There’s a common denominator that all safe states have.
They are the places where people sleep safer at night, where shootings and beatings don’t dominate the local news. The best states in America to raise kids, and awesome places to retire.
Because if crime is really low, everyone wants to be there (crummy weather aside).
The states below all share those qualities. There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against. We had more than 10 million people read our worst cities in a state series, which was featured in hundreds of media outlets, including an NPR feature.
So we know what we’re talking about.
After analyzing every state in America, here is our list of the safest states to live in the United States:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
You might be surprised to see some of the states on this list. We understand there’s a lot of good in every place. However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty, ‘friendly people’ and community involvement), there aren’t safer options in America for making a place home.
The most dangerous state to live in America? New Mexico. More on that later.
How do you decide if a place is safe or not?
In order to rank the safest American states, we had to determine what makes a place dangerous. It isn’t a stretch to assume that states where people are being killed and beaten up on a weekly basis are a pretty bad place to be.
So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.
How we crunched the numbers
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, this is the criteria we used:
- Number of murders per year per state
- Number of robberies per year per state
- Number of car thefts per year per state
- Number of assaults per year per state
If you’d like to see the complete list of cities, scroll to the bottom of this post to see a chart of all 50 states.
Note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the states themselves. This list is based on data, and is entirely unbiased. It’s also not a testament to the effectiveness of local law enforcement.
Property crime: Lowest in the nation
Violent crime: Lowest in the nation
If you’re looking for the absolute safest state to live in America, than look no further than Vermont. In fact, most of the entire New England area north of New York State is actually a really safe place to be.
Vermont is the lowest in the country for both violent and property crimes. In fact, there were only 10 murders in the entire state of Vermont for the entire year in the last reporting year.
Some large cities in America see that in a bad weekend.
Property crime: 7th lowest in the nation
Violent crime: 4th lowest in the nation
Idaho might get a knock for being a relatively boring place, but talk to the people to live there – when it’s quiet, it’s safe.
Idaho saw only about 3 murders a month, on average, which is far less than the national average. Additionally, there were only 6,400 burglaries in the last reporting year, which might sound like a lot, but only averages to about 125 a week for the entire state.
Property crime: 5th lowest in the nation
Violent crime: 8th lowest in the nation
This might come as a surprise (or maybe not), but Virginia is a really safe place to live. Seeing as how the population is really high, you might think there would be lots of crime. You’d be wrong.
The Commonwealth is actually the 5th safest when it comes to property crimes. You’d have to drive pretty far north to see a place where there are less robberies per year than here.
Property crime: 2nd lowest in the nation
Violent crime: 12th lowest in the nation
After Vermont, Maine is the place to be if you want to avoid robberies and other property crimes such as car break ins and identity theft. Maybe the colder weather chills people out.
In Maine, there were less than 800 cars stolen in the last reporting year. To put that into perspective, in California, there were 150,000 cars stolen. Just wow.
5. New Hampshire
Property crime: 4th lowest in the nation
Violent crime: 10th lowest in the nation
Continuing our trend of the northeast being the safe haven in America, we come to New Hampshire, which has the 4th lowest number of property crimes, per capita, in the U.S.
In the last reporting year, there were only 12 murders for the entire year, which is astoundingly low. The leading state, Texas, saw nearly 100 times that number.
Property crime: 3rd lowest in the nation
Violent crime: 11th lowest in the nation
Sure, there are only about a half million people in the Cowboy State, and people are spaced out a lot more than they are in places like Florida and Minnesota. But look at New Mexico. There’s some wide open spaces there, too, and that’s the most dangerous place in the nation.
Only 900 people were the victim of an aggravated assault in Wyoming. Meaning there’s a really good chance you can walk around at night here without having to watch you back. In fact, you might have a better chance of being trampled by a bison than beaten by a mugger.
7. New Jersey
Property crime: 14th lowest in the nation
Violent crime: 3rd lowest in the nation
New Jersey? No way. Yes, that’s correct. This goes to show that just because people are packed on top of one another doesn’t mean they have to act uncivilized.
You might be shocked to learn that Jersey has the 3rd lowest violent crime rate in the state. And, as you can imagine, most of that is packed into places like Camden and Newark. Take those two cities out of the equation, and you’ve got a really safe place to live.
Property crime: 12th lowest in the nation
Violent crime: 7th lowest in the nation
Most Americans might think of Connecticut as a wealthy place, and for the most part, they’d be right. Does a relatively rich group of people commit less crime? Apparently so.
There were only 3,200 reported robberies in Connecticut for the entire last reporting year, which is well below the national average. Additionally, Connecticut saw 571 reported rapes that same year, too.
Property crime: 6th lowest in the nation
Violent crime: 14th lowest in the nation
You’d have to drive all the way to Iowa or Pennsylvania to get to a safer place outside of Kentucky (save Virginia, which we already talked about.) Kentuckians are a pretty chill group of people, seeing as how they rank 6th for number of robberies, car thefts and identity thefts each year.
Only 6,300 cars were stolen in the state, and only 23,000 robberies occurred here in the last reporting year. While it’s sad that is a low number, for America, it is.
10. Rhode Island
Property crime: 19th lowest in the nation
Violent crime: 9th lowest in the nation
Rounding out our tour of the safest states to live in America, we come to Rhode Island, which is not surprisingly, in the northeast. Sure, it’s a small state, and the number of property crimes is higher than the other states on this list, but overall, you could find much more dangerous places to live.
Rhode Island only saw 529 robberies for the entire year, which is about 1.5 a day. Does that make you jealous of where you live?
There You Have It
If you’re looking at American states where murders, rapes and robberies happen at a much lower rate than average, this is an accurate list.
If you’re also curious enough, here are the most dangerous states to live in America, according to science.
- New Mexico
- South Carolina