New Hampshire’s 20 Safest Cities of 2018

Dec 14, 2018 |

As students across New Hampshire prepare to go back to school this week, they’re doing it in one of the safest places in the nation. In June, a state task force made fifty-nine recommendations to improve school safety. Calling for improved mental health curricula and examining gun safety legislation, among other things, some of those action items are already being put into place.

It’s moves like this that keep New Hampshire at the top of our Safest Cities rankings. In fact, according to the 2016 FBI crime report, all twenty of New Hampshire’s safest cities had less than one violent crime per 1,000 people, and three of those cities had no violent crimes at all.

At the top of the list this year is New London, one of New Hampshire’s smaller cities, with zero violent crimes. New London also made the news earlier this year with its groundbreaking, youth-led gun rights community discussion, showing that New Hampshire is just as committed to safety on a local level as it is on the state level.

Joining New London at the top is the city of Merrimack, which also had zero violent crimes but is the ninth-largest city in the state. And the third city with zero violent crimes whatsoever is Hopkinton, another small, picturesque New England town.

Seven of the cities on our list are ranking for the second year in a row: New London, Atkinson, Sandown, Brookline, Brentwood, Hopkinton, and Windham. These cities reflect the trends seen in the top three safest cities: whether you’re making a home in a large city or a small town, the Granite State is a secure place to live.

For even more information and resources on staying safe, see our New Hampshire Safety Directory, where you’ll find tips on emergency preparedness, crime prevention, and more.

The 20 Safest Cities in New Hampshire

1. New London
Population: 4,678
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.00
Property crimes per 1,000: 4.70
Total crime: 0% violent, 100% property

2. Merrimack
Population: 25,675
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.00
Property crimes per 1,000: 7.44
Total crime: 0% violent, 100% property

3. Hopkinton
Population: 5,614
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.00
Property crimes per 1,000: 8.02
Total crime: 0% violent, 100% property

4. Sandown
Population: 6,348
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.16
Property crimes per 1,000: 3.62
Total crime: 4.35% violent, 95.65% property

5. Amherst
Population: 11,272
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.27
Property crimes per 1,000: 11.71
Total crime: 2.27% violent, 97.73% property

6. Windham
Population: 14,625
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.27
Property crimes per 1,000: 4.72
Total crime: 5.80% violent, 94.20% property

7. Atkinson
Population: 6,817
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.29
Property crimes per 1,000: 4.40
Total crime: 6.67% violent, 93.33% property

8. Litchfield
Population: 8,482
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.35
Property crimes per 1,000: 3.77
Total crime: 9.37% violent, 90.63% property

9. Brookline
Population: 5,256
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.38
Property crimes per 1,000: 3.42
Total crime: 11.11% violent, 88.89% property

10. Plaistow
Population: 7,612
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.39
Property crimes per 1,000: 13.01
Total crime: 3.03% violent, 96.97% property

11. Barnstead
Population: 4,615
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.43
Property crimes per 1,000: 8.88
Total crime: 4.88% violent, 95.12% property

12. Hampstead
Population: 8,588
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.47
Property crimes per 1,000: 6.87
Total crime: 6.78% violent, 93.22% property

13. Bow
Population: 7,779
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.51
Property crimes per 1,000: 3.60
Total crime: 14.29% violent, 85.71% property

14. Rindge
Population: 5,822
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.52
Property crimes per 1,000: 13.91
Total crime: 3.70% violent, 96.30% property

15. Bedford
Population: 22,407
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.58
Property crimes per 1,000: 15.49
Total crime: 3.75% violent, 96.25% property

16. Brentwood
Population: 4,786
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.63
Property crimes per 1,000: 4.81
Total crime: 13.04% violent, 86.96% property

17. Milford
Population: 15,317
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.72
Property crimes per 1,000: 9.60
Total crime: 7.48% violent, 92.52% property

18. Rye
Population: 5,396
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.74
Property crimes per 1,000: 9.08
Total crime: 8.16% violent, 91.84% property

19. Pelham
Population: 13,384
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.75
Property crimes per 1,000: 8.07
Total crime: 9.26% violent, 90.74% property

20. Exeter
Population: 14,635
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.75
Property crimes per 1,000: 6.56
Total crime: 11.46% violent, 88.54% property

How We Chose the Safest Cities in New Hampshire

To identify the twenty safest cities in New Hampshire, 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 to Make a Safe Home Anywhere

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.

If you would like to contact a SafeWise Safest Cities Analyst, please email

Written by Laura E. Hilton

Laura is a writer, teacher, and mother based out of Utah. She is passionate about making and maintaining strong, safe, healthy communities. To learn more, visit her website at Learn more

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