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 nearly every state, there is at least one city with a violent crime rate that is far below the national average.
Using data from the FBI’s 2020 Uniform Crime Report, 24/7 Wall St. identified the safest city in every state. Cities are ranked by the violent crime rate — specifically, the number of violent crimes reported for every 100,000 residents. Only cities with populations of at least 25,000 were considered.
It is important to note that in four states — Alabama, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Vermont — there is only one city with available data. In each of these cases, which are noted, the city listed ranks as the safest in the state by default only. In Hawaii, there are no eligible cities with available crime data.
Though each of the cities on this list ranks as the safest in its state, violent crime rates in these cities vary considerably, from as low as 11 incidents per 100,000 people to as high as 857 per 100,000. Still, violent crime rates in nearly every city on this list are lower than the rate across the state as a whole.
Potential explanations for lower levels of violence in these places are varied, though one factor may be relative financial security in these cities, 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 cities on this list, the share of residents living on poverty-level income is lower than the statewide poverty rate. Here is a look at the city hit hardest by extreme poverty in every state.