Special Report

America's Safest Metro Areas

The U.S. violent crime rate — an annual, population-adjusted measure of cases of rаpe, robbery, aggravated assault, and homicide — climbed by 5% in 2020. The increase was driven by a rise in aggravated assault and, most notably, a historic 29% surge in homicides that made 2020 the deadliest year in the United States since the mid-1990s.

Despite rising violence nationwide — and the largest single-year increase in homicides on record — many parts of the country remain relatively safe. In some major U.S. cities, violent crime rates are less than half the national rate. 

Using data from the FBI’s 2020 Uniform Crime Report, 24/7 Wall St. identified America’s 50 safest metro areas. Metropolitan areas are ranked by the violent crime rate — specifically, the number of violent crimes reported for every 100,000 residents. 

Among the metro areas on this list, violent crime rates range from 212 incidents per 100,000 people to 58 per 100,000. Meanwhile, the national violent crime rate stands at 399 per 100,000 people. The metro areas on this list span the country, though Wisconsin is home to seven, more than any other state, followed by Virginia and Washington, which are each home to five. 

Potential explanations for lower levels of violence in these places are varied, though one may be relative financial security, as low-income communities in the U.S. are disproportionately burdened by crime. 

One study found that individuals with family incomes of less than $15,000 annually are three times more likely to be victimized by crime than those with family incomes of $75,000 or more. In most metro areas on this list, the share of residents living on poverty-level income is lower than the 12.3% national poverty rate. Here is a look at the city hit hardest by extreme poverty in every state.

Click here to see America’s safest metro areas
Click here to read our detailed methodology