The lighter side of real estate

These Are The 10 Safest Places In Pennsylvania

Looking for some Brotherly Love? These are the 10 safest places in Pennsylvania.

Natalie Grigson

Staff Writer

155 articles, 0 comments

Embed Gallery

Ah, Pennsylvania: The Keystone State, The Coal State, and the Quaker State. It was the home of the first computer ever created, it’s the Chocolate Capital of the U.S., and of course, it’s where we got T. Swift and Kevin Bacon from. Clearly this place is awesome, but the question is—is it safe?

Well, as we’ve discovered time and time again here at the Movoto Real Estate Blog, each state is home to a variety of crime rates—some high, some low, some good, some bad. And though it may be the Quaker State (among many other things), Pennsylvania is no different.

But today, we’re focusing on the positive. So without further ado, here are the 10 safest places in Pennsylvania, 2015 style:

1. Upper Providence Township (Delaware County)
2. Buckingham Township
3. Upper Uwchlan Township
4. Franklin Park Borough
5. Northampton Township
6. Lower Salford Township
7. South Fayette Township
8. Upper St. Clair Township
9. Peters Township
10. Forks Township

If you happened to read last year’s list of Pennsylvania’s safest places, you may be a bit surprised by the lack of overlap in this year’s (we know we were.) In fact, the only place that made our list two years running was Franklin Park.

To find out why these particular places made the cut, keep on reading. We’ll go over the methodology of our analysis and then take a closer look at these top 10.

Our Methodology

In order to create this Big Deal List, we went straight to the top dogs in the crime biz for the facts and figures. We used the 2013 FBI Uniform Crime Report to look at all of the places in Pennsylvania with populations of over 10,000 people in terms of the following criteria:

  • Murders
  • Rapes
  • Robberies
  • Assaults
  • Burglaries
  • Thefts
  • Vehicle Thefts

Then we divided these crimes into four categories:

  • Murders
  • Violent Crimes
  • Property Crimes
  • Total Crimes

Once we omitted places that didn’t report data to the bureau that year (which just happens), we were left with a grand total of 214 places. We calculated the crime rates for each place based on crimes per capita (or per person), in order to level the playing field for both large and small places. Then, we ranked each place with a score from one to 214, with the lower scores being the safer places.

Next, we weighted these rankings so that murders, violent crimes, and property crimes each made up 30 percent of the overall score, where the total number of crimes accounted for just 10 percent. And finally, we averaged these weighted rankings into one overall Big Deal Score, where Upper Providence Township had the lowest score, and was therefore our safest spot.

Let’s take a look at why it, along with the rest of our top 10, were so safe. Then you can check out a table of the top 50 safest places in the state at the bottom of this article.

1. Upper Providence Township

Safest Places In Pennsylvania 2015

Source: Flickr user Thomas

Because Pennsylvania’s names of places aren’t confusing enough (what with all of the townships, boroughs, cities, and even some Regionals in there, whatever that means), we need to start this point with a clarification: The Upper Providence Township we’re talking about is the one in Delaware County, not the other identically-named one in Montgomery County.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk statistics. In 2013, Upper Providence had the very lowest number of crimes per person in the state—just 27! Yes, 27 total crimes—25 property crimes and two violent crimes—for the entire year.

With numbers like these, residents had just a 1 in 382 chance of being the victim of a crime.

2. Buckingham Township

Safest Places In Pennsylvania 2015

Source: Flickr user Smallbones

Residents, if you loved your hometown already, just wait until you read this. Out of the over 200 places we looked at in Pennsylvania, Buckingham Township came in as the second least violent overall.

Of course it had a reported zero murders in 2013 (like all of our top 10), but even more impressive was the fact that it had only two violent crimes for the whole year.

It also had a low number of property crimes—a total of 97, to be exact—ranking it the eighth safest in this category, and of course, the second safest overall. Not too shabby, Buckingham.

3. Upper Uwchlan Township

Safest Places In Pennsylvania 2015

Source: Upper Uwchlan Township

This little community in Chester County is simply brimming with small town charm—and in looking at these numbers, it’s pretty clear why. In 2013, it had one violent crime. Yes, you read that correctly: one violent crime, for the entire year.

With its population of 11,494, this gave it the lowest number of violent crimes per person in the state (and likely, several surrounding states as well). Additionally, it had a total of 57 property crimes, all adding up to give it the ninth lowest number of crimes overall.

4. Franklin Park Borough

Safest Places In Pennsylvania 2015

Source: Wikimedia user Lee Paxton

Okay, Franklin Park, here’s the good news: out of our top 10 places, you were the only one that made our list both last year and this year. So congratulations! The bad news is, you dropped by two points in your ranking.

The reason for this was just a slight increase in the number of property crimes. In 2012, Franklin Park had a total of just 52 property crimes, where in 2013, it had 59. Of course the sixth fewest property crimes per person is still admirable, and in fact, Franklin Park even went down in its number of violent crimes (from six to three).

But overall, this slight increase, along with the other places’ numbers, was enough to drop it by two points. No big deal, though. Franklin Park is still safer than, oh, 210 other places in the state.

5. Northampton Township

Safest Places In Pennsylvania 2015

Source: Flickr user Nicholas A. Tonelli

Residents in this Bucks County community were some of the least likely to be the victim of a crime in 2013. That’s because it had one of the lowest numbers of overall crimes—the eighth lowest per person.

These 195 total crimes were made up of 185 property crimes (the seventh lowest per person) and 10 violent crimes (the 14th lowest per person).

Adding it all up, this left residents with just a 1 in 204 chance of being the victim of a crime of any kind—which is certainly low, but not quite as low as our next place.

6. Lower Salford Township

Safest Places In Pennsylvania 2015

Source: Flickr user Montgomery County Planning Commission

Not to be confused with Salford Township or Upper Salford Township, Lower Salford Township in Montgomery County, came in as our sixth safest place. (Honestly, who planned this state?)

With its relatively small population of just over 15,000 people in 2013, Lower Salford had a total of just 63 property crimes, giving it the fifth lowest number per person.

It also had five violent crimes (the 22nd fewest per person), adding up to just 68 crimes for the year, and just a 1 in 225 chance of being the victim of a crime.

7. South Fayette Township

Safest Places In Pennsylvania 2015

Source: South Fayette Township

Of all the Fayette Townships in Pennsylvania (and yes, there are several), this one is easily the safest. It had just 85 total crimes in 2013, made up of 80 property crimes and five violent crimes in all, giving it the 10th, 12th, and 22nd fewest in each category.

Just for comparison’s sake (and for fun), let’s take a look at this compared to Philadelphia’s numbers. For the year, Philadelphia raked in a whopping 70,526 crimes—53,452 property crimes and 17,074 violent crimes, 247 of which were murders.

Of course Philly is a much bigger city, but even per person, it had the 12th most total crimes, and worse still, the fourth most violent crimes, and the eighth most murders in the state. Ouch.

8. Upper St. Clair Township

Safest Places In Pennsylvania 2015

Source: Wikimedia user Lee Paxton

The only thing upper about this St. Clair is community is its level of class and affluence, because when it comes to crime rates, this place is nothing but low.

Case in point: with just 121 property crimes and five violent crimes in 2013, Upper St. Clair had both the 17th lowest number of property and violent crimes per person in Pennsylvania.

Altogether these 126 crimes for the year gave it the 15th lowest total per person and gave residents just a 1 in 153 chance of being the victim of a crime.

9. Peters Township

Safest Places In Pennsylvania 2015

Source: Peters Township

This beautiful Washington County township is way more than just a pretty face. It’s also a safe place to call home (it’s kind of the Dennis Quaid of communities in this way—nice to look at, sure, but it also somehow feels comfortable and safe. No?).

Anyway, Peters Township ranked well in this latest analysis, mostly for its low number of property crimes—a total of just 117 for the year. With its population of just under 22,000, this gave it the 13th lowest number of property crimes per person.

This, plus the 31st lowest number of violent crimes, added up to give it the 12th lowest number of crimes per person overall.

10. Forks Township

Safest Places In Pennsylvania 2015

Source: Wikimedia user Hunter Kahn

Last but certainly not the least safe (that honor went to Darby—so dangerous it’s not even listed in the table below), Forks Township ranked well, mostly for its impressively low number of violent crimes.

In 2012, Forks had just three violent crimes. For the whole year. With its population of 15,131, this gave it the eighth fewest violent crimes per person.

Additionally, it had 125 property crimes, or the 32nd fewest per person, all adding up to a total of 128 crimes for the year. That’s the 29th fewest crimes per person out of over 200 places. And that’s awesome.

Awesomely Safe

We said it in the beginning and we’ll say it again: the state is awesome. (And if you don’t believe us, just take a look at this video). Of course, awesome doesn’t always make for the safest place to live—I mean, just look at Philadelphia on the table below. Oh wait, you can’t because it ranked No. 208.

Fortunately, though, there are places like these top 10. Places that are safe, family friendly, and yes, even some that are just a short commute from the awesome city of Philadelphia. If you’d like to move to one of these places, just let us know. We can help you find your new home.

Safest Place In Pennsylvania (2015 Edition)

Facebook Facebook Like

posted on: September 20, 2013
47,051 views, 3 comments


  1. EngProf

    Was this written by someone in middle school or high school?

  2. Carol Lattaro

    #9 Peters Township is erroneously identified as being located in Washington County. It is actually in Franklin County. The location pictured is near the intersection of U.S. Rte. 30 (Lincoln Highway) and PA Rte. 75 (Path Valley Road in the village of Fort Loudon, about 15 or so miles west of Chambersburg where I live.

  3. Pamela Wnuk

    Where does Stroud Township and/or Stroudsburg (both of which are located in Monroe County in Northeast PA) ranked?


Leave a Reply