The 10 Safest Cities In America For 2021

We used data and science to determine the cities in America where everyone sleeps safe and sound.

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Editor's Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the safest cities in America.
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We all want the finer things in life. Love, comfort and safety are at the top of everyone's list.

For a lot of people who live in America, safety isn't a problem, but we don't all get to live in the safest cities -- unless of course you live in Cary.

The purpose of this post is to determine where the safest cities to live are in America. Those places where crime is usually something you hear about on Facebook, but not from your neighbor.

After analyzing 277 cities in America with a population of more than 100,000, we came up with this list of the safest cities in America for 2021:

  1. Cary, NC
  2. Thousand Oaks, CA
  3. Allen, TX
  4. Irvine, CA
  5. Frisco, TX
  6. Simi Valley, CA
  7. Murrieta, CA
  8. Sterling Heights, MI
  9. Gilbert, AZ
  10. Santa Clarita, CA

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your city ranked. We have a long infographic to show you individual crime data for each of the safest cities.

If that's not up your alley, for more reading on safe places to live, check out:

Cary, NC
Overall SnackAbility
9.5
/10

Population: 172,525.0
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 66 (2nd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 904 (3rd safest)
More on Cary: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Cary, North Carolina? Now, since I live so close, I figured I might as well investigate and see what's going on and why Cary is so safe.

Cary is quite a gem. And so safe. You have only a 1 in 1,500 chance of being the victim of a major crime when you live here. There's been 8 murders here since 2002, which is very low for a city that's nearly 200,000 in population. You have only a 1 in 93 chance of being robbed here. For comparison, in Memphis, Tennessee, America's most dangerous city, you have a 1 in 30 chance of being robbed every year. That's three times higher.

You hardly ever see a Cary police car driving around. We spotted two sitting in a vacant lot for some reason.

As you drive through Cary, it seems safe enough. The supermarket looks safe. The laundromat feels safe. So does the pottery place. The African and Caribbean Market? Safe. Walmart feels safe. Even the Park N Shop looks safe. The mall is...empty. People in Cary must be Prime members or something.

The thing about Cary that is annoying is the people here are pretty rude, snobby and self entitled. They're mostly wealthy, and come from the northeast - places like New York, Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Draw your own conclusions.

Statistically, the number of crimes that happen in this Raleigh suburb is off the charts low. Like, nothing ever happens here but peace and quiet low. Is it boring? Perhaps. But can you leave your door unlocked at night? You betcha.

Thousand Oaks, CA
Overall SnackAbility
9.5
/10

Population: 127,811.0
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 68 (4th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,089 (11th safest)
More on Thousand Oaks: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Thousand Oaks certainly has a reason to feel safe. We could make a thousand jokes about how safe Thousand Oaks is. But I will say for perspective, in nearby Los Angeles, you'd have a 1 in 131 chance of being the victim of a bad crime. Here in Thousand Oaks, your chances would be faaaar less - closer to 1 in 750.

Plus, if you lived in LA, you'd probably have bad guys for your neighbors.

Crime has been steadily falling in Thousand Oaks for the past few years, too, which puts it towards the bottom when it comes to the number of crimes that take place here. This is certainly the type of place where you can sleep well at night. However, we have to talk about what happened here in 2018 when a man went into the Borderline Bar and Grill and wiped out 12 patrons. That was in Thousand Oaks. If it wasn't for that, Thousand Oaks would be in the top 3 on our list. It was considered a truly random crime.

Allen, TX
Overall SnackAbility
9
/10

Population: 105,961.0
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 7)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 83 (6th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,089 (10th safest)
More on Allen: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Welcome to Allen, Texas, the 3rd safest city in America. So peaceful/ Allen is another Dallas suburb. It's basically right next door to Frisco. Here, you have a 1 in 1,200 chance of being the victim of some sort of crime. When someone gets rubbed out here, it's like a huge deal. There's only been five people wiped out here since 2002.

In Allen, neighbors support their local sports teams. People pitch in to help one another. And you can bet that residents in Allen are proud of their accomplishments. You and I have to worry about all sorts of stuff people in Allen don't. You know, like having our car stolen when we're at the club. Or, getting beat up because we talked to the wrong girl.

Seems like Allen is just the opposite of that lifestyle. If you live there, consider yourself lucky!

Irvine, CA
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
9
/10

Population: 292,673.0
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 64 (1st safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,306 (18th safest)
More on Irvine: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

If you want to see a real safe and sound place, head on over to Irvine, California. Statistically, there's hardly any incidents of crime happening in this nook of the state. Good for them! It's likely a group effort keeping this place so safe.

Irvine actually ranks as the tenth safest city in the WORLD in a study done by the Daily Mail.

This goes to show that just because people are packed on top of one another, it doesn't mean they have to act uncivilized.

In Irvine, you'd have a 1 in 1,400 chance of being a victim of a really bad crime, and a 1 in 87 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That's crazy low. It's probably the high home prices keeping bozos like this out of the place.

Irvine is in Orange County, but it's nothing like nearby Anaheim, where you definitely have to watch your back when out for a stroll.

Irvine is the third California city to make this list. Is the legal weed chilling people out? After all, it would be hard to commit a crime if you were stoned all day.

If you live in Irvine, when you come home from work here, it's likely the pets aren't trying to hurt themselves either.

Kudos to the Irvine police for cracking down on crime as soon as it rears its ugly head

Frisco, TX
Overall SnackAbility
9
/10

Population: 199,445.0
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 80 (5th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,198 (14th safest)
More on Frisco: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Welcome to Frisco, Texas. Now if you talk to Frisco residents, they'll probably tell you they should be atop this list. If you walked around here, there's no way you'd see neighborhood bullies running around. And there's practically no chance you'd get robbed by this idiot walking around at night, that's for sure.

You only have a 1 in 1,000 chance of being the victim of a terrible crime here. That's low.

Frisco is a posh, Dallas/Fort Worth suburb. Like League City, it's growing really fast - in fact it's just about the fastest growing city in the US. And somehow, despite the fact people are flocking here in droves, people have managed to remain civilized. Hmm. Imagine that, here in America. Average home prices here are about a half million. Likely, the criminals and creeps can't afford to live here, so they stay away. Are we seeing a pattern here? Fancy rich suburbs are safe? Who'd have thunk it?

Former Miss USA Courtney Gibbs is from Frisco.

Simi Valley, CA
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
9
/10

Population: 126,025.0
Rank Last Year: 21 (Up 16)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 115 (14th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 942 (5th safest)
More on Simi Valley: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Everyone is trying to get in on the quality of life in Simi Valley, the 6th safest city in America.

The town of some 126,000 people will have to try and continue to keep Simi Valley a secret, lest crime starts going up simply because of people breaking down the doors to get into town.

See what we did there Simi Valley?

Murrieta, CA
Overall SnackAbility
8.5
/10

Population: 116,413.0
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 66 (3rd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,298 (17th safest)
More on Murrieta: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Next on our list of safest places to live in America brings us to the ostentatious community of Murrieta, California. Whatever ostentatious means. It sounded like the right word.

Murrieta undoubtedly has a very bored police department. If you spent a year in Murrieta, you'd have only a 1 in 250 chance you'd be the victim of even a basic property crime. In fact, most years, there's only a handful of violent crimes reported within city limits.

Murrieta calls itself the future of California. That's quite a stretch - I grew up near here, but I will say if driving two hours to work each way each day is the future of living in California, than maybe their motto is spot on. But, Murrieta's the type of place that If you need a ride to work one day, someone will give you a lift. Heck, if your dog shows up missing, it's probably just at the neighbor's house.

Next time you see a Murrieta police officer, thank em!

Sterling Heights, MI
Overall SnackAbility
8.5
/10

Population: 133,377.0
Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 10)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 125 (19th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 854 (2nd safest)
More on Sterling Heights: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

The eighth safest city in America for 2019 goes to Sterling Heights. Let's see why.

There were only 167 violent crimes here last year -- which is basically 0 for the average citizen. And there were only 1,140 property crimes to boot.

Gilbert, AZ
Overall SnackAbility
9
/10

Population: 253,619.0
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 96 (8th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,202 (15th safest)
More on Gilbert: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Welcome to Gilbert, Arizona, the 9th safest place you can live in America. Sure, there are far fewer people jam packed in Gilbert than in nearby Phoenix, so you might expect more of a sleepy place.

But look at New Mexico. There's hardly anyone in that state, and it's one of the most dangerous places in the whole country.

In Gilbert, you'd have a 1 in 1,200 chance of being a victim of a major crime. That's the 4th lowest number in the US. This smallish city has also seen its crime numbers go down over the last few years, which is a good thing. There's hardly any thefts, robberies, break-ins or other random crimes lately. The only thing you'd have to worry about is someone breaking down your door to move in with you - Gilbert's population is exploding.

Back in 1980, Gilbert had 5,000 people. Now? Two hundred and fifty five thousand.

But man, how hot is it here? Who wants to put on a mask and rob someone when it's like 100 million outside. Not us. Nuh uh.

Santa Clarita, CA
Overall SnackAbility
9
/10

Population: 218,103.0
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 127 (20th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 944 (6th safest)
More on Santa Clarita: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

And just making it into the top ten for 2021 is Santa Clarita.

But we know they don't take this spot for granted -- Santa Clarita residents can attest that their home town deserves to be the on list.

In total, there were 277 violent crimes and 2,059 property crimes in Santa Clarita; that's really good for a place of 218,000 people and definitely something to be happy about looking forward into 2019.

Breaking Down Crime In The Safest And Most Dangerous Cities In America

Breaking Down Crime In The Safest And Most Dangerous Cities In America

How we calculated the safest cities in America

While there are surveys and public polls on what cities in a state are the safest, we didn't want to rely on speculation and opinion. Instead, we looked at the hard numbers from the FBI's most recent report of crime (Sept 2020). Specifically, we analyzed the FBI's Uniform Crime Report which summarizes the number of property crimes and violent crimes in each city per year. We used two criteria:

  • Violent crimes per capita (murders, assaults, rapes, armed robberies)
  • Property crimes per capita (thefts, burglaries, motor vehicle thefts)

For example, there were a total of 1674 crimes committed in Cary which had a reported population of 172,525. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.0097 which translates into a 1 in 103 chance of being the victim of a crime.

We only looked at cities that have populations of more than 100,000 people reported to the FBI in 2019. This left us with a total of 277 of the biggest cities in America to rank.

We ranked each city for each criteria from 1 to 277 where 1 in any particular category is the safest.

Next, we averaged each places two criteria to create a Safety Index. We crowned the place with the lowest overall Safety Score "The Safest Place In America".

The safest city, based on our criteria, is Cary. The most dangerous city in America? St. Louis, where residents had a 1 in 12 chance of being the victim of a crime.

Note: This report is not an analysis of the effectiveness of local police departments, nor does it reflect the fact that people from out of town may come into a community and cause a crime. It simply looks at where crimes occurred most frequently, based on a city's population.

Graph Of The Safest Cities In America

There You Have It - The Safest Cities In The USA

Looking at the data, you can tell that Cary is as safe as they come, according to science and data.

But as most people would agree, almost every place here has its safe and not safe parts. So just make sure you're informed ahead of time.

Here's a look at the most dangerous cities in America according to the data:

  1. St. Louis
  2. Springfield
  3. Memphis
For more reading, check out:

Safest Cities In America For 2021

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per 100k Property Crimes Per 100k
1 Cary, NC 172,525.0 66 904
2 Thousand Oaks, CA 127,811.0 68 1,089
3 Allen, TX 105,961.0 83 1,089
4 Irvine, CA 292,673.0 64 1,306
5 Frisco, TX 199,445.0 80 1,198
6 Simi Valley, CA 126,025.0 115 942
7 Murrieta, CA 116,413.0 66 1,298
8 Sterling Heights, MI 133,377.0 125 854
9 Gilbert, AZ 253,619.0 96 1,202
10 Santa Clarita, CA 218,103.0 127 944
11 Cape Coral, FL 194,183.0 116 1,120
12 Port St. Lucie, FL 199,433.0 146 850
13 League City, TX 109,401.0 110 1,359
14 Mckinney, TX 200,615.0 143 993
15 Surprise, AZ 140,962.0 97 1,477
16 Meridian, ID 111,196.0 159 1,068
17 Provo, UT 117,189.0 115 1,507
18 Pearland, TX 126,206.0 89 1,640
19 Glendale, CA 202,601.0 114 1,631
20 Orange, CA 139,830.0 128 1,561
21 Elgin, IL 112,112.0 198 1,274
22 Olathe, KS 141,371.0 205 1,134
23 Round Rock, TX 132,747.0 124 1,683
24 Stamford, CT 130,678.0 202 1,379
25 Alexandria, VA 162,258.0 177 1,551
26 Miramar, FL 143,334.0 216 1,358
27 Plano, TX 291,611.0 147 1,683
28 Coral Springs, FL 134,967.0 144 1,710
29 Broken Arrow, OK 110,480.0 124 1,789
30 Virginia Beach, VA 449,038.0 129 1,760
31 Sandy Springs, GA 110,760.0 129 1,780
32 Elk Grove, CA 175,492.0 211 1,480
33 Aurora, IL 199,784.0 258 1,008
34 Richardson, TX 123,893.0 143 1,839
35 Henderson, NV 317,732.0 170 1,748
36 College Station, TX 119,246.0 188 1,759
37 Fremont, CA 240,887.0 166 1,877
38 Bend, OR 100,588.0 153 1,907
39 Daly City, CA 107,748.0 215 1,733
40 Scottsdale, AZ 260,464.0 159 1,957
41 Carlsbad, CA 117,220.0 204 1,821
42 El Monte, CA 115,830.0 262 1,542
43 Yonkers, NY 200,075.0 353 912
44 Pembroke Pines, FL 174,641.0 203 1,914
45 Ann Arbor, MI 122,893.0 251 1,728
46 Rochester, MN 118,267.0 214 1,881
47 Torrance, CA 145,183.0 192 1,965
48 Corona, CA 170,875.0 170 2,037
49 Chula Vista, CA 275,230.0 328 1,386
50 Cambridge, MA 119,908.0 278 1,653
51 Peoria, AZ 174,571.0 233 1,874
52 Raleigh, NC 477,828.0 255 1,783
53 Fontana, CA 215,883.0 342 1,433
54 Temecula, CA 116,630.0 142 2,251
55 Vista, CA 102,227.0 346 1,406
56 Kenosha, WI 100,255.0 310 1,577
57 Huntington Beach, CA 201,843.0 191 2,053
58 Denton, TX 141,492.0 233 1,883
59 Clovis, CA 114,170.0 212 1,993
60 Hialeah, FL 240,688.0 208 2,032
61 Sunnyvale, CA 154,859.0 167 2,182
62 Mcallen, TX 144,915.0 96 2,480
63 Beaverton, OR 100,130.0 216 1,985
64 Lewisville, TX 108,000.0 221 1,967
65 Boca Raton, FL 101,163.0 183 2,157
66 Hillsboro, OR 110,549.0 247 1,957
67 El Paso, TX 686,793.0 352 1,511
68 Roseville, CA 141,744.0 182 2,225
69 Escondido, CA 153,215.0 349 1,548
70 Lowell, MA 111,423.0 363 1,482
71 Chandler, AZ 259,881.0 228 2,070
72 Grand Prairie, TX 196,971.0 217 2,101
73 Laredo, TX 264,916.0 315 1,771
74 Palm Bay, FL 115,520.0 342 1,714
75 Rancho Cucamonga, CA 179,247.0 278 1,928
76 Fort Collins, CO 170,889.0 217 2,172
77 San Mateo, CA 106,020.0 250 2,091
78 West Jordan, UT 117,644.0 224 2,171
79 Palmdale, CA 157,138.0 418 1,419
80 Bellevue, WA 150,200.0 123 2,838
81 Norwalk, CA 105,067.0 411 1,495
82 West Covina, CA 106,335.0 244 2,227
83 Burbank, CA 103,738.0 182 2,522
84 Tampa, FL 400,501.0 404 1,628
85 Fullerton, CA 140,194.0 266 2,251
86 San Diego, CA 1,441,737.0 361 1,882
87 Oxnard, CA 211,349.0 342 2,007
88 Mesa, AZ 518,160.0 376 1,868
89 Joliet, IL 148,155.0 506 1,457
90 Irving, TX 245,423.0 251 2,437
91 Santa Rosa, CA 177,884.0 481 1,615
92 Jurupa Valley, CA 110,111.0 287 2,264
93 Garden Grove, CA 172,832.0 292 2,261
94 Downey, CA 112,330.0 313 2,201
95 New York, NY 8,379,043.0 570 1,459
96 Davie, FL 108,486.0 254 2,577
97 Green Bay, WI 104,992.0 503 1,642
98 Anaheim, CA 353,915.0 316 2,333
99 Norman, OK 125,076.0 267 2,612
100 Warren, MI 134,653.0 481 1,830

Safest Cities By State

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About HomeSnacks

HomeSnacks is based in Durham, NC.

We aim to deliver bite-sized pieces of infotainment about where you live.

We use data, analytics, and a sense of humor to determine quality of life for places across the nation.

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