Massachusetts’s 20 Safest Cities of 2022

SW_safest-cities_Massachusetts_badge

The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the eighth annual Safest Cities report.

Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Massachusetts for 2022

See if your city made the full list.

Our 2022 State of Safety survey found that Massachusetts residents’ concern about their safety matches the national average. This is interesting since violent crime and property crime rates are far below national averages and have even dropped year over year.

In this report

2022 Massachusetts crime rates

Massachusetts' crime rates continued to drop year over year. Massachusetts also consistently sees lower violent crime and property crime rates compared to the rest of the country.

Massachusetts’ violent crime rate this reporting year is 3.1 per 1,000 people (US 4.0), with a property crime rate of 10.5 (US 19.6).

Bar chart of violent and property crime rates per 1,000 people where the national average is 4.0 violent crimes per 1,000 people and 19.6 property crimes per 1,000 people.

Image: SafeWise

Level of concern and experience with crime in Massachusetts

Out of the Massachusetts residents we surveyed, 47% are highly concerned about safety every day, which is on par with the national average. Their biggest concern? Package theft.

As it turns out, 21% of Massachusetts respondents to our State of Safety survey had experience with package theft this reporting year—just above the national average of 20%.

Respondents reported very few experiences with violent crime, property crime, and gun violence—lower than both national averages and the rest of the New England region.

Massachusetts residents reported fewer experiences with gun violence, from 4% to 1% last year. Experiences with property crime fell from 13% to 11% year over year. Experiences with violent crime dropped from 8% to 5% year over year.

Pictogram showing the percentage of state residents that are concerned about their safety on a daily basis, as well as which type of crime they are concerned about the most, and which crimes they have experienced within the past 12 months. Crimes include violent crime, property crime, package theft and gun violence.

Image: SafeWise. Past 12 months=12 months prior to survey.

Crime concerns in Massachusetts

We asked Massachusetts residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if Massachusetts residents are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.

Bar chart showing percentages of how concerned state residents are about crime compared to the national averages for violent crime, property crime, package theft and gun violence.

Image: SafeWise

View the complete 2022 State of Safety report.

Violent crime in Massachusetts: Fear vs. reality

Most residents report feeling safe in The Bay State and had fewer personal experiences with violent crime and gun violence in the last year. Violent crime dropped 6% overall since last year.

  • 65% of Massachusettsans report feeling safe in their state compared to 55% of Americans.
  • There was a slight year-over-year decline in violent crime, from 3.3 incidents per 1,000 people to 3.1.
  • Just 5% of survey respondents reported having personal experiences with violent crime in the last year—3 percentage points lower than the previous year.
  • Massachusetts is 1 of just 14 states to see a drop in violent crime this reporting year.
  • Not a single murder was reported among the 20 safest cities.
  • Massachusetts has the highest number of violent crimes in the New England regional division (3.1 per 1,000), but its rate is still well below the US average (4.0).
  • 19% of survey participants use some form of personal protection like pepper spray—well below the national average of 34%.
  • 46% of Massachusetts residents say their personal safety has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic compared to 44% of Americans.

Attitudes about gun violence in Massachusetts

Overall, gun safety is a big concern for The Bay State, though mass shootings are down from the year before.

  • 60% of those we surveyed named gun violence their top safety concern (US 53%).
  • 32% are most worried about a gun violence incident happening to them (US 38%).
  • This reporting year, Massachusetts mass shootings fell by 50% (from 8 to 4). Country-wide, there were 691 mass shootings.
Line graph of violent and property crime rates over the past three years in the state compared to national crime rates per 1,000 residents for violent crime, property crime, package theft and gun violence.

Image: SafeWise

Property crime in Massachusetts: Fear vs. reality

Massachusetts residents currently enjoy the lowest property crime rate in the New England region. The property crime rate dropped 11% from last year and came in at 10.5 property crimes per 1,000 residents.

  • Property crime rates dropped from 11.8 per 1,000 to 10.5.
  • 42% of survey respondents use some form of property protection—lower than most Americans (60%).
  • All safest cities reported fewer than 4 property crimes per 1,000 residents, with the safest cities property crime average landing at a low 2.4.
  • The top form of property protection among Massachusetts residents this year is a home security system with 24% of residents using them.
  • 27% of Bay Staters say the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the security of their property, compared to 29% nationally.

A closer look at the safest cities in Massachusetts

For the purposes of this report, the terms “dangerous” and “safest” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.

  • Clinton, Holden, Hanover, and Charlton are new to our list this year. Wayland, our new number 1, is also new to the list.
  • None of the safest cities reported murders, and 9 reported 0 robberies.
  • Hanover jumped 27 spots to land at 8 this year.
  • Wayland reported 0 property crimes, which is very unusual.
  • 3 of the safest cities (Wayland, Clinton, and Hopkinton) reported 0 burglaries.
  • Burglaries in the safest cities dropped from 198 the year before to 142 this year.
Map of state with markers and labels highlighting the cities with the lowest crime rates.

Image: SafeWise

The 10 safest cities in Massachusetts

VC=Violent crime
PC=Property crime

Wayland Massachusetts
#1
Wayland
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    13,859
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $185,375
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.1, 0.0, 0.1
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.0, 0.1, 0.1
Franklin, MA map
#2
Franklin
(
-1
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    34,281
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $122,607
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.2, 0.1, 0.2
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.9, 1.2, 2.6
Clinton, Massachusetts
#3
Clinton
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    13,967
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $67,634
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.4, 0.3, 0.7
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.6, 1.0, 1.3
Holden, Massachusetts
#4
Holden
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    19,412
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $108,964
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.3, N/A, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    1.1, N/A, N/A
Hopkinton, MA map
#5
Hopkinton
(
-3
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    18,806
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $157,353
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.3, 0.0, 0.1
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    1.5, 1.6, 1.6
Westford, MA map
#6
Westford
(
-1
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    25,011
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $144,917
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.2, 0.4, 0.5
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    2.4, 2.2, 2.6
Sharon, MA map
#7
Sharon
(
-0-
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    19,011
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $141,423
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.4, 0.5, 0.7
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    1.8, 2.5, 2.8
Hanover, Massachusetts
#8
Hanover
(
+27
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    15,143
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $127,981
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.1, 0.2, 0.1
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    3.3, 8.4, 8.3
Shrewsbury, MA map
#9
Shrewsbury
(
-6
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    38,656
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $104,766
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.1, 0.1, 0.1
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    3.6, 3.3, 3.0
Duxbury, MA map
#10
Duxbury
(
+5
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    16,561
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $128,173
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.7, 0.6, 0.4
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    2.1, 3.6, 5.7
Grafton, MA map
#11
Grafton
(
+3
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    18,908
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $106,250
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.5, 0.8, 1.1
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    2.6, 2.4, 3.2
Scituate, MA map
#12
Scituate
(
+6
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    19,655
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $128,864
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.6, 0.7, 0.8
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    2.5, 3.3, 3.4
Lexington, MA map
#13
Lexington
(
-7
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    33,138
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $186,201
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.4, 0.5, 0.2
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    3.4, 2.3, 3.3
Milton, MA map
#14
Milton
(
-10
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    27,600
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $133,718
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.3, 0.4, 0.4
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    3.8, 2.2, 2.2
Marshfield, Massachusetts
#15
Marshfield
(
+11
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    26,936
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $102,560
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.7, 1.2, 1.3
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    2.5, 2.8, 3.2
Charlton, Massachusetts
#16
Charlton
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    13,720
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $101,111
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.5, 0.6, 1.0
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    3.2, 4.0, 6.4
Arlington, Massachusetts
#17
Arlington
(
+4
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    45,582
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $108,389
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.6, 0.7, 0.7
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    3.0, 3.7, 4.2
Wellesley, MA map
#18
Wellesley
(
-9
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    28,687
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $197,132
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.3, 0.2, 0.4
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    3.8, 4.0, 4.2
North Reading, Massachusetts
#19
North Reading
(
+9
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    15,886
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $128,651
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.7, 1.0, 1.0
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    2.8, 3.8, 2.8
Pembroke, Massachusetts Map
#20
Pembroke
(
+3
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    19,211
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $103,905
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.8, 0.7, 0.8
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    3.1, 4.4, 4.7

How we determined the safest cities

Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.

How to make a safe home anywhere

Whether your city made our list or not, we encourage everyone to be proactive about home security. One of the best ways to stop a burglary before it happens is to add a home security system.

Light Bulb
Get a home security system

Learn more about your home security options—and find out which companies we recommend for every budget and lifestyle in our roundup of the Best Home Security Systems.

Find security and safety resources in your area

Didn't find your city in the top 20?

We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, based on the state’s median population. See how the remaining cities ranked in the list below.

NOTE: If you don’t see your city on the list, it means that it was below the population threshold or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI in 2020.

2022 Rank
City
Population
2022 VC per 1,000Icon Tooltip  Dark
2022 PC per 1,000Icon Tooltip  Dark
2021 Rank
21Reading25,4170.44.310
22Holliston14,9860.73.317
23Sudbury19,7780.73.419
24Winchester22,8270.54.311
25Northborough15,1050.54.220
26East Bridgewater15,1030.83.443
27Needham31,5860.83.713
28Ipswich14,0970.64.533
29North Andover31,3410.93.424
30Billerica43,4730.84.116
31Hudson19,8391.13.5N/A
32Bedford14,1350.84.58
33Newton88,2810.55.529
34Sandwich20,0081.23.453
35Acton23,7280.75.431
36Amherst40,0611.52.659
37Melrose27,9750.94.740
38Ashland17,8421.04.534
39Westport16,0030.94.947
40Beverly42,2291.43.936
41Amesbury17,5781.53.755
42Marblehead20,5250.76.138
43Whitman15,8141.24.969
44Belmont26,1360.67.025
45Concord18,9520.76.630
46Newburyport18,2881.35.045
47Stoneham24,3290.86.556
48Longmeadow15,6400.38.239
49Wakefield27,1141.15.941
50Watertown36,2010.97.044
51Rockland18,6522.52.266
52Milford29,0661.45.949
53Waltham62,3391.46.261
54Swansea16,8541.26.867
55Belchertown15,1481.65.627
56Gloucester30,4452.43.254
57Wilmington23,4371.36.642
58Northbridge16,6992.14.170
59Easton25,1761.27.151
60Millbury13,9491.46.5N/A
61Kingston14,4811.56.4N/A
62Westwood16,5781.08.152
63Foxborough18,5391.56.773
64Norwood29,7911.27.757
65Chelmsford35,3690.98.565
66Hingham25,8161.95.450
67Dedham25,2170.311.058
68Dracut31,7081.08.632
69Winthrop18,5611.57.463
70Walpole25,2731.38.383
71Methuen50,8101.28.784
72East Longmeadow16,1810.710.471
73Mashpee14,1802.16.088
74Swampscott15,3911.38.937
75Somerset18,0241.77.672
76Burlington28,9601.58.396
77Medford57,1371.39.475
78Westborough19,1381.78.168
79Natick36,2000.910.860
80Abington17,3062.36.464
81Woburn40,1421.39.876
82North Attleboro29,2801.110.779
83Westfield41,0722.07.978
84Raynham14,5121.410.199
85Brookline59,0571.111.448
86Weymouth58,0902.27.687
87Peabody52,9752.28.077
88Uxbridge14,2022.57.1N/A
89Canton24,0153.15.991
90Braintree37,2782.38.782
91Saugus28,3972.58.3102
92Bourne19,6572.29.997
93Wilbraham14,6901.412.589
94Stoughton29,0673.17.481
95Oxford13,9671.612.6N/A
96Somerville81,5521.911.890
97Middleboro26,6063.56.6115
98Tewksbury31,2372.111.093
99Agawam28,5332.310.5105
100Randolph32,0522.79.395
101Taunton57,3384.14.894
102Bellingham17,3312.111.774
103Easthampton15,8041.613.286
104Dartmouth33,9862.112.0104
105Danvers27,5171.912.885
106Auburn16,7361.614.2106
107South Hadley17,6132.312.462
108Plymouth64,1992.911.1103
109Falmouth30,7693.011.1109
110Ludlow21,1713.110.792
111Marlborough39,4983.88.9117
112Malden60,2312.712.5100
113Attleboro45,1813.011.7101
114Yarmouth23,0153.89.4111
115Barnstable44,1694.37.9108
116Wareham23,6193.89.7131
117Quincy94,5193.212.1116
118Lawrence79,9974.58.1128
119Framingham74,6803.511.5113
120Salem43,1542.515.1112
121Dennis13,7603.711.7N/A
122Lynn94,2234.49.7122
123Fairhaven16,0143.712.4110
124Revere52,9303.712.4107
125Seekonk15,9271.818.798
126Lowell110,8763.114.7119
127Haverhill64,0154.710.0124
128Southbridge16,8054.311.4121
129Everett46,7653.914.4123
130Northampton28,4283.216.5120
131Gardner20,6294.512.5118
132Cambridge119,9382.818.3114
133Fitchburg40,4435.514.4125
134Leominster41,5984.816.8126
135Webster16,8766.910.8129
136Chelsea39,9956.214.3130
137New Bedford94,8866.317.7136
138Chicopee54,9185.420.9135
139Boston697,3236.218.7N/A
140Fall River89,1368.711.2133
141Worcester184,8506.320.0132
142Brockton99,1717.616.7137
143Pittsfield41,8658.115.9134
144West Springfield28,4374.730.9138
145Springfield153,0849.724.4139
146Holyoke40,0029.031.1140
Want to know more about crime and safety in your city or state?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter emails to get the latest news and tips to make your life safer.

By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Find the safest cities in each state

Click on the state image or dropdown menu below to check out the safest cities for each state.

Related articles on SafeWise


Sources

FBI: Crime Data Explorer, Accessed March 8, 2022.

US Census Bureau, "Data Explorer," Accessed January 24, 2022.

Best Places, “Find a Place Search Tool,” Accessed January 24, 2022.

SafeWise, “2021 State of Safety survey,” Accessed March 8, 2022.

Gun Violence Archive, “Past Summary Ledgers,” Accessed January 24, 2022.

Gun Violence Archive, “General Methodology,” Accessed March 8, 2022.

Melody Hicks, Ben Stickle, Joshua Harms, American Journal of Criminal Justice, “Assessing the Fear of Package Theft,” January 04, 2021. Accessed March 8, 2022.

For definitions and more on data sources, see our methodology page.

Alina Bradford
Written by
Alina Bradford
Alina has been reviewing the latest tech for more than a decade and has contributed her insights to CNET, CBS, Digital Trends, MTV, Top Ten Reviews, and many others. She specializes in smart home and security technology, working to make gadgets less mystifying one article at a time. In the early 2000s, Alina worked as a volunteer firefighter, earning her first responder certification. Her activities aren’t nearly as dangerous today. Her hobbies include fixing up her 100-year-old house, doing artsy stuff, and going to the lake with her family.

Recent Articles

security system being installed on wall
Best DIY Home Security Systems of 2022
DIY install home security systems are cost-efficient, effective, and easy to install. See which DIY...
safewise's best home security systems
10 Best Home Security Systems of 2022
After hundreds of hours of tests and research, plus a combined 50+ years of experience,...
beautiful mountain river scene at sunrise bc canada
The Best Home Security Systems in Canada
Find the best home alarm system to protect your house. We looked at price, features,...
couple sitting on floor with moving boxes and a dog
2022 Best Home Security Systems for Renters
These renter-friendly home security systems keep your house or apartment safe and require less commitment...