If you live in Vermont, chances are you worry less about your safety than the rest of the nation. Vermont enjoys some of the lowest crime rates in the country and its safest city, Castleton, reported zero crimes to the FBI in 2018.
Although Vermont’s daily level of concern about safety increased 10 percentage points this year, it’s still below the nationwide average of 46%. On our 2020 State of Safety survey, 41% of Vermont participants expressed high daily concern about safety.
Both concern about and experience of crime grew year over year in the Green Mountain State, but Vermont’s crime rates remain some of the lowest in the US.
Even though Vermont is highly concerned about break-ins, 40% of respondents don't use any security measures to protect their property.
The violent crime rate in Vermont is 1.7 incidents per 1,000 people, which is two points below the national rate of 3.7. Even though reported experience with violent crime bumped up one percentage point this year, Vermont’s 7% average is well below the national average of 12%.
Vermont’s property crime rate is 12.8, down from 15.0 last year, and far below the national rate of 22.0. The percentage of respondents who reported an experience with property crime saw a big leap from 10% to 25%, which places Vermont just below the current national average of 26%.
Violent Crime in Vermont: Fear vs. Reality
Being robbed in the street is the violent crime that worries people the most in Vermont. It’s also the crime they feel is the most likely to happen.
24% expressed high concern about being robbed on the street, which is under the national level of concern, 38%.
13% also named robbery as the crime they think has the highest odds of actually happening, compared to 27% nationwide.
There were only eight robberies reported among the safest cities, equaling 10% of the violent crime reported by those cities. Statewide, robbery accounted for 6% of all violent crime.
Aggravated assault is the most prominent crime in Vermont, comprising 66% of all violent crime. In the safest cities, assault was 60% of all reported violent crimes.
Property Crime in Vermont: Fear vs. Reality
Break-ins are the most worrisome property crime in Vermont, especially if the break-in occurs when the residents aren’t home. It’s also the property crime people feel is the most likely to occur.
53% of Vermont respondents named a break-in when no one’s home as their most concerning property crime, versus 62% nationwide.
32% said they also think they’re most likely to fall victim to a break-in when no one’s home. That’s six points under the national average of 38%.
Burglary accounted for 16% of all property crime reported by the safest cities and 18% of all property crime in Vermont.
The most prevalent property crime in the state was larceny-theft, totalling 79% of all property crime in the state and 82% among the safest cities.
Only 12% of Vermont respondents have a home security system—half as many as the nationwide average of 24%.
Using a dog or other guard animal is the number one security measure reported in Vermont, with 30% using an animal for protection versus 33% nationally.
40% don’t use any kind of protection or security for their property, compared to 29% across the US.
A Closer Look at Vermont’s Safest Cities of 2020
For the purposes of this report, the terms “safest” and “dangerous” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.
The top two safest cities in Vermont are brand new to the list this year: Castleton and Hinesburg.
Castleton reported zero crimes in 2018 and Hinesburg reported a grand total of 21.
Four cities improved in rank year over year, and four cities fell in the rankings.
All cities came in under both state (1.7)and national (3.7) violent crime rates, with the highest rate being 1.5 per 1,000 in Milton.
60% of the cities limited violent crime to less than one incident per 1,000.
There were a total of 78 violent crimes reported among the 10 safest cities and zero counts of murder.
80% of the cities had property crime rates below the state’s already-low rate of 12.8 and all states beat the national average of 22.0.
Castleton had the lowest property crime rate with no crimes reported. Hinesburg is in second place with 3.9 incidents per 1,000 and 18 total incidents reported.
70% of the cities reported fewer than 100 total property crimes.
The 10 Safest Cities in Vermont
VC = Violent Crime PC = Property Crime
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 20180.0, Not available, Not available
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 20180.0, Not available, Not available
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 six. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month testing and evaluating security products and strategies. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her work and contributions in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, HGTV, MSN, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips. Learn more