Safest Cities in Massachusetts | Safety.com

Safest Cities in Massachusetts

  • Population

    6,882,635

  • Avg Annual Rent

    $16,063

  • Avg Household Income

    $78,849

  • Cost of Living

    21.60%

  • Violent Crime Rate

    8.05

  • Property Crime Rate

    121.3

  • Primary Care Ranking

    2

  • Mental Health Provider

    1

The state of Massachusetts was one of the original 13 colonies and is the seventh-smallest state by area. Located in the northeast of the U.S, Massachusetts overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. The state offers a variety of attractions to suit everyone, from sports stadiums to historical monuments, beaches and forest trails. Some of Massachusetts’ top attractions include Fenway Park, Faneuil Hall, Boston Common and Old Sturbridge Village. History fans can follow the three-mile Freedom Trail to learn more of Boston’s — and the nation’s — history. Beach-lovers can head out to Martha’s Vineyard for an idyllic island vacation. Massachusetts is home to a growing population of almost 7 million people, making this small state home to some major urban areas. Let’s see which of these made our list of safest cities in Massachusetts. 

How We Determined the Safest Cities

How We Determined the Safest Cities

We narrowed down the safest cities in each state based on two primary categories. First, we evaluated public safety factors including violent, property and hate crimes in each area to help determine the safest areas to live. We then evaluated financial and socioeconomic factors including household income, average rent and health insurance. In addition, we evaluated each state for natural disaster safety and public health safety. You can find a detailed breakdown of our methodology and links to sources here.

Here are the public safety factors we counted for each city:

*Public safety data is based on a population of 10,000 (for example, a “2” means two incidents for every 10,000 people).

  • Property crime – Number of property crimes reported in the city (FBI Crime Report)
  • Violent crime – Number of violent crimes reported in the city (FBI Crime Report)
  • Aggravated assaults – Number of aggravated assaults reported in the city (FBI Crime Report)
  • Hate crime – Number of hate crimes reported in the city (FBI Hate Crime Report)
  • Officer-related incidents – Number of officer-involved shootings reported in the city (Gun Violence Archive)
  • Mass shootings – Incidents in which four or more people are shot/killed in the city (Gun Violence Archive)

Here are the financial safety factors we counted for each city:

  • Annual rent – Annualized median rent
  • Unemployment rate – The average rate of unemployed residents in each city
  • Cost of living – The average annual rent and household income per city
  • Poverty rate – Percentage of families that reported experiencing poverty in the last 12 months
  • Uninsured employed – Percentage of employed residents that reported not having health insurance
  • Uninsured unemployed – Percentage of unemployed residents that reported not having health insurance

15 Safest Cities in Massachusetts

No. 1 Melrose

Melrose boasts Victorian homes, peaceful parks and a bustling downtown area. Less than 10 miles away from Boston, Melrose offers an ideal blend of city life and natural surroundings. With a low cost of living and low crime rates, Melrose is ideally placed for those who wish to remain close to the state capital. 

91 out of 100

Public Safety

76 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
0.700476 (2nd)4.553096 (4th)51.13477 (3rd)1.050714 (9th)1.050714 (9th)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
16344 (7th)103743 (6th)0.013 (15th)0.048 (5th)0.012 (10th)0.216 (2nd)

No. 2 Andover

Andover is a town in Essex County, located in northeastern Massachusetts. Stretching along the Merrimack River, Andover is just over 20 miles north of Boston. Andover is known for having one of the oldest independent schools in the U.S., the Phillips Academy, founded in 1770. Andover is one of the safest and most affordable cities to live in Massachusetts.   

92 out of 100

Public Safety

73 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
1.3765 (4th)0.5506 (2nd)47.62691 (2nd)0.8259 (6th)0.8259 (6th)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
12756 (10th)95640 (7th)0.029 (12th)0.024 (15th)0.007 (13th)0.063 (7th)

No. 3 Newton

Newton tops our list as the safest city in Massachusetts according to statistics. A city with around 80,000 residents, Netwon measures 18.3 square miles. The city is famed for its educational institutions including the Andover Newton Theological School, Lasell College and Boston College. Newton has a fairly high cost of living and average income along with low crime rates.

87 out of 100

Public Safety

77 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
0.893805 (3rd)5.58628 (5th)70.2754 (5th)0.782079 (4th)0.782079 (4th)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
21948 (3rd)139696 (2nd)0.033 (9th)0.048 (5th)0.009 (11th)0.046 (9th)

No. 4 Medford

Medford is located in Middlesex County, along the Mystic River and north of Boston. The city is the home of Tufts University, which was founded back in 1852, as well as plenty of historical buildings from the 17th century. Medford’s close proximity to Boston makes it ideally placed for commuters.

77 out of 100

Public Safety

58 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
2.586341 (8th)10.00052 (7th)94.48765 (8th)0.172423 (1st)0.172423 (1st)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
19992 (5th)92363 (9th)0.045 (6th)0.04 (8th)0.009 (11th)0.063 (7nd)

No. 5 Belmont

Belmont is a town located in the Greater Boston Metropolitan Area, just eight miles from the state capital. Primarily a residential community, Belmont is known to residents as “The Town of Homes.” As a result of its location, Belmont’s cost of living is fairly high compared to other cities in the state. 

74 out of 100

Public Safety

61 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
0.374532 (1st)1.498127 (3rd)62.54682 (4th)1.123596 (11th)1.123596 (11th)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
22836 (2nd)120208 (3rd)0.049 (4th)0.034 (10th)0.007 (13th)0.032 (10th)

No. 6 Braintree

Braintree is located along the Weymouth Fore River and is part of Norfolk county. Known as the birthplace of John Hancock and Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, Braintree has a lot of history to explore. It’s a residential community with good links to the nearby capital of Boston.

71 out of 100

Public Safety

61 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
2.142188 (5th)11.78203 (8th)130.4057 (13th)0.80332 (5th)0.80332 (5th)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
17088 (6th)94945 (8th)0.031 (11th)0.05 (4th)0.006 (15th)0.11 (5th)

No. 7 Brookline

Despite its high cost of living, Brookline is a popular suburb of Boston, located in Norfolk County. Home to the John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site, Brookline is the birthplace of John F. Kennedy. The area offers a mix of urban life and open spaces thanks to its many parks in the Emerald Necklace. 

73 out of 100

Public Safety

57 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
2.364905 (6th)7.094714 (6th)106.7586 (11th)0.337844 (2nd)0.337844 (2nd)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
26328 (1st)113515 (4th)0.04 (7th)0.036 (9th)0.021 (5th)0 (11th)

No. 8 Holbrook

Holbrook is a suburb of Boston, offering a peaceful retreat from the big city. It’s a residential community from which many of Boston’s workers commute. Offering open spaces and the Town Forest, Holbrook is ideal for those looking for their next hiking adventure or somewhere safe to settle down with a family. 

63 out of 100

Public Safety

66 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
4.524068 (10th)16.28664 (10th)99.5295 (9th)1.809627 (14th)1.809627 (14th)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
11772 (11th)70364 (12th)0.074 (1st)0.053 (3rd)0.022 (4th)0 (11th)

No. 9 Boxford

Boxford is 21 miles from Boston but has a number of its own highlights including the Ski Bradford ski hill, Boxford State Forest and the Bradley Palmer State Park. This small town is also known for its annual apple festival and canoeing in the area at Mass Audubon’s Ipswich River. 

89 out of 100

Public Safety

33 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
2.393776 (7th)0 (1st)23.93776 (1st)1.196888 (12th)1.196888 (12th)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
NA163006 (1st)0.032 (10th)0.032 (11th)0.016 (8th)0.13 (4th)

No. 10 Danvers

The city of Danvers is located in Essex county, next to Crane River and Beverly Regional Airport. Danvers, originally known as Salem Village, has plenty of history and landmarks to visit. With a growing business community, low cost of living and plenty of open spaces, Danvers is a popular place to live.

61 out of 100

Public Safety

61 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
3.970689 (9th)15.52178 (9th)151.6081 (14th)1.082915 (10th)1.082915 (10th)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
16272 (9th)84842 (10th)0.034 (8th)0.027 (14th)0.12 (1st)0 (11th)

No. 11 Great Barrington

Great Barrington is located in Berkshire County alongside the Housatonic River. Known for its forests and mountains, this city is great for those who love the outdoors. Great Barrington is one of the safest cities in Massachusetts and benefits from low unemployment and poverty rates. 

60 out of 100

Public Safety

56 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
7.330303 (13th)19.05879 (11th)77.70122 (6th)1.466061 (13th)1.466061 (13th)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
11532 (12th)48996 (14th)0.019 (14th)0.031 (12th)0.021 (5th)0 (11th)

No. 12 Falmouth

Falmouth is a seaside town located in Southeastern Massachusetts. The town has over 68 miles of coastline and is home to the historic Nobska Lighthouse, which makes it popular with tourists. It is also a popular place to visit for those traveling to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island. Falmouth also benefits from a low cost of living and low unemployment rate, helping it to make our top 20.

53 out of 100

Public Safety

60 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
8.05594 (14th)27.06796 (13th)106.0162 (10th)0.644475 (3rd)0.644475 (3rd)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
9696 (14th)46742 (15th)0.051 (3rd)0.048 (5th)0.03 (3rd)0 (11th)

No. 13 Ayer

Located just 35 miles from the state capital, Ayer is a suburb of Boston. Offering a lower cost of living than other cities, Ayer is a popular residential community for those who would rather not live in the capital. It also has good transportation links with the city, including Interstate 495 and State Route 2 for those who wish to commute. 

52 out of 100

Public Safety

59 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
7.276255 (12th)36.38128 (15th)83.67693 (7th)2.425418 (15th)2.425418 (15th)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
10440 (13th)67411 (13th)0.025 (13th)0.031 (12th)0.032 (2nd)0.463 (1st)

No. 14 Nantucket

Located about 30 miles south of Cape Cod, Nantucket is a small island in the Atlantic Ocean. Measuring almost 50 square miles, Nantucket has 82 miles of beaches, making it popular with tourists. The city has plenty of historic buildings, art galleries and boating facilities. The island also hosts several annual festivals such as the Nantucket Cranberry Festival and Daffodil Festival.

45 out of 100

Public Safety

60 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
8.781173 (15th)23.70917 (12th)197.5764 (15th)0.878117 (8th)0.878117 (8th)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
20988 (4th)103841 (5th)0.052 (2nd)0.068 (1st)0.016 (8th)0.136 (3rd)

No. 15 Framingham

Framingham is best known for the Framingham Heart Study (FHS). In 1948, researchers and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) helped to find contributing factors associated with cardiovascular disease using three cohorts over the years.

55 out of 100

Public Safety

46 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
5.378568 (11th)29.51317 (14th)113.0879 (12th)0.827472 (7th)0.827472 (7th)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
16308 (8th)79136 (11th)0.047 (5th)0.058 (2nd)0.018 (7th)0.079 (6th)

Massachusetts State Safety

Natural Disaster Safety

According to the Insurance Journal, the natural hazard risk for Massachusetts puts the state at fifth in the country. The natural disasters most likely to affect Massachusetts include earthquakes, heavy snowfall, flooding and tornadoes. Massachusetts experienced two dangerous blizzards in the space of two years, in 2013 and 2015, which saw snowfall reach at least 25 inches. Two Category 3 hurricanes also hit the state in 1954, devastating parts of Massachusetts. In August of that year, Hurricane Carol reached speeds of 100 mph and destroyed 4,000 homes. Just a month later, Hurricane Edna brought peak wind gusts of 120 miles per hour, along with extensive flooding. 

5

Natural Disaster


Health Safety

The leading cause of death in Massachusetts is cancer, followed by heart disease, accidents and respiratory disease. Massachusetts is ranked as 43rd in the country for its drug-related deaths. On the bright side, Massachusetts is ranked as one of the healthiest states for air pollution, at ninth in the country. It’s slightly behind other New England states such as Vermont and Maine. In regards to healthcare, Massachusetts is one of the best in the U.S. Coming in just behind Rhode Island, Massachusetts ranks second in the country for its availability of primary care physicians. The state fares even better for mental health, coming in first in the U.S. for its number of mental health providers.

2 out of 100

Health Safety

Top 26 Safest Cities in Massachusetts

City Population Public Safety Ranking Financial Safety Ranking Rank