10 Safest Cities In Massachusetts For 2019

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

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Editor's Note: This article has been update for 2019. This is our fifth time rankings the safest places to live in Massachusetts.
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When the good people of Massachusetts aren't rooting for Harvard's Pilgrims in Cambridge or enjoying a piping hot bowl of 'chowdah' in Boston, they can be found keeping some of the coolest places in Massachusetts safe.

While the whole place is downright lovely, some spots in The Bay State deserve special attention for standing out as truly extraordinary and crazy safe. This is why HomeSnacks created a list of the top ten safest places to live in Massachusetts for 2019.

But how exactly is one to tell where the safest places are to live in Massachusetts? Well, data of course.

And that's where HomeSnacks comes in: we've broken down the safest cities in The Baked Bean State based on the most recent FBI data on property and violent crime in places with more than 5,000 residents. And at this point we're quite the experts on ranking safe cities, it's the fifth time we've ranked the safest places in Massachusetts to date.

Whether your looking to move to a quintessential "Old World" type place like New Bedford, a family friendly place like Wellesley, or a place for young professionals like Waltham, there is a safe place for everyone.

So, want to know where your kids can play outside safely until the street lights come on in Massachusetts? Keep reading.

Here are the 10 safest places to live in Massachusetts for 2019:

  1. Norton (Homes For Sale)
  2. Wayland (Homes For Sale)
  3. Boxford (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Franklin (Homes For Sale)
  5. Norfolk (Homes For Sale)
  6. Hopkinton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Dover (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Shrewsbury (Homes For Sale)
  9. Wenham (Homes For Sale)
  10. Manchester-by-the-Sea (Homes For Sale)

All chowdah' and crazy Boston Red Sox fans aside, Massachusetts is the 12th oldest state in the country, so that's all the more reason that they should have the safest cities. They've had some time to perfect their safety standards. And, folks, that's just what the Massachusetts places on our top ten safest list have done.

So, what city is the safest place to live in Massachusetts for 2019? Well, according to the most recent FBI data we crunched, Norton is the safest place to live in The Pilgrim State. It's not surprising considering Norton scored a 9/10 snackability safety score with an emphasis on jobs and education.

More jobs = less time to be naughty, right?

Check out the rest of our not so naughty, very safe Massachusetts' cities to see how your city ranked. And if you don't find your favorite there, head to the bottom.

For more reading on safe places to live in and around Massachusetts, check out:

The 10 Safest Cities In Massachusetts For 2019

1. Norton
Norton, MA

Population: 19,654
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 10)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 5 (3rd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 91 (2nd safest)
More on Norton: 

Wondering what the safest place to live in Massachusetts is? Turns out according to the most recent FBI data that Norton, MA takes the crown as the safest place to call home in Massachusetts.

It's the kind of place you can wrap up in your afghan with a book by the fire and not have to worry about anyone bothering you.

The city has the third lowest violent crime and the second lowest property crime rate in the state.

Norton is a town in Bristol County in the southeast region of Massachusetts.

2. Wayland
Wayland, MA

Population: 13,976
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 14 (6th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 64 (1st safest)
More on Wayland: 

The next stop on our trip around the safest places to live in Massachusetts takes us to Wayland.

The city of some 13,000 people had the lowest property crime rate in the state and sixth lowest violent crime rate .

Wayland is a town in Middlesex County and Wikipedia names like 20 to 30 people of note who called the town home at point or another. So it packs a big (safe) punch for a city of its size.

Boxford, MA
Overall SnackAbility
4
/10

Population: 8,333
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 0 (1st safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 264 (10th safest)
More on Boxford: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

The third safest city in Massachusetts is Boxford.

Believe it or not, coming in third is actually a bit of tumble for the city as it topped the list last year. There is still basically no violent crime in town, which is the best in the state, but property crime climb a small tick.

Boxford's population is extremely well educated with a good 40% plus of the residents having at least a bachelor's. That probably has something to do with the whole no violent crime thing.

4. Franklin
Franklin, MA

Population: 33,397
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 26 (11th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 221 (6th safest)
More on Franklin: 

Franklin clocks in as the fourth safest city in MA for 2019, down two tics from last year, but still a strong showing.

The city has better than average violent crime rates, but really shines when it comes to property crime rates. The place has such low property crime, if a resident finds a twenty on the ground they probably just bring it to the police station instead of keep it.

Their safety may go back to their founding. The Franklin Public Library is the first public library in America, the original books of which were donated by Benjamin Franklin.

5. Norfolk
Norfolk, MA

Population: 11,815
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 8 (5th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 296 (12th safest)
More on Norfolk: 

Norfolk broke into the top five safest places in Massachusetts for the first time this year -- moving up one spot from last year.

The crime rate is probably so low in town because of the presence of several prisons. When you see that on your drive to work or on the weekend, you realize that stealing a hamburger probably isn't worth the time you'd have to spend in prison for it.

That or people just take pride in living in such a great town.

Hopkinton, MA
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 17,348
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 0 (1st safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 340 (19th safest)
More on Hopkinton: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

We suggest you hop, skip, or jump your way to Hopkinton as it's one of the safest places around.

There was virtually no violent crime reported here in the last year, but property crime is only kind of better than average.

The city of 17,000 people is located halfway between Boston and Worcester. The town is best known as the starting point of the Boston Marathon and as the headquarters for the enterprise-oriented Dell EMC.

Dover, MA
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
5
/10

Population: 6,053
Rank Last Year: 31 (Up 24)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 16 (8th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 297 (13th safest)
More on Dover: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

Dover is the seventh safest city in The Bay State for 2019.

The poverty rate here is low; median incomes are high; and the population is highly educated -- all traits we would expect to result in a violent crime rate that's one of the lowest in the state.

Located about 15 miles southwest of downtown Boston, Dover is a residential town nestled on the south banks of the Charles River where almost all of the residential zoning requires 1-acre or larger. So it's pretty hard to commit crimes when everyone lives so far apart.

8. Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury, MA

Population: 36,974
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 8 (4th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 346 (20th safest)
More on Shrewsbury: 

This shrewsberry tastes like Shrewsbury. And everyone knows shrewsberries taste like safety.

Shrewsbury is the largest city on the list and serious better than average property and violent crime rates for a city of its size.

TripAdvisor suggests checking out Ski Ward and Broken Creek Winery. Just remember to stay safe by wearing your helmet and not drinking and driving -- that's the Shrewsbury way to do it.

9. Wenham
Wenham, MA

Population: 5,242
Rank Last Year: 35 (Up 27)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 38 (21st safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 152 (3rd safest)
More on Wenham: 

Wenham made a big jump from 35 up into the top ten safest this year. That's more of a vault than a jump.

The big improvement came on the property crime side of things where it ranks as the third best in Massachusetts. Its violent crime is also nothing to shrug at.

It just makes our population cut off the last two years and it's a good thing it did as it's super safe. Wenham is closely tied to its neighboring town, Hamilton, sharing a school system, library, recreation department, commuter rail station and newspaper. In 2010, the community of Hamilton-Wenham was listed among the "Best Places to Live" by Boston magazine.

10. Manchester-By-The-Sea
Manchester-By-The-Sea, MA

Population: 5,435
Rank Last Year: 27 (Up 17)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 36 (19th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 257 (9th safest)
More on Manchester-By-The-Sea: 

How we calculated the safest cities in Massachusetts for 2019

Safest Cities in Massachusetts Graph

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 2018) in Massachusetts.

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)
10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Massachusetts

For example, there were a total of 19 crimes committed in Norton which had a reported population of 19,654. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.001 which translates into a 1 in 1,034 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 2017. This left us with a total of 237 of the biggest cities in Massachusetts to rank.

We ranked each city for each criteria from 1 to 237 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 our criteria, is Norton. The most dangerous city in Massachusetts? Holyoke, where residents had a 1 in 16 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.

There You Have It - The Safest Cities In The Bay State

Looking at the data, you can tell that Norton 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.

Here's a look at the most dangerous cities in Massachusetts according to the data:

  1. Holyoke
  2. North Adams
  3. Springfield
For more reading, check out:

Where Are The 10 Safest Cities In Massachusetts For 2019?

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per 100k Property Crimes Per 100k
1 Norton, MA 19,654 5 91
2 Wayland, MA 13,976 14 64
3 Boxford, MA 8,333 0 264
4 Franklin, MA 33,397 26 221
5 Norfolk, MA 11,815 8 296
6 Hopkinton, MA 17,348 0 340
7 Dover, MA 6,053 16 297
8 Shrewsbury, MA 36,974 8 346
9 Wenham, MA 5,242 38 152
10 Manchester-By-The-Sea, MA 5,435 36 257

Breaking Down Crime In The Safest And Most Dangerous Cities In Massachusetts

Safest Cities in Massachusetts Breakdown

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HomeSnacks is based in Durham, NC.

We aim to deliver bite-sized pieces of infotainment about where you live.

We use data, analytics, and a sense of humor to determine quality of life for places across the nation.

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