Massachusetts Crime Rates


Massachusetts proved to be a relatively safe state in 2010. Massachusetts crime rates were below the national average in all cases except violent crime and aggravated assault. This makes Massachusetts one of the safer states in the union.

Despite having a 22.2 percent increase in murders per 100,000 residents, its 3.2 murders per 100,000 residents was below the national average of 4.8. Massachusetts also saw a large increase in the number of burglaries, with a 10.2 rise over the previous year.

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Massachusetts And Violent Crime

Massachusetts had the highest instance of violent crime of the states in the Northeast. In 2010, Massachusetts had 466.6 violent crimes per 100,000 people, in comparison to 403.6 nationwide. It recorded a 0.9 percent increase in violent crime from the year before.

However, as pointed out by James Allen Fox, this statistic can be misleading. The violent crime category is an aggregate of homicides, forcible rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults, without any adjustment for how severe the crime is. Aggravated assault, arguably the least serious of the four crimes, is by far the most frequent in Massachusetts. Massachusetts does relatively well in the other three categories and has fewer homicides than all other urban states in the Northeast.

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Best And Worst

The safest city in Massachusetts was Groton, with a population of 10,793. The only crimes that occurred in Groton were property crimes, burglaries, larceny and auto-theft. All of the safest cities in Massachusetts had populations under 20,000, the largest being Norton. At 19,217 people, Norton was the fifth safest city in Massachusetts.

Chelsea was the most dangerous city in the state, with 620 violent crimes and eight murders. The largest city in the top five was Springfield, ranking number two, with a population of 154,314. Boston was in the middle of the pack, which is an accomplishment for a city of its size of over 600,000 people. Boston had 63 murders in 2011, down from 73 in 2010. So, even though Boston is a big city, it is surprisingly safe.

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Date of original publication:
Updated on: November 10, 2015

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