15 safest

The 15 Safest AND Most Livable Small Towns Across America

There are plenty of safe towns across the U.S. But what good is a safe town if it has horrible schools? Crazy, expensive housing? Or what if the town is safe because your closest neighbor is a tumble weed? Safety is best balanced with quality of life. With that in mind, we’ve decided to hand select the 15 safest and most livable small towns across the country.
In order to qualify for the list, towns were matched against the following criteria.

1. A population between 5,000 and 20,000 people.
2. A Great Schools Rating of 8 or Better
3. A Median Home Price Below $500,000
4. Low Violent Crime Rates (Per FBI Data)
5. Low Burglary Rates (Per FBI Data)
5. Within 1 Hour of a Larger City
6. No More Than One Winning City Per State

USA

#15 Nolensville, Tennessee

Nolensville, Tennessee is located approximately 23 miles south of Nashville. This small town offers plenty to do with a focus centered around family activities. Their annual Buttercup festival draws a large crowd, as do the local antique shops and the original Martin’s BBQ Joint previously featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.


  • CLOSE TO NASHVILLE

  • MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $403,012

  • GREAT SCHOOLS RATING 10/10

  • TOWN POPULATION: 6,086

  • VIOLENT CRIME PER 100K: 49

  • BURGLARIES PER 100K: 49

#14 Highland Village, Texas

Highland-Village

Credit: trademarkproperty.com

Along the shores of Lake Lewisville, you will find Highland Village. This small town is way more than a sleepy lake community. The Shops at Highland Village offer everything from unique local shopping to fresh finds at Whole Foods. In August, the town hosts a Hot Air Balloon festival where families can enjoy weiner dog races, live music, and kid’s activities.


  • CLOSE TO DALLAS

  • MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $346,600

  • GREAT SCHOOLS RATING 9/10

  • TOWN POPULATION: 15,836

  • VIOLENT CRIME PER 100K: 38

  • BURGLARIES PER 100K: 44

#13 Purcellville, Virginia

Purcellville, Virginia

Purcellville is a down to earth town located in the Heart of DC’s Wine Country®. According to Virginia.org,

The town is home to a … great selection of eclectic boutiques, a wide array of restaurants, regular weekend entertainment, farmer’s markets, pick your own, and annual events. Numerous award-winning wineries are within minutes of the Historic Old Town area. Purcellville’s rich Virginia history is preserved with the W&OD Bike Trail, Fireman’s Field ballpark, the old Train Depot, and Bush Tabernacle – each a unique amenity where you can take a leisurely bike ride, enjoy a Babe Ruth baseball game, or strap on some roller skates.


  • CLOSE TO WASHINGTON DC

  • MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $466,800

  • GREAT SCHOOLS RATING 8/10

  • TOWN POPULATION: 8,132

  • VIOLENT CRIME PER 100K: 49

  • BURGLARIES PER 100K: 37

Photo Credit: Via Tsuji, “trail’s end cycling co” used under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license.

#12 Cecil Township, Pennsylvania

Cecil Township is technically a suburb of Pittsburgh. It offers all the pros of living in a small town, but also all the pros of living in a major city.

Cecil Township Parks and Recreation maintains a calendar of fun, local activities ranging from an annual Easter Egg Hunt to Movies in the Park to their Annual Fall Festival. Though you can easily get to Pittsburgh, you may never want to leave.


  • CLOSE TO PITTSBURGH

  • MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $239,323

  • GREAT SCHOOLS RATING 9/10

  • TOWN POPULATION: 11,315

  • VIOLENT CRIME PER 100K: 35

  • BURGLARIES PER 100K: 44

#11 Rogers, Minnesota

Rogers residents enjoy access to many parks and trails, including the Crow-Hassan Park Reserve, a 2,600 acre park that will make you feel like a prairie settler. If being outside isn’t your thing, you might enjoy the two-story antique mall or a visit to the ice arena to cheer on the Rogers’ Royals. Bloomberg Businessweek and Bloomberg Rankings named Rogers the best place to raise a family in Minnesota, and it’s easy to see why.


  • CLOSE TO MINNEAPOLIS

  • MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $258,400

  • GREAT SCHOOLS RATING 9/10

  • TOWN POPULATION: 11,000

  • VIOLENT CRIME PER 100K: 0

  • BURGLARIES PER 100K: 78

#10 Granby, Connecticut

Granby, Connecticut

Granby is a quintessential New England town. Situated in Hartford County, it is home to many historic sites, including Allen’s Cider Mill, the Frederick H. Cossitt Library, and the Granby Center Historic District. If history isn’t your cup of tea, you might enjoy the annual Celebrate Granby community event held at Salmon Brook Park. The event is a great place to get to know your neighbors, grab a beer, enjoy live music, and check out classic cars. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it?


  • CLOSE TO HARTFORD

  • MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $258,500

  • GREAT SCHOOLS RATING 9/10

  • TOWN POPULATION: 11,321

  • VIOLENT CRIME PER 100K: 18

  • BURGLARIES PER 100K: 44

Photo Credit: Doug Kerr, “Salmon Brook Historical Society” used under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

#9 Farmington, Utah

We are not the only publication to recognize this outdoor heaven as a great place to live. Time Magazine called Farmington the 14th best place to live in 2013. The town’s location isn’t too shabby either. It is perfectly located between the Wasatch Mountains and the Great Salt Lakes.

Farmington has thousands of acres devoted to wildlife and over 100 miles of trails. Oh, and did I mention they have an amusement park? Seriously. How many small towns can say that?


  • CLOSE TO SALT LAKE CITY

  • MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $278,200

  • GREAT SCHOOLS RATING 8/10

  • TOWN POPULATION: 18,836

  • VIOLENT CRIME PER 100K: 32

  • BURGLARIES PER 100K: 37

#8 Mukwonago, Wisconsin

Mukwonago,-Wisconsin

Residents of Mukwonago can eat like Bobby Flay at the Elegant Farmer, where you can enjoy a thick slice of gourmet caramel apple pie, among other delicious treats.

Mukwonago’s annual Fall Fest downtown is always a great time for families. And during the summer, almost 2000 people flock to the Lions Summerfest for games, a Father’s Day parade, and a softball tournament.


  • CLOSE TO MILWAUKEE

  • MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $224,750

  • GREAT SCHOOLS RATING 9/10

  • TOWN POPULATION: 7,996

  • VIOLENT CRIME PER 100K: 0

  • BURGLARIES PER 100K: 63

Photo Credit: James Case, “Deja Vu”, used under a CC BY 2.0 license.

#7 Mt. Arlington, New Jersey

Near the shores of Lake Hopatcong you will find Mt. Arlington. The lake is the largest freshwater lake in New Jersey and provides plenty of outdoor activities including wakeboarding, skiing, swimming, and boating. During the winter, there is still plenty to do in and around Mt. Arlington. To make travel easier, the city is served by the NJ Transit system.


  • CLOSE TO NEWARK

  • MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $289,000

  • GREAT SCHOOLS RATING 8/10

  • TOWN POPULATION: 5,103

  • VIOLENT CRIME PER 100K: 20

  • BURGLARIES PER 100K: 39

#6 Villa Hills, Kentucky

Villa Hills is a suburb of Cincinnati. (Yes, they have chili nearby.) With its short commute to the big city, and low crime rate, it’s a picture perfect bedroom community. The average household income in Villa Hills hovers around $80,000 but housing remains affordable and the schools are top-notch.


  • CLOSE TO CINCINNATI, OHIO

  • MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $205,300

  • GREAT SCHOOLS RATING 9/10

  • TOWN POPULATION: 7,540

  • VIOLENT CRIME PER 100K: 0

  • BURGLARIES PER 100K: 53

#5 Broadview Heights, Ohio

Broadview Heights is not a sleepy little town. During the summer, they host an outdoor rock concert series that is free to attend. They also have a lively Parks and Recreation division and the Broadview Heights Spotlights Theater, which hosts live performances and musicals throughout the year.

One thing to note is citizens of Broadview Heights either attend the Brecksville-Broadview Heights school system or the North Royalton school system. The Brecksville-Broadview Height is a NCLB Blue Ribbon School and holds other academic distinctions, including the distinction of being ranked as one of the most challenging high schools in the nation by the Washington Post.


  • CLOSE TO CLEVELAND

  • MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $190,632

  • GREAT SCHOOLS RATING 9/10

  • TOWN POPULATION: 19,246

  • VIOLENT CRIME PER 100K: 21

  • BURGLARIES PER 100K: 26

#4 Western Springs, Illinois

Western-Springs,-Illinois

Trails, trees, and great schools are some things that come to mind when thinking about Western Springs. The city has had its fair share of positive press in part due to its affluence and in part because it’s one of the best Chicago suburbs for families.

There are 11 parks in Western Springs, two nearby hospitals, and two rec centers – all adding to the livability that makes Western Springs one of our top picks.


  • CLOSE TO CHICAGO

  • MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $479,625

  • GREAT SCHOOLS RATING 10/10

  • TOWN POPULATION: 13,039

  • VIOLENT CRIME PER 100K: 8

  • BURGLARIES PER 100K: 38

Photo Credit: Mark D L used under a CC BY-ND 2.0 license.

#3 Brandon, South Dakota

I’m not sure what they are doing in Brandon to keep the crime rates so low, but it’s working. And although it may be a little quieter than some of our other picks, it is a short 20 minute drive to Sioux Falls.

For a little fun in Brandon, you can head to the Wilde Prairie Winery, which proudly serves and produces wine made from South Dakota grown grapes. They also have a Municipal Golf Course, a pool, and hiking trails. But the biggest ticket in town? Automania. The free car show brings around 70,000 visitors to Brandon each year.


  • CLOSE TO SIOUX FALLS

  • MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $320,683

  • GREAT SCHOOLS RATING 8/10

  • TOWN POPULATION: 9,008

  • VIOLENT CRIME PER 100K: 11

  • BURGLARIES PER 100K: 22

#2 Hopkinton, Massachusetts

Hopkinton is a 300 year old town that has managed to maintain its authentic charm. Their downtown district is full of mom and pop shops and hosts multiple local events, including concerts parades, and a craft fair.

One fun fact about Hopkinston? It is the official starting line of the Boston Marathon, which means that Boston is literally within running distance (for some people).


  • CLOSE TO BOSTON

  • MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $512,600

  • GREAT SCHOOLS RATING 8/10

  • TOWN POPULATION: 15,214

  • VIOLENT CRIME PER 100K: 13

  • BURGLARIES PER 100K: 0

#1 Lewisboro, New York

Our top ranked most livable, small town is Lewisboro, New York. Lewisboro has had some isolated crime over the past couple years but the FBI data shows that per 100K residents, Lewisboro is virtually crime free. Add to that a Great Schools rating of 10/10 and it’s easy to see why Lewisboro is a great place to live.

Lewisboro is about as Norman Rockwell as America gets. The Lewisboro Horsemen’s Association offers a 1500 acre haven for your horses complete with trails. And though there is charm and development, the community has managed to preserve over 1,000 acres of open space, accessible to the public, with the help of The Lewisboro Land Trust and the Westchester Land Trust.


  • CLOSE TO DANBURY, CT

  • MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $403,000

  • GREAT SCHOOLS RATING 10/10

  • TOWN POPULATION: 12,569

  • VIOLENT CRIME PER 100K: 0

  • BURGLARIES PER 100K: 0

Special Thanks To:

GreatSchools.org

The FBI

6 replies
    • Rose says:

      Smart catch Holly. Emily had to pull rank on Hopkinton. There were surprisingly few towns in America that met the criteria and Hopkinton was too good to pass up and so close to the 500K mark. Her research indicates that she found homes for sale in the 300K-500K range that were livable family homes.

  1. Brian Loxley says:

    You say in your introduction above that you have selected the “15 safest and most livable small towns across the COUNTY” when I think you meant COUNTRY. (Just add an “r.”) I almost overlooked this because of that.

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