
Total crime: 1.98% violent, 98.02% property

11. Hudson

Population: 19,931
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.40
Property crimes per 1,000: 11.39
Total crime: 3.52% violent, 96.48% property

12. North Andover

Population: 29,853
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.40
Property crimes per 1,000: 6.00
Total crime: 6.70% violent, 93.30% property

13. Bedford

Population: 14,280
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.42
Property crimes per 1,000: 3.43
Total crime: 12.24% violent, 87.76% property

14. Reading

Population: 25,779
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.43
Property crimes per 1,000: 6.83
Total crime: 6.25% violent, 93.75% property

15. Wellesley

Population: 29,049
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.45
Property crimes per 1,000: 5.47
Total crime: 8.18% violent, 91.82% property

16. Norton

Population: 19,445
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.51
Property crimes per 1,000: 1.70
Total crime: 30.30% violent, 69.70% property

17. Newton

Population: 89,116
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.52
Property crimes per 1,000: 7.20
Total crime: 7.17% violent, 92.83% property

18. Belmont

Population: 25,637
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.55
Property crimes per 1,000: 6.90
Total crime: 7.91% violent, 92.09% property

19. Andover

Population: 35,558
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.65
Property crimes per 1,000: 6.07
Total crime: 10.65% violent, 89.35% property

20. Melrose

Population: 28,070
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.68
Property crimes per 1,000: 7.62
Total crime: 8.88% violent, 91.12% property

How We Chose the Safest Cities in Massachusetts

To identify the twenty safest cities in Massachusetts, we reviewed the 2016 FBI crime report statistics and population data. Cities that fell below identified population thresholds or that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI were excluded from the ranking system.

Our evaluation is based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) in each city. If there was a tie, we also factored in the number of property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft). To level the playing field, we calculated the rate of crimes per 1,000 people in each city. This makes it easier to directly compare the likelihood of these crimes occurring in cities with vastly different populations.

Learn more about how we rank our Safest Cities reports.

How Safe Is Your Home?

Wherever you live, feeling safe in your home can bring greater peace of mind and happiness. Whether your city made our list or not, we recommend adding extra security to your home with monitored security services provided by the nation’s leading home security providers.

To learn more about the home security options available to you, check out SafeWise’s picks for Best Home Security Systems of 2018 or select the city nearest you in the drop down menu below.

If you would like to contact a SafeWise Safest Cities Analyst, please email info@safewise.com.


1. Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, “State Rankings

Written by Patrick Hearn

The SafeWise Team is here to help you keep your home and family safe. Whether you’re looking to pick a security system or identify and remove common risks in your home, we’re here to help you find the best products and well-researched answers. At SafeWise we combine our years of experience in home safety and security with user reviews and feedback to help take the guesswork out of living safe. Learn more

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