Mapped: The Safest Cities in America
The phrase “small town America” often conjures up images of white picket fences, well-trimmed lawns, and big houses. But how safe is modern-day suburbia in America?
Some of the smallest places in the country can actually be among the most dangerous. Take for example Bessemer, Alabama, with a population of around 26,000 and a violent crime rate of 33.1 per every 1,000 residents.
That said, there are many small cities that are true havens for families across the United States. This map showcases the safest cities in the U.S., using FBI data and Census Bureau populations compiled by NeighborhoodScout in 2023.
Note: The source only considered cities with a population of 25,000 or higher. This report is based on total index crimes reported in each city, which includes arson, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, murder, rape, armed robbery, and aggravated assault.
Top 100 Safest Cities in the U.S.
40% of the cities in the ranking are located in Northeastern states, which are typically rated the “safest” based on FBI data.
Here’s a closer look at the full list:
|Rank||City||State||Total Crime Rate(per 1,000 residents)||Chance of Beinga Victim|
|1||Ridgefield||Connecticut||1.9||1 in 510|
|2||Franklin||Massachusetts||2.9||1 in 344|
|3||Lake in the Hills||Illinois||3.1||1 in 321|
|4||Marshfield||Massachusetts||3.3||1 in 300|
|5||Arlington||Massachusetts||3.4||1 in 292|
|6||Fulshear||Texas||3.6||1 in 276|
|7||Zionsville||Indiana||3.6||1 in 275|
|8||Lexington||Massachusetts||3.7||1 in 270|
|9||Muskego||Wisconsin||3.8||1 in 265|
|10||Rexburg||Idaho||3.9||1 in 253|
|11||Independence||Kentucky||3.9||1 in 253|
|12||Oswego||Illinois||4.1||1 in 238|
|13||Milton||Massachusetts||4.2||1 in 233|
|14||Needham||Massachusetts||4.2||1 in 233|
|15||White Lake||Michigan||4.2||1 in 233|
|16||Avon Lake||Ohio||4.3||1 in 232|
|17||Madison||Mississippi||4.5||1 in 221|
|18||Wakefield||Massachusetts||4.5||1 in 218|
|19||Windsor||Colorado||4.5||1 in 218|
|20||South Kingstown||Rhode Island||4.7||1 in 212|
|21||Colleyville||Texas||4.8||1 in 206|
|22||West Bloomfield||Michigan||4.9||1 in 204|
|23||Johns Creek||Georgia||4.9||1 in 202|
|24||Billerica||Massachusetts||5.1||1 in 195|
|25||Mason||Ohio||5.1||1 in 192|
|26||Reading||Massachusetts||5.1||1 in 192|
|27||North Andover||Massachusetts||5.2||1 in 190|
|28||Wellesley||Massachusetts||5.2||1 in 189|
|29||Mundelein||Illinois||5.3||1 in 187|
|30||Brandon||Mississippi||5.3||1 in 186|
|31||Cumberland||Rhode Island||5.4||1 in 184|
|32||Andover||Massachusetts||5.4||1 in 182|
|33||Edwardsville||Illinois||5.5||1 in 178|
|34||Little Elm||Texas||5.6||1 in 176|
|35||Merrimack||New Hampshire||5.7||1 in 172|
|36||Waltham||Massachusetts||5.8||1 in 169|
|37||Wylie||Texas||5.9||1 in 169|
|38||Commerce Township||Michigan||5.9||1 in 169|
|39||Milton||Georgia||5.9||1 in 167|
|40||Melrose||Massachusetts||6.0||1 in 164|
|41||Ballwin||Missouri||6.1||1 in 162|
|42||North Kingstown||Rhode Island||6.1||1 in 162|
|43||Beverly||Massachusetts||6.2||1 in 161|
|44||Rochester Hills||Michigan||6.2||1 in 160|
|45||Keller||Texas||6.3||1 in 158|
|46||Shrewsbury||Massachusetts||6.4||1 in 156|
|47||Dracut||Massachusetts||6.4||1 in 155|
|48||Prosper||Texas||6.4||1 in 155|
|49||Newton||Massachusetts||6.5||1 in 152|
|50||Friendswood||Texas||6.5||1 in 152|
|51||McHenry||Illinois||6.5||1 in 152|
|52||Fort Mill||South Carolina||6.6||1 in 151|
|53||Wallingford||Connecticut||6.8||1 in 146|
|54||Caledonia||Wisconsin||6.9||1 in 144|
|55||Belmont||Massachusetts||6.9||1 in 144|
|56||De Pere||Wisconsin||6.9||1 in 143|
|57||Flower Mound||Texas||7.0||1 in 142|
|58||Easton||Massachusetts||7.0||1 in 141|
|59||Highland Park||Illinois||7.0||1 in 141|
|60||Carmel||Indiana||7.2||1 in 138|
|61||Sachse||Texas||7.2||1 in 138|
|62||Algonquin||Illinois||7.2||1 in 137|
|63||Hendersonville||Tennessee||7.2||1 in 137|
|64||San Luis||Arizona||7.3||1 in 136|
|65||Fishers||Indiana||7.3||1 in 135|
|66||Perrysburg||Ohio||7.4||1 in 135|
|67||Lake Stevens||Washington||7.4||1 in 134|
|68||Cheshire||Connecticut||7.4||1 in 134|
|69||Milford||Massachusetts||7.5||1 in 132|
|70||Saratoga Springs||Utah||7.5||1 in 132|
|71||Bella Vista||Arkansas||7.5||1 in 132|
|72||Princeton||New Jersey||7.5||1 in 131|
|73||Bluffton||South Carolina||7.6||1 in 130|
|74||Novi||Michigan||7.6||1 in 130|
|75||Chelmsford||Massachusetts||7.6||1 in 130|
|76||Amherst||Massachusetts||7.7||1 in 129|
|77||Rosemount||Minnesota||7.7||1 in 129|
|78||Gloucester||Massachusetts||7.7||1 in 129|
|79||Syracuse||Utah||7.8||1 in 127|
|80||Waukee||Iowa||7.8||1 in 126|
|81||Mequon||Wisconsin||7.9||1 in 126|
|82||Westfield||Indiana||7.9||1 in 126|
|83||Spring Hill||Tennessee||7.9||1 in 126|
|84||Upper Arlington||Ohio||7.9||1 in 126|
|85||Rahway||New Jersey||7.9||1 in 125|
|86||Montclair||New Jersey||7.9||1 in 125|
|87||Greenwich||Connecticut||8.0||1 in 125|
|88||Hutto||Texas||8.0||1 in 124|
|89||Vestavia Hills||Alabama||8.0||1 in 123|
|90||Brownsburg||Indiana||8.1||1 in 123|
|91||Wilmette||Illinois||8.1||1 in 123|
|92||New Milford||Connecticut||8.1||1 in 122|
|93||Hilliard||Ohio||8.2||1 in 120|
|94||Royal Oak||Michigan||8.2||1 in 120|
|95||Derry||New Hampshire||8.3||1 in 121|
|96||Dublin||Ohio||8.3||1 in 120|
|97||West Warwick||Rhode Island||8.5||1 in 116|
|98||Watertown||Massachusetts||8.5||1 in 116|
|99||Walpole||Massachusetts||8.6||1 in 115|
|100||Kaysville||Utah||8.6||1 in 115|
One quarter of the safest cities are located in Massachusetts, with the vast majority clustered around Boston.
The median population of the cities and towns in the top 100 is just 32,000, and few widely-recognized cities make the list. Carmel, Indiana (#60) is the only city with a population above 100,000 to make the rankings. This would seem to follow the logic that bigger cities are more dangerous, but our map covering the most dangerous cities in America shows that many small cities were just as dangerous, and some even more.
Regardless, small towns can truly be idyllic. For example, a person’s chance of falling victim to crime in Ridgefield, Connecticut, the safest ranked city in the U.S., is just 1-in-510. That’s an overall rate of fewer than two incidents of crime per every 1,000 residents.
One surprising observation from the data is that many of the safest U.S. cities are in very close proximity to some of the most dangerous.
One example that illustrates this is Detroit, which ranks as the sixth most dangerous city in America. Despite this, as shown on the map above, there are four communities nearby that have some of the lowest crime rates in America.
In other words, America’s metro areas contain much contrast, and these insights provide valuable information for individuals and families seeking secure places to live across the country.
Mapped: Carbon Pricing Initiatives Around the World
This graphic maps the 70 active carbon pricing initiatives worldwide, their established price of carbon, and the global emissions they cover.
Mapped: Carbon Pricing Initiatives Around the World
Over the past two decades, governments around the world have responded to climate change through various initiatives and policies, with carbon pricing at the forefront.
A recent example is the Canadian province of Ontario’s Emissions Performance Standards program, first launched in 2022. The program sets annual carbon emissions limits for industrial facilities, with a fee on excess carbon emitted.
This graphic by Jonathan Letourneau maps 70 active carbon pricing initiatives around the world and highlights their global impact as seen in the 2022 World Bank report.
But first, let’s look at the different types of carbon pricing:
Carbon Tax vs. ETS
Broadly speaking, carbon pricing gives emission generating organizations a choice between reducing their carbon emissions and paying for them.
The two typical initiatives used to offer this choice are carbon taxes and emissions trading systems (ETS):
- Carbon tax: This tax or levy is directly applied to the production of carbon emissions or fuels that release greenhouse gases. This makes products or services that release substantial carbon more expensive than greener alternatives (or reducing emissions).
- Emissions Trading System (ETS): Also called the cap-and-trade system, ETS puts a cap on the total level of greenhouse gases a licensed industry can emit. Companies with low emissions can sell their unused emission allowance with larger emitters that have exceeded the cap.
The World’s Carbon Pricing Initiatives
As of the end of 2022, Europe was home to 24 of the 70 active carbon pricing initiatives in the world.
|Location||Carbon Pricing Type||CO2e Price Per Tonne (USD)||Emissions Covered (Tonnes)|
|🇦🇷 Argentina||Carbon tax||$4.99||79.46|
|🇨🇦 Canada||Carbon tax||$39.96||167.67|
|🇨🇦 Canada - Alberta||ETS||$39.96||140.36|
|🇨🇦 Canada - British Columbia||ETS||$19.98||N/A|
|🇨🇦 Canada - British Columbia||Carbon tax||$39.96||46.41|
|🇨🇦 Canada - New Brunswick||ETS||$39.96||7.05|
|🇨🇦 Canada - New Brunswick||Carbon tax||$39.96||5.50|
|🇨🇦 Canada - Newfoundland and Labrador||ETS||$39.96||4.59|
|🇨🇦 Canada - Newfoundland and Labrador||Carbon tax||$39.96||5.01|
|🇨🇦 Canada - Northwest Territories||Carbon tax||$31.97||1.33|
|🇨🇦 Canada - Nova Scotia||ETS||$23.10||14.02|
|🇨🇦 Canada - Ontario||ETS||$31.97||41.12|
|🇨🇦 Canada - Prince Edward Island||Carbon tax||$23.98||0.97|
|🇨🇦 Canada - Quebec||ETS||$30.83||60.92|
|🇨🇦 Canada - Saskatchewan||ETS||$39.96||10.23|
|🇨🇱 Chile||Carbon tax||$5.00||36.93|
|🇨🇳 China - Beijing||ETS||$6.53||31.89|
|🇨🇳 China - Chongqing||ETS||$5.66||67.14|
|🇨🇳 China - Fujian||ETS||$1.83||125.13|
|🇨🇳 China - Guangdong (except Shenzhen)||ETS||$12.51||259.23|
|🇨🇳 China - Hubei||ETS||$7.24||63.80|
|🇨🇳 China - Shanghai||ETS||$9.28||78.48|
|🇨🇳 China - Shenzhen||ETS||$0.64||13.17|
|🇨🇳 China - Tianjin||ETS||$4.40||53.08|
|🇨🇴 Colombia||Carbon tax||$5.01||44.68|
|🇩🇰 Denmark||Carbon tax||$26.62||17.21|
|🇪🇪 Estonia||Carbon tax||$2.21||1.41|
|🇪🇺 EU - Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein||ETS||$86.53||1,626.60|
|🇫🇮 Finland||Carbon tax||$85.10||26.93|
|🇫🇷 France||Carbon tax||$49.29||157.78|
|🇮🇸 Iceland||Carbon tax||$34.25||2.72|
|🇮🇪 Ireland||Carbon tax||$45.31||27.05|
|🇯🇵 Japan||Carbon tax||$2.36||952.66|
|🇯🇵 Japan - Saitama||ETS||$3.84||8.16|
|🇯🇵 Japan - Tokyo||ETS||$4.42||13.26|
|🇰🇷 Korea, Republic of||ETS||$18.75||554.44|
|🇱🇻 Latvia||Carbon tax||$16.58||0.38|
|🇱🇮 Liechtenstein||Carbon tax||$129.86||0.15|
|🇱🇺 Luxembourg||Carbon tax||$43.35||6.80|
|🇲🇽 Mexico||Carbon tax||$3.72||352.61|
|🇲🇽 Mexico - Baja California||Carbon tax||N/A||N/A|
|🇲🇽 Mexico - Tamaulipas||Carbon tax||N/A||N/A|
|🇲🇽 Mexico - Zacatecas||Carbon tax||N/A||N/A|
|🇳🇱 Netherlands||Carbon tax||$46.14||25.96|
|🇳🇿 New Zealand||ETS||$52.62||41.61|
|🇳🇴 Norway||Carbon tax||$87.61||44.73|
|🇵🇱 Poland||Carbon tax||N/A||15.94|
|🇵🇹 Portugal||Carbon tax||$26.44||25.04|
|🇸🇬 Singapore||Carbon tax||$3.96||56.42|
|🇸🇮 Slovenia||Carbon tax||$19.12||10.65|
|🇿🇦 South Africa||Carbon tax||$9.84||459.17|
|🇪🇸 Spain||Carbon tax||$16.58||6.23|
|🇸🇪 Sweden||Carbon tax||$129.89||25.83|
|🇨🇭 Switzerland||Carbon tax||$129.86||15.75|
|🇺🇸 United States - California||ETS||$30.82||309.47|
|🇺🇸 United States - New England Area (RGGI)||ETS||$13.89||67.92|
|🇺🇸 United States - New England Area (RGGI)||ETS||$0.50||6.07|
|🇺🇸 United States - Oregon||ETS||N/A||27.09|
|🇺🇦 Ukraine||Carbon tax||$1.03||197.46|
|🇬🇧 United Kingdom||Carbon tax||$23.65||97.38|
|🇬🇧 United Kingdom||ETS||$98.99||129.85|
|🇺🇾 Uruguay||Carbon tax||$137.30||4.38|
Europe’s position is not surprising given many of its countries have set ambitious carbon neutral goals. The region’s European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) is the world’s largest carbon market, covering 1.8 billion tonnes of emissions annually.
Canada has also implemented numerous regional and national carbon pricing initiatives, with many provinces falling under both main types of carbon pricing. For example, carbon emissions in British Columbia—the first jurisdiction in North America to implement carbon pricing—are priced under both a carbon tax and an ETS.
Meanwhile, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases in 2021, China, implemented its much-awaited national ETS the same year. In just one year, the country’s traded carbon emission allowances crossed 200 million tonnes.
In the U.S., several states have implemented their own carbon pricing initiatives. California’s cap-and-trade initiative covers emissions from electricity, transportation, and industry, while the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative sets a cap on emissions from power plants of nine Northeastern states, including New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.
The Impact of Carbon Pricing
Putting a price on carbon emissions seems to have made an impact in reducing emissions.
In Europe, the EU ETS has helped reduce emissions from the power sector by 43% in the region since its inception in 2005.
Likewise, California’s Cap-and-Trade program has helped the state meet its goal of reducing carbon emissions back to 1990 levels.
In many jurisdictions, including China and Canada, there are plans to double down on carbon pricing plans, either by increasing the cost of carbon or lowering emissions limits.
But while many economists and policy makers have found carbon pricing to be the most efficient tool to curb emissions, they also point out that the programs themselves need to be designed well. Initiatives with limits that are too high or prices that are too low can be ineffectual, as well as giving certain major polluters exemptions from programs.
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