Is crime growing in New Jersey? There’s a widespread perception that crime is growing all over the country. But that isn’t necessarily true.

I still feel relatively safe here in NJ and I think most of the people I know who live here feel the same.

It’s not a surprise to anyone that many New Jerseyans feel safe here. It’s one of the things that attracts people to the Garden State in the first place, and why they stay.

But because there’s at least a feeling that crime is increasing over much of the country and anti-cop sentiment makes policemen feel like they have less control than ever, Axios, Survey Monkey and the Economist/YouGov decided to find out how safe we actually are in this country.

Are we safe in New Jersey?

Yes, we are. According to the survey, while around 9 in 10 Americans feel very or somewhat safe in the communities where they live, New Jersey is the safest because the high percentage of law enforcement officers per capita.

Constance Bossert

Other surveys based on different criteria may rank New Jersey lower on the list, but this survey's data is interesting.

It compares each state's violent crime, property crime, number of law enforcement officers and law enforcement spending using data from the FBI and Census Bureau. They gave each one of these factors a score according to the national average and came out with a total safety score. And New Jersey came out #1.

One look at our tax bill and you know that we spend a lot on police and fire services. So in that respect, you might suspect that we would come out pretty high on the list.

It’s also no surprise that based on that data alone, most of the safest states were in the Northeast as they tend to have higher budgets for law enforcement than the South, Midwest or Western states.

Safest cities in NJ

The survey went a little further and even broke the survey down into safest New Jersey cities, listing the safest small middle and large cities in New Jersey.

The safest small town, according to their survey, is Mantoloking, New Jersey’s safest midsize town is Matawan, and the safest largest city is Toms River.

Each factor was scored according to its relation to the national average and added together for a total score.

Rounding out the Top 10 safest states were New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, Ohio, New York, Virginia and Massachusetts.

For a state that’s always number one in the negative categories, like high property taxes, poor business environment, etc., it’s pretty refreshing to be number one in something that’s good for us all.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi Franco’s own.

New Jersey's favorite 'old school' sitcom