The 25 Safest Places to Live in the U.S. in 2019

See which metro areas offer the lowest crime rates.

By Devon Thorsby, Editor, Real Estate |June 5, 2019, at 4:44 p.m.

The 25 Safest Places to Live in the U.S. in 2019

Slideshow

Which places have the lowest property crime and murder rates?

View of Old Port in Portland, Maine.

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When it comes to moving to a new city, or even a new neighborhood, the prevalence of crime in the area often comes into question. You want to feel safe in your own home, after all. As part of the Quality of Life category used to calculate the Best Places to Live in the U.S. in 2019, U.S. News looked at crime rates – specifically property crime and murder rates, which are most uniformly reported across the U.S. – compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Property and violent crime rates are per 100,000 people for the year 2017, the most recent full data set available at the time the Best Places to Live in 2019 rankings were calculated.

25. Seattle

25. Seattle

urban skyline, Seattle

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Best Places 2019 Rank: 9
Metro Area Population: 3,735,216
Median Home Price: $442,333
Median Annual Salary: $63,120
Violent Crime Rate: 353.7
Property Crime Rate: 1,963.6

At 353.7 violent crimes per 100,000 people, Seattle’s violent crime rate is higher than most metro areas on this list. On a national scale, however, the number is below average. The national average for violent crimes is 382.9 instances per 100,000 people, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program.

Learn more about Seattle.

24. Allentown, Pennsylvania

24. Allentown, Pennsylvania

Downtown main street of Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA

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Best Places 2019 Rank: 93
Metro Area Population: 832,790
Median Home Price: $174,858
Median Annual Salary: $46,920
Violent Crime Rate: 237.5
Property Crime Rate: 1,655.6

Allentown residents experience both property and violent crime rates well below the national average. The FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program notes that the national average rate of property crime is 2,362.2 instances per 100,000 people.

Learn more about Allentown.

23. Austin, Texas

23. Austin, Texas

Austin Texas Austin Texas golden sunset at pedestrian bridge urban modern skyline cityscape at Lady Bird Lake a perfect afternoon sunset in the capital city

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 1
Metro Area Population: 2,000,590
Median Home Price: $292,500
Median Annual Salary: $292,500
Violent Crime Rate: 306.3
Property Crime Rate: 2,343.4

Austin is a rapidly growing metro area – its population grew by more than 10% between 2013 and 2017 due to net migration alone – but crime rates remain relatively low. Austin’s property crime rate is right around the national average at 2,343.4 per 100,000 people.

Learn more about Austin.

22. Reading, Pennsylvania

22. Reading, Pennsylvania

Reading is a city in and the county seat of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States.

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 84
Metro Area Population: 415,500
Median Home Price: $151,900
Median Annual Salary: $46,100
Violent Crime Rate: 259.2
Property Crime Rate: 1,437.7

One of the smaller metro areas on the list with a population of less than 420,000 people, Reading saw just 259.2 violent crimes per 100,000 people in 2017.

Learn more about Reading.

21. San Jose, California

21. San Jose, California

Aerial view of the buildings in downtown San Jose; Silicon Valley, California

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 14
Metro Area Population: 1,969,897
Median Home Price: $1,080,017
Median Annual Salary: $77,180
Violent Crime Rate: 308.8
Property Crime Rate: 2,275.1

At the center of Silicon Valley where technology reigns, the property crime rate for San Jose hovers right around the national average at 2,275.1 per 100,000 people.

Learn more about San Jose.

20. Fayetteville, Arkansas

20. Fayetteville, Arkansas

Aerial of downtown Fayetteville, Arkansas in the summer time.

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Best Places 2019 Rank: 4
Metro Area Population: 514,166
Median Home Price: $177,942
Median Annual Salary: $45,830
Violent Crime Rate: 375.9
Property Crime Rate: 2,361.7

Fayetteville’s property crime rate is on par with the national average, but the northwest Arkansas metro area also saw only 10 murders in 2017, as reported to the FBI.

Learn more about Fayetteville.

19. Portland, Oregon

19. Portland, Oregon

Portland Aerial Tram with a view of Portland, Oregon with Mt. Hood in the background

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Best Places 2019 Rank: 8
Metro Area Population: 2,382,037
Median Home Price: $375,425
Median Annual Salary: $55,330
Violent Crime Rate: 283.2
Property Crime Rate: 1,877.9

Oregon's largest metro area has property and violent crime rates well below the average. Sixty-four murders took place in the Portland area in 2017, per FBI data.

Learn more about Portland.

18. Port St. Lucie

18. Port St. Lucie

Aerial drone image of Port St Lucie Florida USA

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 78
Metro Area Population: 454,482
Median Home Price: $211,083
Median Annual Salary: $42,500
Violent Crime Rate: 233.6
Property Crime Rate: 1,681.7

Located along the Atlantic coast but with fewer beaches to attract tourists than other Florida metro areas, Port St. Lucie has a property crime rate of just 1,681.7 per 100,000 people.

Learn more about Port St. Lucie.

17. Grand Rapids, Michigan

17. Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA downtown skyline on the Grand River at dusk.

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 13
Metro Area Population: 1,039,182
Median Home Price: $181,533
Median Annual Salary: $44,770
Violent Crime Rate: 324
Property Crime Rate: 1,510.3

On the west side of Michigan, Grand Rapids has over 1 million residents, but the metro area also maintains below-average crime rates. The Grand Rapids area saw 324 violent crimes per 100,000 people in 2017.

Learn more about Grand Rapids.

16. Brownsville, Texas

16. Brownsville, Texas

Brownsville is located at the southernmost tip of Texas, on the northern bank of the Rio Grande, directly north and across the border from Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 116
Metro Area Population: 420,201
Median Home Price: $89,500
Median Annual Salary: $35,240
Violent Crime Rate: 312.1
Property Crime Rate: 2,624.3

Brownsville’s property crime is slightly above the national average of 2,362.2 crimes per 100,000 people, but the metro area also only had eight murders in 2017, according to FBI data.

Learn more about Brownsville.

15. New York City

15. New York City

Midtown Manhattan with the Empire State Building dominating the cityscape taken trim a helicopter.

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Best Places 2019 Rank: 90
Metro Area Population: 21,139,370
Median Home Price: $386,862
Median Annual Salary: $63,079
Violent Crime Rate: 329
Property Crime Rate: 1,337

It may have a reputation as a tough place to live, but New York City’s dense population shows that crime rates are in fact well below national averages. The New York City metro area saw 599 murders in 2017, but that’s a murder rate of just 2.82 per 100,000 people, which is the 24th lowest murder rate out of the 125 most populous metro areas in the U.S.

Learn more about New York City.

14. El Paso, Texas

14. El Paso, Texas

El Paso, Texas

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Best Places 2019 Rank: 110
Metro Area Population: 838,527
Median Home Price: $151,300
Median Annual Salary: $38,610
Violent Crime Rate: 356.3
Property Crime Rate: 1,686.6

Located near the border with Mexico, El Paso experiences property crime rates well below the national average at just 1,686.6 per 100,000 residents.

Learn more about El Paso.

13. Lancaster, Pennsylvania

13. Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Dutch landscape and cloudy sky in heart of Amish country.

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 48
Metro Area Population: 536,494
Median Home Price: $196,025
Median Annual Salary: $43,760
Violent Crime Rate: 207.8
Property Crime Rate: 1,327.8

A mix of city, suburbs and rural land, Lancaster experiences very low violent crime rates – at just 207.8 per 100,000 people.

Learn more about Lancaster.

12. San Diego

12. San Diego

la jolla cove - san diego, ca

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Best Places 2019 Rank: 36
Metro Area Population: 3,283,665
Median Home Price: $555,325
Median Annual Salary: $56,410
Violent Crime Rate: 337.1
Property Crime Rate: 1,695.5

This Southern California metro area, a popular destination for tourists and new residents alike, maintains low crime rates. The murder rate in San Diego in 2017 was just over 2.4 per 100,000 people, according to FBI data.

Learn more about San Diego.

11. Madison, Wisconsin

11. Madison, Wisconsin

Madison, WI, USA - July 29, 2015: View of State street looking towards the State Capitol building in Madison Wisconsin

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 12
Metro Area Population: 640,072
Median Home Price: $247,967
Median Annual Salary: $52,190
Violent Crime Rate: 228.6
Property Crime Rate: 1,826

Madison experiences violent crime at a rate of just 228.6 per 100,000 people. Property crime also remains well below the national average at 1,826 per 100,000 people.

Learn more about Madison.

10. Albany, New York

10. Albany, New York

Reflections of the New York State Capitol building and The Egg Performing Arts CenterMore Albany Images

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 28
Metro Area Population: 881,862
Median Home Price: $201,533
Median Annual Salary: $52,770
Violent Crime Rate: 291.2
Property Crime Rate: 1,954.7

In upstate New York, Albany residents experience just 1,954.7 property crimes per 100,000 people. Additionally, the area saw 18 murders in 2017, making Albany's murder rate the ninth-lowest out of the 125 most populous metro areas in the U.S.

Learn more about Albany.

9. Boston

9. Boston

Waterfront of Boston, Massachusetts. Composite stitched image.

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Best Places 2019 Rank: 27
Metro Area Population: 4,771,936
Median Home Price: $423,450
Median Annual Salary: $65,420
Violent Crime Rate: 305.3
Property Crime Rate: 1,291

Another dense, highly populated metro area, Boston has a property crime rate of just 1,291. Boston sees just over half the property crimes per 100,000 people than the national average of 2,362.2.

Learn more about Boston.

8. Santa Rosa, California

8. Santa Rosa, California

The Wine Country is an area of Northern California in the United States known worldwide as a premium wine-growing region. Viticulture and wine-making have been practiced in the region since the mid-19th century. There are over 400 wineries in the area north of San Francisco, mostly located in the area's valleys, including Napa Valley in Napa County, and the Sonoma Valley, Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Bennett Valley, and Russian River Valley in Sonoma County.

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 74
Metro Area Population: 500,943
Median Home Price: $629,917
Median Annual Salary: $53,890
Violent Crime Rate: 400.5
Property Crime Rate: 1,500.4

Santa Rosa’s violent crime rate is the highest on the list at 400.5 per 100,000 people, but the metro area saw only 12 murders in 2017.

Learn more about Santa Rosa.

7. Santa Barbara, California

7. Santa Barbara, California

The Santa Barbara Courthouse under a pink sunset with clouds.

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 73
Metro Area Population: 442,996
Median Home Price: $463,750
Median Annual Salary: $54,320
Violent Crime Rate: 340.9
Property Crime Rate: 1,945.2

With only eight murders in 2017, according to FBI information, Santa Barbara has a murder rate of just 1.78 per 100,000 people.

Learn more about Santa Barbara.

6. Lakeland, Florida

6. Lakeland, Florida

A typical winter scene on Lake Hollingsworth in Lakeland, Florida

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 59
Metro Area Population: 652,256
Median Home Price: $171,967
Median Annual Salary: $40,560
Violent Crime Rate: 285.1
Property Crime Rate: 1,960.1

Lakeland had 13,312 property crimes reported in 2017, according to FBI data, which makes the property crime rate for the metro area just 1,960.1 per 100,000 people.

Learn more about Lakeland.

5. Providence, Rhode Island

5. Providence, Rhode Island

Providence, Rhode Island, USA park and skyline.

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 91
Metro Area Population: 1,613,154
Median Home Price: $228,804
Median Annual Salary: $52,220
Violent Crime Rate: 294.9
Property Crime Rate: 1,685.5

The murder rate in Providence is less than 2 per 100,000 people, based on 2017 data. Overall violent crime is also low at 294.9 per 100,000 people, far below the national average of 382.9.

Learn more about Providence.

4. Boise, Idaho

4. Boise, Idaho

Boise City skyline with blur tilt shift effect

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 17
Metro Area Population: 677,346
Median Home Price: $221,475
Median Annual Salary: $43,880
Violent Crime Rate: 235
Property Crime Rate: 1,761.9

Idaho's capital city has experienced significant growth over the past few years, but its crime rates remain very low. With just seven murders in 2017, Boise's murder rate is less than 1 per 100,000 people.

Learn more about Boise.

3. Worcester, Massachusetts

3. Worcester, Massachusetts

Worcester, Massachusetts, USA Skyline.

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 62
Metro Area Population: 934,923
Median Home Price: $249,275
Median Annual Salary: $53,110
Violent Crime Rate: 360.2
Property Crime Rate: 1,276.7

The top three Safest Places to Live in the U.S. in 2019 are all located in the Northeast region of the country. Worcester’s violent crime rate is a bit below the national average, though the Massachusetts metro area had just 10 murders in 2017.

Learn more about Worcester.

2. Manchester, New Hampshire

2. Manchester, New Hampshire

Manchester is the largest city in the state of New Hampshire and the largest city in northern New England. Manchester is known for its industrial heritage, riverside mills, affordability, and arts & cultural destination.

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 43
Metro Area Population: 406,371
Median Home Price: $234,097
Median Annual Salary: $52,640
Violent Crime Rate: 265.8
Property Crime Rate: 1,387.2

Manchester had four murders in 2017, according to FBI data. Additionally, residents experience property crime at a rate of 1,387.2 per 100,000 people.

Learn more about Manchester.

1. Portland, Maine

1. Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine, USA downtown skyline.

(Getty Images)

Best Places 2019 Rank: 23
Metro Area Population: 525,776
Median Home Price: $223,367
Median Annual Salary: $48,970
Violent Crime Rate: 127.4
Property Crime Rate: 1,476.9

Portland, Maine, takes the top spot on the Safest Places to Live in the U.S. in 2019 list. This Northern metro area sees a little over half the rate of property crime as the rest of the U.S. and had just four murders in 2017, a rate of less than one per 100,000 people, according to FBI data.

Learn more about Portland.

The Safest Places to Live in the U.S. in 2019 include:

The Safest Places to Live in the U.S. in 2019 include:

USA, Florida, Stuart, Aerial view of suburbs

(Getty Images)

  • Portland, Maine
  • Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Worcester, Massachusetts
  • Boise, Idaho
  • Providence, Rhode Island
  • Lakeland, Florida
  • Santa Barbara, California
  • Santa Rosa, California
  • Boston
  • Albany, New York
  • Madison, Wisconsin
  • San Diego
  • Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  • El Paso, Texas
  • New York City
  • Brownsville, Texas
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Port St. Lucie, Florida
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Fayetteville, Arkansas
  • San Jose, California
  • Reading, Pennsylvania
  • Austin, Texas
  • Allentown, Pennsylvania
  • Seattle

Read More

Devon Thorsby is the Real Estate editor at U.S. News & World Report, where she writes consumer-focused articles about the homebuying and selling process, home improvement, tenant rights and the state of the housing market.

She has appeared in media interviews across the U.S. including National Public Radio, WTOP (Washington, D.C.) and KOH (Reno, Nevada) and various print publications, as well as having served on panels discussing real estate development, city planning policy and homebuilding.

Previously, she served as a researcher of commercial real estate transactions and information, and is currently a member of the National Association of Real Estate Editors. Thorsby studied Political Science at the University of Michigan, where she also served as a news reporter and editor for the student newspaper The Michigan Daily. Follow her on Twitter or write to her at dthorsby@usnews.com.

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