Vermont’s 10 Safest Cities of 2021

The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the seventh annual Safest Cities report.

Here are the 10 safest cities in Vermont for 2021

1. Castleton
2. Hinesburg
3. Stowe
4. Barre Town
5. Shelburne
6. Milton
7. Essex
8. Swanton
9. Northfield
10. Manchester

See if your city made the full list.

Vermont’s overall level of concern about crime and safety plummeted from 41% in 2020 to 18% this year, despite rising crime rates across the state. Even though overall crime rates may be on the rise, Vermont’s 10 safest cities continue to have some of the lowest crime rates in the country.

2021 Vermont crime rates

Vermont’s violent crime rate rose this year for the first time in three years, from 1.7 to 2.0 (18%) year over year. Vermont’s rise bucks the regional downward trend. Violent crime has dropped in New England over the past three years from 2.7 to 2.4 incidents per 1,000 (11%).

After dropping from 15.0 incidents per 1,000 people in 2019 to 12.8 last year, Vermont’s property crime rate is inching up again to land at 14.2 this year—an increase of 11% year over year. Regionally, New England’s property crime rate has fallen 17% since 2019.

Even with rising crime rates, Vermont still boasts some of the lowest crime rates in the nation. The Green Mountain State has the fourth-lowest violent crime rate in the country and the eighth-lowest property crime rate.

Level of concern and experience with crime in Vermont

Vermonters don’t dedicate a lot of energy to worrying about crime and safety. The Green Mountain State expressed 62% less daily worry about overall safety than the rest of the country, making Vermont the least-concerned state in the nation.

Vermont is the state with the lowest daily concern about safety—just 2 in 10 worry on a daily basis.

Historically, low concern makes sense, as Vermont always reports some of the lowest crime rates in the US. But this year, the state saw an uptick in both violent and property crime rates. Reported experience of property crime and gun violence was lower year over year, but experience with violent crime rose by one full percentage point.

Not surprisingly, 78% of Vermonters feel safe in their state, beating the national average by a whopping 42%. The crime issue that causes the most concern is property crime, tying with package theft as the crime Vermonters fear may happen to them. That fear’s not misplaced, as 22% of survey respondents had a package swiped in the past 12 months—10% higher than the national average.

Crime concerns in Vermont

We asked Vermont residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if Vermonters are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.

View the complete 2021 State of Safety report.

Violent crime in Vermont: Fear vs. reality

For the first time in at least three years, Vermont’s violent crime rate has increased. The state reported 1.7 incidents per 1,000 people in both 2019 and 2020, but that jumped 18% this year to 2.0 violent crimes per 1,000. Nevertheless, Vermonters’ concern about violent crime is 44% lower than most other Americans.

  • Violent crime in Vermont accounts for less than 1% of all violent crime reported in the US.
  • Aggravated assaults make up a bigger proportion of violent crime in Vermont than in the rest of the country—72% versus 68% nationwide. In the safest cities, assaults are even more prevalent, making up 73% of all reported violent crimes.
  • Vermont sees far fewer robberies than most states. Robbery accounts for 22% of all violent crime in the US, but just 6% in Vermont. 27% of survey participants use some kind of personal protection like a stun gun or pepper spray, compared to 34% nationally.
  • 40% say their personal safety has been affected by the pandemic, compared to 44% nationwide.

Attitudes about police and gun violence in Vermont

  • Gun violence is by far the least-concerning crime issue in The Green Mountain State. Only 17% of survey respondents worry about falling victim to gun violence, versus 38% nationwide.
  • There have been no mass shootings in Vermont in the past two years, and the state’s incidence of officer-involved shootings decreased from 8 in 2019 to 3 in 2020.
  • 47% say they have confidence in law enforcement—nearly 10 percentage points lower than the national average of 56%.

Property crime in Vermont: Fear vs. reality

Property crime saw a slight uptick in Vermont this year, and Vermonters worry more about property crime than any other crime issue.

  • Vermont’s property crime rate increased by 11% this year, from 12.8 incidents per 1,000 people in 2020 to 14.2.
  • The property crime rate in Vermont is 33% lower than the national average.
  • Both car theft and burglaries are less common in Vermont than in most other states. Nationwide, car theft accounts for 10% of all property crimes, but it makes up just 3% in Vermont.
  • Burglaries make up 16% of all property crime in the US, but only 14% in Vermont.
  • 53% of survey respondents use some kind of security measure on their property, with guard dogs or other animals being the most common.
  • Only 15% of respondents say the security of their property has been affected by the pandemic—nearly half the national average of 29%.

A closer look at the safest cities in Vermont

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.

  • 26 cities met the criteria to be considered for ranking.
  • Castleton holds onto the number one spot and Hinesburg remains at number 2 for the second consecutive year.
  • Stowe makes a debut on our list as the third safest city in Vermont, and Manchester joins the roundup for the first time at number 10.
  • 2 cities moved up in ranking this year: Milton and Northfield.
  • 2 cities fell in ranking this year: Shelburne and Swanton.
  • The violent crime rate among the safest cities is 1.0 incident per 1,000 people—1 full incident lower than the statewide rate.
  • There were only 75 total violent crimes reported by the safest cities and just 1 murder.
  • The property crime rate among the safest cities is 9.7 incidents per 1,000 people—over 4 fewer incidents per 1,000 than the statewide rate.
  • 70% of the safest cities reported fewer than 100 total property crimes.

The 10 Safest Cities in Vermont

Castleton, Vermont
#1
Castleton
(
-0-
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    4,507
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $18,644
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.7, 0.0, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    7.1, 0.0, N/A
Hinesburg, Vermont
#2
Hinesburg
(
-0-
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    4,601
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $52,645
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    1.1, 0.7, 0.2
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    5.0, 3.9 3.1
Stowe, Vermont
#3
Stowe
(
NEW
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    4,452
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $22,690
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.2, 0.7, 0.9
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    10.8, 11.3, 19.8
Barre Town, Vermont
#4
Barre Town
(
-0-
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    7,679
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $64,800
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.8, 1.0, 1.3
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    8.7, 5.7, 11.8
Shelburne, Vermont
#5
Shelburne
(
-2
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    7,857
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $78,971
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.1, 0.4, 0.1
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    14.0, 6.1, 5.7
Milton, Vermont
#6
Milton
(
+3
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    11,064
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $60,117
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    1.0, 1.5, 0.7
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    10.6, 9.4, 9.0
Essex, Vermont
#7
Essex
(
-0-
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    22,213
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $73,530
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.9, 0.6, 0.8
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    12.9, 13.6, 12.0
Swanton, Vermont
#8
Swanton
(
-2
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    6,595
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $55,042
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    1.5, 1.2, 0.9
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    9.1, 8.4, 2.8
#9
Northfield
(
+3
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    5,990
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $65,506
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    2.2, 2.7, 1.5
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    6.2, 7.7, 8.3
#10
Manchester
(
NEW
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    4,242
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $45,147
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    1.4, 1.2, 0.5
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    12.7, 10.9, 13.5

How we determined the safest cities

Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.

How to make a safe home anywhere

Whether your city made our list or not, we encourage everyone to be proactive about home security. Learn more about your home security options—and find out which companies we recommend for every budget and lifestyle in our roundup of the Best Home Security Systems.

Didn't find your city in the top 10?

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.

2021 Rank
City
Population
VC per 1,000Icon Tooltip  Dark
PC per 1,000Icon Tooltip  Dark
11Colchester17.55K1.513.3
12Middlebury8.78K1.813.4
13Williston10.03K0.820.4
14Montpelier7.39K1.523.2
15St. Johnsbury7.16K2.419.8
16Springfield8.90K2.817.9
17Winooski7.35K3.117.4
18Morristown5.47K2.622.1
19South Burlington19.69K1.134.9
20Hartford9.65K3.917.4
21Burlington42.96K4.125.8
22Rutland15.19K4.427.3
23Bennington14.91K4.234.5
24Barre8.55K7.523.7
25Brattleboro11.40K4.254.0
26St. Albans6.80K7.548.8

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


Sources

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.

Rebecca Edwards
Written by
Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past eight. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month poring over crime reports and spotting trends. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her expert advice and analysis in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, NPR, HGTV, MSN, Reader's Digest, Real Simple, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips.

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  • Pandas R Pathetic

    It’s simply not possible that Castleton VT is the safest town in Vermont. Methodology, reporting or some other error is to blame.