The lighter side of real estate

These Are The Safest States To Live In

If you’re looking for safety, we've got the map for you. These are the ten safest states to live in.

Laura Allan

112 articles, 1 comments

Most Stressed States Map

There’s safety to be found in small communities, big cities, and caring neighborhoods in just about every state. You may wonder, though, which state reigns supreme in safety?

That’s what the Movoto Real Estate Blog is here to find out. As you can see on our map, some states are perfect for people seeking out security and peace, while others are a little bit more safety challenged. But which were our top 10? The safest states in the nation were:

1. New Hampshire
2. Idaho
3. Vermont
4. North Dakota
5. Maine
6. Iowa(Tie)
6. South Dakota(Tie)
8. Wyoming
9. Minnesota (Tie)
9. Virginia (Tie)

As you can see, the Eastern states really made a good showing for this list and have solid stats to back up their rankings. What sort of stats, you may ask? We’ll go over that in our next section which examines our methodology.

Most Stressed States Map

How We Created This Map

In order to get these results, we used the 2010 U.S. Census and the 2012 FBI Uniform Crime Report to gather what we deemed relevant safety information. That information included:

  • Murders per 100,000 people
  • Violent Crimes per 100,000 people
  • Property Crime per 100,000 people
  • Total Crime per 100,000 people

All of these were collected over a five-year period, so as to get a more fair and consistent look at crime in each state. Then, we ranked each state in each category, and compiled all the rankings for each state into one big deal score. A Big Deal Score closer to one was considered better. The state with the best Big Deal Score became our safest place and, without a doubt, that state was New Hampshire.

Let’s examine in more depth why each state in our top 10 deserved the title of safest in the nation.

1. New Hampshire: Breathe Easy Today And Sleep Well Tonight

It’s pretty easy to see why New Hampshire took the No. 1 spot. With merely one murder per 100,000 people, that stat earned this state the first place ranking for murders per capita. but the good scores didn’t stop there.

New Hampshire also had the third lowest violent crime and the seventh lowest property crime on our list. All that came out to this state having the fifth lowest total crime overall. So if you’re looking to worry less and sleep like a rock at night, you might be looking for The Granite State.

2. Idaho: You Can Relax, Your Stuff Is Safe

Like our No. 1 state, Idaho offered few murders and low violent crime as well. Ranking fifth for murders and seventh for violent crime, residents here should be able to live their lives without fearing for personal safety.

This home of famous potatoes should also be famous for their property crime, which is the third lowest in the nation. Those rankings mean that Idaho had the third lowest total crime in the nation and earned our No. 2 ranking.

3. Vermont: A Non-Violent Place, Naturally

Our third place state of Vermont had a few really stand out scores. The third lowest murders per 100,000 people and the second lowest violent crime mean that this state is all about loving your neighbor rather than causing them harm. In short, this is a nonviolent state, which we’re sure doesn’t surprise residents at all.

The property crime here was a little higher, only ranking 12th. Still, that’s a very good score and Vermont managed to rank sixth safest for overall crime on our list.

4. North Dakota: Legendary For Safety

Way up north, you’re going to find a state that has a lot of pride as well as few thefts of any sort. To be more clear, North Dakota ranked second safest for property crime, with merely 65,249 crimes of this type total or 1,949 per 100,000 people.

The good marks didn’t stop there. Violent crime was low here as well, ranking ninth. In fact, North Dakota has the second lowest total crime on our list, and didn’t finish higher simply because the murders per capita were ranked slightly higher at No. 11.

Compared to places like Louisiana, however, which ranked last in that category, North Dakota is still looking mighty safe.

5. Maine: They Wouldn’t Hurt A Fly

Speaking of non-violent states, it would be hard not to mention Maine for that particular criterion. For starters, this state had the lowest violent crime ranking, at only 121 of those crimes per 100,000 people. It also didn’t hurt that the murders here were the eighth lowest on our list.

While Maine did do a little worse in property crime, where it ranked 14th, this state had the 10th lowest overall crime and is a perfect place for people who want to not fret about personal safety and space.

6. Iowa: The American Heartland’s Got Heart

Definitely one of our more populated states, Iowa still knew how to keep its residents safe. For starters, this place had the second lowest murders, at less than two per 100,000 people. The property crime as also very low, ranking ninth.

The violent crime ranked 16th, which is a little higher than others in our top 10, but was still better than places like connecticut and New Jersey. Overall, Iowa had the ninth lowest crime rate on our list, which was good enough for our sixth place for safest states.

6. South Dakota: Where You Can Trust Your Neighbor

It may be a little less safe than its northern neighbor, and it may be tied with Iowa, but South Dakota still knew a thing or two about security.The standout ranking here was in property crime, which ranked No. 1 with merely 1,856 crimes per 100,000 people. South Dakotans, your stuff is seriously safe.

Unfortunately, the other two rankings, murder and violent crime, were both a big higher than many others in our top 10, at 19th and 15th respectively. Still, both those rankings were better than Pennsylvania and Montana, so locals of this strong state can still stand proud.

8. Wyoming: Like No Place On Earth For Safety

For people looking for overall good scores in safety, it would be prudent not to overlook Wyoming. With beautiful landscapes and the fifth lowest violent crime, locals can enjoy the scenery with ease. The ninth lowest murders, only two per 100,000 people, certainly didn’t hurt either.

There was a bit of property crime here, ranking 13th, but these were still solid rankings across the board. If you’re looking to stay safe and gain some solitude, you could do a whole lot worse than Wyoming.

9. Minnesota: A Real Star In The North

Minnesota offered a lot in the way of personal safety for its locals. With only 217 crimes per 100,000 people and only a little over two murders per 100,000 people, there really wasn’t much violence to be found here.

The property crime was a little higher, ranking 18th with 2,638 crimes of that sort per 100,000 people. However, that ranking is still better than most of the nation, and Minnesota shone as a real star on this list.

9. Virginia: It’s For Lovers, Not Fighters

Virginia posted some rather fascinating numbers. With a little over four murders per 100,000 people, this state ranked 26th for that category, higher than all others in the top 10. Still, that’s a fairly low number compared to many other states, and the other rankings are much stronger.

For example, Virginia had the sixth lowest violent crime and the 10th lowest property crime on our list. That brought this place to eighth in total crimes per 100,000 people, and kept it at No. 9 overall. Virginia does claim it’s for lovers, and the numbers seem to back it up on that.

America Is Always A Safe Bet

It can feel like a big scary world out there, especially if you check news websites, but rest assured that there are still some very safe places to be found. More than that, there are some very safe states.

New Hampshire locals should be proud to know they’re in the nation’s safest state, and should breathe easy tonight as they keep that in mind.

Safest States in America Table

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posted on: July 9, 2014
77,222 views, 3 comments


  1. amanda

    I am from Australia and want to travel america next year for 5 weeks for my honeymoon but I’d like to know accurate stats about crime and what places will be ok to visit and what places I shouldnt even bother with. I am going west to east side and south first and then east to west north. Where do I find this info? Australia is so different to America I really need a straight answer, I have been there before and even then couldn’t get a straight answer of places to go and to stay away from. Thankyou

  2. ken

    The FBI and Department of Justice should be able to provide any statistics you would need and the Travel and Tourism board would also make you aware of any travel advisories or alerts.

  3. Daisy

    maine is for old people so no wonder it’s number five there are 211,080 people over 64 years old


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