Special Report

The Safest Cities in America

10. Sunnyvale, California
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 97
> Population: 148,160
> 2013 murders: 4 (87th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 7.3% (14th lowest)
> Pct. of adults with high school degree: 92.1% (51st highest)

There were just 97 violent crimes committed per 100,000 people in Sunnyvale, the 10th lowest rate among large U.S. cities, and considerably lower than the national rate of 368 per 100,000 people. Robberies and aggravated assaults accounted for the bulk of the city’s violent crimes, and there were just four documented murder cases last year. Like in other large cities, safety is often accompanied by financial well-being. A typical household in Sunnyvale earned nearly $99,000 last year, more than in all but four other large cities. Sunnyvale residents were also among the least likely to live in poverty, with a poverty rate of just 7.3%. As is common among wealthier populations, Sunnyvale adults are well-educated. Nearly 60% of adults 25 and older had at least a bachelor’s degree as of last year, one of the highest attainment rates nationwide.

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9. Glendale, California
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 93
> Population: 195,366
> 2013 murders: 1 (tied-19th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 17.8% (120th lowest)
> Pct. of adults with high school degree: 83.8% (102nd lowest)

Glendale is a suburb of Los Angeles and one of the safest cities in both California and the nation. Last year, just one murder was recorded in the city. Additionally, there were just 97 incidents of aggravated assault, or about 50 per 100,000 residents, which was one of the lowest rates in the United States. By comparison, nationwide there were more than four times the number of assaults for every 100,000 people. Also impressive, Glendale has been able to keep crime rates low despite lacking as wealthy residents as in many other extremely safe cities. The median household income in Glendale last year was $50,172, lower than the national median of $52,250.

8. Amherst, New York
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 90
> Population: 118,296
> 2013 murders: 1 (tied-9th lowest)
> Poverty rate: N/A
> Pct. of adults with high school degree: N/A

After falling between 2010 and 2012, the violent crime rate in Amherst increased in 2013 — from 75 reported incidents per 100,000 residents in 2012 to 90 per 100,000 residents last year. This was the exception among the safest U.S. cities, all of which reported declining crime rates in 2013. Despite the increase, the city, located just outside of Buffalo, is still quite safe. There was only one murder recorded in Amherst last year, and property crimes were also very rare. There were 27 motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 people in Amherst last year, lower than in every city except for Naperville, Illinois. Burglary was also extremely uncommon in the area. Just 172 burglaries were reported per 100,000 residents last year, the fourth lowest rate among large U.S. cities and substantially lower than the national rate of 610 burglaries per 100,000 Americans.