The 33 Safest Cities to Raise Your Family
Determining the Nation’s Safest Cities for Families
To compile our list of the “Safest Cities to Raise a Family”, we reviewed crime statistics put out by the FBI, as well as the number of sex offenders in the area and school ratings. Additionally, we considered the number of unique and interesting child-friendly programs a city offered. This research gave us many great communities to choose from, allowing us to evaluate which is the absolute best for raising a family. Due to the high number of cities that we found in our results, we have limited our cities to only those with a population of over 100,00 residents.
Take a look and see if your city made the list. Let us know what you think in the comments below.
1) Amherst Town, NY
Over the last two decades, the town of Amherst has consistently ranked as one of the top 5, if not #1, safest city in the nation, including the top spot in 2014. That is due to the emphasis it puts on its youth. There are many youth oriented community programs such as Amherst Youth Board, Youth Engaged in Service (YES) and Rachel’s Challenge, a national bullying prevention initiative. Programs like these, along with the 5th lowest per resident sex offender population and its school districts #1 ranking for Western NY has Amherst rated our #1 Safest city to raise a family in.
2) Naperville, IL
The city of Naperville has been noted for its family friendly atmosphere, being named as one of the top five “Kid-Friendliest” cites over the last 20 years per Zero Population Growth. One reason for this is that it has the lowest violent crime rate in the country. But Naperville goes beyond just addressing violent crime. Their dedication to addressing traffic safety concerns was recognized when its Traffic Safety Initiatives were ranked No. 1 by the International Association of Chiefs of Police worldwide. Furthermore, the education system has employed the Digital Learning Initiative, providing a method to blend traditional, high-functioning classrooms with personalized, technology-rich digital classrooms, making Naperville an attractive place to raise young kids.
3) Cary, NC
The Cary community received one of our top crime ratings. Despite its growing population, it has about 1/8 of the crime of nearby Charlotte. Outdoor recreation is something that its residents take full advantage of, earning Cary recognition as one of North Carolina's Fit Communities and being designated one of the fourteen recipients of the first Bicycle-Friendly Community awards for "providing safe accommodation and facilities for bicyclists and encouraging residents to bike for transportation and recreation”. Cary host youth activities such as “Princess Picnic” and “Sk8-Cary.
4) Edison Township, NJ
Edison township, named after the famous inventor presents many appealing qualities to families. There is the namesake’s “invention factory”, where he devised over 400 patents. You can take your kids to one of the many Plays-in-the-Park, a program for the city to allow the theater to be more accessible to everyone. It’s easy to see why Edison was named as one of America’s Best Places to Live by Money Magazine.
5) Irvine, CA
The city of Irvine, located in California’s beautiful Orange County, has one of the nation’s lowest rates of violent crime. This, along with low rates of property crimes and theft make it one of the safest places to raise your family. It is home to 35 schools in its highly-rated Irvine Unified School District. This city has multiple university campus, giving it an energetic community. When looking for fun and activities, you may go to one of over 60 parks and 3 libraries. Or you could take the family to the Irvine Spectrum to enjoy some shopping and entertainment.
6) Woodbridge Township, NJ
New Jersey’s Township of Woodbridge has a lot to offer its residents beyond its low crime rates. There is the Woodbridge Community Center that has such activities as swimming, hockey, mini golf and even a fitness center. The Evergreen Youth Center gives its middle school students a drug-free, fun environment to socialize. These plus New Jersey’s great educational system make it a choice locale for a family.
7) Broken Arrow, OK
With low crime rates and a sparse population of sex offenders, its unmistakable to see why Broken Arrow was found to be the Safest City in Oklahoma. Not only that, Family Circle magazine had a feature on Broken Arrow in it list of the top 10 best towns for families in 2008. You can go to the Rose district which gives Broken Arrow a centrally located place entertainment and relaxation.
8) Murrieta, CA
When looking for a great place to raise your kids, you will find few places as committed to their youth as Murrieta. Voted the 2009 second safest city, as well as annually being declared the safest city in Riverside County, this community goes above and beyond when it comes to taking care of families. Its Moreno Valley Unified School District received the title 2015 Honor Roll district from the state of California. Three of its high schools have been named to “America’s Best High Schools” by U.S. News & World Report. Beyond school, it offers its residents a 6,000 square-foot facility dedicated to its youth, displaying its devotion to bettering their lives.
9) Sunnyvale, CA
Sunnyvale has consistently ranked as one of the safest ten cities (for cities of similar size) in the United States according to the FBI's crime reports. It’s no wonder that Forbe’s ranked it 7th when it put out its 2009 lost for America’s safest cities. Residents enjoy Sunnyvale’s beautiful, clean suburban setting, efficient, high-quality city services, quality schools and 18 prize-winning parks. The city gives its families a place that they feel support and empowered in the Columbia Neighborhood center, a center in which the children of the community will develop the life skills necessary to be successful in school and beyond.
10) Gilbert, AZ
The first place to check out when looking at Gilbert is the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch. This place offers a ton of fun and adventures to families looking to active. There they many exciting amenities, including three overnight campsites, a floating board walk and even a “dinosaur digs” section. Despite being the most populous incorporated town in the United States, Gilbert has maintained its miniscule crime rate, emphasizing its citizens safety.
11) Thousand Oaks, CA
For Thousand Oaks, community safety is a two-way street that works best with engagement and empowerment. Ranked the fourth-safest among cities with a population greater than 100,000 in the United States by the FBI's 2013 Uniform Crime Reports, Thousand Oaks achieves this result through a partnership between the community and law enforcement, with programs such as National Night Out or Citizens Academy. Additionally, the library consistently ranks as one of the best public libraries in California. For families of teenagers, there is the Alex Fiore Thousand Oaks Teen Center, where they can participate in any of the sports, music, art and computer programs.
12) Glendale, CA
Having over 200,000 residents means Glendale will need to provide of options for its inhabitants to find activities. One avenue they could chose is one of the cities nearly 50 public parks which offer scenic trails and family fun. It’s much easier to focus on being more active with your family when you do not have to worry about their safety, which is certainly the case in Glendale. For instance, in 2014 real estate company Movoto used FBI data crime data from 2013 to conduct a study of 100 U.S. cities with populations between 126,047 and 210,309 residents and concluded that Glendale was the safest mid-sized city in America. For these reasons Glendale is our 12th safest city to raise a family.
13) Stamford, CT
Stamford takes its public’s safety very seriously. They have a very low rate of property crime. And there is the fact that Connecticut has one of the United States lowest rates of Sex Offender populations. The city provides its residents with an opportunity to learn emergency training for themselves but volunteering to be on the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Combine the focus of safety with Stamford Downtown, which offers a broad array of shops, restaurants, services, arts, education and events, it is understandable why we rate Stamford as one of the safest cities to raise your family.
14) Temecula, CA
Temecula is a prominent tourist destination, with many events and locales such as Temecula Valley Wine Country, the Temecula Valley Polo Club, the Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival, the Temecula Valley International Film Festival, and resort accommodations attracting a significant number of tourists which appreciably contributes to the city's economic profile. This influx of economic growth has allowed the city to have the resources to focus on safety and education. It has one of the lowest violent crime rates nationally. The schools of the Temecula Valley Unified School District (TVUSD) are routinely ranked as having the highest Academic Performance Indices within Riverside County. Great Oak High School, Chaparral High, and Temecula Valley High have all earned silver medals in the U.S. News Best High Schools rankings awarded by U.S. News & World Report.
15) Sandy Springs, GA
This suburban city north of Atlanta has possesses one of this country’s lowest violent crime rates. The Sandy Springs police department hosts many community safety training opportunities, for those families that wish to get involved. If outdoor fun is your interest, there are sixteen parks and green spaces which covers over 950 acres. Here you will find More than 300 restaurants, live music, theater and comedy clubs.
16) Santa Clarita, CA
The leadership of Santa Clarita has made it a priority to offer facilities and programs to its residents looking for recreation. There are numerous youth-oriented activities to decide from, giving children diversions that will keep them away from any potential crime or gang activity. The city has created a large number of neighborhood parks, maintaining a comprehensive recreation program. This commitment to kids is one of the reason we have ranked Santa Clarita our 16th best city to raise a family.
17) Frisco, TX
Having the 5th lowest rate of violent crime in the United States makes Frisco an excellent choice for a family. Here you will find fun for the whole family, whether you want to visit the sculpture garden or check out the museum district. You will find plenty of attractions in this unique setting, such as making your way to iFLY, an indoor skydiving experience. There is plenty of options in this safe and affordable city to make this your residence of choice.
18) Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad’s seemingly endless coastline and year-round temperate climate make it easy to always find entertaining activities for your family. Take your pick of fun at the beach, making memories walking Carlsbad’s extensive trail system or experiencing the excitement of LEGOLAND, there is something for everyone’s taste. Here you will also find highly rated schools and a Police coordinated neighborhood watch program, making Carlsbad one of the safest cities to raise a family.
19) Bellevue, WA
With the lowest crime rate in the state, it’s no wonder why Bellevue is an attractive place to raise you children. It offers highly rated school system, punctuated in 2013 when Bellevue, Interlake, International, Newport and Sammamish High Schools were named to Newsweek magazine's list of "America's Best High Schools", The Washington Post's list of "America's Most Challenging High Schools" and U.S. News & World Report's "Best High Schools". Bellevue is worth considering when looking for the best place to raise your family.
20) Torrance, CA
The city of Torrance, known for its low crime rates, consistently ranks among the safest cities in LA County. It is fitting that the city’s motto is “a balanced city” given the wide range of ways it engage with its community. In fact, Torrance is the birthplace of the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO). Here you will find over 30 parks, including the Madrona Marsh Wildlife Preserve & Nature Center, a rare Southern California wetlands habitat. Your family will be able to find your type of adventure in Torrance.
21) Scottsdale, AZ
Located just outside the greater Phoenix area, Scottsdale presents a great deal of reasons to live there. It has a trolley system giving its residents a quaint way to travel around the area. There is a low rate of property crime, which will add to the feeling of security if you decide to move there. In addition to its many parks and trails, Scottsdale has multiple aquatics centers. There are many other high quality features offered here, too many to name.
22) Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Rancho Cucamonga‘s advantageous location and host of public amenities have earned it numerous distinctions. Notably, it was ranked 42nd in Money Magazine’s "Best Places to Live" list in 2006. All of the city's high schools earned the Silver distinction in a 2015 ranking of the nation's high schools by U.S. News & World Report. According to the FBI statistics, Rancho Cucamonga ranks as the 19th best nationally for violent crimes committed. Additionally, it offers many locations to take you family from parks, to trails to the Victoria Gardens, which is why we have ranked Rancho Cucamonga as the 22nd safest city to raise your family.
23) Elgin, IL
The Elgin Police Department works to protect and serve residents both on the city streets and inside their homes. The city ranks very well when looking at both violent crime and property crime. Illinois ranks well for low sex offender populations. Elgin has 140 Neighborhood Watch Groups and offers its citizens opportunities to engage with law enforcement with its Citizens Academy and CERT programs. This preparation and dedication contributes to keeping Elgin a safe place for your family.
24) Huntington Beach, CA
Huntington Beach is a seaside city in Southern California’s Orange Count. Awarded the "Best City to Live in Orange County" by the readers of the Orange County Register, this city offers residents a wonderful community with picturesque weather, an excellent educational system, numerous parks, and exemplary health care. The Police Department is staffed with well-trained officers, having its own full-service crime laboratory which allows for quick processing and evidence analysis. Huntington Beach is regularly included among the 15 safest communities in the United States, according to FBI statistics, and ranked 24th safest city for your family by us.
25) Provo, UT
Provo is the third-largest city in Utah, yet our highest rated city in the state. The metro area often ranks near the top of national polls regarding desirable places to live, work and play. In 2013, Forbes ranked Provo the No. 2 city on its list of Best Places for Business and Careers. Provo was ranked first for community optimism (2012) first for volunteerism (2008), and first in health/well-being (2014). In 2015, Provo was cited among the "Best Small and Medium-Size Cities for Jobs” by Forbes. With a thriving community, this makes a great place to bring up a family.
26) Virginia Beach, VA
Virginia Beach is a safe place to live, work, visit and raise a family. According to FBI statistics, Virginia Beach has one of the lowest crime rates in the nation for a city of its size. This achievement is the result of a proactive approach to law enforcement and crime prevention on the part of its first responders and community. Along with feeling safe and secure, you will find that Virginia Beach has 210 city parks, encompassing over 4,000 acres for your family to have fun and adventures.
27) Fremont, CA
Fremont is positioned in the southeast section of the San Francisco Bay Area in the East Bay region. If you are looking to get away from concrete and building, Fremont is a place that will catch your eye, having been named a Tree City USA since 1996. With its moderate climate and its proximity to major universities, shopping areas, recreation and cultural activities, Fremont captures metropolitan living while still giving its residents a small town communal feel.
28) Peoria, AZ
Peoria has long been one of the most desirable locations in the Grand Canyon State. It is ideally located for the sport and recreation enthusiast. Each spring, the Peoria Sports Complex becomes the spring training home to the San Diego Padres and the Seattle Mariners. There are four spring training sites within 10-miles of Peoria, so catching a Cactus League Spring Training game is easy. In addition to these recreational options, the city of Peoria offers its citizens community outreach programs such as G.A.I.N. (Getting Arizonans Involved in Neighborhoods). The event is designed to bring all of the Peoria community together promoting its safe and family friendly city.
29) McAllen, TX
Right on the Rio Grande at the southern tip of Texas is McAllen Texas. This city sports one of the nation’s lowest crime rates, particularly violent crime. The is the result of the police departments commitment to community relations, working in conjunction with the city government to setup the McAllen 311 system, an app that allows its citizens to receive immediate communications regarding public safety and other concerns.
30) Chandler, AZ
Chandler, a suburb of Phoenix, comes in a number 30 on our list with a low rate of crime and small population of sex offenders. In this town, you will find many civic sponsored programs for its youth, such as Playtopia, a free, 2.5-acre playground and picnic section of the City’s Tumbleweed Park. It features several play zones thematically based on Chandler’s heritage. This is an ideal place for boundless imaginative play, attracting families from all over.
31) Alexandria, VA
This independent city Alexandria in the Commonwealth of Virginia is full of rich history. There are many landmarks to visit like the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. You will also find a top notch library system with four separate locations. After that, you could visit one of its 70 parks, which cover nearly 1,000 acres. In this very safe city, you and your family will have a great time.
32) Plano, TX
Few cities across the country are as highly decorated in terms of awards as Plano Texas. Whether we are talking about ranking the "Safest City in America" for cities with populations over 250,000 by Forbes in 2010 and 2011 or being named the 3rd best city for families by WalletHub in 2016 or even being named 2016 14th safest city in America by Niche.com, Plano has received many deserved accolades. The cities, safeness is not the only driving force behind its recognition as evident by its schools, ranked #1 - North Central Plano, #2 - West Plano and #8 – East Plano, for best schools in “Best Neighborhoods in D-FW for 2016”. We echo the praise Plano has received, ranking them our 32nd best city to raise a family in.
33) Cambridge, MA
Out of all the cities in the state of Massachusetts, we have rated Cambridge the best and safest to raise your family. In addition to its low property crime rates and small population of sex offenders, this city has c=gone above and beyond with its efforts to protect its public. It has become the first city within the state to make available to its residents a new emergency communication & family connection app named RAPIDSOS. This type of forward thinking goes to show why Kendall Square in Cambridge has been called "the most innovative square mile on the planet", in reference to the large number of entrepreneurial start-ups and innovations from within the area since 2010.