These Are The 10 Safest Cities In Massachusetts For 2018

We used data and science to determine the places in Massachusetts where everyone sleeps safe and sound.

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We all want the finer things in life. Love, comfort and safety are at the top of everyone's list. For a lot of people who live in the fine state of Massachusetts, safety isn't a problem, but we don't live in the safest state, either. Massachusetts is somewhere in the middle.

The purpose of this post is to determine where the safest places to live are in the Bay State. Those places where crime is usually something you hear about on Facebook, but not in your local paper.

After analyzing 233 places in Massachusetts with a population of more than 5,000, we came up with this list as the safest places here:

  1. Boxford
  2. Franklin
  3. Groveland
  4. Wayland
  5. Norfolk
  6. Hopkinton
  7. Upton
  8. Sudbury
  9. Topsfield
  10. Medway

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked. Or for more reading on safe places to read, check out:

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How we calculated the safest cities in Massachusetts

While there are surveys and public polls on what cities in a state are the safest, we didn't want to rely on speculation and opinion. Instead, we looked at the hard numbers from the FBI's most recent report of crime (Sept 2017). Specifically, we analyzed the FBI's Uniform Crime Report which summarizes the number of property crimes and violent crimes in each city per year. We used two criteria:

  • Violent crimes per capita (murders, assaults, rapes, armed robberies)
  • Property crimes per capita (thefts, burglaries, motor vehicle thefts)
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For example, there were a total of 15 crimes committed in Boxford which had a reported population of 8,271. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.00181 which translates into a 1 in 551 chance of being the victim of a crime.

We only looked at cities that have populations of more than 5,000 people reported to the FBI in 2016. This left us with a total of 233 places in Massachusetts to rank.

We ranked each place for each criteria from 1 to 233 where 1 in any particular category is the safest.

Next, we averaged each places two criteria to create a Safety Index. We crowned the place with the lowest overall Safety Score "The Safest Place In Massachusetts".

The safest city, based on population, is Boxford. The most dangerous? Holyoke, where residents had a 1 in 17 chance of being the victim of a crime.

Note: This report is not an analysis of the effectiveness of local police departments, nor does it reflect the fact that people from out of town may come into a community and cause a crime. It simply looks at where crimes occurred most frequently, based on a city's population.

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1. Boxford

Population: 8,271
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 0 (1st safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 181 (6th safest)

Taking the crown as the safest city in Massachusetts for 2018 is Boxford -- a classic example of everything that makes Massachusetts great.

We are talking about only having a 1 in 551.4 chance of being the victim of a property crime and a 1 in 1,500+ chance of being the victim of violent crime.

That's crazy safe. Compare it to Little Rock, AR -- the most dangerous city in the country -- with roughly a 1 in 30 chance of beign the victim of a property crime.

These Are The 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Massachusetts

2. Franklin

Population: 33,264
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 3 (3rd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 294 (12th safest)

If you're thinking of moving to Massachusetts and safety is a top priority, then you can't do much better than Franklin -- the 2nd safest in the Bay State.

Franklin is the kind of place that old timers talk about longingly -- where kids can run around during the day without adult supervision and you can leave your front door unlocked.

You only had a 1 in 339.4 chance of being the victim of a property crime in Franklin.

3. Groveland

Source: intro Domain
Population: 6,776
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 29 (14th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 162 (2nd safest)

You might not post on Facebook that much, but now's a time to change that. Be proud that Groveland ranks as the 3rd safest city in Massachusetts.

Go on. With all the negativity on Facebook all the time now, this is great news for Groveland.

We'll wait here safe and sound.

4. Wayland

Source: intro Domain
Population: 13,760
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 36 (20th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 43 (1st safest)

You might be surprised to find Wayland this high on the list, but, trust us, no one in Wayland is surpised.

This gem of a place in the Bay State boasts the 1st best property crime rate and 20th best violent crime rate for 2018.

5. Norfolk

Source: intro Domain
Population: 11,991
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 33 (17th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 175 (5th safest)

Finishing just inside the top five is Norfolk, MA.

You get what you pay for in Norfolk -- super low crime rates. A 1 in 2,997 chance of being the victim of violent crime gives Norfolk residents a well earned feeling of safety.

We'd move to Norfolk in heartbeat.

6. Hopkinton

Population: 16,960
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 11 (5th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 377 (19th safest)

Everyone is trying to get in on the quality of life in Hopkinton, the 6th safest city in Massachusetts.

The town of some 16,960 people will have to try and continue to try and keep Hopkinton a secret, lest crime starts going up simply because of people breaking down the doors to get into town.

See what we did there Hopkinton?

7. Upton

Population: 7,726
Rank Last Year: 39 (Up 32)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 25 (12th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 362 (16th safest)

Upton is a feel good story of safety and comfort in Massachusetts.

It has 1 in 275.9 chance of being the victim of a property crime and a 1 in 3,862 chance of being the victim of violent crime.

That's some of the tops you'll find across the country -- nevermind just in Massachusetts.

8. Sudbury

Source: intro Domain
Population: 19,035
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 36 (21st safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 215 (9th safest)

The eighth safest city in Massachusetts for 2018 goes to Sudbury. Let's see why.

There were only 7 violent crimes here last year -- which is basically 0 for the average citizen. And there were only 41 property crimes to boot.

9. Topsfield

Population: 6,590
Rank Last Year: -
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 45 (29th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 166 (3rd safest)

If you're looking for a safe place to live in Massachusetts, may we present Topsfield as an option.

While it doesn't sit at the very top of the chart for Massachusetts, it still has an impressively low crime rate.

11 property crimes occurred here, which nets out to being the 3rd best in Massachusetts on a rate basis.

10. Medway

Source: intro Domain
Population: 13,289
Rank Last Year: -
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 0 (1st safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 443 (31st safest)

And just making it into the top ten for 2018 is Medway.

But we know they don't take this spot for granted -- Medway residents can attest that their home town deserves to be the on list.

In total, there were 0 violent crimes and 59 property crimes in Medway; that's really good for a place of 13,289 people and definitely something to be happy about looking forward into 2018.

There You Have It - The Safest In Massachusetts

Looking at the data, you can tell that Boxford is as safe as they come, according to science and data.

But as most Massachusetts residents would agree, almost every place here has its safe and not safe parts. So just make sure you're informed ahead of time.

Most dangerous cities in Massachusetts:
3rd Most Dangerous: Springfield
2nd Most Dangerous: North Adams
Most Dangerous: Holyoke

Detailed List Of The Safest Cities To Live In Massachusetts For 2018

City Rank Previous Rank Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
Boxford138,2710181
Franklin2833,2643294
Groveland376,77629162
Wayland4213,7603643
Norfolk5611,99133175
Hopkinton6516,96011377
Upton7397,72625362
Sudbury8919,03536215
Topsfield9 -
Medway10 -
Norton112219,44551169
Carlisle12135,30018433
Shrewsbury13 -
Bedford142014,28042343
Groton154711,37235430
Rockport16347,22269207
Holden172118,82969292
Georgetown18128,62323545
Holliston191414,65668375
Hopedale20455,93867387
Clinton211013,78058406
Needham222930,73319575
Hamilton23238,18173342
Sharon241118,20076340
Lexington252833,64368392
Lincoln26277,55026596
Manchester-by-the-Sea27405,38792278
Southborough283810,04849527
Wellesley293629,04944547
Westford303724,10387365
Dover3146,00833599
Weston32112,14782428
North Andover336029,85340599
Winchester342622,52317737
Wenham35 -
Mendon36326,03349629
Reading371725,77942682
Billerica384842,965100467
Andover395335,55864607
Middleton40739,85281548
Belchertown41 -
Rowley42 -
Hanover435514,46620794
Belmont442525,63754690
Tyngsboro456612,39796508
Charlton465413,43081595
Berkley47466,678104494
North Reading483315,712127381
Newton496389,11651720
Merrimac50426,859102539
Milton515627,31732816
Pembroke525718,27493574
Duxbury533015,49790587
Lynnfield545212,94669695
Boxborough55245,223134402
Melrose568128,07067762
Lancaster57878,15085687
Northborough585115,10919966
Arlington597445,004119506
Concord603520,18989653
Marshfield616125,696120498
Stow62587,197138472
Douglas63448,741137480
Westborough647018,98479758
Templeton651028,16973771
Norwell661811,030108625
Grafton675018,613155429
Acton687923,770100710
Ashland696717,689113655
Newbury70 -
Ipswich711913,863129591
Harvard72166,552137564
Townsend73959,585156479
Dighton74157,430107699
Marblehead756820,563106719
Longmeadow766415,87669888
Hudson774319,931401,138
Granby78716,375109768
Littleton798010,074109774
Hampden80495,227571,109
Sterling81317,993137675
Sutton82859,29286947
Hingham838223,204103844
Blackstone84899,079132726
Halifax851057,86189966
Marion86975,098117784
Plymouth8710059,088157638
Bolton88765,210115863
Newburyport8910918,011941,066
Swampscott9012814,551681,278
Norwood917729,0581061,018
Ashburnham921166,206161725
Chelmsford938635,251821,197
West Boylston94 -
Sandwich955920,312162738
Rochester96415,522217597
Amherst979040,063217599
Shirley98627,389230568
Pepperell9912212,242196718
Beverly1009841,303157798

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