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Vermont’s 10 Safest Cities of 2020

Written by | Updated July 1, 2020
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Last Updated: Less than 6 months
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The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the sixth annual Safest Cities report.

Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Vermont for 2020. 

  1. Castleton
  2. Hinesburg
  3. Shelburne
  4. Barre Town
  5. Middlebury
  6. Swanton
  7. Essex
  8. Colchester
  9. Milton
  10. Morristown

Get more details about our list.

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.

See if your hometown made Vermont’s 10 safest cities of 2020. 

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.

Vermont crime concern infographic

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.
Vermont crime concern infographic
Vermont crime concern infographic

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.
Vermont crime concern infographic
Vermont crime concern infographic

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.
Vermont safest cities heat map showing population and crime score

The 10 Safest Cities in Vermont

VC = Violent Crime
PC = Property Crime




Castleton, Vermont
Population 4,995
Median Income $19,458
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.0, Not available, Not available
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.0, Not available, Not available




Hinesburg, Vermont
Population 4,577
Median Income $51,339
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.7, 0.2, Not available
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 3.9, 3.1, Not available




Shelburne, Vermont
Population 7,817
Median Income $81,130
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.4, 0.1, 0.3
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 6.1, 5.7, 7.1


Barre Town


Barre Town, Vermont
Population 7,693
Median Income $64,800
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 1.0, 1.3, 0.9
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 5.7, 11.8, 13.2




Middlebury, Vermont
Population 8,613
Median Income $46,976
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.6, 0.5, 0.2
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 11.1, 10.1, 13.3




Swanton, Vermont
Population 6,560
Median Income $48,661
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 1.2, 0.9, Not available
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 8.4, 2.8, Not available




Essex, Vermont
Population 21,803
Median Income $73,530
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.6, 0.8, 0.4
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 13.6, 12.0, 15.8




Colchester, Vermont
Population 17,313
Median Income $68,440
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.9, 1.4, 1.1
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 11.3, 17.2, 18.5




Milton, Vermont
Population 11,024
Median Income $52,031
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 1.5, 0.7, 0.6
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 9.4, 9.0, 9.0




Morristown, Vermont
Population 5,450
Median Income $43,111
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 1.1, 1.1, 0.7
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 13.4, 13.0, 9.2

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 recommend adding extra security to your home with monitored security services provided by the nation’s leading home security providers.

To learn more about your home security options, check out SafeWise’s picks for 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, which is based on the median population of the state. 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 2018.

2020 RankingCityPopulationViolent Crime (per 1,000)Property Crime (per 1,000)
14St. Johnsbury7,1582.113.7
18South Burlington19,3181.729.6
24St. Albans6,7775.863.6

Find the Safest Cities in Each State

Click on the state image below to check out the safest cities for each state.


FBI Uniform Crime Reporting, “2018 Crime in the United States
SafeWise, “2020 State of Safety
US Census Bureau, “American Fact Finder
BestPlaces, “Find a Place Search Tool

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 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

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