The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the seventh annual Safest Cities report.
Michigan’s 50 Safest Cities of 2021
Here are the 10 safest cities in Michigan for 2021
1. Thetford Township
2. Spring Arbor Township
3. Grosse Ile Township
4. Oakland Township
6. Raisin Township
7. Iron Mountain
8. Springfield Township
9. Huntington Woods
10. Kinross Township
See if your city made the full list.
In our 2021 State of Safety survey, Michigan residents (46%) were slightly less likely to dwell on their daily safety than most Americans (47%). This is an increase in overall daily level of concern of around five points compared with last year, when 41% of surveyed Michiganders expressed a daily level of high concern.
Among respondents surveyed, there was an increase in reports of personal experiences with both violent crime and gun violence compared to last year. Despite this increase, the entire slate of Michigan's 50 safest cities had crime rates well below the state average for both violent crime and property crime.
2021 Michigan crime rates
While there was an increase in the daily level of high concern among Michigan residents in 2021, the state's dropping crime rates reflect a nationwide trend of decreasing crime over the past few years. The violent crime rate in Michigan dropped from 4.5 per 1,000 people to 4.4 while property crime declined from 16.5 per 1,000 to 15.9.
In the East North Central region, Michigan had the highest violent crime rate at 4.4 compared to the regional average of 3.7. With regard to property crime, Michigan had the second-lowest rate (15.9), just behind Wisconsin (14.7).
This year, similar to last year, Michigan had a higher violent crime rate than the US average while also keeping a lower property crime than the country at large. Among all 50 states, Michigan had the thirteenth-highest violent crime rate and the fourteenth-lowest property crime rate.
Level of concern and experience with crime in Michigan
Michigan's five-point increase in daily levels of concern in the last 12 months reflects a similar trend in many states. Unlike last year, Michiganian respondents reported an increase in experiences with violent crime and gun violence while encounters with property crime fell lower.
Crime concerns in Michigan
We asked Michigan residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if Michigan residents are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.
View the complete 2021 State of Safety report.
Violent crime in Michigan: Fear vs. reality
Michigan has a higher violent crime rate than 37 states, and half of its residents feel safe in The Great Lakes State. The increase in experiences with violent crime and gun violence might account for the higher daily level of high concern compared to last year.
- 50% of Michiganders report feeling safe in their state compared to 55% of Americans.
- 10% of survey respondents reported having a personal experience with violent crime in the last year—surprisingly, this is 6% higher than the previous year.
- Murder remains the least-common violent crime in Michigan, accounting for just 1% of violent crimes in The Great Lakes State (US 1%).
- Among the safest cities in Michigan, murder accounted for just 0.7% of violent crimes.
- One in six violent crimes (17%) reported in Michigan is a rape while the 50 safest cities have a higher number of reports on average (27%).
- 22% of survey participants use some form of personal protection—much lower than the national average of 34%.
- 47% of Michiganders say their personal safety has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic compared to 44% of Americans.
Attitudes about police and gun violence in Michigan
- 51% of Michigan residents named gun violence as a top safety concern, which is lower than the US average of 53%.
- 7% of Michiganders surveyed reported an experience with gun violence in the last 12 months, more than double last year’s figure.
- There were 9 mass shootings in Michigan in 2019 and 20 in 2020.
- Michigan residents are just as likely as the average American (40%) to worry about police violence on a daily basis.
- Survey respondents reported above-average levels of confidence in law enforcement (61%) compared to the US as a whole (56%).
- There were 46 officer-involved shootings in 2020, a 10% decrease from 51 in 2019.
Property crime in Michigan: Fear vs. reality
Despite its higher rate of violent crimes, Michigan has a surprisingly low property crime rate, especially compared to the rest of the US. The overall property crime rate dropped since last year, which aligns with survey participants reported fewer personal experiences with property crimes.
- 13% of Michiganders reported experiences with property crime in the last 12 months, which is down 6 percentage points from last year.
- Burglary makes up 18% of all property crimes in the state (the 50 safest cities average 14%), which is higher than the national rate of 16%.
- 15% of participants reported experiencing package theft in the last 12 months, putting Michigan well below the US average of 20%. This is the fourth-lowest in the country.
- 51% of survey participants use some form of property protection—lower than most Americans (62%).
- The top form of property protection among Michigan residents this year is firearms with 24% using them (26% US).
- Michigan residents are 1.3 times more likely than the average American to use no form of property protection whatsoever.
- 30% of Michiganians say the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the security of their property, compared to 29% nationally.
A closer look at the safest cities in Michigan
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.
- Thetford Township takes the top spot on our list this year as the only city with 0 reported incidents of both violent and property crime.
- Last year's top city, Oakland Township, dropped 3 spots to fourth place.
- Forsyth Township experienced the biggest jump in the top 50 from last year, moving up 54 spots to number 49.
- Of the 50 top cities, both Chocolay Township (47) and Clayton Township (50) had the biggest drops in rankings—each city dropped 22 spots.
- We increased our list to 50 cities this year—compared to 20 last year—because a larger number of cities met our statistical threshold. Even with this increase, there were 5 cities in the top 50 that made it on our list for the first time—Thetford Township, Petoskey, Cambridge Township, Lyon Township, and Richfield Township.
- Raisin Township is the only city in the top 10 to maintain its ranking from last year.
- Thetford Township and Huntington Woods each reported 0 violent crimes last year.
- While Michigan has the highest violent crime rate in its region (4.4), its safest cities average just 0.6.
- 88% of the safest cities reported fewer than 25 violent crime incidents with 64% reporting in single-digits.
- 76% of cities reported fewer than 100 total property crimes.
How we determined the safest cities
Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.
How to make a safe home anywhere
Didn't find your city in the top 50?
We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, based on the state’s median population. See how the remaining cities ranked in the list below.
NOTE: If you don’t see your city on the list, it means that it was below the population threshold or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI in 2019.
VC per 1,000
PC per 1,000
|63||Grosse Pointe Farms||9,108||1.0||8.8|
|78||Berrien Springs-Oronoko Township||8,940||1.3||9.8|
|83||St. Clair Shores||59,365||1.8||9.3|
|93||Grand Blanc Township||36,523||1.7||11.0|
|101||Grosse Pointe Woods||15,350||1.6||12.4|
|105||Grosse Pointe Park||11,041||1.3||14.9|
|110||St. Joseph Township||9,738||1.2||16.6|
|111||Metro Police Authority of Genesee County||19,931||2.5||13.4|
|112||Sault Ste. Marie||13,478||2.4||13.5|
|148||Van Buren Township||28,294||2.8||20.5|
|162||Mount Morris Township||20,274||6.4||17.0|
|188||Buena Vista Township||8,095||11.4||21.1|
Find the safest cities in each state
Click on the state image or dropdown menu below to check out the safest cities for each state.
Related articles on SafeWise
FBI: Uniform Crime Reporting Program, “2019 Crime in the United States,” Accessed March 15, 2021.
US Census Bureau, "Data Explorer," Accessed November 18, 2020.
Best Places, “Find a Place Search Tool,” Accessed January 6, 2021.
SafeWise, “2021 State of Safety survey,” Accessed March 15, 2021.
Gun Violence Archive, “Past Summary Ledgers,” Accessed January 6, 2021.
Gun Violence Archive, “General Methodology,” Accessed March 15, 2021.
Melody Hicks, Ben Stickle, Joshua Harms, American Journal of Criminal Justice, “Assessing the Fear of Package Theft,” January 04, 2021. Accessed March 15, 2021.
For definitions and more on data sources, see our methodology page.