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

Which places have the lowest property crime and murder rates?

When looking for a place to settle down, there are plenty of options from bustling cities, quiet suburban communities and expansive rural areas. Whether you’re looking to start a family or enjoy your retirement years, you may want to consider somewhere with lower crime rates. Here are the 25 U.S. cities and metro areas that rate the highest on the U.S. News Safest Places to Live in the U.S. in 2022-2023, based on data regarding rates of property crime, violent crime and murder in 2020 from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the most recent full data set available at the time of the Best Places to Live calculations.

25. Rochester, New York

Best Places 2022-2023 Rank: 42

Metro Population: 1,071,784

Median Home Price: $240,332

Average Annual Salary: $54,550

Rochester is largely known as a warm and welcoming city, and has also been ranked as the No. 3 Best Places to Live in New York, behind Albany and Syracuse. The cost of living in Rochester is also significantly below the national average; however, property taxes are some of the highest in the nation. Because of the city’s low murder rate of 2.9 per 100,000 residents in 2020, Rochester ranks 25th in Safest Places to Live.

24. New York City

Best Places 2022-2023 Rank: 120

Metro Population: 20,205,876

Median Home Price: $668,699

Average Annual Salary: $71,188

New York City takes the No. 24 spot on the Safest Places to Live list with a low murder rate of 3.1 per 100,000 residents. Although affordable housing is an ongoing problem in the City That Never Sleeps, New York is known for its museums and galleries, a world-renowned theater scene and exciting nightlife venues. Outside of Manhattan, residents can enjoy nearby beaches and the Coney Island amusement park. Don’t forget a comfortable pair of shoes as getting around the city usually involves a lot of walking.

23. Allentown, Pennsylvania

Best Places 2022-2023 Rank: 111

Metro Population: 841,265

Median Home Price: $332,690

Average Annual Salary: $51,300

Allentown is Pennsylvania’s third largest metro area with a murder rate of 1.9 per 100,000 residents in 2020. Allentown is known for its collection of historic homes and buildings, commercial structures and old industrial buildings. Nearby cities include New York and Philadelphia, which are only a two-hour drive away. While the median home sale price is below the national average, Allentown residents typically earn less than the average national salary.

22. Youngstown, Ohio

Best Places 2022-2023 Rank: 85

Metro Population: 538,115

Median Home Price: $92,450

Average Annual Salary: $43,550

Youngstown is a very affordable city as home costs, utilities, food expenses and medical costs fall well below the national average, earning it the No. 10 spot in the Best Affordable Places to Live. The downtown area, which is surrounded by farmland, is seeing a resurgence of business, including restaurants, bars, galleries and local shops. A murder rate of 4.3 per 100,000 residents and property crime total of 4,871 in 2020 have earned Youngstown the No. 22 spot on the Safest Places to Live.

21. Reading, Pennsylvania

Best Places 2022-2023 Rank: 74

Metro Population: 419,062

Median Home Price: $157,600

Average Annual Salary: $52,060

Reading, home to the Reading Railroad from the Monopoly board game, attracts new residents to the metro area with its low cost of living and low crime rates. The median home sale price in the city of Reading is lower than the state average and the metro area has a low murder rate of 2.6 per 100,000 residents. The metro area has several notable cultural attractions, miles of trails for walking, jogging and biking as well as kayaking and canoeing along the Schuylkill River.

20. Washington, D.C.

Best Places 2022-2023 Rank: 19

Metro Population: 6,250,309

Median Home Price: $535,038

Average Annual Salary: $77,210

Washington, the nation’s capital, is a large urban area with distinct neighborhoods and surrounding towns that make it feel like a much smaller community. Residents and visitors can enjoy numerous cultural attractions, restaurants and nightlife venues. Outside the metro area, there are plenty of hiking, camping and boating opportunities as well as wineries and orchards in southern Maryland and northern Virginia. Washington ranks 20th in the Safest Places to Live with a murder rate of 3.2 per 100,000 people.

19. Orlando, Florida

Best Places 2022-2023 Rank: 118

Metro Population: 2,560,260

Median Home Price: $399,846

Average Annual Salary: $48,530

Orlando is a popular vacation destination and known for being home to the world’s top theme parks, attracting millions of visitors each year. If you’re looking for a job in the metro area, some of the area’s major employers are Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, JetBlue Airways, AdventHealth, Orlando Health, Orlando International Airport, Publix Super Markets Inc. and the University of Central Florida. The cost of housing in Orlando is close to the national median sale price of $365,616, but home prices have risen in recent years. Orlando has a lower crime rate than similarly sized metro areas and a murder rate of 3.2 per 100,000 people.

18. Green Bay, Wisconsin

Best Places 2022-2023 Rank: 3

Metro Population: 320,827

Median Home Price: $181,700

Average Annual Salary: $50,020

Green Bay has plenty of big city attractions with a small-town feel. The city has a lively entertainment and arts scene, a revitalized downtown area, multiple college campuses and activities for outdoor enthusiasts. Green Bay has a low cost of living and is the most affordable place to live out of the 150 most populous metro areas in the U.S., making it a popular area to settle down. The metropolitan area’s property crime and violent crime rates are below the national average. Green Bay’s property crime total in 2020 was 3,059 while the violent crime total was 715 with a murder rate of 2.5 per 100,000 residents.

17. Pensacola, Florida

Best Places 2022-2023 Rank: 44

Metro Population: 496,278

Median Home Price: $200,800

Average Annual Salary: $45,170

Pensacola is known for its warm climate and white sandy beaches facing the Gulf of Mexico. Pensacola ranks 10th in the Best Places to Retire and has lower housing costs compared to national numbers. While the region is susceptible to hurricanes and tropical storms between June and November, residents enjoy mild winters and humid summers with Gulf breezes. Pensacola has a low murder rate of 3.4 per 100,000 residents and a property crime total of 4,741.

16. Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Best Places 2022-2023 Rank: 61

Metro Population: 543,050

Median Home Price: $226,550

Average Annual Salary: $47,970

Lancaster has quiet suburbs surrounded by farmland leading to a thriving city filled with farmers, families, college students and young professionals. The biggest industry in Lancaster is agriculture with tourism placing second. The Amish community, as well as the arts, history and entertainment, make Lancaster a popular destination. The area is home to several colleges, including Franklin & Marshall College and Elizabethtown College, both liberal arts schools, and the Millersville University of Pennsylvania. The murder rate for the Lancaster area is about 2.2 per 100,000 residents, earning the No. 16 spot on the Safest Places to Live list.

15. Mobile, Alabama

Best Places 2022-2023 Rank: 130

Metro Population: 430,313

Median Home Price: $140,167

Average Annual Salary: $46,660

Mobile is often compared to New Orleans with its Mardi Gras traditions and historic neighborhoods. Mobile is also known for its outdoor recreation activities and nearby Gulf Coast beaches. The cost of living falls well below the national average, especially housing, and the metropolitan area’s violent crime and property crime are lower than the national average. Mobile ranks 15th in the Safest Places to Live list with a property crime total of 3,884 and a violent crime total of 516.

14. Boise, Idaho

Best Places 2022-2023 Rank: 15

Metro Population: 730,483

Median Home Price: $221,475

Average Annual Salary: $49,010

Boise sits right on the border between urban and rural. While downtown Boise is busy with new construction and the tallest building in the state at the city’s center, the foothills have more than 180 miles of public trails for hiking, mountain biking and trail running. Boise is No. 5 in Fastest-Growing Places to Live and No. 17 for Best Places to Live for Quality of Life. This Idaho metro area has a murder rate of just 1 per 100,000 residents, placing it in spot No. 14 for Safest Places to Live.

13. Boston

Best Places 2022-2023 Rank: 18

Metro Population: 4,854,808

Median Home Price: $713,792

Average Annual Salary: $73,850

Boston is a small city filled with history and a rich culinary scene, cultural institutions, world-class schools, employers and health care. Boston is also known as being one of the most walkable regions in the country but the public transit system, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, is a convenient alternative. While it’s known for being expensive, housing prices vary drastically based on the neighborhood. Despite its large population, Boston is still regarded as one of the safest places to live in the U.S. with a murder rate of 2 per 100,000 residents.

12. Manchester, New Hampshire

Best Places 2022-2023 Rank: 60

Metro Population: 415,305

Median Home Price: $291,367

Average Annual Salary: $58,670

Only 53 miles north of Boston, Manchester is New Hampshire’s largest metropolitan area, surrounded by mountain ranges and dense forests. Manchester is home to several college and university campuses and nearly a third of the population over 25 years old holds a bachelor’s degree or higher. Health care and education are the city’s major employment sectors, but thousands of residents commute to other metro areas for work. Manchester has a murder rate of 1 per 100,000 residents and a property crime total of 3,850, placing it in the No. 12 spot for Safest Places to Live.

11. Melbourne, Florida

Best Places 2022-2023 Rank: 20

Metro Population: 594,001

Median Home Price: $217,400

Average Annual Salary: $51,740

Melbourne is one of the most populated metro areas of the Space Coast with a historic downtown area and an unemployment rate slightly below the national average. Because of its high quality of life and people’s desire to live there, Melbourne ranks fourth in Best Places to Retire and third in Best Places to Live in Florida. The metropolitan area has a murder rate of 1.8 per 100,000 people and a property crime total of 5,183.

10. Ocala, Florida

Best Places 2022-2023 Rank: 91

Metro Population: 360,210

Median Home Price: $168,850

Average Annual Salary: $42,050

Located in central Florida and known as the “Horse Capital of the World,” Ocala is a diverse metro area with hills, green pastures and horse farms surrounding the urban city center. Ocala is home to Silver Springs State Park, one of the largest springs in the U.S. Park visitors come to ride the famous glass-bottom boats and enjoy the surrounding wildlife. Ocala is also an affordable place to live as the median sales price for a single-family home sits below the national average. Ocala has a property crime total of 2,921 in 2020 and a murder rate of 1.1 per 100,000 residents.

9. Daytona Beach, Florida

Best Places 2022-2023 Rank: 68

Metro Population: 658,961

Median Home Price: $339,137

Average Annual Salary: $43,100

Located in Central Florida along the Atlantic coast, Daytona Beach is a popular vacation destination for tourists during the colder winter months. Daytona Beach is also known for the Daytona International Speedway, which attracts NASCAR fans nationwide. Residents and tourists can also visit museums, theaters, performing arts centers, antique markets, restaurants, malls and colleges within the metro area. Daytona Beach ranks No. 3 in Best Places to Retire and has a low crime rate compared with the rest of the country with a murder rate of 2.1 per 100,000 residents and a property crime total of 5,028.

8. Worcester, Massachusetts

Best Places 2022-2023 Rank: 69

Metro Population: 943,312

Median Home Price: $419,241

Average Annual Salary: $59,400

About an hour’s drive west of Boston, Worcester has unique neighborhoods and a metro area known for its restaurants, concert and theater venues and the Worcester Art Museum. Worcester is significantly more affordable than nearby coastal communities, although housing prices are still higher than the national median. Worcester is considered a safe place to live with crime rates sitting below the national average, earning the city the No. 8 spot on the Safest Places to Live list. Worcester has a murder rate of 0.8 per 100,000 people and a violent crime total of 1,714 for 2020.

7. Sarasota, Florida

Best Places 2022-2023 Rank: 9

Metro Population: 821,613

Median Home Price: $387,630

Average Annual Salary: $48,180

Ranking No. 1 in Best Places to Retire, Sarasota is a charming coastal city with a lively arts scene, thriving restaurant culture and a beachy atmosphere. While Sarasota is home to a large number of retirees, more young professionals are starting to move into the area. Sarasota ranks seventh in the Safest Places to Live list with a murder rate of 1.2 per 100,000 residents.

6. Tampa, Florida

Best Places 2022-2023 Rank: 39

Metro Population: 3,152,928

Median Home Price: $369,299

Average Annual Salary: $51,770

Tampa is located within the Tampa Bay metro area and within close proximity to St. Petersburg and Clearwater. The cost of living in the Tampa Bay area is similar to the national average; however, the housing market has become increasingly competitive over the past several years. Most residents are from other areas of the U.S., moving to the region for its weather, recreational activities, job opportunities and retirement communities. Despite its population density, Tampa has a low murder rate — 1.8 per 100,000 residents in 2020.

5. Lakeland, Florida

Best Places 2022-2023 Rank: 113

Metro Population: 705,735

Median Home Price: $304,274

Average Annual Salary: $45,430

Named after its 38 surrounding lakes, Lakeland is a small metro area located between Tampa and Orlando. Lakeland has a small-town feel and is known for old history and natural beauty. About one-fifth of the population is over the age of 65, but the metro area is largely comprised of couples and families. Lakeland ranks 5th in the Safest Places to Live and has a murder rate of 2.2 per 100,000 people and a property crime total of 4,793.

4. Portland, Maine

Best Places 2022-2023 Rank: 8

Metro Population: 536,314

Median Home Price: $310,300

Average Annual Salary: $55,790

If you enjoy the outdoors, then Portland may be the place for you. Portland is Maine’s largest metro area with residents enjoying snowshoeing and cross-country skiing during the winter months and fishing and sailing during the summer. Portland is also well-known for its fresh seafood with oyster bars, foraged foods and traditional lobster rolls among staple menu items. The city’s housing costs have risen substantially over the last couple of years, contributing to the area’s growing homeless population. Regardless of Portland’s affordability issues, it ranks 4th in the Safest Places to Live list with no murders in 2020 and a violent crime total of just 450.

3. Fort Myers, Florida

Best Places 2022-2023 Rank: 100

Metro Population: 756,570

Median Home Price: $405,336

Average Annual Salary: $47,340

Fort Myers, also known as the “City of Palms,” is a rapidly growing city located on Florida’s Gulf Coast between Tampa and Miami. Previously known as a retirement area, the region has grown more diverse and offers activities like boating, fishing, hiking, biking, tennis, pickleball and golf. Fort Myers’ population grew by nearly 40% between 2010 to 2020, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, and sits at No. 4 in Fastest-Growing Places. Fort Myers has a low murder rate of 1.9 per 100,000 people and a property crime total of 4,126.

2. Port St. Lucie

Best Places 2022-2023 Rank: 78

Metro Population: 481,334

Median Home Price: $233,133

Average Annual Salary: $46,670

Located along Florida’s Treasure Coast, Port St. Lucie has a laid-back atmosphere with clean streets and quiet neighborhoods. It ranks 8th on the Best Places to Retire list, and while more people are choosing to live in Port St. Lucie, the cost of living has started to rise. Port St. Lucie takes spot No. 2 on the Safest Places to Live list with a violent crime total of 550 and a property crime total of 2,687.

1. Naples, Florida

Best Places 2022-2023 Rank: 12

Metro Population: 379,345

Median Home Price: $345,000

Average Annual Salary: $50,040

Naples is located north of Marco Island and south of Fort Myers and Cape Coral. Naples and Marco Island are popular retirement areas for the wealthy and hotspots for seasonal residents who migrate to the area during the winter months. Living by the coast comes with a higher cost of living and higher property values. Not only does Naples rank first in the Safest Places to Live list with a murder rate of 0.5 per 100,000 residents, but it also comes in at No. 2 in Best Places to Retire and No. 4 in Best Places to Live for Quality of Life.

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

— Naples, Florida.

— Port St. Lucie, Florida.

— Fort Myers, Florida.

— Portland, Maine.

— Lakeland, Florida.

— Tampa, Florida.

— Sarasota, Florida.

— Worcester, Massachusetts.

— Daytona Beach, Florida.

— Ocala, Florida.

See full rankings.

More from U.S. News

The 25 Most Desirable Places to Live in the U.S. in 2022-2023

The 25 Fastest-Growing Places in the U.S.

The 25 Best Places to Find a Job in the U.S. in 2019

The 25 Safest Places to Live in the U.S. in 2019 originally appeared on usnews.com

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