2015 Safest Cities in Michigan Study

Contents

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 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

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 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

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 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, midsized between 10 and 25,000, and large greater than 25,000) to determine which are the safest in each category. 

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.

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 City  Population   Violent Crime per 100k   Property Crime per 100k   Adjusted Crime Score 
152 Albion  8,524  680  2,816  1,757
103 Allegan  5,055  336  1,642  865
91 Allen Park  27,601  127  2,398  786
105 Alma  9,256  238  2,247  870
136 Alpena  10,299  447  2,525  1,313
120 Ann Arbor  116,799  211  2,162  1,030
134 Auburn Hills  21,680  281  3,501  1,308
64 Bath Township  11,761  162  1,233  547
159 Bay City  34,395  631  2,727  1,907
80 Belding  5,751  122  2,626  700
185 Benton Harbor  10,039  2,241  7,033  5,443
178 Benton Township  14,578  1,077  8,259  3,737
24 Berkley  15,173  79  975  353
29 Berrien Springs-Oronoko Township  9,170  142  709  393
21 Beverly Hills  10,399  58  1,164  338
104 Big Rapids  10,735  270  1,863  865
27 Birmingham  20,544  68  1,163  383
25 Bloomfield Township  41,791  55  1,041  355
123 Bridgeport Township  10,341  396  1,857  1,089
34 Brighton  7,586  26  1,938  422
78 Brownstown Township  30,388  184  1,379  681
172 Buena Vista Township  8,500  1,165  3,118  2,672
153 Burton  29,263  407  4,234  1,763
149 Cadillac  10,239  449  4,131  1,639
2 Cambridge Township  5,663  18  318  89
69 Canton Township  88,958  106  1,405  583
107 Carrollton Township  5,997  334  1,751  898
137 Center Line  8,251  448  2,836  1,346
125 Charlotte  9,046  310  2,775  1,100
67 Chelsea  5,056  218  1,167  579
115 Chesterfield Township  43,784  272  1,658  952
3 Chocolay Township  6,029  -    647  122
18 Clawson  11,984  83  793  315
61 Clay Township  8,891  124  1,642  544
46 Clayton Township  7,322  164  1,038  486
132 Clinton Township  98,071  291  2,176  1,196
53 Columbia Township  7,415  243  432  506
82 Davison Township  19,212  141  2,040  708
148 Dearborn  96,012  361  3,233  1,616
138 Dearborn Heights  56,583  375  2,365  1,363
73 Denton Township  5,434  166  1,730  601
186 Detroit  699,889  2,072  5,834  7,156
16 East Grand Rapids  11,100  27  1,243  301
101 East Lansing  48,506  225  1,647  860
171 Eastpointe  32,402  910  3,599  2,660
60 Eaton Rapids  5,199  154  1,539  543
163 Emmett Township  11,648  464  5,529  1,972
141 Escanaba  12,531  207  5,012  1,409
38 Farmington  10,514  124  1,094  444
59 Farmington Hills  81,084  89  1,374  533
99 Fenton  11,493  148  2,871  853
108 Ferndale  20,104  209  2,303  900
72 Flat Rock  9,772  174  1,443  600
184 Flint  99,941  1,908  4,264  5,359
176 Flint Township  31,182  1,078  6,299  3,594
23 Flushing  8,204  61  1,243  351
66 Forsyth Township  6,278  191  1,322  578
113 Fraser  14,529  200  2,705  937
121 Garden City  27,110  295  1,996  1,031
146 Genesee Township  20,977  563  1,873  1,499
71 Grand Blanc  8,105  148  1,715  596
84 Grand Blanc Township  36,793  171  1,655  730
118 Grand Haven  10,731  270  2,572  1,009
30 Grand Ledge  7,772  77  1,338  395
169 Grand Rapids  191,213  693  3,236  2,503
133 Grandville  15,669  166  4,582  1,274
54 Green Oak Township  17,977  122  1,285  508
144 Greenville  8,423  392  4,096  1,496
8 Grosse Ile Township  10,194  39  432  157
51 Grosse Pointe  5,300  94  1,830  499
20 Grosse Pointe Farms  9,271  76  960  325
87 Grosse Pointe Park  11,287  159  2,206  738
55 Grosse Pointe Woods  15,760  121  1,396  521
9 Hamburg Township  21,455  23  755  209
94 Hampton Township  9,555  136  2,868  814
180 Hamtramck  22,017  1,662  3,697  4,051
177 Harper Woods  13,922  1,214  7,032  3,720
83 Hastings  7,288  192  1,962  713
142 Hazel Park  16,642  457  2,620  1,420
179 Highland Park  11,591  1,613  4,978  3,962
124 Hillsdale  8,188  391  2,052  1,090
147 Holland  33,354  411  3,205  1,561
57 Holly  6,150  146  1,496  533
41 Houghton  7,699  104  1,442  462
110 Howell  9,514  294  1,934  912
11 Huntington Woods  6,305  16  1,031  223
85 Huron Township  15,607  243  1,301  732
181 Inkster  24,850  1,594  4,161  4,066
81 Ionia  11,434  184  1,819  705
88 Ironwood  5,202  250  1,749  743
50 Ishpeming  6,582  122  1,519  499
175 Jackson  33,378  1,109  5,189  3,430
128 Kentwood  50,016  282  2,425  1,166
6 Kinross Township  7,821  38  345  134
174 Lansing  113,907  1,057  3,477  3,284
150 Lapeer  8,819  476  4,252  1,684
4 Lapeer Township  5,052  20  515  128
166 Lincoln Park  37,295  622  3,601  2,103
44 Lincoln Township  14,618  123  1,183  477
102 Livonia  95,220  155  2,059  861
119 Ludington  8,035  311  2,452  1,025
127 Madison Heights  30,080  259  2,866  1,164
19 Madison Township  8,567  82  910  324
93 Manistee  6,158  179  2,566  791
48 Marquette  21,590  88  1,487  494
95 Marshall  7,050  227  2,199  816
33 Marysville  9,763  20  1,895  415
63 Mason  8,246  85  2,025  546
130 Melvindale  10,473  325  2,931  1,177
100 Menominee  8,476  236  2,253  860
126 Meridian Township  40,609  286  2,293  1,121
89 Milan  5,875  187  2,383  767
13 Milford  16,170  74  557  258
154 Monroe  20,474  537  3,487  1,794
86 Montrose Township  7,706  143  2,505  736
167 Mount Morris Township  20,990  710  4,269  2,303
98 Mount Pleasant  26,238  221  1,871  853
90 Mundy Township  14,781  156  2,361  784
173 Muskegon  36,658  887  5,374  3,047
182 Muskegon Heights  10,768  1,913  6,566  4,795
10 Napoleon Township  6,771  30  842  212
12 New Baltimore  12,148  74  560  250
140 Niles  11,471  471  2,650  1,398
70 Northfield Township  8,387  179  1,419  594
14 Northville  5,992  67  851  274
32 Northville Township  28,734  63  1,267  408
68 Novi  57,469  84  1,681  579
156 Oak Park  29,684  606  2,722  1,829
129 Oscoda Township  6,819  293  3,476  1,172
135 Owosso  14,745  373  2,930  1,310
15 Petoskey  5,722  17  1,346  282
97 Pittsfield Township  36,091  191  2,006  849
43 Plymouth  8,949  156  995  475
26 Plymouth Township  27,076  66  1,093  375
160 Port Huron  29,542  606  3,087  1,909
131 Portage  47,387  186  3,389  1,183
1 Raisin Township  7,468  -    134  26
158 Redford Township  47,432  514  3,243  1,841
35 Richfield Township, Genesee County  8,523  117  1,103  424
106 Richmond  5,741  296  2,108  897
170 River Rouge  7,723  1,088  3,638  2,610
58 Riverview  12,267  155  1,215  533
17 Rochester  12,947  70  842  302
45 Rockford  5,894  119  1,493  483
155 Romulus  23,483  588  2,972  1,805
162 Roseville  47,327  461  4,167  1,943
79 Royal Oak  58,804  168  1,345  682
183 Saginaw  50,580  1,947  2,950  4,816
117 Saginaw Township  40,636  236  2,138  983
52 Saline  9,028  122  1,429  499
122 Sault Ste. Marie  14,203  253  2,795  1,054
37 South Lyon  11,552  147  840  440
145 Southfield  72,755  360  2,914  1,496
139 Southgate  29,459  289  3,571  1,378
7 Spring Arbor Township  8,276  12  689  156
28 Spring Lake-Ferrysburg  5,311  75  1,412  389
109 Springfield  5,210  250  2,610  902
47 St. Clair  5,375  112  1,619  489
39 St. Johns  7,906  101  1,417  454
75 St. Joseph Township  9,953  191  1,437  631
22 St. Louis  7,416  108  836  350
111 Sterling Heights  130,634  187  1,903  917
49 Sumpter Township  9,310  150  1,160  499
76 Swartz Creek  5,646  177  1,931  661
164 Taylor  61,836  561  3,369  2,017
5 Thetford Township  6,872  44  276  128
36 Thomas Township  11,846  76  1,401  425
165 Three Rivers  7,712  700  4,227  2,046
40 Tittabawassee Township  9,849  152  934  460
65 Trenton  18,483  135  1,347  547
74 Troy  82,608  75  1,876  627
116 Van Buren Township  28,282  223  2,348  969
114 Walker  24,158  166  2,807  942
96 Walled Lake  7,101  366  1,028  833
157 Warren  134,167  506  2,615  1,838
92 Waterford Township  72,949  185  1,586  791
161 Wayne  17,232  702  2,780  1,927
31 West Bloomfield Township  65,840  65  1,071  400
151 Westland  82,554  440  2,906  1,687
42 White Lake Township  30,585  72  1,419  463
77 Wixom  13,744  146  1,928  670
62 Woodhaven  12,652  134  1,446  545
112 Wyandotte  25,378  221  2,246  932
143 Wyoming  73,786  419  2,232  1,461
168 Ypsilanti  19,677  828  3,410  2,333
56 Zeeland  5,575  72  2,188  531

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