The 50 Safest Cities to Raise a Child in 2019

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

US map showing safest cities to raise a child

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.

graphic showing five states with the most safe cities for kids

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.
violent crime national average graphic
property crime national average graphic

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.

1.
Carmel, Indiana
(
3
Up
)
  • Safety Score
    97.13
  • Graduation Rate
    97.9%
  • Sex Offender Rate (per 10,000)
    1.30
  • Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    0.18
  • Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    7.47

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.

Population: 93,098

Median Income: $109,201

newton, massachusetts
2.
Newton, Massachusetts
(
28
Up
)
  • Safety Score
    97.10
  • Graduation Rate
    97.2%
  • Sex Offender Rate (per 10,000)
    0.30
  • Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    0.55
  • Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    6.42

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.

Population: 89,736

Median Income: $133,853

johns creek, georgia
3.
Johns Creek, Georgia
(
41
Up
)
  • Safety Score
    97.07
  • Graduation Rate
    96.0%
  • Sex Offender Rate (per 10,000)
    0.40
  • Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    0.29
  • Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    6.77

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.

Population: 85,048

Median Income: $113,609

fishers, indiana
4.
Fishers, Indiana
(
2
Up
)
  • Safety Score
    95.46
  • Graduation Rate
    97.5%
  • Sex Offender Rate (per 10,000)
    3.00
  • Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    0.47
  • Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    9.26

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.

Population: 92,367

Median Income: $101,469

flower mound, texas
5.
Flower Mound, Texas
(
New
Up
)
  • Safety Score
    95.40
  • Graduation Rate
    96.9%
  • Sex Offender Rate (per 10,000)
    2.30
  • Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    0.59
  • Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    9.24

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.

Population: 75,101

Median Income: $128,426

plymouth, mn
6.
Plymouth, Minnesota
(
New
Up
)
  • Safety Score
    94.76
  • Graduation Rate
    97.4%
  • Sex Offender Rate (per 10,000)
    0.40
  • Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    0.80
  • Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    12.30

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.

Population: 78,356

Median Income: $91,867

san ramon, california
7.
San Ramon, California
(
New
Up
)
  • Safety Score
    94.40
  • Graduation Rate
    97.0%
  • Sex Offender Rate (per 10,000)
    1.00
  • Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    0.73
  • Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    12.76

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.

Population: 78,356

Median Income: $91,867

hoover, alabama
8.
Hoover, Alabama
(
New
Up
)
  • Safety Score
    94.34
  • Graduation Rate
    96.0%
  • Sex Offender Rate (per 10,000)
    0.90
  • Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    0.96
  • Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    11.42

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.

Population: 85,634

Median Income: $81,038

9.
Naperville, Illinois
(
33
Up
)
  • Safety Score
    94.25
  • Graduation Rate
    97.0%
  • Sex Offender Rate (per 10,000)
    1.90
  • Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    0.92
  • Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    11.60

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.

Population: 147,934

Median Income: $114,014

irvine, california
10.
Irvine, California
(
2
Down
)
  • Safety Score
    94.24
  • Graduation Rate
    96.0%
  • Sex Offender Rate (per 10,000)
    1.00
  • Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    0.61
  • Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    13.16

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.

Population: 276,115

Median Income: $95,573

11.
Mission Viejo, California
(
New
Up
)
  • Safety Score
    93.40
  • Graduation Rate
    94.4%
  • Sex Offender Rate (per 10,000)
    3.80
  • Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    1.04
  • Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    10.00

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.

Population: 96,928

Median Income: $107,988

Gilbert, Arizona
12.
Gilbert, Arizona
(
4
Up
)
  • Safety Score
    93.30
  • Graduation Rate
    95.9%
  • Sex Offender Rate (per 10,000)
    2.00
  • Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    0.86
  • Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    13.86

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.

Population: 242,090

Median Income:$87,566

Lake Forest, california
13.
Lake Forest, California
(
New
Up
)
  • Safety Score
    92.75
  • Graduation Rate
    92.1%
  • Sex Offender Rate (per 10,000)
    2.80
  • Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    1.58
  • Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    8.99

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.

Population: 84,224

Median Income: $96,963

frisco, texas
14.
Frisco, Texas
(
New
Up
)
  • Safety Score
    92.66
  • Graduation Rate
    95.8%
  • Sex Offender Rate (per 10,000)
    2.10
  • Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    1.02
  • Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    14.88

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.

Population: 172,804

Median Income: $120,701

mount pleasant, south carolina
15.
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
(
New
Up
)
  • Safety Score
    92.34
  • Graduation Rate
    97.9%
  • Sex Offender Rate (per 10,000)
    0.20
  • Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    1.89
  • Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    15.27

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.

Population: 87,216

Median Income: $90,454

allen, texas
16.
Allen, Texas
(
New
Up
)
  • Safety Score
    92.28
  • Graduation Rate
    95.3%
  • Sex Offender Rate (per 10,000)
    5.60
  • Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    0.98
  • Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    12.46

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.

Population: 101,779

Median Income: $140,132

17.
Thousand Oaks, California
(
New
Up
)
  • Safety Score
    92.05
  • Graduation Rate
    93.5%
  • Sex Offender Rate (per 10,000)
    2.90
  • Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    1.33
  • Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    13.05

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.

Population: 129,240

Median Income: $130,793

18.
League City, Texas
(
New
Up
)
  • Safety Score
    92.0
  • Graduation Rate
    95.6%
  • Sex Offender Rate (per 10,000)
    2.90
  • Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    0.92
  • Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    16.31

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.

Population: 105,351

Median Income: $100,996

19.
Troy, Michigan
(
New
Up
)
  • Safety Score
    91.81
  • Graduation Rate
    94.8%
  • Sex Offender Rate (per 10,000)
    5.40
  • Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    0.65
  • Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    15.16

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.

Population: 84,086

Median Income: $93,017

murietta, california
20.
Murrieta, California
(
New
Up
)
  • Safety Score
    91.77
  • Graduation Rate
    91.7%
  • Sex Offender Rate (per 10,000)
    4.20
  • Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    0.71
  • Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    14.0

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.

Population: 113,016

Median Income: $80,373

sugarland, texas
21.
Sugar Land, Texas
(
New
Up
)
  • Safety Score
    91.77
  • Graduation Rate
    93.5%
  • Sex Offender Rate (per 10,000)
    4.80
  • Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    0.79
  • Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    14.36

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.

Population: 89,790

Median Income: $108,994

farmington hills, michigan
22.
Farmington Hills, Michigan
(
New
Up
)
  • Safety Score
    91.63
  • Graduation Rate
    95.2%
  • Sex Offender Rate (per 10,000)
    8.10
  • Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    1.14
  • Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    11.25

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.

Population: 81,359

Median Income: $76,637

23.
Woodbridge, New Jersey
(
New
Up
)
  • Safety Score
    91.61
  • Graduation Rate
    90.4%
  • Sex Offender Rate (per 10,000)
    0.60
  • Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    1.02
  • Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    15.74

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.

Population: 102,129

Median Income: $83,266

folsom, california
24.
Folsom, California
(
New
Up
)
  • Safety Score
    91.28
  • Graduation Rate
    92.4%
  • Sex Offender Rate (per 10,000)
    4.00
  • Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    0.82
  • Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    15.73

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.

Population: 78,155

Median Income: $106,718

santa clarita, california
25.
Santa Carita, California
(
New
Up
)
  • Safety Score
    91.12
  • Graduation Rate
    90.3%
  • Sex Offender Rate (per 10,000)
    0.90
  • Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    1.63
  • Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)
    14.24

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.

Population: 216,350

Median Income: $108,609

Complete Rankings: 50 Safest Cities to Raise Children

Rank

City

State

Population

Median Income

Safety Score

1

Carmel

Indiana

93,098

$109,201

97.13

2

Newton

Massachusetts

89,736

$133,853

97.10

3

Johns Creek

Georgia

85,048

$113,609

97.07

4

Fishers

Indiana

92,367

$101,469

95.46

5

Flower Mound

Texas

75,101

$128,426

95.40

6

Plymouth

Minnesota

78,356

$91,867

94.76

7

San Ramon

California

76,325

$142,718

94.40

8

Hoover

Alabama

85,634

$81,038

94.34

9

Naperville

Illinois

147,934

$114,014

94.25

10

Irvine

California

276,115

$95,573

94.24

11

Mission Viejo

California

96,928

$107,988

93.40

12

Gilbert

Arizona

242,090

$87,566

93.30

13

Lake Forest

California

84,224

$96,963

92.75

14

Frisco

Texas

172,804

$120,701

92.66

15

Mount Pleasant

South Carolina

87,216

$90,454

92.34

16

Allen

Texas

101,779

$140,132

92.28

17

Thousand Oaks

California

129,240

$130,793

92.05

18

League City

Texas

105,351

$100,996

92.00

19

Troy

Michigan

84,086

$93,017

91.81

20

Murrieta

California

113,016

$80,373

91.77

21

Sugar Land

Texas

89,790

$108,994

91.77

22

Farmington Hills

Michigan

81,359

$76,637

91.63

23

Woodbridge

New Jersey

102,129

$83,266

91.61

24

Folsom

California

78,155

$106,718

91.28

25

Santa Clarita

California

216,350

$108,609

91.12

26

O'Fallon

Missouri

87,388

$84,580

91.05

27

Chino Hills

California

79,480

$102,746

91.04

28

Lakewood

New Jersey

102,759

$45,321

90.98

29

McKinney

Texas

179,934

$87,608

90.87

30

Pleasanton

California

84,440

$138,269

90.81

31

Edmond

Oklahoma

92,876

$76,008

90.63

32

Franklin

Tennessee

76,995

$92,589

90.60

33

Roswell

Georgia

95,602

$87,911

90.60

34

Somerville

Massachusetts

82,326

$84,722

90.29

35

Surprise

Arizona

135,345

$62,927

90.22

36

Sandy Springs

Georgia

107,740

$70,920

90.19

37

Kirkland

Washington

88,898

$140,319

90.12

38

Nashua

New Hampshire

88,102

$70,316

90.00

39

Plano

Texas

290,413

$88,578

89.98

40

Beaverton

Oregon

98,897

$64,619

89.82

41

Port St. Lucie

Florida

188,652

$54,046

89.78

42

Scottsdale

Arizona

251,840

$80,306

89.57

43

Bend

Oregon

93,786

$60,563

89.50

44

Rochester

Minnesota

115,228

$68,574

89.50

45

Cape Coral

Florida

184,346

$53,653

89.42

46

Toms River

New Jersey

92,543

$76,051

89.42

47

Sunnyvale

California

154,919

$118,314

89.37

48

Newport Beach

California

86,910

$119,379

89.36

49

Carlsbad

California

115,344

$102,722

89.34

50

Glendale

California

202,381

$58,657

89.31

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.

  1. Teach your child their home address and phone number.
  2. Practice crossing the street safely.
  3. Make sure they understand never to go with a stranger.
  4. Monitor your child’s online activity.
  5. Teach them who to trust if they’re lost or scared.
  6. Encourage bodily autonomy and boundaries.
  7. Practice water safety.
  8. Establish and practice a family escape plan.
  9. Teach them not to approach strange animals.
  10. Let your child trust their instincts.

Child Safety Resources on SafeWise

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.


Related Reports on SafeWise

Sources

  1. FBI, Uniform Crime Reporting Publications, “Crime in the United States”; Pew Research Center, Fact Tank News in the Numbers, “5 Facts about Crime in the US
  2. United States Census Bureau, American Fact Finder, Community Facts, Income “Median Household Income
Kaz Weida
Written by
Kaz Weida
Kaz is a journalist who covers home security, parenting, and community and child safety. Her work and product testing in the security and safety field spans the past four years. You can find Kaz in HuffPost, SheKnows, Lifehack, and much more. Her degree in education and her background as a teacher and a parent make her uniquely suited to offer practical advice on creating safe environments for your family.