2016 Safest Places in Pennsylvania

by Susan Gulliford

Founded by William Penn in 1681, Pennsylvania is a state rich in history. Visitors and residents alike can see where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. The ValuePenguin team analyzed data for 227 communities in Pennsylvania with populations of at least 10,000 people to determine the safest communities.

Final crimes ranged from 132 to over 7,900, so it is important that people research a community before they move there. Four out of the top five are part of the Philadelphia metro area. All of the communities had incomes above the state’s median household income; however, some of the places were significantly more affluent than Pennsylvania as a whole.

5 Safest Places in Pennsylvania

These cities have an average crime score of 190, which is 84% lower than their typical peer in the state. With some of its lowest total violent and property crime rates, these five are the safest places in the state.

1. Upper Providence Township

This community of slightly over 10,000 people is 15 miles west of Philadelphia. It had the lowest rate of property crime of any city in this study. Upper Providence Township is an affluent community with a median household income of $107,311 which is more than double the median household income of the state. This place is in Delaware County, so residents have the Brandywine Battlefield and the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge to visit nearby.

2. South Park Township

The second safest place is another small community that is part of the Greater Pittsburgh area in Allegheny County. It is the lone community in the western part of the state in the top five. South Park Township had the second-lowest rate of property crime in Pennsylvania. The median household income of $69,365 was $16,000 a year above the state’s median income.

3. Buckingham Township

Opened for settlement around 1700, Buckingham Township has a long, rich history. Residents can visit many nearby historical sites such as Washington Crossing Historic Park, site of George Washington’s midnight crossing of the Delaware. It is the safest city in our mid-sized category with low rates of both violent and property crime. Buckingham Township is very affluent with a median household income ($119,620) and homeownership rate (92%) well above the norm for Pennsylvania.

4. Northampton Township

Like Buckingham Township, this community is also located in historic Bucks County. It is the largest place in the top five with a population just under 40,000 people. Northampton Township has low rates of both violent and property crime. Of note, it recorded just six violent crimes for the year surveyed. It is 12 miles northeast of Philadelphia and is home to a very affluent population with a median household income of over $106,000.

5. Willistown Township

The final place in our top five is a small community of just over 10,000 people in Chester County. Willistown Township boasts of its great location: approximately 20 miles from Wilmington, Delaware and 20 miles from Philadelphia. Founded in 1704, English Quakers were among its first settlers. There were only two violent crimes recorded in 2014. This community has a median household income that is over $48,000 higher, per year, than the median household in Pennsylvania, and it has a more educated population -- 62% of its residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher -- than the state as a whole.

Population Breakdown

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 10,000 and 20,000, midsize cities with populations of 20,000 and 30,000, and larger cities with populations greater than 30,000. Here are our findings:

Safest Places in Pennsylvania

Full List of Places in Pennsylvania

Below is the entire list of places that we included in our “Safest Places in Pennsylvania” 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

CityCrime Score

1

Upper Providence Township, Delaware County132

2

South Park Township171

3

Buckingham Township199

4

Northampton Township218

5

Willistown Township232

6

Warwick Township, Bucks County246

7

Franconia Township249

8

Adams Township, Butler County252

9

Pennridge Regional252

10

Lower Salford Township253

11

New Britain Township256

12

South Fayette Township257

13

Franklin Park258

14

Whitehall282

15

Upper St. Clair Township305

16

Peters Township308

17

Plumstead Township309

18

Buffalo Valley Regional321

19

Cecil Township324

20

Northern Regional336

21

Baldwin Borough338

22

Upper Allen Township357

23

Mount Lebanon360

24

West Deer Township360

25

Upper Gwynedd Township378

26

Jefferson Hills Borough389

27

East Cocalico Township397

28

Tredyffrin Township415

29

Newtown Township, Bucks County417

30

Upper Dublin Township418

31

Ferguson Township421

32

Easttown Township426

33

West Lampeter Township427

34

Warrington Township428

35

Upper Saucon Township428

36

Harrison Township433

37

Hampton Township438

38

Towamencin Township442

39

Uwchlan Township446

40

New Garden Township456

41

Northern Berks Regional458

42

Northwest Lancaster County Regional463

43

Elizabeth Township471

44

Horsham Township474

45

Lower Makefield Township481

46

Upper Uwchlan Township481

47

Doylestown Township482

48

Central Bucks Regional489

49

Moon Township492

50

New Hanover Township493

51

Westtown-East Goshen Regional494

52

Northern Lancaster County Regional495

53

Amity Township503

54

Bethel Park505

55

Spring Township, Berks County509

56

Lower Moreland Township511

57

McCandless515

58

Springfield Township, Montgomery County519

59

Upper Macungine Township523

60

Hampden Township526

61

Newtown Township, Delaware County527

62

Manor Township, Lancaster County532

63

Forks Township536

64

North Strabane Township547

65

Southern Regional York County554

66

Emmaus555

67

Radnor Township556

68

Scott Township, Allegheny County560

69

Silver Spring Township561

70

Upper Southampton Township562

71

Hatfield Township566

72

Mifflin County Regional573

73

Lower Saucon Township575

74

Murrysville575

75

Patton Township585

76

East Whiteland Township588

77

East Pennsboro Township603

78

State College619

79

Hopewell Township631

80

Nether Providence Township645

81

Cranberry Township646

82

Shaler Township647

83

Penn Township, York County647

84

Douglass Township, Montgomery County649

85

West Hills Regional655

86

Haverford Township656

87

Hilltown Township674

88

Northeastern Regional678

89

Elizabethtown679

90

Lower Gwynedd Township682

91

Marple Township685

92

West Goshen Township689

93

Lehigh Township, Northampton County696

94

Northern York Regional705

95

Aston Township744

96

Upper Providence Township, Montgomery County754

97

Salisbury Township764

98

Warminster Township776

99

Whitemarsh Township778

100

Whitpain Township785

101

Ridley Township785

102

North Middleton Township789

103

Montgomery Township800

104

Fairview Township, York County800

105

Bethlehem Township803

106

York Area Regional823

107

Derry Township, Dauphin County828

108

Lower Providence Township833

109

Lower Burrell838

110

Palmer Township840

111

East Hempfield Township848

112

North Huntingdon Township851

113

Lower Pottsgrove Township858

114

Lansdale859

115

Lower Merion Township875

116

Manheim Township877

117

St. Marys City878

118

Lower Allen Township878

119

Plum887

120

Cumru Township931

121

Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County936

122

Ephrata Township940

123

Newberry Township968

124

Exeter Township, Berks County969

125

Millcreek Township, Erie County973

126

Oil City1,032

127

Ephrata1,034

128

North Fayette Township1,038

129

Pocono Township1,048

130

Upper Moreland Township1,074

131

Lower Southampton Township1,083

132

Columbia1,130

133

Southwest Mercer County Regional1,148

134

Springfield Township, Delaware County1,150

135

West Whiteland Township1,158

136

Lancaster Township, Lancaster County1,166

137

Abington Township, Montgomery County1,166

138

Ross Township1,167

139

Sandy Township1,168

140

Richland Township, Bucks County1,185

141

West Mifflin1,189

142

Limerick Township1,197

143

Middletown Township1,198

144

Meadville1,205

145

Lock Haven1,210

146

East Norriton Township1,212

147

West Chester1,224

148

North Versailles Township1,228

149

Lower Paxton Township1,245

150

Kingston1,255

151

Robinson Township, Allegheny County1,279

152

Falls Township, Bucks County1,330

153

West Norriton Township1,333

154

Colonial Regional1,358

155

Pottsville1,368

156

Pocono Mountain Regional1,375

157

Upper Chichester Township1,378

158

Monroeville1,392

159

Nanticoke1,393

160

Hermitage1,405

161

West Manchester Township1,424

162

Phoenixville1,429

163

Berwick1,452

164

Bristol Township1,455

165

Butler Township, Butler County1,462

166

Lansdowne1,466

167

South Whitehall Township1,467

168

Washington Township, Franklin County1,469

169

Coal Township1,477

170

Spring Garden Township1,491

171

Hanover Township, Luzerne County1,503

172

Hanover1,505

173

Carlisle1,520

174

Cheltenham Township1,529

175

Logan Township1,533

176

Altoona1,557

177

Easton1,562

178

North Lebanon Township1,574

179

Waynesboro1,605

180

Lebanon1,617

181

Greensburg1,654

182

Muhlenberg Township1,654

183

Caln Township1,656

184

Bensalem Township1,660

185

Penn Hills1,725

186

Bethlehem1,733

187

East Lampeter Township1,761

188

Plymouth Township, Montgomery County1,783

189

Springettsbury Township1,798

190

Upper Darby Township1,810

191

Wyomissing1,810

192

Hazleton1,847

193

Scranton1,911

194

Upper Merion Township1,923

195

Rostraver Township1,924

196

Center Township1,994

197

Stroud Area Regional2,069

198

Erie2,124

199

Richland Township, Cambria County2,183

200

New Kensington2,243

201

Chambersburg2,245

202

Whitehall Township2,252

203

Williamsport2,343

204

Butler2,399

205

Washington, Washington County2,406

206

Wilkes-Barre2,435

207

Uniontown2,497

208

Norristown2,515

209

New Castle2,556

210

Sharon2,558

211

Johnstown2,608

212

Coatesville2,673

213

Allentown2,678

214

Yeadon2,707

215

Wilkinsburg2,716

216

Swatara Township2,772

217

Indiana3,033

218

Lancaster3,140

219

Reading3,146

220

York3,165

221

Pittsburgh3,515

222

Pottstown3,538

223

Harrisburg3,836

224

Chester4,349

225

McKeesport4,501

226

Philadelphia4,628

227

Darby7,932

Year-over-year Change

When people pick a place to live, they want a consistently safe place. Upper Providence Township in Delaware County was the safest place in both ValuePenguin’s 2015 and 2016 studies. It had low rates of violent and property crimes in both years.

Buckingham Township was also very consistent. In both 2015 and 2016, it was the safest mid-sized community and ranked number three in the top five. This community delivers safety for people and their property.

The research results were consistent in another way. In both 2015 and 2016, four out of the top five safest places were in the eastern part of the state. Those four communities were all part of the Philadelphia metro area.

Safest Places in Penn.

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 removed all cities with less than 10,000 in population. The FBI had data for 964 towns, 737 of which were under 10,000 in population.

We standardized the remaining 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 a complete table of all cities included with their ranks, making it easier to compare different cities. See where your city lies!

Rank

CityPopulationViolent Crime per 100KProperty Crime per 100KCrime Score

1

Upper Providence Township, Delaware County10,35419251132

2

South Park Township13,57129295171

3

Buckingham Township20,40515402199

4

Northampton Township39,69215413218

5

Willistown Township10,76019502232

6

Warwick Township, Bucks County14,71848401246

7

Franconia Township13,26323513249

8

Adams Township, Butler County12,91239457252

9

Pennridge Regional11,0509588252

10

Lower Salford Township15,39939448253

11

New Britain Township11,03418562256

12

South Fayette Township15,3177588257

13

Franklin Park14,16042452258

14

Whitehall13,94686337282

15

Upper St. Clair Township19,39941546305

16

Peters Township21,97536564308

17

Plumstead Township13,05231628309

18

Buffalo Valley Regional12,09633653321

19

Cecil Township11,82334660324

20

Northern Regional32,69012694336

21

Baldwin Borough19,82271504338

22

Upper Allen Township18,80111793357

23

Mount Lebanon33,05227687360

24

West Deer Township11,87317817360

25

Upper Gwynedd Township15,91575597378

26

Jefferson Hills Borough11,23980641389

27

East Cocalico Township10,42729873397

28

Tredyffrin Township29,54437778415

29

Newtown Township, Bucks County22,75366694417

30

Upper Dublin Township26,31046764418

31

Ferguson Township18,19877681421

32

Easttown Township10,57928945426

33

West Lampeter Township15,70713968427

34

Warrington Township23,63025876428

35

Upper Saucon Township15,69425918428

36

Harrison Township10,48986734433

37

Hampton Township18,521113572438

38

Towamencin Township18,32093666442

39

Uwchlan Township18,47065785446

40

New Garden Township12,08983786456

41

Northern Berks Regional13,11561869458

42

Northwest Lancaster County Regional19,436151,019463

43

Elizabeth Township13,31753931471

44

Horsham Township26,48168801474

45

Lower Makefield Township32,79940906481

46

Upper Uwchlan Township11,572-1,184481

47

Doylestown Township17,62340976482

48

Central Bucks Regional11,35353995489

49

Moon Township25,51463866492

50

New Hanover Township12,26673913493

51

Westtown-East Goshen Regional32,54158860494

52

Northern Lancaster County Regional33,67462843495

53

Amity Township12,821551,006503

54

Bethel Park32,40877812505

55

Spring Township, Berks County27,48758913509

56

Lower Moreland Township13,233531,028511

57

McCandless29,028381,002515

58

Springfield Township, Montgomery County19,529461,024519

59

Upper Macungine Township22,20191,167523

60

Hampden Township28,89366917526

61

Newtown Township, Delaware County12,348105867527

62

Manor Township, Lancaster County20,31079921532

63

Forks Township15,224201,202536

64

North Strabane Township14,033711,033547

65

Southern Regional York County14,917127818554

66

Emmaus11,316621,122555

67

Radnor Township31,49270956556

68

Scott Township, Allegheny County17,01094947560

69

Silver Spring Township15,444321,211561

70

Upper Southampton Township15,183791,027562

71

Hatfield Township20,933481,118566

72

Mifflin County Regional16,898531,142573

73

Lower Saucon Township10,802931,055575

74

Murrysville20,294143764575

75

Patton Township15,306521,189585

76

East Whiteland Township10,699751,159588

77

East Pennsboro Township21,260801,072603

78

State College56,551461,118619

79

Hopewell Township12,6101031,126631

80

Nether Providence Township13,795152950645

81

Cranberry Township29,834201,364646

82

Shaler Township28,756521,241647

83

Penn Township, York County15,8461331,010647

84

Douglass Township, Montgomery County10,4001251,115649

85

West Hills Regional10,563381,477655

86

Haverford Township48,877531,187656

87

Hilltown Township15,1901051,192674

88

Northeastern Regional11,5041481,078678

89

Elizabethtown11,6721031,259679

90

Lower Gwynedd Township11,562861,332682

91

Marple Township23,677421,398685

92

West Goshen Township23,130821,249689

93

Lehigh Township, Northampton County10,3951641,077696

94

Northern York Regional67,742741,165705

95

Aston Township16,929891,406744

96

Upper Providence Township, Montgomery County22,200361,590754

97

Salisbury Township13,646811,524764

98

Warminster Township32,804731,427776

99

Whitemarsh Township17,518691,558778

100

Whitpain Township19,2021351,292785

101

Ridley Township31,0641031,336785

102

North Middleton Township11,3561061,523789

103

Montgomery Township25,923311,690800

104

Fairview Township, York County16,9601421,327800

105

Bethlehem Township23,873541,617803

106

York Area Regional61,1071541,105823

107

Derry Township, Dauphin County24,887641,627828

108

Lower Providence Township25,6821951,110833

109

Lower Burrell11,598341,923838

110

Palmer Township20,929761,639840

111

East Hempfield Township24,066541,720848

112

North Huntingdon Township30,880681,622851

113

Lower Pottsgrove Township12,189821,772858

114

Lansdale16,4401891,283859

115

Lower Merion Township58,268601,596875

116

Manheim Township39,155431,737877

117

St. Marys City12,879701,856878

118

Lower Allen Township18,731851,714878

119

Plum27,595275895887

120

Cumru Township15,235791,910931

121

Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County24,5151551,513936

122

Ephrata Township10,195692,070940

123

Newberry Township15,3021241,817968

124

Exeter Township, Berks County25,761781,887969

125

Millcreek Township, Erie County54,407901,695973

126

Oil City10,2661561,9481,032

127

Ephrata13,5452581,4691,034

128

North Fayette Township14,291492,3021,038

129

Pocono Township10,8181482,0061,048

130

Upper Moreland Township24,253622,2021,074

131

Lower Southampton Township18,9511581,9001,083

132

Columbia10,3781542,1971,130

133

Southwest Mercer County Regional10,1603051,6441,148

134

Springfield Township, Delaware County24,345782,3081,150

135

West Whiteland Township18,495872,3681,158

136

Lancaster Township, Lancaster County17,065942,3791,166

137

Abington Township, Montgomery County55,6281082,0261,166

138

Ross Township31,136932,2261,167

139

Sandy Township10,6551602,2621,168

140

Richland Township, Bucks County13,062462,6951,185

141

West Mifflin20,2391582,1301,189

142

Limerick Township18,738322,6741,197

143

Middletown Township45,490902,2111,198

144

Meadville13,2372272,0171,205

145

Lock Haven10,0902082,1901,210

146

East Norriton Township14,1821972,1291,212

147

West Chester19,0952251,9591,224

148

North Versailles Township12,3673071,7711,228

149

Lower Paxton Township48,1171701,9761,245

150

Kingston13,0491532,4371,255

151

Robinson Township, Allegheny County13,6771462,5081,279

152

Falls Township, Bucks County34,0291702,2541,330

153

West Norriton Township15,8161582,5421,333

154

Colonial Regional19,803762,8581,358

155

Pottsville14,0422712,2151,368

156

Pocono Mountain Regional38,5211582,3651,375

157

Upper Chichester Township17,0121942,4811,378

158

Monroeville28,4143411,7601,392

159

Nanticoke10,3432422,5041,393

160

Hermitage16,1431612,6951,405

161

West Manchester Township18,8531642,6731,424

162

Phoenixville16,5322662,3231,429

163

Berwick10,3082332,6871,452

164

Bristol Township54,3491782,3591,455

165

Butler Township, Butler County17,0761822,7291,462

166

Lansdowne10,6292352,7001,466

167

South Whitehall Township19,573413,2541,467

168

Washington Township, Franklin County14,468763,2281,469

169

Coal Township10,6032362,7261,477

170

Spring Garden Township12,8441792,9121,491

171

Hanover Township, Luzerne County11,0293262,4121,503

172

Hanover15,3802282,6851,505

173

Carlisle18,9741952,7721,520

174

Cheltenham Township36,8651792,6311,529

175

Logan Township12,3254541,9311,533

176

Altoona45,6763481,9491,557

177

Easton27,1432982,3281,562

178

North Lebanon Township11,6252063,0451,574

179

Waynesboro10,7482982,7911,605

180

Lebanon25,5383092,4321,617

181

Greensburg14,6063352,6291,654

182

Muhlenberg Township19,9101313,3251,654

183

Caln Township14,1665011,9841,656

184

Bensalem Township60,5061342,9351,660

185

Penn Hills42,2883852,1871,725

186

Bethlehem75,0242812,4301,733

187

East Lampeter Township16,8791073,7381,761

188

Plymouth Township, Montgomery County16,6932463,2411,783

189

Springettsbury Township26,7971083,6271,798

190

Upper Darby Township82,8434271,9701,810

191

Wyomissing10,485674,2351,810

192

Hazleton25,0234762,2981,847

193

Scranton75,7492852,7751,911

194

Upper Merion Township28,651913,9511,923

195

Rostraver Township11,2182323,8241,924

196

Center Township11,7592383,9461,994

197

Stroud Area Regional33,9741943,7882,069

198

Erie100,4034042,6292,124

199

Richland Township, Cambria County12,478805,0092,183

200

New Kensington12,8644203,7782,243

201

Chambersburg20,5613843,6672,245

202

Whitehall Township27,146994,6822,252

203

Williamsport29,3404503,4462,343

204

Butler13,5154004,2102,399

205

Washington, Washington County13,6864683,9462,406

206

Wilkes-Barre41,0174363,5332,435

207

Uniontown10,1394044,6162,497

208

Norristown34,4537462,5602,515

209

New Castle22,6295083,8362,556

210

Sharon13,6986133,7302,558

211

Johnstown21,7555753,7142,608

212

Coatesville13,1419972,5042,673

213

Allentown118,7105153,2192,678

214

Yeadon11,5247383,7142,707

215

Wilkinsburg15,8718822,9362,716

216

Swatara Township24,6543614,8672,772

217

Indiana14,0721,3501,9123,033

218

Lancaster59,3256793,8623,140

219

Reading87,8488652,9043,146

220

York43,9518833,2853,165

221

Pittsburgh307,6137983,2133,515

222

Pottstown22,6057705,0483,538

223

Harrisburg49,1091,1143,7223,836

224

Chester34,0561,5363,4534,349

225

McKeesport21,4051,7943,2194,501

226

Philadelphia1,559,0621,0213,3884,628

227

Darby10,6873,8554,2677,932

Comments and Questions