These are America’s 25 safest small towns

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After two years of upheaval due to the pandemic, politics and social unrest, many Americans crave normalcy in 2022. Many Americans fled — or dreamt of fleeing — large cities during COVID-19 surges. Seeking respite in America’s smaller cities and towns has its appeal, but how much safer are small towns in reality?

To test the theory that small cities and towns are the safest places in America, MoneyGeek analyzed crime statistics by quantifying the cost of crime and ranking small cities and towns nationwide and in every state. This analysis followed MoneyGeek’s previous ranking of the safest large cities in America.

Key Findings

  • The cost of crime for small cities increased by 12% from 2019 to 2020, the latest data available. The average U.S. city saw a 15% increase in the cost of crime during the same period.
  • Small cities and towns are twice as safe as big cities. Our analysis found that the median cost of crime in cities and towns with populations between 30,000 and 100,000 was $640, compared to cities with populations over 100,000, where the median cost of crime was $1,320.
  • A small city or town can be just as dangerous as a large city. The cost of crime per capita in Petersburg, Virginia, is $9,022, nearly as high as St. Louis, Missouri, where the per capita cost of crime is $11,574. Federal Way, Washington (pop. 97,071), has a cost of crime per capita of $1,203, comparable to New York City ($1,204).

Calculating the Cost of Crime

Crime takes a toll on communities — not just emotionally, but also economically. In addition to direct costs from property loss, services for victims and policing and corrections, residents of higher-crime locales often pay higher rates on car insurance, homeowners insurance and renters insurance.

To quantify the cost of crime in smaller cities and towns, MoneyGeek analyzed crime data and calculated the cost of crime in each place. We included data on violent crimes — such as murder and aggravated assault — and property crimes — such as burglaries and car theft. Though property crimes are much more common, violent crimes are more costly.

Most of the safest small cities and towns in America are in the Northeast or Midwest, with four of the top ten cities in New York or New Jersey, three in Illinois and three in Massachusetts. The least safe towns are more distributed throughout the country, with Petersburg, Virginia at the top.

25. Danville, California

  • Crime Cost per Capita: $84
  • Violent Crime Rate: $46.9
  • Property Crime Rate: $533.5
  • Cost of Crime ($000s): $3,752
  • Population: $44,800

Image Credit: Sundry Photography / iStock.

24. Mount Prospect, Illinois

  • Crime Cost per Capita:  $84
  • Violent Crime Rate: $48.5
  • Property Crime Rate: $63.5
  • Cost of Crime ($000s): $4,483
  • Population: 53,570

Image Credit: MrHarman / Wiki Commons.

23. Park Ridge, Illinois

  • Crime Cost per Capita: $82
  • Violent Crime Rate: $51.5
  • Property Crime Rate: $203.3
  • Cost of Crime ($000s): $3,036
  • Population: 36,888

Image Credit: Teemu008 / Wiki Commons.

22. Rancho Santa Margarita, California

  • Crime Cost per Capita:  $78
  • Violent Crime Rate: $39.7
  • Property Crime Rate: $588.8
  • Cost of Crime ($000s): $3,743
  • Population: 47,894        

Image Credit: MattGush /iStock.

21. Old Bridge Township, New Jersey

  • Crime Cost per Capita:  $77
  • Violent Crime Rate: $39.7
  • Property Crime Rate: $543.2
  • Cost of Crime ($000s): $5,018
  • Population: 65,537

Image Credit: Demetri2K / iStock.

20. Fair Lawn, New Jersey

  • Crime Cost per Capita: $75
  • Violent Crime Rate: $36.5
  • Property Crime Rate: $741.4
  • Cost of Crime ($000s): $2,458
  • Population: 32,910

Image Credit: Rickyrab / Wiki Commons.

19. Marlboro Township, New Jersey

  • Crime Cost per Capita: $74
  • Violent Crime Rate: $27.8
  • Property Crime Rate: $762.8
  • Cost of Crime ($000s): $2,949
  • Population: 39,593

Image Credit: Freeholdman12 / Wiki Commons.

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18. Lone Peak, Utah

  • Crime Cost per Capita: $74
  • Violent Crime Rate: $16.6
  • Property Crime Rate: $907.6
  • Cost of Crime ($000s): $2,244
  • Population: 30,191

Image Credit: Derrellwilliams / Wiki Commons.

17. Greenwich, Connecticut

  • Crime Cost per Capita: $69
  • Violent Crime Rate: $12.7
  • Property Crime Rate: $868.1
  • Cost of Crime ($000s): $4,364
  • Population: 63,012

Image Credit: stockphoto52 / iStock.

16. Princeton, New Jersey

  • Crime Cost per Capita: $69
  • Violent Crime Rate: $35.0
  • Property Crime Rate: $623.1
  • Cost of Crime ($000s): $2,179
  • Population: 31,458

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

15. Bloomfield Township, Michigan

  • Crime Cost per Capita: $69
  • Violent Crime Rate: $23.8
  • Property Crime Rate: $513.6
  • Cost of Crime ($000s): $2,899
  • Population: 42,059

Image Credit: ajay_suresh / Wiki Commons.

14. Upper Arlington, Ohio

  • Crime Cost per Capita: $65
  • Violent Crime Rate: $30.9
  • Property Crime Rate: $ 945.0
  • Cost of Crime ($000s): $ 2,313
  • Population: 35,557

Image Credit: Postdlf / Wiki Commons.

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13. Middletown Township, New Jersey

  • Crime Cost per Capita: $64
  • Violent Crime Rate: $24.6
  • Property Crime Rate: $ 547.8
  • Cost of Crime ($000s): $ 4,147
  • Population: 65,170

Image Credit: Freeholdman12 / Wiki Commons.

12. Parkland, Florida

  • Crime Cost per Capita: $62
  • Violent Crime Rate: $22.4
  • Property Crime Rate: $561.9
  • Cost of Crime ($000s): $2,214
  • Population: 35,773

Image Credit: MargaretW / iStock.

11. Northbrook, Illinois

  • Crime Cost per Capita: $59
  • Violent Crime Rate: $30.4
  • Property Crime Rate: $200.4
  • Cost of Crime ($000s): $1,944
  • Population: 32,927

Image Credit: benkrut / iStock.

10. Lexington, Massachusetts

  • Crime Cost per Capita: $59
  • Violent Crime Rate: $36.2
  • Property Crime Rate: $344.0
  • Cost of Crime ($000s): $1942
  • Population: 33,138

Image Credit: John Phelan / Wiki Commons.

9. Yorktown, New York

  • Crime Cost per Capita: $53
  • Violent Crime Rate: $19.3
  • Property Crime Rate: $542.9
  • Cost of Crime ($000s): $1,911
  • Population: 36,284

Image Credit: Ewriter2020 / Wiki Commons.

8. Orland Park, Illinois

  • Crime Cost per Capita: $49
  • Violent Crime Rate: $37.9
  • Property Crime Rate: $65.5
  • Cost of Crime ($000s): $2,818
  • Population: 57,993

Image Credit: ReDunnLev / iStock.

7. Long Beach, New York

  • Crime Cost per Capita: $42
  • Violent Crime Rate: $38.9
  • Property Crime Rate: $137.5
  • Cost of Crime ($000s): $1,414
  • Population: 33,461

Image Credit: Adam Mordetsky / iStock.

6. Monroe Township, Middlesex County, New Jersey

  • Crime Cost per Capita: $39
  • Violent Crime Rate: $19.7
  • Property Crime Rate: $249.7
  • Cost of Crime ($000s): $1,788
  • Population: 45,653

Image Credit: Freeholdman12 / Wikimedia Commons.

5. Bartlett, Illinois

  • Crime Cost per Capita: $39
  • Violent Crime Rate: $22.2
  • Property Crime Rate: $61.6
  • Cost of Crime ($000s): $1,571
  • Population: 40,577

Image Credit: Bartlett / Wiki Commons.

4. Shrewsbury, Massachusetts

  • Crime Cost per Capita: $38
  • Violent Crime Rate: $10.3
  • Property Crime Rate: $359.6
  • Cost of Crime ($000s): $1,464
  • Population: 38,656

Image Credit: John Phelan / Wiki Commons.

3. Carmel Town, New York

  • Crime Cost per Capita: $35
  • Violent Crime Rate: $14.7
  • Property Crime Rate: $331.4
  • Cost of Crime ($000s): $1,186
  • Population: 34,093

Image Credit: Wikilagata / Wiki Commons.

2. Franklin, Massachusetts

  • Crime Cost per Capita: $32
  • Violent Crime Rate: $17.5
  • Property Crime Rate: $93.3
  • Cost of Crime ($000s): $1,081
  • Population: 34,281

Image Credit: John Phelan / Wiki Commons.

1. Buffalo Grove, Illinois

  • Crime Cost per Capita: $22
  • Violent Crime Rate: $12.4
  • Property Crime Rate: $49.5
  • Cost of Crime ($000s): $906
  • Population: 40,380

Image Credit: YourJudge / Wiki Commons.

Methodology

To rank the safest small cities and towns in the United States, MoneyGeek started with standardized crime statistics reported to the FBI. To determine crime rates per 100,000 people, population data accessed from the FBI was added to the analysis. For purposes of this analysis, MoneyGeek focused on cities with a population between 30,000 and 100,000 residents.

MoneyGeek relied on research by professors Kathryn McCollister and Michael French of the University of Miami and Hai Fang of the University of Colorado Denver to determine the cost of crime to society. Their findings were integrated into the broader data set to better understand the societal cost of crime within individual cities.

This article originally appeared on MoneyGeek.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

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