What makes a city safe? It is a burning question on the minds of American citizens and public officials alike. Employment rate, population size, and level of education are all contributing factors. Below is a look at seven cities and what sets them apart.

Shrewsbury, Massachusetts

Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, with a population of 36,580, is the 43rd largest town in the state. One of the things that make Shrewsbury so safe is that 89.93% of residents work a white-collar job, which means the vast majority of the community are financially stable. According to NeighborhoodScout.com, the violent crime rate for Shrewsbury is .06 per 1000 residents, and the property crime rate is 5.71 per 1000 residents.

Lake in the Hills, Illinois

Lake in the Hills has a population of 28,893, making it the 70th largest town in Illinois. The violent crime rate for Lake in the Hills is 0.59 per 1000 residents, which is well below the national average. The property crime rate of 4.85 is also well below the 26.0 national average. 31.24% of the citizens of Lake in the Hills have at least a Bachelor’s degree, compared to the national average of 21.2%.

Bergenfield, New Jersey

Bergenfield, New Jersey, with a population of 27,406 people, is a medium-sized city. Bergenfield has a violent crime rate of 0.40 and a property crime rate of 4.74, which are both well below the national average. Just over 38% of Bergenfield citizens have a Bachelor’s degree or higher which has an indirect effect on these low crime rates.

Franklin, Massachusetts

Franklin has a population of 32,857, a violent crime rate of 0.15, and a property crime rate of 3.20. Franklin has two claims to fame: it’s named after Ben Franklin and is home to the first public library. The town has a strong sense of civic duty, which is exhibited by the Franklin Council on Aging. By creating a town-wide focus on caring for aging citizens, the program fosters a strong sense of community that keeps crime at bay.

Rancho Santa Margarita, California

This southern California town has a population of 49,558, a violent crime rate of 0.54, and a property crime rate of 4.10. The fact that this town is home to the Orange County Crime Stoppers, a highly successful community watch program, is why it has such low crime rates for their population size.

Winona, Minnesota

Winona has a population of 27,546, a violent crime rate of 0.91, and a property crime rate of 2.61. Winona has a community first mindset, which is exhibited in programs like “The Friendship Center”. This center serves as a community hub for socializing older adults. This commitment to community keeps social ties strong and crime low.

Washington Township, New Jersey

Washington Township has a population of 18,787, a violent crime rate of 0.37, and a property crime rate of 1.76. This town is one focused on community wellness, which is evident by the Washington Township Family and Community Services/Municipal Alliance Commission’s commitment to educating the community with successful drug and alcohol programs. The town also has a popular community garden program that has created a strong bond amongst residents.

As these cities show, an intangible factor contributing to city safety is cooperation between a city’s citizens and its government. You can learn more about your own city’s municipal government at their official website, and your duty as a citizen through master of public administration courses and your local government. All seven of these safest cities in America have both public officials and a unified community dedicated to keeping their city safe. You can do your part as well to keep your home safe.