2016 Safest Places in New York

2016 Safest Places in New York

by Susan Gulliford

When someone says "New York," the first thing that comes to your mind is probably the city of the same name. With over eight million of the state’s nearly 20 million people, New York City looms large in the public mind. New York state, however, has a wide range of communities with crime rates that vary tremendously.

The ValuePenguin team analyzed 210 places with populations of more than 5,000. The crime scores ranged from 16 to 5,266. Small towns and villages dominated the top five safest places. Notably, New York City was not among the least safest cities. Here is the detailed report on the safest places in New York.

5 Safest Places in New York

These cities have an average crime score of 50, which is 95% lower than their typical peer in the state. With some of its lowest total violent crime rates, these five are the safest places in the state.

1. Lewisboro Town

The safest place is a mid-sized community made up of six hamlets located 50 miles north of New York City in Westchester County. The New York State Police serve the community in conjunction with the local police department. This arrangement produced a very positive outcome; Lewisboro Town had zero violent crimes reported and the lowest rate of property crime for the state, for 2014. This community has a well-educated, affluent population. The median household income in this community was 2.4 times the median household income for the state of New York, and almost 75% of the residents over 25 have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

2. Malverne Village

This village in Nassau County (Long Island), is the second-safest place overall and is the number one community in the small category. It reported one violent crime in 2014 and had the third-lowest rate of property crime in this study. Malverne Village involves its citizens in law enforcement by training volunteers to serve as Police Reserve Officers. This community has a very high rate of home ownership (nearly 93%), and the median household income was almost $56,000 per year above the state’s median household income.

3. Elmira Town

Elmira is a small town (population of 5,894) that surrounds the city of Elmira on three sides and is approximately 14 miles from Corning. Elmira Town not only had a low rate of violent crime, it had the second-lowest rate of property crime. This town is located in the state’s Fingerlakes region. With a median household income of just over $75,000 per year, this community is more middle-class. This safe place also offers lower housing and rental costs than New York state overall.

4. Pleasantville Village

This small community is the second entrant from Westchester County, and it's actually a village in the town of Mount Pleasant, NY. Pleasantville Village is approximately a 15-minute drive from White Plains and a 34-minute drive from Stamford, Conn. Despite being a small village, it has a full-time police agency. Pleasantville Village had only one violent crime reported in 2014, and it also had the fourth-lowest rate of property crime. The community had a median household income of slightly over $105,000 per year, a very low poverty rate, and a high percentage (61%) of residents with at least a bachelor’s degree.

5. Kings Point Village

The smallest community in the top five (population of 5,065) is the second entrant from Nassau County. Kings Point Village is approximately a one-hour drive from New York City. It had zero violent crimes reported, and it was the fifth safest for property crime in this research. The median household income was approximately $55,000 above the state’s median household income and home values are very high.

Year-over-year Change

Some cities have a real track record of safety. Two of the safest places, Elmira Town and Pleasantville Village, were in the top five for 2015. This year’s number five, Kings Point Village, was in the top ten last year for small safest places.

In both 2015 and 2016, small communities dominated the safest places. All of the top five were from the small category. In 2016, one community was mid-sized and the other four were small. If you are looking for a small, safe place, New York state has many of them.

If a small town is not for you, there are some cities with more than 20,000 people that produced consistent results. Glen Cove was the safest city in the large category for the second year in a row. Overall, five of the top cities in the largest categories were repeats from last year. If the biggest city of all interests you, take heart. New York City was not among the least safest cities, and it is considerably safer than New York state’s least safest place, Buffalo.

Safest Places in New York

2015

  • Elmira Town
  • Cairo Town
  • Briarcliff Manor Village
  • Pleasantville Village
  • Chester Town

2016

  • Lewisboro Town
  • Malverne Village
  • Elmira Town
  • Pleasantville Village
  • Kings Point Village

Methodology

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 disqualified Woodbury Town because the FBI suspected underreported data.

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.

Full List of Places in New York

Below is the entire list of places that we included in our "Safest Places in New York" 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.

Rank

City
Population
Violent Crime per 100K
Property Crime per 100K
Crime Score

205

Albany98,5958133,9433,594

178

Albion Village5,8724433,4741,977

132

Amherst Town118,8601081,7381,101

125

Amityville Village9,5091262,0821,029

153

Amsterdam18,0991492,7071,407

47

Baldwinsville Village7,48527868378

91

Ballston Spa Village5,4701461,335718

190

Batavia15,2234663,9352,426

150

Bath Village5,7032452,5951,344

140

Beacon14,3303001,7101,209

33

Bedford Town17,78211692313

97

Bethlehem Town34,653981,310773
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Ting is a ValuePenguin Co-Founder. She previously evaluated corporate mergers and acquisitions as a Financial Analyst at Citigroup.