As parents, there’s nothing more important than keeping our children safe. From crime levels to quality schools, living in a community that shares your priorities is important. The good news is that no matter where you live in America, your children probably enjoy lower crime levels than you did growing up. Statistics from the FBI show that violent crime in the United States has fallen 49% since 1993, and property crime has also decreased 50% during the same period.1
The 50 Safest Cities to Raise a Child in 2019
But what makes a community safe is about more than the prevalence of crime. As we dug deep into the data to find the safest cities to raise children, we also considered factors like graduation rates and the number of sex offenders per capita. Information like this can tell us not only about threats within the community but also how well-positioned these cities are to help kids thrive.
Key Findings from Our Research
As you consider which city and which state might be the safest place to raise your child, it’s worthwhile to note trends across the data.
- This year's list of the safest cities to raise a child represent 50 cities from 18 states.
- Cities that made our list hail from every region, but 22% were from western states.
- California topped our list with 14 of the safest cities to raise a child, followed by Texas with seven cities.
- While cities in rural states with smaller populations tend to have less crime, they also tend to have lower graduation rates.
- The top five safest cities to raise a child also have some of the highest median incomes on our list.
- Only three cities on our list fell below the average median income in the United States: Lakewood, New Jersey; Port St. Lucie, Florida; and Cape Coral, Florida.2
- Three of the safest cities to raise kids also made our 2019 list of the safest college towns in the United States: Irvine, California; Naperville, Illinois; and Thousand Oaks, California.
- 84% of the cities represented on this year's report are new.
The Top 25 Safest Cities to Raise Children in 2019
We explore the top safest cities to raise a child below, detailing each city’s overall safety score, median income, crime rate, graduation rates, and number of sex offenders. You’ll also learn more about what makes each city attractive to families and what these communities have done to address crime. If you don’t see your city in the top 25, check out the table at the bottom to see the rest of the communities that made the cut.
Image source: Facebook @CityofCarmel
This award-winning Indiana community might be getting used to the spotlight, but its commitment to safety and families hasn’t wavered. A suburb of Indianapolis, Carmel has won safest cities titles from various organizations, including SafeWise, over the past decade. The city sports a fantastic parks and recreation department and a stellar high school that often lands on best schools of Indiana lists.
Median Income: $109,201
Image source: Facebook @CityofNewtonMA
On the outskirts of Boston lies the quiet safety of Newton’s villages, a New England term that refers to a collection of neighborhoods. Newton can be reached by rail from Beantown, making it a perfect choice for families who need to work in the city but prefer to leave the bustle behind at the end of the day. The city is also tucked between Brookline and Wellesley, two of the safest college towns in the nation.
Median Income: $133,853
Image source: Facebook @JohnsCreekGAgov
This city’s safe streets are just a hop, skip, and a jump from Atlanta, where Johns Creek lies nestled along the Chattahoochee River. In 2017, the city council launched an iHeart resolution aimed at improving health and wellness across the community. You’ll find the city website full of offerings for kid’s recreational sports, outdoor yoga, and more.
Median Income: $113,609
Image source: Facebook @fishers.indiana
Fishers, close by the number one city to raise a child, is the second suburb of Indianapolis to make our list. Fishers has reeled in its share of accolades and provides families with plenty of fun from art crawls and summer concerts to farmers’ markets. Fishers’s downtown area, dubbed the Nickel Plate District, is a historic center developed specifically to be family-friendly and encourage a walkable community.
Median Income: $101,469
Image source:Facebook @FlowerMound
Clustered along the banks of Grapevine Lake, Flower Mound is often recognized as one of the safest cities in Texas. Located north of Fort Worth and Dallas, this city has invested in an extensive trail system and community health center. Flower Mound also has a youth action council that advises town officials on programs and education initiatives.
Median Income: $128,426
Image source: Facebook @plymouthmn
A suburb of the twin cities, Plymouth is the seventh-largest city in Minnesota. Excellent schools, a commitment to open spaces, and a young community of professionals all make Plymouth’s neighborhoods attractive to families.
Median Income: $91,867
Image source:Facebook @citysanramon
East of San Francisco is the bustling hub of San Ramon, home to the corporate headquarters of Chevron. San Ramon also boasts the largest median income of any city on our list. These deep pockets mean San Ramon’s school district is one of the best in the state, and several schools have earned the coveted national blue ribbon more than 50 times in the last decade.
Median Income: $91,867
Image source: Facebook @CityofHoover
Located just outside of Birmingham, this Alabama suburb sits along the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Hoover offers the best of both worlds for families with one of the largest shopping centers in the southeastern United States as well as natural areas like Moss Rock Preserve and Aldridge Botanical Gardens.
*Hoover experienced a tragic shooting in November 2018 and two recent incidents of gun violence at the Riverchase Galleria. Our research is based on the most recent FBI data (2017), so it does not account for these shootings.
Median Income: $81,038
Image source: Facebook @NapervilleIL
Just west of Chicago is Naperville, a diverse city that boasts one of the best public library systems in the country. Supported by a network of parks and beaches, a Naperville Riverwalk, and a children’s museum, this suburb is anything but sleepy.
Median Income: $114,014
Image source: Facebook @IrvineCityNews
Sunny California makes its second appearance on this list with the planned city of Irvine in Orange County. Irvine is a bike-friendly community with a vast network of parks and recreational opportunities. This community places a special emphasis on outreach and support of families and comes in at number 11 on our list of safest college towns in America.
Median Income: $95,573
Image source: Facebook @MIssionViejoLife
This hip California community is also located in Orange County and has its own app, MV Life. Mission Viejo is another planned city that earns high marks from the National Arbor Day Foundation for its tree-lined streets. Youth sports flourish in this city, supported by the enormous Mission Viejo Youth Athletic Park.
Median Income: $107,988
Image source: Facebook @GilbertTownHall
Formerly an agricultural town, Gilbert has blossomed into a thriving suburb just southeast of Phoenix. Even as one of the fastest-growing municipalities in the country, Gilbert still has time to put families first. The city is marking its one-hundredth birthday next year with an initiative to make Gilbert a city of the future.
Image source: Facebook @lakeforestca
Often lauded for its beaches, Lake Forest has an excellent quality of life even when you’re not catching waves. The lakes that give the city its name are man-made as is the forest, a natural grove of eucalyptus trees planted in the early 1900s. The community credits recent decreases in property crime to participation in the “Don’t Make It Easy” program.
Median Income: $96,963
Image source: Facebook @CityofFriscoTX
Our second Texas city to make the list has earned its share of kudos as the ultimate sports destination, but the city does something extra for kids and families. A city-funded early childhood school gives at-risk preschoolers a jumpstart, and more than 90 miles of well-maintained trails encouraged The League of American Bicyclists to name Frisco a Bicycle Friendly Community.
Median Income: $120,701
Image source: Facebook @tompsc
Mount Pleasant has the distinction of being the only South Carolina city to make our list of the safest places to raise a child. Its nationally recognized police department participates in CALEA, a gold-standard for policing that involves problem-solving and community outreach. Mount Pleasant schools also enjoy some of the highest graduation rates on our list.
Median Income: $90,454
Image source: Facebook @CityofAllen
This Texas city is no stranger to awards, but Allen likes to put its commitment to safety and families front and center. Allen’s police department is recognized by the Texas Law Enforcement Best Practices Program, and the city provides a robust menu of parks, camps, and volunteer opportunities to keep Allen beautiful.
Median Income: $140,132
Image source: Facebook @ThousandOaksLibrary
Thousand Oaks is named after the abundance of oak trees in the area, and its proximity to Los Angeles means the median income is one of the highest on our list. This Ventura County city has a fantastic library system and a commitment to open spaces and the arts.
*Thousand Oaks experienced a tragic shooting in November 2018. Our research is based on the most recent FBI data (2017), so it does not account for the shooting.
Median Income: $130,793
Image source: Facebook @leaguecitytexas
League City sits on the outskirts of Houston and is home to several waterfront parks. Naturally, fishing and watersports are popular pastimes in this Texas city, but the award-winning police and fire department also pitch in to make League City a premier location for raising a family.
Median Income: $100,996
Image source: Facebook @TroyMI
Often referred to as the heart of Detroit’s suburbs, Troy has a bustling business and shopping district. The city also has a popular community sports program and is home to one of the campuses for the International Academy, a public magnet school consistently rated as one of the top high schools in the United States.
Median Income: $93,017
Image source: Facebook @murrietacsd
Murrieta is one of the fastest-growing cities in the golden state, and it’s easy to see why. Often referred to as a commuter town, it serves as a prime location for commuting to both Los Angeles and San Diego. Murrieta has also branded itself as a safe, family-focused basecamp for Southern California adventures.
Median Income: $80,373
Image source: Facebook @SugarLandTXgov
Home to the headquarters of Imperial Sugar, Sugar Land earns its moniker by stepping up to offer some pretty sweet benefits for families, including a cultural arts program. This planned community earned a certificate of distinction from the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) for data-driven management and community transparency.
Median Income: $108,994
Image source: Facebook @CityofFarmington Hills, Michigan
With one of the lower median incomes on our list, Farmington Hills still makes every dollar count. This Detroit suburb credits its low levels of crime and superior safety record to community and police partnerships. Farmington Hills has a high-risk response team staffed with police, public safety officials, school leadership, and medical advisors that seek to avoid crises before they happen.
Median Income: $76,637
Image source: Facebook @WoodbridgeCommunityCenter
This township sits just across the way from Staten Island, at the convenient intersection between the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway. But these busy thoroughfares don’t detract from Woodbridge Township’s efforts to be a green, sustainable community. It also has an exceptionally low number of sex offenders.
Median Income: $83,266
Image source: Facebook @CityofFolsom
With a zoo sanctuary, an aquatic center, and miles and miles of parks and trails, Folsom is a California community that likes to stay active. Despite its past notoriety in a Johnny Cash song about prison blues, Folsom enjoys some of the lowest crime rates in California.
Median Income: $106,718
Image source: Facebook @VisitSantaClarita
Santa Clarita is proud of its extensive recreational opportunities, including 34 parks sprinkled throughout the city and over 3,000 acres of open space. Close enough to act as a “gateway to Los Angeles,” Santa Clarita public schools routinely rank in the top 10% among California school systems.
Median Income: $108,609
Complete Rankings: 50 Safest Cities to Raise Children
Port St. Lucie
How We Ranked the Safest Cities to Raise a Child
We compiled the safest cities to raise a child by analyzing the most recent FBI violent and property crime report statistics. Cities were ranked according to the number of violent crimes (including aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft). By considering crime data alongside sex offenders per capita and graduation rates per capita, we were able to calculate our final safety score.
Violent crime, property crime, and sex offenders per capita were each weighted as 30% of a city’s score. High school graduation rates made up 10% of the score. Scores were then standardized to calculate our rankings for the safest cities to raise a child.
Cities were excluded from this list if they fell below the population threshold of 75,000 or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI. To level the playing field, violent and property crime rates were calculated per 1,000 people in each city.
Tips and Resources to Help Keep Your Kids Safe
Living in a safe community is a good place to start when you’re raising little ones, but equally important is your role as a parent. Taking a few of the following basic steps can ensure better safety for your child both at home and in the community. Here are some tips and resources to help your kiddos stay safe.
- Teach your child their home address and phone number.
- Practice crossing the street safely.
- Make sure they understand never to go with a stranger.
- Monitor your child’s online activity.
- Teach them who to trust if they’re lost or scared.
- Encourage bodily autonomy and boundaries.
- Practice water safety.
- Establish and practice a family escape plan.
- Teach them not to approach strange animals.
- Let your child trust their instincts.
Child Safety Resources on SafeWise
- Baby and Child Safety: FAQs about Keeping Children Safe
- 9 Things Every Child Should Know about Safety
- Best Wearable GPS Trackers for Kids
- What to Teach Your Children about Home Safety
- What Is a Child Safety Kit?
- Best Bike Helmets for Kids
- Best Baby Carriers for Hiking
- Tips for Staying Safe at Water Parks
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 the best home security systems.