The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the seventh annual Safest Cities report.
Pennsylvania’s 50 Safest Cities of 2021
Here are the 10 safest cities in Pennsylvania for 2021
1. Luzerne Township
2. Jackson Township
3. Brecknock Township
4. Upper Providence Township
5. Buckingham Township
6. Millcreek Township
7. East Brandywine Township
8. Lower Salford Township
9. Spring Township
10. West Cocalico Township
See if your city made the full list.
Pennsylvania continues to have lower crime rates than the rest of the country, and its safest cities report fewer than five crimes per 1,000 people on average. Despite a low incidence of crime statewide, Pennsylvanians still worry about their safety more than most Americans.
2021 Pennsylvania crime rates
Violent crime in The Keystone State remained steady for the third consecutive year with 3.1 incidents per 1,000 people. Property crime continued its downward trend, dropping from 14.9 crimes per 1,000 to 14.0 this year.
Even though Pennsylvania does better than national crime rates, its property crime rate is the highest among the Mid-Atlantic region, and its violent crime rate of 3.1 per 1,000 lands right in between New Jersey (2.1) and New York (3.6) to hit the average in the region.
Overall, Pennsylvania is slightly more concerned about all crime issues except package theft. Unlike most of the US, just 17% of Pennsylvania respondents reported a package theft in the past 12 months, compared to 20% nationwide.
Level of concern and experience with crime in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania continues to show higher concern about safety than most of America despite consistently low crime rates—and 55% think Pennsylvania is a safe place to live.
State crime rate trends are consistent with survey participants’ reports of experience with crime—violent crime experiences remained at 8%, while property crime dropped 10 full points year over year.
The outlier is gun violence. Personal experience with gun violence doubled between 2020 and 2021. That increase (along with a steep climb in mass shooting incidents) may explain why Pennsylvanians are 17% more concerned about gun violence actually happening to them than the national average.
Crime concerns in Pennsylvania
We asked Pennsylvania residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if Pennsylvanians are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.
View the complete 2021 State of Safety report.
Violent crime in Pennsylvania: Fear vs. reality
The violent crime rate in Pennsylvania has held at 3.1 incidents per 1,000 people for the past three years, which has been below the national average every year. Even so, Pennsylvanian’s level of worry about violent crime is about 5% higher than the rest of the country.
- 20% fewer people experienced violent crime in Pennsylvania than the average nationwide.
- 62% named gun violence their top safety concern (US 53%), and twice as many people reported having an experience with gun violence in the past year.
- Gun violence grabbed headlines much of the year in hotspots like Philadelphia, where gun-related deaths eclipsed the total number of homicides in 2019 by 40% as of early October.
- Mass shooting incidents have increased 79% year over year, from 19 in 2019 to 34 this year.
- 44% of survey respondents are most worried about a gun violence incident happening to them (US 38%).
- 38% worry about police violence daily (US 40%) and 53% have confidence in law enforcement (US 56%).
- 36% use some form of personal protection like pepper spray (US 34%).
- 45% say their personal safety has been affected by the pandemic (US 44%).
Property crime in Pennsylvania: Fear vs. reality
Pennsylvania’s property crime rate has fallen each of the past three years, dropping by just over two incidents per 1,000 since 2019. Property crime remains the top crime concern in the state, with 45% fearing it may happen to them, versus 42% nationwide.
- Even though property crime is most worrisome, experience with property crime decreased 42% in Pennsylvania this year.
- Pennsylvania sees around 7 fewer property crimes per 1,000 people than the national average.
- 62% of Pennsylvania survey respondents use some form of property protection (US 62%) with security cameras and home security systems used most often—claiming 28% each.
- 32% say the security of their property has been affected by the pandemic (US 29%).
A closer look at the safest cities in Pennsylvania
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.
- 136 cities met criteria to be considered for ranking, and we increased the number of safest cities ranked in Pennsylvania to 50 this year.
- Luzerne Township is the safest city in Pennsylvania for the second year in a row, boasting no reported crimes in the FBI’s most current data.
- Several cities saw huge jumps this year—Ridley Park and North Versailles Township each moved up more than 230 spots on our ranking.
- 7 of the cities on our list reported 0 violent crimes and 25 (50%) reported fewer than 5 total violent crimes.
- The average violent crime rate among the safest cities is 0.6 incidents per 1,000 people—84% below the national average of 3.7.
- There are 9 fewer property crimes per 1,000 people in the safest cities than in the rest of The Keystone State.
- Luzerne Township, Jackson Township and Ralpho Township each reported fewer than 10 property crimes.
- Larceny-theft is the most common property crime among the safest cities, accounting for 87% of all property crime reported. Statewide, larceny-theft accounts for 80% and nationally it makes up 73% of all 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
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 1000
PC per 1000
|51||Jefferson Hills Borough||11.21K||2.2||5.5|
|54||North Strabane Township||14.75K||2.4||6.0|
|58||West Caln Township||9.11K||3.0||5.7|
|64||St. Marys City||12.28K||2.1||9.6|
|65||New Sewickley Township||7.18K||1.7||11.3|
|66||Lower Merion Township||59.80K||0.5||14.6|
|69||North Coventry Township||8.0K||0.1||16.0|
|70||Cumberland Township, Greene County||6.18K||1.5||12.5|
|71||Lower Allen Township||19.65K||1.3||13.0|
|76||Butler Township, Butler County||16.45K||1.5||14.3|
|77||Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County||25.24K||2.9||10.9|
|79||Abington Township, Montgomery County||55.48K||1.0||16.8|
|82||Upper Chichester Township||16.93K||1.7||15.7|
|85||West Norriton Township||15.65K||2.4||14.5|
|86||West Whiteland Township||18.39K||0.5||20.3|
|93||Lancaster Township, Lancaster County||17.18K||1.2||20.0|
|97||Robinson Township, Allegheny County||13.71K||1.2||20.6|
|101||Allegheny Township, Blair County||6.51K||3.4||17.5|
|109||West Manchester Township||18.86K||1.4||25.5|
|122||Mahoning Township, Carbon County||4.23K||4.7||24.1|
|128||South Strabane Township||9.46K||1.4||42.7|
|130||Union Township, Lawrence County||4.86K||3.1||38.5|
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.