Top 10 Cities for Safe Communities and Healthy Lifestyles

by SafewiseMay 17, 2013

When it’s time to move to a new city, you need to ask several questions. How is the job market? What’s the climate like? Is this a good place to raise a family? And, most importantly, is the city safe? We’ve done some in-depth research to compile a list of the top 10 safest cities in the United States, taking into account factors such as crime rates, pollution, car accidents, and more. If you’re thinking about relocating, the list below compiled by the folks at SafeWise, is for you.


10. Scottsdale, Arizona

If you like warm winters, Scottsdale is the place for you. Just a short drive from Phoenix, Scottsdale has a low number of violent crimes, 61% fewer violent crimes than the Arizona average and 50% lower than the national average. Aside from the low crime rates, Scottsdale citizens love that the city boasts 27 neighborhood parks and about 1,000 acres of parkland. With its low violent crime rates and its family-friendly communities, Scottsdale is considered a great place to live.

9. Seattle, Washington

Seattle is known for more than its great seafood and its distinctive Space Needle that punctuates its skyline. The city also is known for low violent crimes and workplace deaths when compared to the national average. Surprisingly, crime rates in Seattle are much lower than other cities in the state, with a 3.5% decrease in crimes reported since 2010. Additionally, the city reports lower than average child injury rates, perhaps in part due to its high standards for smoke alarms, fire response times, and bike helmet regulations. Seattle also enjoys higher air quality compared to other large cities as noted in America’s Top Eco-Cities.
Seattle from Queen Anne v1

8. Fort Wayne, Indiana

Fort Wayne is a cultural hub for the Midwest with 15 art museums and galleries, two daily newspapers, and a zoo, but the city doesn’t have the crime associated with bigger cities. Fort Wayne reports low violent crime rates, low likelihood of natural disasters, and a low number of car accidents. The city also prides itself on its parks and recreation programs. The city makes a point to create safe environments for children to play near their homes, with over 86 parks and playgrounds.

7. Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Just outside of Denver you’ll find the planned community of Highlands Ranch. Residents love this community because of all the outdoor activities that make it easy to live a healthy and active lifestyle. Here, residents enjoy four state-of-the-art recreation centers, 24 parks, two golf courses, and over 8,000 acres of open space. There’s plenty of housing available as well, ranging from $200,000 to over a million dollars.

6. Honolulu, Hawaii

Hawaii isn’t just for vacationing. Besides having some of the most beautiful beaches and hiking trails in the country, Honolulu is also one of the best cities for your lungs. Honolulu is isolated in the Pacific Ocean, which means it’s safe from long-range transportation of pollution, and it enjoys some of the lowest levels of ozone pollutants and particulates. The city also experiences lots of yearly rainfall, helping to keep the pollution levels low.
Honolulu, HI

5. Duluth, Minnesota

Duluth is a small city in a fairly remote location. With its small size and cold weather, the city has low year-round particle pollution and ozone pollutant levels. Duluth also supports many clean air and environmentally-friendly initiatives, with an EPA-funded program to help reduce pollution. In addition to its clean environment, Duluth is a great place to raise a family, with public schools that spend an average of $688 more per student than the national average.

4. Burlington, Vermont

The entire state of Vermont is peaceful, but Burlington ranks exceptionally low in violent crime per capita and high per capita police officers. In addition to low crime rates, Burlington is rated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as one of the healthiest cities in the United States, with low rates of obesity, diabetes, and other measures of ill health. Most people in Burlington exercise regularly and report to be in good health, and it’s easy to see why in a city that promotes lots of outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, and skiing.

3. Boise, Idaho

You’ll stay safe on the road in Boise. On average, drivers who live in the city only get in a car accident about once every 13.4 years. Compare that to every 4.8 years in the Washington, D.C. area and you’re in good shape in Boise. You can also get a good deal on real estate, and experience clean air and plenty of outdoor activities. Boise is known for excellent air quality, taking into account pollen count, ozone concentration, public smoking laws, and green initiatives. You can breathe easy while you drive with your windows rolled down.

2. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston may have a flair for crime in the movies, but it’s actually a very family-friendly city. Boston has some of the best higher learning institutions in the country, beautiful parks, historical neighborhoods, and a well-planned highway system. Children in the Boston area enjoy free before and after school exercise programs, and Boston is also home to the premier Boston Children’s Hospital, with one of the world’s largest research centers in the United States. The historical background, combined with the educational focus, makes Boston a wonderful place to raise a family.

1. Austin, Texas

A temperate climate and lots of green space makes Austin a great place to live. Families can safely take walks through the city, participate in outdoor festivals, and enjoy the clean air. The city has a relaxed pace and an easy commute, making it easy to balance family and career. Austin is known as the Live Music Capital of the World and takes this title seriously when it comes to kids. The city fosters a creative environment where children can participate in the music scene and festivals, along with the adults. The 6 Reasons to Live in Austin infographic shows even more reasons this city is #1 on our list.
Austin, TX
Any of the cities on the list would be a great place to raise a family or to start a new career with a healthy lifestyle and safe community. When considering a place to live, make sure to research crime rates and statistics, air quality, and outdoor activities. If you have ideas for other cities you think should be on this list, please share in the comments!

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About The Author
Elli is the head of outreach at SafeWise. SafeWise is a community-focused security organization committed to home and family safety and security. Refer to SafeWise’s frequently ask questions about home security for just about every question you have related to security systems, home break-ins, security equipment, and home automation.