The 50 Safest College Towns in America of 2020

Going off to college comes with a mixed bag of excitement and nerves. And in 2020, we’ve got the extra worry that comes with the novel coronavirus.

safest college towns map


Even though there’s not much we can do to steady the waters during the ever-shifting tides of the pandemic, we can help you find out if your college town boasts a low crime rate.

Here are the 10 safest college towns in America:

  1. Milton, MA
  2. Rexburg, ID
  3. Madison, NJ
  4. Wellesley, MA
  5. Bristol, RI
  6. Durham, NH
  7. Lisle, IL
  8. Moraga, CA
  9. Princeton, NJ
  10. Berea, OH

See the full list of America’s 50 safest college towns.

How we picked the safest college towns in America

Our rankings are based purely on which college towns reported the fewest violent and property crimes per 1,000 residents.

We use the most recent FBI crime statistics, which include crime and population data that cities reported for 2018. This data isn’t infallible, but it’s the most consistent and comprehensive crime information available.

To be in the running, cities needed to exceed a population of 15,000 residents and be home to an accredited college that offered four-year degrees. We excluded for-profit institutions, technical and vocational schools, schools that offer only two-year degrees, and those with fewer than 2,000 students enrolled annually.

To rank each city, 50% of the score was determined by the number of violent crimes per 1,000 and 50% of the score was determined by the number of property crimes per 1,000.

Each measurement was normalized on a 0–1 scale with 1 corresponding to the measurement that would most positively affect the final score. These adjusted measurements were then added together with the weights mentioned above to get a score of 100.

For more information about how we rank cities, read our full methodology.

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.

graphic showing states with the most safe college towns

Interesting findings

See which stats and trends caught our eye when we analyzed the safest college towns in America.

  • 20 states and 55 colleges and universities are represented in this year’s ranking.
  • Boone, North Carolina reported zero violent crimes, but a higher property crime rate (14.8 per 1,000) placed it at number 26. Boone is home to Appalachian State University.
  • Bridgewater, Massachusetts—home to Bridgewater State University—reported the most violent crimes, with 2.1 incidents per 1,000. That’s still more than one full point below the national average of 3.7.
  • Top city Milton, Massachusetts, had the lowest number of reported property crimes per 1,000 people—just 2.2. Curry College and its more than 2,000 students call Milton home (at least for the academic year).
  • Moscow, Idaho, home to the University of Idaho, reported the highest property crime rate at 15.5 incidents per 1,000. That’s still well below the national average of 22.0.
  • Irvine, California, is the largest city to land in the top 30 safest college towns, with nearly 300,000 residents. Its low crime rates (0.6 for violent crime and 12.7 for property crime) are especially impressive for such a big city.
property crime graphic
violent crime graphic
  • The average property crime rate among the safest college towns dropped seven percentage points year over year—8.6 incidents per 1,000 people in 2020 vs. 15.6 in 2019.
  • The average violent crime rate among the safest college towns remained steady at 0.9 incidents per 1,000 people in 2019 and 2020. About half of the safest college cities reported less than one violent crime incident per 1,000 residents.

Returning to campus during COVID-19

On top of the usual back-to-school stress that parents and students feel every fall, this year comes with added concerns about the global pandemic.

We were happy to find that every institution in the safest college towns is doing what it can to assure a safe return to campus for students, faculty, staff, and their families.

Here are some notable things we discovered:

  • Most schools are cutting the fall semester short with undergraduate classes ending before Thanksgiving. The change helps limit exposure from holiday gatherings after students return.
  • Even campuses that are opening for in-person classes are keeping some online and hybrid options available for students.
  • Nearly every college that’s starting the fall semester 100% online is keeping a return to campus on the backburner pending state and public health guidance. Many schools that are encouraging in-person attendance are providing free COVID-19 testing to students, faculty, and staff.
Bell
Coronavirus on campus update

Update: 10/6/20 Despite efforts to ensure a safe return to campus, colleges across the nation quickly became hotspots for new cases of COVID-19. Data from The New York Times reports that more than 42,000 new positive cases popped up on college campuses across the country since the first of September. To see how the universities in towns that made our list are doing, check out coronavirus updates for our top 10 safest college towns.

The top 50 safest college towns

safest college towns badge 2020

NOTE: Crime rates are per 1,000 people. Tuition is based on in-state undergraduate tuition; cities with multiple colleges use the average. Fall 2020 plans are based on the primary approach of the colleges in each ranked city as of 08/10/20.

Curry College brick building
#1
Milton, Massachusetts
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    27,642
  • Circle Dollar
    Tuition/year
    $40,070
  • Image
    Fall 2020 return plan
    In-person
  • Circle Population
    Undergrad population
    2,342
  • Circle Property
    Crime rates
    Violent: 0.4Property: 2.2

Image source: Instagram @currycollege

Milton tops our list this year, thanks to reporting just 12 violent crimes and 60 property crimes in its most recent report to the FBI. Our top safest college town also ranked as the fourth safest city in Massachusetts this year and the 10th safest city in America.

Notepad
More safest cities

These college towns sure are smart when it comes to safety. A lot of the cities on this list also landed on our 100 Safest Cities in America list.

Milton is home to Curry College, which is planning a return to in-person classes for fall 2020. The college will also be offering online and hybrid instruction.

To address COVID-19, the college is complying with public health and state guidance about social distancing for residence halls and in-person classes.

Update: 10/6/20

Five students have tested positive on the Curry College campus. All positive tests were found within one residential hall, Mayflower Hall. The whole residence hall was put in quarantine as of September 30.

BYU-Idaho campus in Rexburg Idaho
#2
Rexburg, Idaho
(
1
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    37,636
  • Circle Dollar
    Tuition/year
    $4,118
  • Image
    Fall 2020 return plan
    Hybrid
  • Circle Population
    Undergrad population
    28,765
  • Circle Property
    Crime rates
    Violent: 0.2Property: 4.7

Image source: Facebook @BYU-Idaho

Rexburg climbed one spot this year, reporting five total violent crimes and 135 property crimes. Rexburg also tops our list of the safest cities in Idaho for 2020, and landed as the 39th safest city in America.

Brigham Young University-Idaho calls this little Idaho town home and is offering both in-person and online options for students this fall.

BYU-Idaho is following statewide public health guidance for the novel coronavirus. The campus also added extra precautions like requiring masks for all students, employees, and visitors.

Update: 10/6/20

As of October 1, the BYU-Idaho campus has reported 43 positive student COVID-19 cases and 11 staff cases. Administrators have threatened to close the campus if students continue to flout COVID-19 precautions on campus.

#3
Madison, New Jersey
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    15,832
  • Circle Dollar
    Tuition/year
    $43,142
  • Info
    Fall 2020 return plan
    Hybrid
  • Circle Population
    Undergraduate population
    2,713
  • Circle Gun
    Crime rates
    Violent: 0.2Property: 4.8

Image source: Instagram @fduwhatsnew

It’s no surprise that Madison is also number 32 on our latest ranking of the 50 safest cities in New Jersey. This college town reported fewer than 80 total crimes in 2018—three were violent offenses, and 76 were property crimes.

Fairleigh Dickinson University is welcoming students back this fall for remote, hybrid and in-person classes. The first three weeks of the semester will be online, with face-to-face classes starting on September 8.

Update: 10/6/20

Fairleigh Dickinson University reported two positive COVID-19 cases among students and one positive case among staff and faculty as of September 30.

Wellesley College Campus
#4
Wellesley, Massachusetts
  • Circle Population
    Population
    29,681
  • Circle Dollar
    Avg. tuition/year
    $52,418
  • Info
    Fall 2020 return plan
    Hybrid
  • Circle Population
    Undergrad population
    4,753
  • Circle Gun
    Crime rates
    Violent: 0.4Property: 4.2

Image source: Facebook @Wellesley College

Wellesley is the fourth safest college town in America for the second consecutive year. It’s also the 10th safest city in Massachusetts and the 53rd safest city in America this year.

The city saw a dozen violent crimes in 2018 (the same as reported in 2017), and the property crime rate dipped year over year. The total number of property crimes reported was 124.

Both Wellesley College and Babson College are offering students on-campus and remote learning options in the wake of COVID-19.

Update: 10/6/20

Wellesley College has only had one positive COVID-19 case on campus as of October 5. Babson College reports eight total cases on campus since the beginning of the semester. Both colleges have online coronavirus case dashboards to keep their communities updated.

Roger Williams University campus in Bristol, RI
#5
Bristol, Rhode Island
(
8
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    22,131
  • Circle Dollar
    Tuition/year
    $34,522
  • Circle Lock
    Fall 2020 return plan
    In-person
  • Circle Population
    Undergrad population
    4,347
  • Circle Gun
    Crime rates
    Violent: 0.5 Property: 4.0

Image source: Facebook @Roger Williams University

Bristol is having a banner year for safety. It ranked as the safest city in Rhode Island for 2020, and the 57th safest city in America.

There were fewer than 100 total crimes reported in Bristol, with 10 violent crime incidents and 89 property crime offenses.

Roger Williams University is preparing for in-person classes this fall. As part of the “Reopening Roger” plan, the university is looking into rapid testing on campus and discounts for student COVID-19 tests.

Update: 10/6/20

Roger Williams University has had 19 total positive cases and 41,871 negative COVID-19 test results as of September 30.

University of New Hampshire campus in Durham, NH
#6
Durham, New Hampshire
(
4
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    16,813
  • Circle Dollar
    Tuition/year
    $18,499
  • Circle Lock
    Fall 2020 return plan
    In-person
  • Circle Population
    Undergrad population
    12,668
  • Circle Property
    Crime rates
    Violent: 0.7 Property: 3.2

Image source: Facebook @University of New Hampshire

Home to the main campus of the University of New Hampshire, Durham climbed four spots in our ranking this year.

There were only 11 violent crimes reported by Durham law enforcement and just 53 property crimes.

This safe college town also showed up as the ninth safest city in New Hampshire and the 67th safest city in America for 2020.

UNH will bring students back onto campus this fall for in-person classes and residential housing. Pre-arrival coronavirus testing and ongoing weekly testing are in full swing for returning staff, faculty, and students.

Update: 10/6/20

The University of New Hampshire in Durham campus has been home to at least two clusters of the novel coronavirus. As of September 16, the state was monitoring 24 active cases and 60 recovered cases on the UNH-Durham campus.

Benedictine University campus in Lisle, IL
#7
Lisle, Illinois
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    22,966
  • Circle Dollar
    Tuition/year
    $34,290
  • Circle Lock
    Fall 2020 return plan
    In-person
  • Circle Population
    Undergrad population
    2,692
  • Circle Gun
    Crime rates
    Violent: 0.7 Property: 4.6

Image source: Instagram @benu1887

Lisle is new to our list this year, but this college town also ranked as one of our safest cities in Illinois for 2020.

Benedictine University calls Lisle home, and students can rest easy knowing that 2018 had just 16 violent crimes 106 property crimes reported.

The campus is instituting social distancing, increased cleaning measures, and mask requirements to help keep students safe as they return for in-person classes this fall.

Update: 10/6/20

Benedictine University has only seen one confirmed case of COVID-19 on campus since the fall semester started.

Saint Mary's College of California campus is Moraga, CA
#8
Moraga, California
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    17,866
  • Circle Dollar
    Tuition/year
    $47,280
  • Circle Lock
    Fall 2020 return plan
    Hybrid
  • Circle Population
    Undergrad population
    2,781
  • Circle Property
    Crime rates
    Violent: 0.7 Property: 5.3

Image source: Instagram @stmarysca

Moraga debuts as one of the safest college towns in the US thanks to low crime numbers reported to the FBI. In 2018, there were only 12 violent crimes and 94 property crimes reported.

This city is home to Saint Mary’s College of California, where hybrid instruction will be offered for the fall semester. A mix of face-to-face, online, and hybrid courses will be available in an effort to keep all members of the college community safe.

Update: 10/6/20

There has been one confirmed case of COVID-19 on the St. Mary's College of California campus.

Princeton University
#9
Princeton, New Jersey
(
8
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    31,856
  • Circle Dollar
    Tuition/year
    $50,340
  • Circle Lock
    Fall 2020 return plan
    Online
  • Circle Population
    Undergrad population
    5,301
  • Circle Gun
    Crime rates
    Viiolent: 0.3 Property: 7.0

Image source: Facebook @Princeton University

This Ivy League college town dropped eight spaces this year but managed to stay in the top 10.

Property crime numbers are the biggest contributor to the city’s lower ranking, with 224 reported in 2018—that’s the most total property crimes reported among the top 10 safest college towns.

Princeton also landed at number 70 on our safest cities in New Jersey report this year.

The city’s eponymous university is doubling down on safety this fall, keeping all undergraduate instruction online as the global pandemic continues. This decision factors in statewide coronavirus trends and public health guidance.

Update: 10/6/20

Princeton University has had three students test positive for the novel coronavirus on campus (40 were negative), and 54 students off-campus have tested positive. The university also reports 47 positive employee cases and 280 negative test results among staff and faculty.

Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, OH
#10
Berea, Ohio
(
5
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    18,838
  • Circle Dollar
    Tuition/year
    $32,586
  • Circle Lock
    Fall 2020 return plan
    In-person
  • Circle Population
    Undergrad population
    3,058
  • Circle Property
    Crime rates
    Violent: 0.5 Property: 6.2

Image source: Facebook @Baldwin Wallace University

Berea fell five spots to round out the top 10 safest college towns. It also ranked as the 20th safest city in Ohio this year.

This college town reported 10 violent crimes and 116 property crime incidents in 2018.

At Baldwin Wallace University, plans for a safe in-person fall semester are underway. Students will follow best practices for minimizing the spread of COVID-19 and attend classes in face-to-face and synchronous remote formats.

Update: 10/6/20

Berea didn’t see any immediate spikes in COVID-19 cases after students returned to campus at Baldwin Wallace University. As of October 5, the Baldwin Wallace University campus reported 45 total cases (active and recovered).

Oakland University campus in Rochester Hills, Michigan
#11
Rochester Hills, Michigan
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    74,669
  • Circle Dollar
    Tuition/year
    $12,606
  • Image
    Fall 2020 return plan
    In-person
  • Undergrad population
    15,476
  • Crime rates
    Violent: 0.7Property: 5.9

Image source: Instagram (@oaklandu)

#12
Charleston, Illinois
(
New
)
  • Population
    20,878
  • Tuition/year
    $11,803
  • Fall 2020 return plan
    Hybrid
  • Undergrad population
    4,631
  • Crime rates
    Violent: 1.4Property: 2.9

Image source: Instagram (@eiu)

Southern Illinois University Campus
#13
Edwardsville, Illinois
(
8
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    25,054
  • Circle Dollar
    Tuition/year
    $12,132
  • Circle Lock
    Fall 2020 return plan
    Hybrid
  • Circle Population
    Undergrad population
    10,786
  • Circle Gun
    Crime rates
    Violent: 0.5 Property: 7.4

Image source: Facebook @Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Endicott College campus in Beverly, Massachusetts
#14
Beverly, Massachusetts
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    42,114
  • Circle Dollar
    Tuition/year
    $33,050
  • Circle Lock
    Fall 2020 return plan
    In-person
  • Circle Population
    Undergrad population
    3,033
  • Circle Property
    Crime rates
    Violent: 1.0 Property: 5.8

Image source: Instagram (@endicottcollege)

Concordia University in Mequon, WI
#15
Mequon, Wisconsin
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    24,311
  • Circle Dollar
    Tuition/year
    $29,450
  • Circle Lock
    Fall 2020 return plan
    Hybrid
  • Circle Population
    Undergrad population
    3,272
  • Circle Gun
    Crime rates
    Violent: 0.2 Property: 9.9

Image source: Instagram (@cuwisconsin)

Merrimack College campus in North Andover, MA
#16
North Andover, Massachusetts
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    31,394
  • Circle Dollar
    Tuition/year
    $41,760
  • Circle Lock
    Fall 2020 return plan
    In-person
  • Circle Population
    Undergrad population
    3,648
  • Circle Property
    Crime rates
    Violent: 1.1 Property: 5.5

Image source: Instagram (@merrimackcollege)

Virginia Tech Campus
#17
Blacksburg, Virginia
(
8
)
  • Population
    44,853
  • Tuition/year
    $13,620
  • Fall 2020 return plan
    Hybrid
  • Undergrad population
    27,730
  • Crime rates
    Violent: 0.9Property: 7.2

Image source: Facebook @Virginia Tech

#18
West Lafayette, Indiana
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    46,906
  • Circle Dollar
    Tuition/year
    $9,992
  • Info
    Fall 2020 return plan
    In-person
  • Circle Population
    Undergrad population
    33,495
  • Circle Gun
    Crime rates
    Violent: 0.7Property: 8.5

Image source: Instagram (@lifeatpurdue)

Elmhurst College campus in Elmhurst, Illinois
#19
Elmhurst, Illinois
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    47,025
  • Circle Dollar
    Tuition/year
    $37,055
  • Circle Lock
    Fall 2020 return plan
    In-person
  • Circle Population
    Undergrad population
    2,799
  • Circle Gun
    Crime rates
    Violent: 0.5 Property: 9.5

Image source: Instagram (@elmhurst.university)

Dickinson College campus
#20
Carlisle, Pennsylvania
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    19,335
  • Circle Dollar
    Tuition/year
    $54,661
  • Circle Lock
    Fall 2020 return plan
    Online
  • Circle Population
    Undergrad population
    2,353
  • Circle Property
    Crime rates
    Violent: 0.9 Property: 7.5

Image source: Instagram (@dickinsoncollege)

West Texas A & M University campus in Canyon, TX
#21
Canyon, Texas
(
25
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    15,608
  • Circle Dollar
    Tuition/year
    $7,935
  • Circle Lock
    Fall 2020 return plan
    In-person
  • Circle Population
    Undergrad population
    7,368
  • Circle Gun
    Crime rates
    Violent: 0.9 Property: 7.7

Image source: Facebook @wtamu

#22
Moon Township, Pennsylvania
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    25,758
  • Circle Dollar
    Tuition/year
    $30,300
  • Circle Lock
    Fall 2020 return plan
    In-person
  • Circle Population
    Undergrad population
    3,979
  • Circle Property
    Crime rates
    Violent: 0.8 Property: 9.0

Image source: Instagram (@robertmorrisuniversity)

Bryant University Campus
#23
Smithfield, Rhode Island
(
16
)
  • Population
    21,746
  • Tuition/year
    $43,973
  • Fall 2020 return plan
    Hybrid
  • Undergrad population
    3,471
  • Crime rates
    Violent: 1.0Property: 8.7

Image source: Facebook @Bryant University

Iona College campus in New Rochelle, NY
#24
New Rochelle, New York
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    80,340
  • Circle Dollar
    Tuition/year
    $38,812
  • Circle Lock
    Fall 2020 return plan
    Hybrid
  • Circle Population
    Undergrad population
    3,005
  • Circle Property
    Crime rates
    Violent: 1.2 Property:8.3

Image source: Instagram (@ionacollege)

Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, MA
#25
Bridgewater, Massachusetts
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    27,584
  • Circle Dollar
    Tuition/year
    $10,367
  • Circle Lock
    Fall 2020 return plan
    Hybrid
  • Circle Population
    Undergrad population
    9,312
  • Circle Gun
    Crime rates
    Violent: 2.1 Property: 4.2

Image source: Instagram (@bridgestateu)

Appalachian State University in Boone, NC
#26
Boone, North Carolina
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    19,524
  • Circle Dollar
    Tuition/year
    $7,364
  • Circle Lock
    Fall 2020 return plan
    Hybrid
  • Circle Population
    Undergrad population
    17,265
  • Circle Property
    Crime rates
    Violent: 0.0 Property: 14.8

Image source: Instagram (@appstate)

Northwood University in Midland, Michigan
#27
Midland, Michigan
(
3
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    41,961
  • Circle Dollar
    Tuition/year
    $27,060
  • Circle Lock
    Fall 2020 return plan
    In-person
  • Circle Population
    Undergrad population
    2,744
  • Circle Gun
    Crime rates
    Violent: 1.3 Property: 8.4

Image source: Facebook @Northwood University

Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL
#28
Wheaton, Illinois
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    53,418
  • Circle Dollar
    Tuition/year
    $36,420
  • Circle Lock
    Fall 2020 return plan
    Hybrid
  • Circle Population
    Undergrad population
    2,364
  • Circle Property
    Crime rates
    Violent: 0.7 Property: 11.8

Image source: Instagram (@wheatoncollegeil)

University of California campus in Irvine, CA
#29
Irvine, California
(
18
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    288,052
  • Circle Dollar
    Tuition/year
    $13,040
  • Circle Lock
    Fall 2020 return plan
    Online
  • Circle Population
    Undergrad population
    33,814
  • Circle Gun
    Crime rates
    Violent: 0.6Property: 12.7

Image source: Facebook @University of California, Irvine

Northern Michigan University campus in Marquette, MI
#30
Marquette, Michigan
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    20,529
  • Circle Dollar
    Tuition/year
    $10,729
  • Circle Lock
    Fall 2020 return plan
    In-person
  • Circle Population
    Undergrad population
    6,722
  • Circle Property
    Crime rates
    Violent: 1.1 Property: 9.9

Image source: Instagram @northernmichiganu

The rest of the top 50 safest college towns

We calculated crime rates for every college city in the country that met our criteria. See which cities round out the top 50 safest college towns in America.

2020 ranking

City

Violent crime rate*

Property crime rate*

Fall 2020 plan

2019 ranking

31

De Pere, WI

1.5

8.1

Hybrid

N/A

32

Medford, MA

1.3

9.4

Hybrid

N/A

33

Bowling Green, OH

0.7

12.1

Hybrid

32

34

Easton, MA

1.8

6.9

In-person

N/A

35

Willimantic, CT

1.6

7.7

In-person

N/A

36

Thousand Oaks, CA

1.0

11.4

Online

34

37

Middletown, CT

0.8

12.6

Hybrid

26

38

Northfield, MN

1.4

9.7

Hybrid

39

39

Waukesha, WI

1.3

10.3

Hybrid

N/A

40

Pullman, WA

1.2

10.9

Online

15

41

Laramie, WY

1.0

12.2

Hybrid

23

42

Bourbonnais, IL

1.8

8.4

Hybrid

N/A

43

Valparaiso, IN

1.1

12.0

In-person

42

44

Montclair, NJ

1.0

12.9

Online

N/A

45

Fairfield, CT

0.5

15.3

In-person

N/A

46

Camarillo, CA

1.1

12.3

Hybrid

N/A

47

Moscow, ID

0.5

15.5

In-person

36

48

Romeoville, IL

1.5

10.9

Hybrid

N/A

49

Waltham, MA

1.9

9.0

Hybrid

N/A

50

Williamsburg, VA

1.3

12.7

In-person

N/A

*per 1,000 people

The 10 "most dangerous" college towns in America

These are the 10 college towns that landed at the bottom of our ranking. These cities reported the most crimes among the 456 American cities that qualified for our ranking.

2020 ranking

City

Violent crime rate*

Property crime rate*

Fall 2020 plan

2019 ranking

1

Hammond, LA

14.5

103.4

Hybrid

9

2

Memphis, TN

19.4

64.1

Hybrid

3

3

Birmingham, AL

19.1

63.1

Hybrid

N/A

4

Alexandria, LA

14.5

84.1

Hybrid

N/A

5

Greenwood, SC

16.8

68.5

Hybrid

8

6

Saint Louis, MO

18.0

59.1

Hybrid

N/A

7

Detroit, MI

20.1

43.0

Hybrid

1

8

Monroe, LA

14.0

67.9

Hybrid

N/A

9

Little Rock, AR

14.5

65.5

Hybrid

4

10

Baltimore, MD

18.3

45.0

Hybrid

2

*per 1,000 people

Memphis and Detroit also ranked among the most dangerous metro areas in the country for 2020.

How to make a safe home anywhere

Whether you live on campus or rent in town, it’s always smart to add extra security measures.

We’ve got security solutions that fit your hectic college lifestyle.

And if you’re worried about leaving your parents at home on their own, check out our picks for Best Home Security Systems.

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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  • Jeanne Talbot

    I think it would be great to consider the specific safety of LGBTQ students in these locations as a factor in your rankings.

  • good ‘un

    Willimantic has been hosting the 3rd Thursday event on Main Street for years, as well as the 4th of July BoomBox Parade; I have attended these events numerous times and have never seen, nor read about or heard of, any violence or violent crime at these events.

    • CTburgian

      Why does ECSU tell students during orientation that it is not safe to walk to town alone, and that you should always have a “buddy”.

  • CT_Yankee_1

    So, is this analysis ONLY for ‘cities’? How about small towns with LARGE university campuses?

    When you use the criteria “… cities needed to exceed 15,000 residents and be home to an accredited college that offered four-year degrees.” is that population BEFORE or AFTER the students arrive? Mansfield (Storrs) easily exceeds the 15,000 criteria (if counting the student population) yet it is curiously omitted from the list.

    I see Willimantic CT on the list (ECSU) whose campus is in Willimantic, which is part of the larger town of Windham. I did 4 years of high school in Willimantic and I would not have considered it to be an exceptionally safe community then, and almost 50 years later I still would not consider it to be an exceptionally safe community.

    Seems like a somewhat selective choice of data.

    • mascrivener

      A quick Google search comes up with this: Willimantic crime statistics report an overall downward trend in crime based on data from 17 years with violent crime decreasing and property crime decreasing. Based on this trend, the crime rate in Willimantic for 2018 is expected to be lower than in 2016.

      The city violent crime rate for Willimantic in 2016 was lower than the national violent crime rate average by 65.98% and the city property crime rate in Willimantic was lower than the national property crime rate average by 46.72%.

      In 2016 the city violent crime rate in Willimantic was lower than the violent crime rate in Connecticut by 40.52% and the city property crime rate in Willimantic was lower than the property crime rate in Connecticut by 27.77%.

      • CT_Yankee_1

        The stats are what they are and I won’t attempt to dispute them.

        My observation is based solely on my personal experiences in the city during my HS years and my currently senior years. There may be a bit of personal bias in my observations.

    • http://www.reviews.org Scott T.

      The criteria for this report was based on population, not the definition of “town” or “city,” which can vary depending on which part of the country you are in. The reason Mansfield was not included in this year’s report is because FBI data was not available for 2016.

  • M Virginia P Quinn

    Kean University is in Union, NJ (Union County)
    Union City, NJ is in Hudson County

    • http://www.reviews.org Scott T.

      Thanks for heads up.