2015 Safest Cities in Michigan Study

Detroit, MI is infamous for its less-than-favorable crime statistics. But how does the rest of Michigan compare? There are plenty of safe towns in Michigan that often go overlooked when discussing the state. Our team analyzed the most updated FBI crime statistics to get an idea of the relative safety of nearly 200 cities and towns in Michigan. According to our methodology, Detroit, Benton Harbor, and Flint had the highest incidences of violent crime. Crime scores ranged from the safest at 26 to a whopping 7,156. These scores do not reflect actual crime rates, but they are a handy way to attempt to compare towns to one another. Check out our findings below:

The Top 5 Safest Places in Michigan

With the exception of Lapeer Township, all of our top five towns are located in southern or southeastern Michigan. They all have relatively small populations. Their scores range by around 100 points, with our top ranking town scoring 26 and our fifth place scoring 128. On average, their scores were 91% better than the average town in Michigan.

1. Raisin Township, MI

“Raisin

Raisin Township takes the top spot on our list with an adjusted crime score of 26. The precinct reported 0 violent crimes in 2013, and very few property crimes relative to its population. The town is located in southern Michigan, in Lenawee County. Property values in Raisin Township exceed the state average by around 18% and people earn around $10,000 more here than the average Michigan citizen.

  • Adjusted Crime Score: 26
  • Population: 7,468

2. Cambridge Township, MI

“Cambridge

The town takes second place with an average score that is three and a half times our top town, due in part to its slightly higher rate of violent crime. Cambridge Township is located in Lenawee County, in the southern portion of the state. It has about double the property crime Raisin Township has, and a slightly smaller population, which widens the gap between the two towns’ crime scores.

  • Adjusted Crime Score: 89
  • Population: 5,663

3. Chocolay Township, MI

“Chocolay

Chocolay Township is located on the banks of Lake Superior, in Marquette County in northern Michigan. The small town had no reported violent crime in 2013 and a relatively small amount of property crime. The town is generally regarded as a nice place to live, with the median income exceeding the state average.

  • Adjusted Crime Score: 122
  • Population: 6,029

4. Lapeer Township, MI

“Lapeer

Our fourth city is located in the thumb of the mitten, in Lapeer County. The town has an adjusted crime score of 128.3, beating the state average adjusted crime score by around 89%. The city had one instance of violent crime and very little property crime.

  • Adjusted Crime Score: 128.3
  • Population: 5,052

5. Thetford Township, MI

”Thetford

Thetford Township takes the last spot on our list, with an adjusted crime score of 128.4. The median resident of Thetford makes almost double the median Michigan resident. Thetford is located in Genesee County, which is located in eastern Michigan. The town had very little property crime relative to its population, but a slightly higher incidence of violent crime – three reported in 2013 – hurt its adjusted crime score.

  • Adjusted Crime Score: 128.4
  • Population: 6,872

Michigan's Safest Places by Population

Population dynamics affect crime rates. In order to compare apples to apples, we broke out three separate population categories (small under 10,000, mid size between 10 and 25,000, and large greater than 25,000) to determine which are the safest in each category.

“Safest

Featured Large City (over 25,000) - Bloomfield Township

Bloomfield ranks as our safest large town in Michigan with an adjusted crime score of 355, 87% more favorable than the average city in Michigan. The median income is significantly higher than the state average. Located in eastern Michigan, the town is home to the Detroit Skating Club, where many world-class figure skaters train.

  • Adjusted Crime Score: 355
  • Population: 41,791

Featured Midsized City (10,000-25,000) - Grosse Ile Township

Money magazine included the township as one of the “Top 100 Best Place to Live” in 2009. It is also the safest mid-sized city in Michigan according to our methodology. The township, located in Wayne County in southeastern Michigan, is home to Grosse Ile Land & Nature Conservancy.

  • Adjusted Crime Score: 157.2
  • Population: 10,194

Featured Small City (under 10,000) - Kinross Township

Kinross Township is located across Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula, in Chippewa County. According to our calculations, it ranks as the 6th safest small city, behind Raisin, Cambridge, Chocolay, Lapeer, and Thetford Townships. The township scores 134, with three reported violent crimes and 27 property crimes in 2013.

  • Adjusted Crime Score: 134
  • Population: 7,821

Map of Safest Places in Michigan

Below is a map looking at the almost 200 places we analyzed in this year’s study of Michigan and how they performed when it came to safety in the community. You can easily zoom in to see more detail by just double clicking the map!

Full List of Cities and Towns in Michigan

Here is a comprehensive chart showing how each city’s crime score ranks relative to the others. If you're interested in how we came up with the 'Crime Score' for each area you can always reference our methodology.

Full List of Cities and Towns in Michigan

Methodology

We collected data from the 2013 FBI crime statistics by city, which provides the most recent crime data available. We excluded towns with populations less than 5,000 because towns with smaller populations than that are much more sensitive to crime score fluctuations for fewer crimes committed. 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.

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. To account for the fact that smaller cities with very slight upticks in crime are penalized more severely, we then applied a logarithm to the population and multiplied it by that number to arrive at our "crime score". We then ranked the cities relative to each other based on their crime scores.

If you're looking for an alphabetical list of the cities in Michigan and how they compare, here is a table:

Rank

CityPopulationViolent Crime per 100kProperty Crime per 100kAdjusted Crime Score
152Albion8,5246802,8161,757

103

Allegan5,0553361,642865

91

Allen Park27,6011272,398786

105

Alma9,2562382,247870

136

Alpena10,2994472,5251,313

120

Ann Arbor116,7992112,1621,030

134

Auburn Hills21,6802813,5011,308

64

Bath Township11,7611621,233547

159

Bay City34,3956312,7271,907

80

Belding5,7511222,626700

185

Benton Harbor10,0392,2417,0335,443

178

Benton Township14,5781,0778,2593,737

24

Berkley15,17379975353

29

Berrien Springs-Oronoko Township9,170142709393

21

Beverly Hills10,399581,164338

104

Big Rapids10,7352701,863865

27

Birmingham20,544681,163383

25

Bloomfield Township41,791551,041355

123

Bridgeport Township10,3413961,8571,089

34

Brighton7,586261,938422

78

Brownstown Township30,3881841,379681

172

Buena Vista Township8,5001,1653,1182,672

153

Burton29,2634074,2341,763

149

Cadillac10,2394494,1311,639

2

Cambridge Township5,6631831889

69

Canton Township88,9581061,405583

107

Carrollton Township5,9973341,751898

137

Center Line8,2514482,8361,346

125

Charlotte9,0463102,7751,100

67

Chelsea5,0562181,167579

115

Chesterfield Township43,7842721,658952

3

Chocolay Township6,029-647122

18

Clawson11,98483793315

61

Clay Township8,8911241,642544

46

Clayton Township7,3221641,038486

132

Clinton Township98,0712912,1761,196

53

Columbia Township7,415243432506

82

Davison Township19,2121412,040708

148

Dearborn96,0123613,2331,616

138

Dearborn Heights56,5833752,3651,363

73

Denton Township5,4341661,730601

186

Detroit699,8892,0725,8347,156

16

East Grand Rapids11,100271,243301

101

East Lansing48,5062251,647860

171

Eastpointe32,4029103,5992,660

60

Eaton Rapids5,1991541,539543

163

Emmett Township11,6484645,5291,972

141

Escanaba12,5312075,0121,409

38

Farmington10,5141241,094444

59

Farmington Hills81,084891,374533

99

Fenton11,4931482,871853

108

Ferndale20,1042092,303900

72

Flat Rock9,7721741,443600

184

Flint99,9411,9084,2645,359

176

Flint Township31,1821,0786,2993,594

23

Flushing8,204611,243351

66

Forsyth Township6,2781911,322578

113

Fraser14,5292002,705937

121

Garden City27,1102951,9961,031

146

Genesee Township20,9775631,8731,499

71

Grand Blanc8,1051481,715596

84

Grand Blanc Township36,7931711,655730

118

Grand Haven10,7312702,5721,009

30

Grand Ledge7,772771,338395

169

Grand Rapids191,2136933,2362,503

133

Grandville15,6691664,5821,274

54

Green Oak Township17,9771221,285508

144

Greenville8,4233924,0961,496

8

Grosse Ile Township10,19439432157

51

Grosse Pointe5,300941,830499

20

Grosse Pointe Farms9,27176960325

87

Grosse Pointe Park11,2871592,206738

55

Grosse Pointe Woods15,7601211,396521

9

Hamburg Township21,45523755209

94

Hampton Township9,5551362,868814

180

Hamtramck22,0171,6623,6974,051

177

Harper Woods13,9221,2147,0323,720

83

Hastings7,2881921,962713

142

Hazel Park16,6424572,6201,420

179

Highland Park11,5911,6134,9783,962

124

Hillsdale8,1883912,0521,090

147

Holland33,3544113,2051,561

57

Holly6,1501461,496533

41

Houghton7,6991041,442462

110

Howell9,5142941,934912

11

Huntington Woods6,305161,031223

85

Huron Township15,6072431,301732

181

Inkster24,8501,5944,1614,066

81

Ionia11,4341841,819705

88

Ironwood5,2022501,749743

50

Ishpeming6,5821221,519499

175

Jackson33,3781,1095,1893,430

128

Kentwood50,0162822,4251,166

6

Kinross Township7,82138345134

174

Lansing113,9071,0573,4773,284

150

Lapeer8,8194764,2521,684

4

Lapeer Township5,05220515128

166

Lincoln Park37,2956223,6012,103

44

Lincoln Township14,6181231,183477

102

Livonia95,2201552,059861

119

Ludington8,0353112,4521,025

127

Madison Heights30,0802592,8661,164

19

Madison Township8,56782910324

93

Manistee6,1581792,566791

48

Marquette21,590881,487494

95

Marshall7,0502272,199816

33

Marysville9,763201,895415

63

Mason8,246852,025546

130

Melvindale10,4733252,9311,177

100

Menominee8,4762362,253860

126

Meridian Township40,6092862,2931,121

89

Milan5,8751872,383767

13

Milford16,17074557258

154

Monroe20,4745373,4871,794

86

Montrose Township7,7061432,505736

167

Mount Morris Township20,9907104,2692,303

98

Mount Pleasant26,2382211,871853

90

Mundy Township14,7811562,361784

173

Muskegon36,6588875,3743,047

182

Muskegon Heights10,7681,9136,5664,795

10

Napoleon Township6,77130842212

12

New Baltimore12,14874560250

140

Niles11,4714712,6501,398

70

Northfield Township8,3871791,419594

14

Northville5,99267851274

32

Northville Township28,734631,267408

68

Novi57,469841,681579

156

Oak Park29,6846062,7221,829

129

Oscoda Township6,8192933,4761,172

135

Owosso14,7453732,9301,310

15

Petoskey5,722171,346282

97

Pittsfield Township36,0911912,006849

43

Plymouth8,949156995475

26

Plymouth Township27,076661,093375

160

Port Huron29,5426063,0871,909

131

Portage47,3871863,3891,183

1

Raisin Township7,468-13426

158

Redford Township47,4325143,2431,841

35

Richfield Township, Genesee County8,5231171,103424

106

Richmond5,7412962,108897

170

River Rouge7,7231,0883,6382,610

58

Riverview12,2671551,215533

17

Rochester12,94770842302

45

Rockford5,8941191,493483

155

Romulus23,4835882,9721,805

162

Roseville47,3274614,1671,943

79

Royal Oak58,8041681,345682

183

Saginaw50,5801,9472,9504,816

117

Saginaw Township40,6362362,138983

52

Saline9,0281221,429499

122

Sault Ste. Marie14,2032532,7951,054

37

South Lyon11,552147840440

145

Southfield72,7553602,9141,496

139

Southgate29,4592893,5711,378

7

Spring Arbor Township8,27612689156

28

Spring Lake-Ferrysburg5,311751,412389

109

Springfield5,2102502,610902

47

St. Clair5,3751121,619489

39

St. Johns7,9061011,417454

75

St. Joseph Township9,9531911,437631

22

St. Louis7,416108836350

111

Sterling Heights130,6341871,903917

49

Sumpter Township9,3101501,160499

76

Swartz Creek5,6461771,931661

164

Taylor61,8365613,3692,017

5

Thetford Township6,87244276128

36

Thomas Township11,846761,401425

165

Three Rivers7,7127004,2272,046

40

Tittabawassee Township9,849152934460

65

Trenton18,4831351,347547

74

Troy82,608751,876;627

116

Van Buren Township28,2822232,348969

114

Walker24,1581662,807942

96

Walled Lake7,1013661,028833

157

Warren134,1675062,6151,838

92

Waterford Township72,9491851,586791

161

Wayne17,2327022,7801,927

31

West Bloomfield Township65,840651,071400

151

Westland82,5544402,9061,687

42

White Lake Township30,585721,419463

77

Wixom13,7441461,928670

62

Woodhaven12,6521341,446545

112

Wyandotte25,3782212,246932

143

Wyoming73,7864192,2321,461

168

Ypsilanti19,6778283,4102,333

56

Zeeland5,575722,188531

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