When someone says "New York," the first thing that comes to mind is probably the city of the same name. With over eight million of the state’s nearly 20 million residents, 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 safe 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 peers in the state. With some of its lowest total violent crime rates, these five are the safest places in the state.
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 years old have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
This village in Nassau County, on Long Island, is the second-safest place overall and 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%. The median household income was almost $56,000 per year above the state median.
Elmira is a small town (population 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 Finger Lakes region. With a median household income of just over $75,000 per year, this is a middle-class community. This safe place also offers lower housing and rental costs than New York state overall.
This small community is the second entrant from Westchester County, and it's actually a village in the town of Mount Pleasant, N.Y. 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 department. 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
The smallest community in the top five (population 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 median, and home values are very high.
Some cities have a strong 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 10 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 safe cities, and it is considerably safer than New York state’s least safe place, Buffalo.
Safest places in New York
- Elmira Town
- Cairo Town
- Briarcliff Manor Village
- Pleasantville Village
- Chester Town
- Lewisboro Town
- Malverne Village
- Elmira Town
- Pleasantville Village
- Kings Point Village
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
Violent crime per 100,000
Property crime per 100,000
|91||Ballston Spa Village||5,470||146||1,335||718|