If you’re looking for a beautiful, affluent, well educated, and safe place to raise your family, you’d be hard pressed to find any place better than the Northeastern United States. Especially when it comes to safety.
Right there among the safest states
in the Northeast, not to mention the United States at large, is Maine
. But which place in the Pine Tree State is the safest of the safe? According to our latest analysis here at the Movoto Real Estate
Blog, that honor goes to the Town of Yarmouth.
Of course, it wasn’t without some friendly (and safe) competition. Here are the 10 safest places in Maine:
1. Town of Yarmouth
2. Town of Orono
3. Town of Winslow
4. City of Caribou
5. Town of Kennebunk
6. Town of Topsham
7. City of Belfast
8. Town of Gorham
9. City of Brewer
10. Town of Brunswick
To find out how we did it, just keep reading. At the end, we’ll include a table with all of the places we looked at.
We started out by making a list of all of the most populous places in Maine, according to the U.S. Census. That’s places with populations of 5,000 people or more.
We then used the 2012 FBI Uniform Crime Report
to gather statistics on:
We divided these crimes into four different categories:
- Violent crimes
- Property crimes
- Total crimes
This left us with a total of 29 places. From there, we calculated each place’s crime per 100,000 residents in order to fairly compare places of all population sizes.
We then ranked each place with a score from one to 29 in all each of our categories—murders, violent crimes, property crimes, and total crimes—all per 100,000 people, with one being the safest possible score.
Next, we weighted murders, violent crimes, and property crimes so that they would each be worth 30 percent of the overall score, where the total number of crimes would be worth just 10 percent.
Finally, we averaged all of these weighted scores into one overall Big Deal Score
, where the place with the lowest score was our safest place.
In the following section, we’ll take a closer look at each of our 10 winners. If you don’t see your hometown on our list and it has more than 5,000 residents, just head to the bottom of the post to see where it ranked.
Source: Flickr user Inaweofgod’screation
Yarmouth had the lowest number of both property crimes and overall crimes in 2012: just 932 and 980 per 100,000 people, respectively. To put this into perspective, Portland
had some of the most: 3,963 and 4,224, respectively.
Just remember, we calculated all of this per 100,000 people in order to fairly compare them.
Even more telling is the residents’ likelihood of being the victim of a crime in each city. In Yarmouth, it was a 1 in 102 chance, whereas in Portland it was just 1 in 24.
Source: Flickr user Manray3
This college town is not only one of the most exciting
places in the state, it’s also one of the safest.
In 2012, Orono had just 29 violent crimes per 100,000 people for the entire year; that’s the second lowest in the state for this category. Those violent crimes included no murders, no rapes, 19 robberies, and 10 assaults per 100,000 people.
Additionally, there were 1,979 property crimes, making a total of 2,008 crimes per 100,000 people for the year.
Source: Flickr user Jody Roberts
Like all of the others in our top 10, Winslow had no murders in 2012, but it ranked better than most places for its lack of violent crime in general, with just 52 per 100,000 people.
It also had a low number of property crimes (1,862), making for a low number of crimes total (1,914).
To get an idea of just how safe this really is, you need only compare it to Biddeford, where there were 6,087 crimes per 100,000 people, including 5,644 property crimes and 443 violent crimes, nine of which were murders.
Source: Flickr user Joe Wolf
In 2012, Caribou had a reported 2,073 crimes per 100,000 people, including 2,012 property crimes and just 61 violent crimes.
To be even more specific, these property crimes included 49 vehicle thefts, 1,644 thefts, and 319 burglaries, while the 61 violent crimes included no murders, no rapes, 12 robberies, and 49 assaults per 100,000 people.
Source: Flickr user Ian Bruce
With just 1,427 property crimes per 100,000 people (nine vehicle thefts, 1,022 thefts, and 396 burglaries) and 92 violent crimes (no murders, 64 rapes, no robberies, and 28 assaults), Kennebunk had just 1,519 crimes for the year—the third lowest in the state.
If you want a clearer picture of just how safe this is, just take a look at Augusta
, which came in near the bottom of our list. Per 100,000 people, it had 6,664 crimes for the year, including 6,204 property crimes and 460 violent crimes, five of which were murders.
Source: Wikimedia user Marcbela
Topsham had just 2,565 crimes per 100,000 people in 2012, including 2,497 property crimes and 68 violent crimes, none of which were murders.
To further break that down, those 2,497 property crimes included 46 vehicle thefts, 2,075 thefts, and 376 burglaries. Of the 68 violent crimes, there were no murders, 34 rapes, 23 robberies, and 11 assaults per 100,000 people.
Source: Flickr user Jody Roberts
This beautiful city has attracted both tourists and new residents for generations with its architecture, historic districts, and of course, underlying safety.
In 2012, Belfast reported no violent crimes. That’s no murders, rapes, robberies, or assaults per 100,000 people. Of course, it didn’t get off completely scot-free, as it did have 3,076 property crimes.
Source: Wikimedia user John Phelan
Gorham earned points for its low number of property crimes. In 2012, it had the second lowest number of property crimes in the state: just 1,290 per 100,000 people.
Those property crimes included 61 vehicle thefts, 949 thefts, and 280 burglaries. Additionally, it had 134 violent crimes, for a total of 1,424 crimes per 100,000 people.
Now 134 may sound like a lot, especially after seeing Belfast’s low violent crime rate, but compared to, say, Augusta or Biddeford
where there were well over 400 violent crimes per 100,000 people, Gorham is still looking pretty good.
Source: Wikimedia user SarekofVulcan
With just 64 violent crimes per 100,000 people, Brewer came in as the sixth least violent place in the state.
Those violent crimes included no murders, 11 rapes, 21 robberies, and 32 assaults per 100,000 people.
Brewer also had a reported 3,006 property crimes per 100,000 people, including 53 vehicle thefts, 2,679 thefts, and 274 burglaries, to make a total of 3,070 crimes for the year.
Compare that to Bangor
, where there were 5,806 total crimes per 100,000 people, 18 of which were murders, and it’s clear which “sister” is safer.
Source: Flickr user Doug Kerr
This beautiful and eclectic college town had some of the fewest property crimes and total crimes in 2012. There were 3,023 crimes per 100,000 people in all, including 2,925 property crimes and 98 violent crimes.
None of these violent crimes were murders, and, in fact, very few of them were robberies—something you might expect more of in a college setting (there were no murders, 29 rapes, 15 robberies, and 54 assaults per 100,000 people).
Finding A Safe Home In Maine
Seeing as though Maine is the fifth safest state in the U.S., it really shouldn’t be very hard to find a safe place to live here—especially if you’re sticking to this list.
If you need some assistance narrowing it down, though, we’re happy to help. After all, at Movoto Real Estate we help people find homes, and, according to this analysis, if you’re looking in Maine, you’re already on the right track.