Is it safe to live in the US?

The US is a dream country for many people. The country is truly welcoming, whether in terms of economic opportunities and potential or how it accepts all cultures. But when moving to a new place, it’s important to know everything about it. So, you might want to know, is it safe to live in the US?

Living in the US is safe, although it ranks low on the global peace index compared to developed countries. Crimes are mostly high in pocket areas, and most cities are safe. The safest cities in the US are mostly suburban, in the northwest region, with small populations and high household income.

If you’re planning to live in the US, you should find the safest states, cities, and neighborhoods. Your safety will mostly depend on your location in the country.

How Safe Is The US?

The US is a very big country with a diverse population and landscape. This means you can’t determine the country’s safety using only data. But looking at the data lets you know the overall crime rate in the country and gives a snapshot of how safe it is. The overall crime rate is 47.70. The Global Peace Index 2021 ranks the US 122nd out of 163 countries. Based on this ranking, several countries, including many still developing, are above the US in safety.

If you only see these rankings and statistics, you might think the US is the wild west. In reality, it’s not. The crime rate in the country has been falling since the 1990s. The rate of violent crimes per 100,000 of the population was 383.4 in 2020. That’s far below the 758.2 in 1991. But since it dropped to 361.6 in 2014, it has been rising. But the overall crime rate has reduced over time.

However, the rate of violent crimes in the country is still very high compared to other developed high-income countries. Homicide is particularly higher in the country than in several other parts of the road. Recently, crimes like mass shootings and police brutality have gained public attention. This has caused many to see the US as an extremely unsafe country. But for most parts, the country is safe.

Safest Cities in the US

Determining the safest cities in the country can be tricky as each data aggregator uses different methodologies to compile its list. According to Safewise, the safest cities and towns in the US are mostly those with a smaller population. Its research focused on cities with a population of at least 10,779. Using this metric, its safest cities are:

  • Lewisboro Town, New York
  • Wayland, Massachusetts 
  • Rye, New York
  • Broadview Heights, Ohio
  • Franklin, Massachusetts
  • Norfolk, Massachusetts
  • Sparta Township, New Jersey
  • Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey
  • Berkeley heights township, new Jersey
  • Holden, Massachusetts 

However, SmartAsset focused on the largest cities in the country. With this, it identified some of the safest major cities, with more than 100,000 people. They include:

  • Frisco, Texas
  • McKinney, Texas
  • Santa Clarita, California
  • Sunnyvale, California
  • Glendale, California
  • McAllen, Texas
  • Cary, North Carolina
  • Santa Clara, California
  • Plano, Texas
  • Torrance, California.

Characteristics of Safest Cities in the US

A Safewise analysis of the safest cities in the US shows that they have some qualities in common. These include:

1.  Small Population

Most of the cities that made the 100 safest in the US are usually cities with low populations. Although they’re bigger than the average size of a city or town in the US, their population is still relatively small. 76% of US figures and towns have below  5,000 residents, and only 4% have more than 50,000. The average population in the 100 safest cities is 19,639, and none has up to 50,000.

2.  Northeastern Region Location

Most of the safest cities in the US are in the northeastern states. Of the 100 cities, 65 are in three northeastern states: New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New York. All the states in the New England region combined with 75 of the 100 cities. So if you’re looking to stay in a safe part of the US, you might want to consider staying in this part of the country.

3.  Suburban

Another thing that the safest cities in America have in common is that most of them are suburbs. While they might be small cities, they are usually close to major metropolitan areas. This means residents of the safest cities in the US still have enough access to city life. The harsh realities of city life usually come with violent crimes. Those in the suburbs are usually insulated from these violent crimes.

4.  Higher Household Income

A strong economy also plays a role in safety, becoming more evident among the safest cities in the US. The average median household income among the 100 safest cities in the US is $128,445. That’s almost twice the national median household income. Only 5% of the cities in the top 100 have a median household income below the national average.

Safest States in the US

If you’re considering living in the US, you might want to consider any of the following states ranked as the safest in the country. They include:


1.  New Jersey

New Jersey is the safest state on the list. Thirty-one of the safest cities in the US are in the state, which says something about its level of safety. But its number of law enforcement officers makes it the best. Its law enforcement officers per capita are 100% above the national average. It also ranks fifth in violent crime and property crime. In 2020, it had one law enforcement officer for every 230 residents.


2.  New Hampshire

The state ranks second for violent crime and property crime. In 2020, there were only 2000 violent crimes in the state, equating to 146.4 per 100,000 people. It’s also 27th  in law enforcement officers per capita.

3.  Rhode Island

The state has one of the highest budgets per law enforcement employee. In 2020, the budget was $159,528. The violent crime and property crime rates in the state are also low. They ranked 7th best in both categories. It also ranked 17th in the number of law enforcement employees.

4.  Maine

In terms of safety alone, Maine comes first. It has the lowest violent crime rate in the country. Violent crimes per capita here are 108.6 for 100,000 people. It also ranks 4th best for property crime.

5.  Vermont

Vermont is third best for violent crimes and sixth for property crimes. It had only 14 murders in 2020, which is 2.2 per 100,000 people. That’s the second-lowest in the country after New Hampshire, which had 12.

Ohio, Connecticut, Virginia, New York, and Massachusetts complete the top ten.

In Conclusion

What determines your safety in the US is where you live. Like all countries, it has pockets of crime and violence, usually in metropolitan areas. Even in those major cities, most neighborhoods are still safe.