These Are The 10 Safest Cities In Massachusetts For 2017

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

  1. Reading
  2. Belmont
  3. Winchester
  4. Needham
  5. Clinton
  6. Lexington
  7. Wellesley
  8. Lynnfield
  9. Milton
  10. Hudson

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 2015). 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 three criteria:

  • Violent crimes per capita (murders, assaults, rapes, armed robberies)
  • Property crimes per capita (thefts, burglaries, motor vehicle thefts)
  • Total crimes per capita
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For example, there were a total of 229 crimes committed in Reading which had a reported population of 25,357. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.00903 which translates into a 1 in 111 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 2014. This left us with a total of 81 places in Massachusetts to rank.

We ranked each place for each criteria from 1 to 81 where 1 in any particular category is the safest.

Next, we averaged each places three 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 Reading. The most dangerous? Plymouth, where residents had a 1 in 1 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. Reading

Population: 25,357
Property Crime Rank: 103
Violent Crime Rank: 126

2. Belmont

Population: 25,337
Property Crime Rank: 137
Violent Crime Rank: 181

3. Winchester

Population: 22,075
Property Crime Rank: 163
Violent Crime Rank: 152

4. Needham

Population: 29,853
Property Crime Rank: 158
Violent Crime Rank: 171

5. Clinton

Population: 7,386
Property Crime Rank: 128
Violent Crime Rank: 263

6. Lexington

Population: 32,700
Property Crime Rank: 74
Violent Crime Rank: 411

7. Wellesley

Population: 28,832
Property Crime Rank: 210
Violent Crime Rank: 241

8. Lynnfield

Population: 12,270
Property Crime Rank: 286
Violent Crime Rank: 401

9. Milton

Population: 27,303
Property Crime Rank: 334
Violent Crime Rank: 346

10. Hudson

Population: 15,340
Property Crime Rank: 462
Violent Crime Rank: 191

There You Have It - The Safest In Massachusetts

Looking at the data, you can tell that anything within a 15-minute drive of Reading is the most desirable, according to science and data. But as most Massachusetts residents would agree, almost every place here is awesome.

Most dangerous cities in Massachusetts:
3rd Most Dangerous: Bellingham
2nd Most Dangerous: Holyoke
Most Dangerous: Plymouth

Detailed List Of The 100 Safest Cities To Live In Massachusetts

CityRankPopulationProperty Crime RankViolent Crime Rank
Reading125,357103126
Belmont225,337137181
Winchester322,075163152
Needham429,853158171
Clinton57,386128263
Lexington632,70074411
Wellesley728,832210241
Lynnfield812,270286401
Milton927,303334346
Hudson1015,340462191
Newton1187,675289645
Sharon125,9327011
Longmeadow1315,877211940
Marblehead1420,270293803
Norwood1528,962477531
Arlington1644,128327814
Melrose1727,681414788
Wilmington1823,1412511,413
Beverly1940,6703501,330
Wakefield2026,1572611,712
Newburyport2117,7664991,310
Stoneham2221,7523611,706
Gloucester2329,3992382,003
Waltham2462,4385501,541
Maynard2510,4591212,419
Peabody2652,0652722,308
Medford2757,1367521,616
Swampscott2814,0361,0851,083
Woburn2939,1046221,909
Westfield3041,4808331,669
Somerset3118,2717691,807
Northborough326,5281,2341,027
Taunton3356,2765062,604
Hull3410,4034272,747
Brookline3559,1327872,204
Abington3616,1121,2491,499
Milford3725,7291,0372,023
Marlborough3839,4258602,567
Burlington3925,4671,3591,829
Attleboro4043,9531,2792,038
Malden4160,6129452,702
Randolph4233,4099982,721
Quincy4393,1771,0272,746
Somerville4478,5951,5432,026
Saugus4527,6201,7412,091
Everett4643,8851,4742,518
Danvers4727,4002,0291,677
Cambridge48107,9161,8992,320
Lowell49109,3491,6422,867
Haverhill5062,0791,4553,141
Northampton5128,6021,6862,849
Athol528,4271,6283,116
Gardner5320,3061,1303,645
Revere5453,0951,6573,143
Kingston556,2112,1012,558
Andover568,7832,6281,833
Spencer575,5782,0892,772
Salem5842,4992,4492,272
Chicopee5956,1862,0062,985
Ware605,7721,8433,342
Fall River6188,7271,4373,726
Boston62650,2811,8393,434
Lynn6391,6261,8643,499
Adams645,4752,1883,173
Brockton6594,5321,7523,663
Lawrence6678,8041,8683,581
Oxford676,1082,1753,402
Nantucket687,4752,5842,870
Fitchburg6940,4622,0783,550
Pittsfield7043,9262,3043,321
Chelsea7137,5811,9143,727
Leominster7241,1762,1293,596
Webster7312,5222,2333,560
Worcester74183,3822,3363,584
North Adams7513,4592,4263,698
Hingham765,4163,2152,679
Springfield77153,9472,6613,702
Walpole785,8813,0993,393
Bellingham795,3963,6013,270
Holyoke8040,3423,4153,631
Plymouth817,5323,5543,826

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