2014 Safest Cities in Connecticut Study

2014 Safest Cities in Connecticut Study

Crime is a large factor in peoples’ decision-making process when selecting a place to live, and Connecticut is no exception. The analysts at ValuePenguin pored over crime statistics in "The Constitution State" to determine which cities have the lowest and the highest crime rates in the state. According to our calculations, the most dangerous cities, New Haven and Hartford, have crime rates about four times higher than the typical city in the state, while the safest cities see lower incidences of violent crime. Check out where your city ranks:

The Top Five Safest Connecticut Cities

The safest cities in Connecticut were all located in affluent Fairfield County. Most of them had small populations, and averaged about 16,200 residents. Another trend in our analysis was that the five safest cities all had much higher instances of property crime relative to violent crime. See who makes the cut below:

1. Ridgefield, CT

Ridgefield, CT

Of the 120 cities included in our study, Ridgefield takes the coveted first spot. The town is located in Fairfield County, one of the most affluent counties in the state. Ridgefield borders New York State’s Westchester County. Ridgefield was home to beloved Where the Wild Things Are author Maurice Sendak. Property crimes are 88x more prevalent than violent crime, which is almost nonexistent in the city.

  • Population: 25,000
  • Civilians per Police Officer: 543
  • Crime Index: 39

2. Easton, CT

Easton, CT

The small city of Easton ranks second on our list of the safest cities in Connecticut. The city is located in central Fairfield County and has a crime score that is 84% lower than the typical city in the state. Visitors can explore its small, picturesque farms and visit the home where Helen Keller spent her final days.

  • Population: 8,000
  • Civilians per Police Officer: 500
  • Crime Index: 53

3. Darien, CT

Darien, CT

According to CNN Money, Darien is one of America’s "top-earning" towns. The city can add another accolade to the list: Darien takes the third spot on our list, with a crime rate that is 83% lower than the state average. It is located in Fairfield County, between the larger cities of Norwalk and Stamford. Darien has been home to several people of note, including actors Christopher Plummer and Chloë Sevigny as well as journalist Scott Pelley.

  • Population: 21,000
  • Civilians per Police Officer: 368
  • Crime Index: 56

4. Wilton, CT

Wilton, CT

Wilton ranks fourth on our list of Connecticut’s safest cities. The town is located in Fairfield County, near Darien and Ridgefield. Wilton was a "dry" town until 1993, when restaurants were able to petition for liquor licenses, and liquor stores couldn’t operate here until the city loosened its regulations in 2010. Perhaps this fact contributes to its stellar safety rating, which is 82% more favorable than the average city in Connecticut!

  • Population: 18,000
  • Civilians per Police Officer: 383
  • Crime Index: 61

5. Redding, CT

Redding, CT

This Fairfield County town ranks fifth on our list of Connecticut’s safest cities. Its crime rate is a whopping 81% better than the state average! The small city boasts scenic state parks with views of the Saugatuck Reservoir and trails for hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding. It was also home of one of America’s greatest authors, Mark Twain.

  • Population: 9,000
  • Civilians per Police Officer: 429
  • Crime Index: 64

Connecticut's Safest (and Least Safe) Cities by Population

Because smaller cities tend to be safer on average than more populated cities, we segmented the cities by three population categories to compare cities of similar size. We also found the five least safe cities in Connecticut based on the same population breakdown.

Featured Large City (over 45,000) - Greenwich, CT

Maybe Greenwich's excellent safety statistics contributed to Money magazine’s decision to rank it the "Best Place to Live in the United States." Greenwich takes the top spot for cities with populations greater than 45,000 and 10th place overall. Its crime score is a staggering 82% better than the average Connecticut city. The city is located in the western tip of Fairfield County, bordering New York State. Greenwich is the second-largest city in Fairfield County, with a population of approximately 62,000. Residents and visitors alike can purchase day passes to the local beach or visit the Bruce Museum for art.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Wallingford, CT: Pop. 45,000; Civilians per Police Officer - 500; Crime Score - 232, 55% better than average crime score
  • Fairfield, CT: Pop.60,000; Civilians per Police Officer - 541; Crime Score - 265, 48% better than average crime score
  • Danbury, CT: Pop. 82,000; Civilians per Police Officer – 547; Crime Score - 311, 39% better than average crime score
  • Middletown, CT: Pop. 48,000; Civilians per Police Officer – 397; Crime Score - 324, 37% better than average crime score

Featured Midsized City (20,000-45,000) - Simsbury, CT

Simsbury is Connecticut’s safest medium-sized city, with a safety rating that beats the typical city by 80%. It is the first city on the list that is not in Fairfield County, instead located in Hartford County. The city is also home to one of America’s best libraries, according to Hennen’s American Public Library Rating. Maybe all those would-be criminals are hitting the books instead!

Honorable Mentions:

  • Cheshire, CT: Pop. 30,000; Civilians per Police Officer – 500; Crime Score - 103, 80% better than average crime score
  • Glastonbury, CT: Pop. 35,000; Civilians per Police Officer – 486; Crime Score - 152, 70% better than average crime score
  • Westport, CT: Pop. 27,000; Civilians per Police Officer – 365; Crime Score - 156, 70% better than average crime score
  • Shelton, CT: Pop. 40,000; Civilians per Police Officer – 656; Crime Score - 157, 69% better than average crime score

Featured Small City (under 20,000) - Weston, CT

Weston takes the top spot in our list of the safest small cities, with a safety rating that beats the state average by 87%. Weston is located in Fairfield County, like most other cities on our list. The city has the highest per capita income in the county and was named Connecticut Magazine’s best town, partially because of its low crime rate. It is also home to Rolling Stone guitarist Keith Richards. None of his instruments have been stolen as of yet…

Honorable Mentions:

  • Madison, CT: Pop. 19,000, Civilians per Police Officer – 559; Crime Score - 74, 86% better than average crime score
  • New Canaan, CT: Pop. 20,000; Civilians per Police Officer – 400; Crime Score - 92, 82% better than average crime score
  • Canton, CT: Pop. 10,000; Civilians per Police Officer – 500; Crime Score - 94, 82% better than average crime score
  • Monroe, CT: Pop. 20,000; Civilians per Police Officer – 392; Crime Score - 94, 82% better than average crime score

Methodology

We sourced our data from the 2012 FBI Crime in the U.S. Report, which provides the most recent information available. The raw data report included violent crimes (murder/manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) and property crimes (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson) from all law enforcement agencies that participate in the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program. From there, we standardized the data to reflect violent and property crimes per 100k, to account for population. We then aggregated a "crime score." In order to calculate this, we weighted violent crime at 90% and property crime at 10%; though property crime is far more prevalent, we figured that the violent crime data points are more relevant when calculating the relative safety of these cities. We then ranked the cities relative to each other based on their crime scores.

To calculate the police to civilian ratio, we pulled information about the number of police and officers from city-data.com. We divided the population by this figure.

Source: FBI Crime Statistics 2012

Full List of Connecticut Cities

Below is a list of the 90 cities we included in our study and how they rank in Connecticut. They're listed from Safest to Least Safe and the number represents the composite Crime Score we gave to each city based on our analysis. You can read more about this data in our Methodology section.

Rank

City
Population
Violent Crimes per 100k
Property Crimes per 100k
Final Score
64Ansonia19,2711502,366207
16Avon18,1622893166
46Berlin19,9351051,560139
34Bethel18,822321,716111
66Bloomfield20,5571512,457212
53Branford28,055752,410171
87Bridgeport146,0301,2053,546800
69Bristol60,6881532,631223
17Brookfield16,662121,14670
10Canton10,3281085252
14Cheshire29,2951490557
70Clinton13,3262032,274228
Show All Rows
{"alignsHorizontal":["left","left","right","right","right","right"],"alignsVertical":[],"columnWidths":[],"data":[["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003ERank","City","Population","Violent Crimes per 100k","Property Crimes per 100k","Final Score"],["64","Ansonia","19,271","150","2,366","207"],["16","Avon","18,162","28","931","66"],["46","Berlin","19,935","105","1,560","139"],["34","Bethel","18,822","32","1,716","111"],["66","Bloomfield","20,557","151","2,457","212"],["53","Branford","28,055","75","2,410","171"],["87","Bridgeport","146,030","1,205","3,546","800"],["69","Bristol","60,688","153","2,631","223"],["17","Brookfield","16,662","12","1,146","70"],["10","Canton","10,328","10","852","52"],["14","Cheshire","29,295","14","905","57"],["70","Clinton","13,326","203","2,274","228"],["20","Coventry","12,451","16","1,365","84"],["49","Cromwell","14,075","78","2,060","154"],["54","Danbury","81,891","133","1,915","173"],["3","Darien","20,998","10","471","31"],["79","Derby","12,917","217","3,089","280"],["19","East Hampton","13,024","38","1,136","82"],["82","East Hartford","51,431","373","3,080","358"],["68","East Haven","29,288","109","3,001","222"],["72","East Windsor","11,200","161","3,054","250"],["2","Easton","7,584","-","527","29"],["44","Enfield","44,806","67","1,841","136"],["48","Fairfield","60,122","55","2,166","148"],["59","Farmington","25,429","94","2,477","185"],["21","Glastonbury","34,547","64","947","85"],["12","Granby","11,321","18","848","56"],["9","Greenwich","61,948","37","601","52"],["52","Groton","10,397","164","1,539","167"],["62","Groton Town","29,231","164","2,107","199"],["37","Guilford","22,400","107","1,308","126"],["84","Hamden","61,032","528","2,268","390"],["89","Hartford","125,203","1,322","4,319","902"],["7","Madison","18,288","11","640","41"],["76","Manchester","58,444","190","3,087","267"],["81","Meriden","60,934","364","2,988","349"],["18","Middlebury","7,583","53","923","78"],["56","Middletown","47,878","150","1,886","180"],["65","Milford","52,817","87","3,010","211"],["11","Monroe","19,728","15","806","52"],["50","Naugatuck","31,896","94","1,988","158"],["86","New Britain","73,458","432","3,971","437"],["8","New Canaan","19,992","30","650","51"],["90","New Haven","129,934","1,439","5,026","1,000"],["88","New London","27,643","1,324","2,800","818"],["32","New Milford","28,047","75","1,298","110"],["60","Newington","30,668","91","2,569","189"],["27","North Branford","14,422","35","1,394","95"],["51","North Haven","24,119","50","2,396","158"],["77","Norwalk","86,693","314","1,981","267"],["74","Norwich","40,517","244","2,414","257"],["43","Old Saybrook","10,293","87","1,574","131"],["55","Orange","13,971","50","2,720","176"],["26","Plainfield","15,410","91","792","90"],["80","Plainville","17,778","247","3,741","332"],["41","Plymouth","12,202","66","1,737","129"],["28","Portland","9,556","105","795","97"],["78","Putnam","9,588","302","2,117","269"],["5","Redding","9,275","-","636","35"],["1","Ridgefield","24,952","4","357","22"],["23","Rocky Hill","19,776","15","1,396","85"],["22","Seymour","16,558","60","978","85"],["25","Shelton","40,062","55","1,078","87"],["13","Simsbury","23,591","30","746","56"],["29","South Windsor","25,798","35","1,442","98"],["42","Southington","43,219","65","1,754","130"],["71","Stamford","124,201","283","1,564","228"],["39","Stonington","18,556","59","1,784","129"],["73","Stratford","52,041","200","2,732","252"],["15","Suffield","15,789","25","830","59"],["35","Thomaston","7,859","51","1,756","123"],["63","Torrington","36,264","141","2,333","200"],["30","Trumbull","36,474","38","1,456","100"],["45","Vernon","29,217","157","1,071","138"],["40","Wallingford","45,183","33","2,027","129"],["83","Waterbury","110,486","297","4,273","386"],["75","Waterford","19,529","230","2,637","262"],["57","Watertown","22,437","111","2,318","185"],["58","West Hartford","63,487","72","2,673","185"],["85","West Haven","55,626","573","2,603","432"],["6","Weston","10,309","29","398","37"],["24","Westport","26,728","41","1,190","87"],["38","Wethersfield","26,762","86","1,536","128"],["67","Willimantic","17,818","152","2,453","212"],["4","Wilton","18,291","11","508","34"],["61","Winchester","11,205","134","2,267","193"],["31","Windsor","29,145","51","1,472","108"],["47","Windsor Locks","12,541","80","1,794","140"],["36","Wolcott","16,697","36","1,905","124"],["33","Woodbridge","9,000","89","1,189","111\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E"]],"footnote":"","hasMarginBottom":true,"isExpandable":true,"isSortable":false,"maxWidth":"1215","minWidth":"100%","showSearch":false,"sortColumnIndex":0,"sortDirection":"asc"}

Justin is a Sr. Research Analyst at ValuePenguin, focusing on small business lending. He was a corporate strategy associate at IBM.