This is the safest town in Illinois: report

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(NEXSTAR) – Small towns have a reputation for tight-knit communities, charm and safety. At least one in every state lives up to the last part of the stereotype, an updated analysis finds.

MoneyGeek, a personal finance site, had researchers analyze last year’s FBI crime data of smaller towns and cities where the population is between 30,000 and 100,000. They used the crime data to calculate the cost of crime in each area.

The cost of crime includes impacts to victims, like the loss of stolen property and medical bills, MoneyGeek explained, as well as the cost to the justice system. Violent crimes typically result in a higher cost than nonviolent crimes, MoneyGeek said.

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Many of the safest small communities, according to last year’s crime data, are found in the Northeast. Monroe Township, a New Jersey community about 50 miles from Manhattan, ranked No. 1 thanks to its low property crime and even lower violent crime rate.

In the No. 2 spot was another New Jersey community not too far away from the first: Hillsborough Township.

Wallingford, Connecticut; Shrewsbury, Massachusetts; Westfield, New Jersey; Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania; and Princeton, New Jersey also all made the top 10.

Outside the northeast, Zionsville, Indiana; Mason, Ohio; and Lone Peak, Utah all scored highly.

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And for all the talk of crime rates in California’s larger cities, the Golden State had two cities in the top 15: Rancho Santa Margarita in Orange County and Danville, a suburb in the Bay Area.

MoneyGeek also broke down the data to find the small town or city with the lowest cost of crime in every state. See the results for all 50 states in the chart below:

CityStateCrime Cost per CapitaAlabasterAlabama$245JuneauAlaska$2,164San LuisArizona$113Bella VistaArkansas$509Rancho Santa MargaritaCalifornia$81WindsorColorado$81WallingfordConnecticut$55NewarkDelaware$546OviedoFlorida$202MiltonGeorgia$155RexburgIdaho$550MundeleinIllinois$148ZionsvilleIndiana$51UrbandaleIowa$207LeawoodKansas$301ElizabethtownKentucky$254Bossier CityLouisiana$2,976BangorMaine$478BowieMaryland$205ShrewsburyMassachusetts$59Bloomfield TownshipMichigan$112Cottage GroveMinnesota$186SouthavenMississippi$593BallwinMissouri$91BozemanMontana$1,092BellevueNebraska$723DoverNew Hampshire$121Monroe Township, Middlesex CountyNew Jersey$31CarlsbadNew Mexico$1,410Yorktown TownNew York$85Fuquay-VarinaNorth Carolina$152West FargoNorth Dakota$415MasonOhio$65OwassoOklahoma$371Lake OswegoOregon$257Cranberry TownshipPennsylvania$78South KingstownRhode Island$161Fort MillSouth Carolina$153Rapid CitySouth Dakota$2,164ColliervilleTennessee$298Flower MoundTexas$136Lone PeakUtah$66BurlingtonVermont$2,309BlacksburgVirginia$397PullmanWashington$268HuntingtonWest Virginia$2,754New BerlinWisconsin$116LaramieWyoming$664

While Mundelein was the highest-ranking Illinois town at 54th overall, four others from the state made MoneyGeek’s list: Algonquin (65th), Arlington Heights (88th), Berwyn (106th), and Oswego (116th).

Not every small town is a bastion of safety, the study found. Monroe, Louisiana, for example, had a higher cost of crime in 2022 than the vast majority of large cities.

A massive data dump of 11 million criminal offenses reported to the FBI, released in October, showed that while violent crime dropped nationwide in 2022, property crime jumped.

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In 2022, violent crime overall, which includes homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, dropped modestly. Violent crime was 1.7% lower in 2022 than in 2021, the FBI said.

The murder rate, in particular, dropped significantly. It saw a 6.1% decline between 2021 and 2022.

But on the flip side, property crimes actually rose 7.1% in 2022 after years of decline. A large jump in motor vehicle theft contributed to the rise in reported property crimes.

For its analysis, MoneyGeek wasn’t able to use FBI crime data for small towns and cities in Florida, Illinois, Maryland and Pennsylvania. For those states, MoneyGeek’s researchers pulled data from local city police departments.


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