THE 10 SAFEST Cities In America For 2020

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

Join HomeSnacks
Editor's Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the safest cities in America.
Swipe left for slideshow. Article continues below.

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 Naperville.

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 293 cities in America with a population of more than 100,000, we came up with this list of the safest cities in America for 2020:

  1. Naperville, IL (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Cary, NC (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Irvine, CA (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Port St. Lucie, FL (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Murrieta, CA (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Thousand Oaks, CA (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Gilbert, AZ (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Frisco, TX (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Allen, TX (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Santa Clarita, CA (Photos | Homes For Sale)

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:

Naperville, IL
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 148,457
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 68 (3rd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 136 (1st safest)
More on Naperville: Real Estate | Photos | Data

Welcome to Naperville. One heckof a safe and quiet place. The number of violent and property crimes is just about as low as you can get for a city this big - where you have a 1 in 1,300 chance of being the victim of a major crime.

Naperville is a Chicago suburb. But this ain't nothin like Chicago. Noooo. In Chicago, 1,400 people got shot last year. In Naperville, there were half as many car break-ins, last year, let alone people getting shot. In Chicago, your kids have to run home from school every day.

You can bet that if a missing dog, a little old lady, or even Kathy Griffin needed help in Naperville, someone would lend a helping hand, no matter what. That's the type of place this is.

Cary, NC
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 170,518
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 61 (2nd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 977 (5th safest)
More on Cary: Real Estate | Photos | Data

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 super market 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.

Review Of Cary by HomeSnacks User

I grew up in Cary and lived there until I moved away for college. It is a town that I would recommend to anyone for any reason. Cary is a place for everyone, great for seniors, great for raising kids, and great for young adults and professionals. The schools are fantastic, there is a great selection of food, activities, and experiences. It was a wonderful place for me to grow up and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for their forever home.

The schools in Cary were excellent, providing high quality education and service to the community. There are also various restaurants catering to different national cuisine. The only issue I've had as a young adult going back to Cary is that there is very little nightlife and the young adult population is on the lower end, mostly being kids coming home from college while on breaks. This is not unmanageable, as a city with a bustling nightlife is nearby, about 15 minutes away.

Irvine, CA
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 288,052
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 55 (1st safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,270 (15th safest)
More on Irvine: Real Estate | Photos | Data

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

Review Of Irvine by HomeSnacks User

Irvine is an extremely safe city with regular, active, and diligent police patrols on all major roads. It has a reputation for being one of, if not the safest city in America, and is also a beautiful city due to the planned nature of its housing communities and nature. While this does make Irvine feel like a bubble, it also ensures that it is a safe and secure environment for those living in it and especially for children, as they are guaranteed an education that is held to a higher standard than other cities. Schools are consistently excellent, and there are very few schools that are riddled with disciplinary or financial problems due to Irvine Company's excellent management of the city's allocated funding.

Irvine's food is mostly chains, and there are few private businesses due to the high cost of retail spaces. As a result, your experiences in Irvine when it comes to food and shopping will always be consistently safe, but also expensive and somewhat vanilla in terms of variety. The city also begins to feel quite sterile after living there for a few years because of how safe and well-maintained it is. Transportation without a vehicle can also be difficult due to the long intervals between buses, as well as the distance from houses to retail plazas.

Port St. Lucie, FL
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 193,137
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 112 (13th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 958 (4th safest)
More on Port St. Lucie: Real Estate | Photos | Data

You might be surprised to find Port St. Lucie this high on the list, but, trust us, no one in Port St. Lucie is surpised.

This gem of a place boasts the 4th best property crime rate and 13th best violent crime rate for 2019.

Review Of Port St. Lucie by HomeSnacks User

There is crime everywhere you go but Port St. Lucie seemed to be low to moderate. The schools were awful. There are plenty of beaches, restaurants and some fun places to visit nearby.

The schools in Port St. Lucie are terrible. Coming from the north, I am used to schools being extremely helpful when my kids were struggling. Whether it was putting in place an IEP or just extra help. In Port St. Lucie their IEP options are limited. They believe that "pushing a child into their grade level" will help more than pulling them out and slowing down the learning. Pushing in means that a child who struggles to work on grade level work is kept in their grade level instead of working up to their grade level. This way of teaching causes added pressure and stress on a child. It does not help their confidence at all. I actually had to move back up to Pennsylvania because they were unable to help my child.

Murrieta, CA
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 114,706
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 80 (4th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,230 (13th safest)
More on Murrieta: Real Estate | Photos | Data

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!

Review Of Murrieta by HomeSnacks User

The crime was not bad at all. Schools were good. I graduated at sixteen.

Watch out for the Danker family. Watch out for transphobes.

Thousand Oaks, CA
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 129,319
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 97 (9th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,144 (10th safest)
More on Thousand Oaks: Real Estate | Photos | Data

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.

Gilbert, AZ
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 247,463
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 94 (7th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,322 (17th safest)
More on Gilbert: Real Estate | Photos | Data

Welcome to Gilbert, Arizona, the 7th 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.

Review Of Gilbert by HomeSnacks User

Gilbert, Arizona is a fast growing community in the east valley of phoenix. The schools are absolutely amazing especially Gilbert Public Schools. There is very little crime and a ton of out door splash pads and parks.

The number of restaurants grows buy the month! Down town Gilbert has such a fun family friendly vibe with a farmers market every week. Gilbert is appealing to young families because of the safe neighborhoods and the great schools.

Frisco, TX
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 187,889
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 86 (6th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,363 (19th safest)
More on Frisco: Real Estate | Photos | Data

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.

Review Of Frisco by HomeSnacks User

I love Frisco, specifically Frisco Square, with its cozy vibe. It's a small area, but it has great restaurants, a library, movie theater, and senior center to keep it alive. In the winter, the whole place is alive with lights that create a very picturesque scene.

The people and restaurants stand out. The people are nice wherever you go, and there is a diversity of delicious restaurants, whether you're looking for casual or formal dining.

Allen, TX
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 103,168
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 107 (12th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,237 (14th safest)
More on Allen: Real Estate | Photos | Data

Welcome to Allen, Texas, the 9th 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!

Santa Clarita, CA
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 216,589
Rank Last Year: 20 (Up 10)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 134 (22nd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,125 (8th safest)
More on Santa Clarita: Real Estate | Photos | Data

And just making it into the top ten for 2019 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 292 violent crimes and 2,437 property crimes in Santa Clarita; that's really good for a place of 216,000 people and definitely something to be happy about looking forward into 2019.

Review Of Santa Clarita by HomeSnacks User

Overall, Santa Clarita from a younger individual's perspective is very bland. The city simply lacks of things to do.

What stood out the most about Santa Clarita is how I felt secured in this city. Also the family appears to be more about raising a family.

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 2019). 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 304 crimes committed in Naperville which had a reported population of 148,457. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.002 which translates into a 1 in 488 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 2018. This left us with a total of 293 of the biggest cities in America to rank.

We ranked each city for each criteria from 1 to 293 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 Naperville. The most dangerous city in America? Memphis, where residents had a 1 in 11 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 Naperville 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. Memphis
  2. Birmingham
  3. Little Rock
For more reading, check out:

Safest Cities In America For 2020

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per 100k Property Crimes Per 100k
1 Naperville, IL 148,457 68 136
2 Cary, NC 170,518 61 977
3 Irvine, CA 288,052 55 1,270
4 Port St. Lucie, FL 193,137 112 958
5 Murrieta, CA 114,706 80 1,230
6 Thousand Oaks, CA 129,319 97 1,144
7 Gilbert, AZ 247,463 94 1,322
8 Frisco, TX 187,889 86 1,363
9 Allen, TX 103,168 107 1,237
10 Santa Clarita, CA 216,589 134 1,125
11 Pearland, TX 124,179 95 1,482
12 Mckinney, TX 189,555 151 1,044
13 Glendale, CA 204,724 98 1,519
14 Meridian, ID 103,774 158 1,214
15 Sterling Heights, MI 133,055 180 1,002
16 Cape Coral, FL 187,869 142 1,437
17 Simi Valley, CA 127,222 168 1,171
18 League City, TX 108,275 100 1,675
19 Surprise, AZ 136,611 120 1,539
20 Coral Springs, FL 134,640 155 1,505
21 Virginia Beach, VA 451,001 117 1,723
22 Orange, CA 141,108 113 1,756
23 Alexandria, VA 162,588 159 1,526
24 Plano, TX 289,897 138 1,709
25 Carrollton, TX 138,216 138 1,710
26 Hampton, VA 133,965 235 554
27 Sunnyvale, CA 155,637 163 1,632
28 Stamford, CT 132,007 165 1,605
29 Sandy Springs, GA 108,654 117 1,854
30 Olathe, KS 139,154 219 1,406
31 Elgin, IL 113,060 207 1,515
32 Daly City, CA 107,928 224 1,415
33 Aurora, IL 201,364 267 1,142
34 Centennial, CO 111,646 180 1,753
35 Elk Grove, CA 174,651 237 1,350
36 Provo, UT 117,986 175 1,771
37 Round Rock, TX 127,354 120 1,958
38 Miramar, FL 143,103 235 1,487
39 Corona, CA 170,041 154 1,919
40 Ann Arbor, MI 122,571 220 1,576
41 Torrance, CA 146,968 181 1,838
42 Richardson, TX 119,480 112 2,110
43 Carlsbad, CA 116,739 208 1,798
44 Chula Vista, CA 274,370 304 1,316
45 Pembroke Pines, FL 173,053 181 1,925
46 Yonkers, NY 202,827 348 873
47 Broken Arrow, OK 109,663 142 2,081
48 Henderson, NV 309,586 188 1,961
49 Vista, CA 102,742 321 1,457
50 Huntington Beach, CA 203,428 210 1,962
51 Peoria, AZ 170,177 227 1,904
52 Fremont, CA 238,024 210 1,969
53 Rancho Cucamonga, CA 179,114 161 2,151
54 Temecula, CA 116,411 119 2,328
55 Fontana, CA 213,964 331 1,503
56 Overland Park, KS 193,877 226 1,928
57 Rochester, MN 117,037 193 2,080
58 College Station, TX 116,565 203 2,077
59 Lowell, MA 111,989 324 1,534
60 Hillsboro, OR 109,121 263 1,903
61 Joliet, IL 148,553 327 1,556
62 Scottsdale, AZ 254,961 165 2,228
63 Clovis, CA 111,759 197 2,181
64 Cambridge, MA 114,881 295 1,800
65 Mcallen, TX 144,363 84 2,671
66 Grand Prairie, TX 196,535 252 1,977
67 El Paso, TX 688,442 370 1,505
68 Vacaville, CA 101,146 227 2,133
69 Hialeah, FL 241,778 220 2,214
70 Palmdale, CA 158,177 373 1,543
71 Chandler, AZ 255,986 236 2,121
72 San Mateo, CA 105,839 269 2,043
73 Boca Raton, FL 100,162 204 2,357
74 Midland, TX 140,072 287 1,973
75 El Monte, CA 116,464 310 1,925
76 Fort Collins, CO 168,163 233 2,200
77 Irving, TX 243,940 209 2,360
78 Escondido, CA 153,073 349 1,787
79 Roseville, CA 137,706 217 2,361
80 Palm Bay, FL 112,902 357 1,867
81 Charleston, SC 137,092 302 2,077
82 Lewisville, TX 107,560 255 2,227
83 Bellevue, WA 146,913 132 2,922
84 Burbank, CA 105,041 218 2,499
85 Tampa, FL 392,945 406 1,673
86 San Diego, CA 1,436,495 373 1,908
87 Santa Clara, CA 128,682 161 2,907
88 West Covina, CA 107,806 270 2,331
89 Mesa, AZ 504,873 363 1,985
90 Garden Grove, CA 174,661 290 2,313
91 Fullerton, CA 141,132 235 2,593
92 Green Bay, WI 105,281 458 1,707
93 Davie, FL 107,120 252 2,579
94 Norwalk, CA 106,158 422 1,835
95 Denton, TX 139,262 315 2,317
96 Downey, CA 113,277 323 2,308
97 Jersey City, NJ 270,175 456 1,769
98 Pasadena, CA 143,448 381 2,041
99 New York, NY 8,523,171 541 1,502
100 Santa Rosa, CA 176,325 466 1,768

Safest Cities By State

Enjoy The Snack?

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.

© Chasing Chains, LLC. All rights reserved.