by Susan Gulliford
New Hampshire’s safest places are economically prosperous places. That is the major takeaway from the ValuePenguin team’s analysis of the FBI Crime Report for The Granite State. They are in one of two counties (Rockingham and Hillsborough) with unemployment rates of less than 3%. These communities also have strong median household incomes and low rates of poverty.
Overall, the 60 cities in this study with populations of over 5,000 residents have crime scores that range from 151 to 3,075. The average crime score for a community in New Hampshire is 972. For more information on the safest cities and towns in New Hampshire, you can read the full report here.
5 Safest Places in New Hampshire
These cities have an average final crime score of 297, which is 69% lower than their typical peer in the state. With some of its lowest total violent crime rates, these five are the safest places in New Hampshire.
This top-ranked town of approximately 6,800 residents is 39 miles north of Boston, Mass. The police department offers services such as a Vacation Watch for when people are away from home and free gun locks to residents. Atkinson has the lowest rate of violent crime and the lowest rate of property crime of any community in this research. In fact, Atkinson’s crime score is 84% lower than its typical peer in New Hampshire. The median household income is 44% higher than the New Hampshire median, and the percentage of people in poverty is much lower than the overall percentage for the state (3.1% for Atkinson versus 9.2% for New Hampshire.
Sandown is another town from the small category (population 6,239). It reported a total of three violent crimes for 2014, and Sandown has the sixth-lowest rate of property crime. The police department offers helpful crime prevention tips, and it also posts notices of reported phone scams on its website to keep residents safe. The median household income is approximately $13,000 higher than the median income for the state and the percentage of people in poverty, 7.3%, is slightly lower than the 9.2% for New Hampshire.
3. New Boston
The smallest city in the top five (population 5,432) comes in at number three. New Boston is approximately 15 miles from Manchester. Despite its small size, New Boston has a police department of six full-time and four part-time sworn officers to keep crime low. In addition to a low amount of violent crime, this town has the fifth-lowest rate of property crime. New Boston is affluent; the median household income is 52% higher than the median household income for New Hampshire and less than 2% of New Boston’s residents live in poverty.
The safest community from the mid-size category earns fourth place in this research. It is approximately 37 miles north of Boston, Mass., and 19 miles southeast of Manchester in Rockingham County. The police department has 20 full-time officers to keep crime in check. It has the fifth-lowest rate of violent crime and the eighth-lowest rate of property crime. Windham is another town with a high median household income (70% higher than New Hampshire’s median household income) and a high percentage college graduates (50%).
With over 25,000 residents, Merrimack is the largest place in the top five. The police department promotes community involvement in fighting crime by offering an anonymous internet tip line. Its website even has a kids page featuring videos and games with McGruff the Crime Dog. The result of these efforts is that Merrimack has the third-lowest rate of violent crime. Merrimack has a median household income 39% higher than the state’s median and a lower level of poverty (3.8% for Merrimack versus 9.2% for New Hampshire).
Although we adjusted for population in our crime rankings, it is still difficult to compare a small town to a large city. To account for this fact, we separated the safest cities into three categories: towns with populations between 5,000 and 7,000, midsize cities with populations between 7,000 and 15,000, and larger cities with populations greater than 15,000. Here are our findings:
Full List of Places in New Hampshire
Below is the entire list of places that we included in our “Safest Places in New Hampshire” study. They are listed from the safest to the least safe, according to our analysis. The calculation for the crime scores can be found in the methodology section below. Take a look at the graph and see where your hometown ranks.
To rank these places, we collected data from the 2014 FBI crime statistics by city, which provides the most recent crime data available. Not every town participates in this report and we also excluded towns with fewer than 5,000 residents because towns with small populations are more sensitive to crime score fluctuations for fewer crimes committed. The raw data report included property crimes (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson), and violent crimes (murder/manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) from all law enforcement agencies that chose to partake in the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program.
We standardized the data to reflect violent and property crimes per 100,000, to account for population. Then, we aggregated a “crime score” by weighting violent crime at 80% and property crime at 20%. Though property crime is more prevalent, we figured that violent crime is more concerning to town residents. Then we adjusted the crime score for population size, giving more slack to larger cities. Finally, we ranked the cities based on their crime scores.
Here is an alphabetical table of all cities included with their ranks, making it easier to compare different cities. See where your city lies!
|Rank||City||Population||Violent Crime per 100K||Property Crime per 100K||Crime Score|