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10 Safest Cities In New York 2024: Peaceful Living in the Empire State

new york state

When the words “New York” echo in your ears, your mind might instantly paint a picture of Times Square or the Statue of Liberty. However, the Empire State is not just about its most populous city. Living in New York also means experiencing the stunning autumn leaves, engaging in apple picking, and so much more. As you contemplate the tranquil life these safe cities offer, upgrading your residence’s security with intelligent systems could provide an added layer of comfort and protection. 

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If you’re considering making New York your home, but feel overwhelmed about where to start, don’t worry. We’ve done the legwork for you. After evaluating 100 cities, we’ve compiled a list of the safest cities in New York to kickstart your house-hunting journey.

City

Population

Violent Crime Rate per 100K

FEMA index (out of 100)

UpHomes Safety Rank

Rye

16,104

0

94.3

1

Suffern

11,364

18

90.3

2

Sleepy Hollow

13,338

0

94.3

3

Airmont

10,102

49

90.3

4

Harrison

29,083

21

94.3

5

Scarsdale

17,557

17

94.3

6

Rye Brook

9,819

0

94.3

7

Great Neck

11,052

9

96.7

8

Glens Falls

14,557

69

41.0

9

Glen Cove

27,877

11

96.7

10

10. Glen Cove

Glen Cove - New York State

  • County: Nassau
  • Population: 27,877
  • Violent Crime Rate: 11 per 100,000
  • FEMA Rating: 96.7
  • Nearest major city: 1 hour train to Manhattan

Glen Cove, located deeper into Long Island, offers two waterfront parks: the Morgan Memorial Park and Welwyn Nature Preserve. With its low crime rates, it secures the tenth spot on our list of the safest cities in New York, offering the charm of an east coast beach town with a year-round family-friendly atmosphere.

9. Glens Falls

Glens Falls

  • County: Warren
  • Population: 14,557
  • Violent Crime Rate: 69 per 100,000
  • FEMA Rating: 40.98
  • Nearest major city: 1 hour drive to Albany

For those who prefer a less urban setting, Glens Falls in upstate New York is just a short drive from Lake George. Known for its lakefront beaches, hiking, camping, and winter sports, it offers a balance between nature and accessibility. With a cost of living below the national average and a lower FEMA risk, it ranks ninth on our list.

8. Great Neck

  • County: Nassau
  • Population: 11,052
  • Violent Crime Rate: 9 per 100,000
  • FEMA Rating: 96.7
  • Nearest major city: 35 minute train to Manhattan

Great Neck, nestled next to Queens on Long Island, is perfect for families wanting access to some of the best beaches in New York and a quick train ride to the city. Despite a higher FEMA index due to hurricane risk, its low crime rates make it the eighth safest city in New York.

7. Rye Brook

  • County: Westchester
  • Population: 9,819
  • Violent Crime Rate: 0 per 100,000
  • FEMA Rating: 94.3
  • Nearest major city: 1.2 hour train to New York

Rye Brook, located to the east of Harrison and directly on the Connecticut border, offers several public parks for exploration. Despite being on the expensive side, its high median income, low poverty rate, and absence of violent crime make it a great choice in the Westchester area.

6. Scarsdale

Scarsdale

  • County: Westchester
  • Population: 17,557
  • Violent Crime Rate: 17 per 100,000
  • FEMA Rating: 94.3
  • Nearest major city: 35 minute train to Manhattan 

Just west of Harrison lies Scarsdale, a town known for its excellent schools and a blend of architectural styles due to its age. With its high income, low poverty rate, and low population density, Scarsdale is the sixth safest city in New York, making it a popular choice for families with young children.

5. Harrison

  • County: Westchester
  • Population: 29,083
  • Violent Crime Rate: 21 per 100,000
  • FEMA Rating: 94.3
  • Nearest major city: 45 minute train to Manhattan

Harrison, a town in downstate New York bordering Connecticut, is home to SUNY Purchase, a public four-year college renowned for its Conservatory of Theater Arts and Film.

Its alumni include notable personalities like Stanley Tucci, Constance Wu, Zoe Kravitz, and Edie Falco. Harrison, with its numerous golf courses, is a haven for golf enthusiasts. Despite its high cost of living, its low crime rates and high income levels place it fifth on our list.

4. Airmont

Airmont

  • County: Rockland
  • Population: 10,102
  • Violent Crime Rate: 49 per 100,000
  • FEMA Rating: 90.3
  • Nearest major city: 1 hour drive to Manhattan

Airmont, a quaint village in Rockland County, shares its border with Suffern, the second safest city in New York. These neighboring villages also share a public school district with a few other nearby villages.

If you’re a nature enthusiast, Airmont’s proximity to Kakiat County Park offers opportunities for leisurely hiking and picnicking. Plus, it’s just a 10-minute drive to parts of Harriman Park, the second-largest park in the parks system.

Airmont and Suffern share many similarities due to their close proximity. However, Airmont’s median income, poverty rate, and cost of living are all slightly higher.

These factors place Airmont in the fourth position on our list, making it another excellent choice for a safe and enjoyable life in the Hudson Valley.

3. Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow - New York

  • County: Westchester
  • Population: 13,338
  • Violent Crime Rate: 0 per 100,000
  • FEMA Rating: 94.3
  • Nearest major city: 50 minute train to Manhattan

Sleepy Hollow, a picturesque village nestled on the banks of the Hudson River, is famed as the backdrop for the renowned short story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

However, life in Sleepy Hollow is far from eerie, and it proudly stands as the third safest city on our list. This village offers a complete package — breathtaking views of the Hudson, a wealth of historic architecture, stunning vistas of the Hudson Valley, and a train service that can whisk you to Grand Central in less than an hour.

Sleepy Hollow shares the honor with Rye for having the lowest violent crime rate, with no recorded instances of violent crime. It closely follows Rye with the fourth lowest nonviolent crime rate on our list.

Additionally, it has the lowest FEMA risk among our list, which further cements Sleepy Hollow’s position as the third safest city in New York and an ideal choice for your new home.

2. Suffern

  • County: Rockland
  • Population: 11,364
  • Violent Crime Rate: 18 per 100,000
  • FEMA Rating: 90.3
  • Nearest major city: one hour drive to Manhattan

Suffern, a charming village perched on the New Jersey border and just an hour’s drive from Manhattan, is our second safest city in New York. It’s home to Avon’s Global Research and Development facility and has a significant commuter population.

The village is renowned for its historic Lafayette Theater, which has been entertaining audiences since 1924. The theater still maintains the tradition of having a live organist perform before shows on Fridays and Saturdays.

Suffern’s safety credentials are impressive. It’s situated in Rockland County, which boasts the lowest county nonviolent crime rate and the sixth lowest violent crime rate. The village itself has the eighth lowest violent crime rate on our list and a lower poverty rate, making it a secure and appealing place to call home.

1. Rye

Rye, NY

  • County: Westchester
  • Population: 16,104
  • Violent Crime Rate: 0 per 100,000
  • FEMA Rating: 94.3
  • Nearest major city: 40 minute train to Manhattan

Rye, nestled in Westchester County along the Long Island Sound, holds the title of the safest city in New York. If your ideal summer involves basking on the beach while still being within reach of New York City’s vibrant energy, Rye could be your perfect match. It’s also the home of Playland, affectionately known as Rye Playland by the locals. This historic amusement park has been a source of joy since 1928.

Rye boasts the lowest rate of violent crime, the second lowest nonviolent crime rate, and the second highest income among the cities we evaluated. Despite its high cost of living and moderate FEMA risk, these positive aspects tip the scales in its favor, securing Rye’s position as the safest city in New York.

5 Essential Safety Guidelines for Your New York State Journey

While New York State, especially the towns listed above, is generally safe to visit, it’s always wise to adhere to certain safety precautions when traveling anywhere. Here are five crucial safety tips to ensure your trip to New York State is enjoyable and secure!

Guideline #1 – Thoroughly Research Your Destination: Gaining a comprehensive understanding of your destination before you arrive is invaluable. Read online reviews from other travelers and engage with locals to learn about the best and potentially risky places to visit.

Guideline #2 – Blend In with the Locals: Tourists can be more susceptible to crime, so try to blend in as much as possible. Opt for subtle clothing that doesn’t attract attention. Be discreet when consulting maps and be cautious when asking strangers for information.

Guideline #3 – Exercise Caution with Public Wi-Fi: Don’t let the lure of convenient internet access cloud your judgment. Public Wi-Fi can be a hunting ground for hackers seeking valuable data like your Social Security number or credit card details. Avoid making significant transactions involving sensitive information on public Wi-Fi.

Guideline #4 – Stay Alert and Aware: Don’t get so absorbed in capturing the perfect social media photo that you let your guard down. Keep an eye on your belongings and use your judgment when interacting with strangers. While engaging with locals can enrich your travel experience, trust your instincts if something feels off.

Guideline #5 – Keep Valuables Discreet on Public Transit: Many visitors to New York State start their journey in New York City. While this vibrant city is a fantastic place to explore, it’s important to avoid displaying expensive items or cash on public transit. If you’re traveling to any of the towns on this list via public transportation, keep your valuables concealed or consider leaving them behind.

FAQ

Is New York State safe to live in?

Yes, New York State is generally safe to live in, especially in the towns listed in the text. However, like any place, safety can depend on the specific area. It’s always recommended to research and visit potential neighborhoods before deciding to move.

What are some safety tips for living in New York State?

Some safety tips include researching your destination thoroughly, blending in with locals, exercising caution with public Wi-Fi, staying alert and aware, and keeping valuables discreet on public transit.

What factors contribute to a city’s safety ranking?

Several factors contribute to a city’s safety ranking, including violent and nonviolent crime rates, median income, poverty rate, and FEMA risk index. Other factors can include access to public services, quality of local schools, and community engagement.

What is the FEMA risk index?

The FEMA risk index is a measure of a location’s risk to natural disasters, including floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and more. A higher FEMA index indicates a higher risk of natural disasters.

Final Words

In conclusion, New York State offers a diverse range of safe and vibrant cities to call home. From the coastal charm of Rye to the historic allure of Sleepy Hollow, there’s a city to suit every lifestyle.

However, no matter where you choose to live or visit, it’s essential to stay informed and take necessary precautions to ensure your safety. Remember, safety doesn’t just happen; it requires conscious effort and smart decisions.

So whether you’re planning to move or just visiting, make sure to research, stay alert, and enjoy all the wonderful experiences New York State has to offer.

 

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