The Top 5 Safest Small Towns in the United States

Cityscapes are becoming increasingly rife with all types of crimes—from burglaries and random shootings to hate crimes and murder.

For those used to the hustle and bustle of urban life, moving away from it is not easy despite the obvious risks. The fact is, most people feel deeply uncomfortable and unsafe living in a small town with sparsely dispersed residents. 

However, according to some of the latest research, the suburbs can be surprisingly more secure than buzzing cities, and relocating to them could be a prudent decision for your well-being.

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Safest Small Towns in the United States

Small-town living is not for everyone. But it can offer a different pace of life with several perks for urban dwellers.

Safety is one important benefit, says a recently released report by Money Geek. It sheds light on interesting findings related to crime rates in the suburbs, confirming that many are considerably safer than the cities we live in.

If you are thinking of moving away from a lively metropolis to a quieter life, here are the safest small towns in the US to consider.

1. Monroe Township, New Jersey

New Jersey License Plate sitting in a bed of marigold flowers

This township is in the southern parts of Middlesex County and has an estimated population of 48,420.

Reports of aggravated assault, rape, non-negligent manslaughter, and murder stood at only ten incidents per 100,000 people here. The crime cost per capita is also impressively low at just $31.

2. Shrewsbury, Massachusetts

Map of the United States with a close up view of the state of Massachusetts

Home to 39,805 residents, Shrewsbury is located in Worcester County in Massachusetts. It is run by a town manager and a Select Board, applying the New England representative town meeting system.

How does it fare with regard to safety? Shrewsbury’s crime records are similar to Monroe Township, with only ten violent crimes per 100,000 people. And the crime cost is $59 per capita, making it one of the most secure communities in the United States.

3. Mason, Ohio

Highway sign saying, 'Welcome to Ohio' with blue skies and puffy white clouds in the background

This Midwestern town is spread across a land of 18.63 square miles in the southwestern parts of Warren County in Ohio. And its population is an estimated 35,520 as of 2022.

Mason is ranked as the safest place in Ohio, with 668 property crimes and 14 violent crimes per 100,000 people.

4. Hillsborough Township, New Jersey

Large green highway sign saying New Jersey

Hillsborough is in the Raritan Valley region in Somerset County.

The town’s 43,228 residents seem to enjoy a fairly safe living environment where the crime cost per capita is only $40. Calculated per 100,000 people, there were 14 violent crimes, such as rape and murder, while property crimes, including burglary and vehicle theft, stood at just 301.

5. Zionsville, Indiana

The state name Indiana engraved in granite

Named after William Zion, one of the first settlers in the area, this is a small community of 31,982 residents located in Southeast Boone County, Indiana.

Property and violent crime rates here are significantly lower than in most cities in the USA, with 15 and 359 reports per 100,000 residents. Its $51 crime cost per capita makes it the third-safest town in MoneyGeek’s ranking.

Small Towns vs. Big Cities: Here’s What You Should Know

If small-town life is not for you despite the impressive safety records, there are still plenty of bigger cities that could provide a secure living environment. According to Nuwber, California, Honolulu, and Irvine are some of the best places for anyone who prefers an urban lifestyle with high safety standards.

However, don’t be quick to dismiss the suburbs. Every community has merits and drawbacks. Understanding them is important for selecting a place that could meet your long-term needs and aspirations.

Let’s take a look at how small towns compare with big cities when considering factors that affect their residents’ well-being and quality of life.

  • Cost of Living

Regular living expenses, including housing, food, and utilities, are generally lower in small towns than in big cities.

As a result, you can do much more with your savings and lead a comfortable life in the suburbs. For instance, you can likely afford a larger home. Property and motor insurance would also be significantly less due to the lower potential risks involved.

  • Pace of Life

Unlike in the cities, life in the suburbs is considerably laid back. Things happen at a much slower pace there.

Small towns also have fewer people, which means less traffic on the streets and shorter queues at counters.

This might take some getting used to. But overall, it is an excellent way to leave behind the daily stresses of urban lifestyles and enjoy quality time with your family.

  • Health and Well-Being

The suburbs can offer a substantially healthier lifestyle compared to densely populated urban areas.

You can enjoy better air quality and fresher produce. There is also less stress and more opportunities to lead an active life outdoors. All these can lead to better mental and physical well-being.

  • Community Support

In the cities, it is not unusual to not know who lives next door to you. 

However, in small towns, everyone knows everyone. This is one of the biggest perks of living in a sparsely populated, close-knit community.

People are also friendlier and share a deeper bond in the suburbs—they help their neighbors and ensure each other’s safety.

  • Scenic Beauty

Small towns are blessed with stunning natural surroundings, from an abundance of hills and forests to creeks and wildlife.

So, rest assured, you will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities with your entire family.

  • Commuting Time

Bigger cities provide incredible ease of living, especially when accessing essential amenities. Everything you need is likely within walking distance if not a short commute.

However, in the suburbs, you must usually drive some distance to reach the grocery store, hospital, bank, and other services.

  • Entertainment Options

Smaller towns have fewer options when it comes to entertainment and recreation. Their residents mostly spend time outdoors, typically at community gatherings.

  • Salaries and Job Opportunities

Finding high-paying jobs can be challenging in the suburbs, as most big companies prefer cities with access to critical business infrastructure.

  • Privacy

News travels fast in small communities. Residents in these towns prefer to keep a close eye on their neighbors. So, minding your privacy is often tricky, unlike in urban neighborhoods.

Wrapping Up

Studies consistently confirm that many small towns are safer than big cities in the US. However, life in the suburbs can be a significant change for those used to urban living. So, ensure you assess the pros and cons to understand what to expect before leaving behind the city for a quieter and more serene lifestyle.

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