Travel

Stay Safe: 7 Cities with the Lowest Crime Rates

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The cities on this list of America’s safest share one important trait: A higher-than-average family income. Strong tax base funds the services that keep a city safe, like an active police force and well-maintained public roads and parks. These seven cities outperformed in keeping their residents safe.

Plano, Texas

This wealthy Dallas suburb has a robust Community Watch program, and a proactive police force almost entirely made up of college graduates. Plano’s residents are mostly white-collar singles and families with young children. The murder rate is 92 percent below average, and robbery rates 70 percent lower. Drivers are safer than in other cities, too as Plano ranks fourth lowest in vehicle deaths.

Boulder, Colo.

Maybe it’s the strong sense of community and abundance of family activities that makes Boulder one of the safest cities and best places to live in America. Violent crime rates are well below average, as is the number of sex offenders per capita. Boulder’s population is young, well-educated, and health-conscious as Business Insider calls it America’s thinnest city. Perhaps the well-lit hiking and bike paths discourage would-be criminals.

Henderson, Nev.

Henderson’s murder rate is 68 percent lower than average and its robbery rate 43 percent lower. This Las Vegas suburb has carefully planned residential areas designed to reduce property crime, in addition to award-winning parks and open spaces. However, safety has tradeoffs as Forbes magazine called Henderson one of most boring cities in America.

Virginia Beach, Va.

With its vibrant economy and strong Department of Defense presence, Virginia Beach has a very low violent crime and homicide rate. The city also ranks fourth in the Men’s Health annual survey of safest cities for children, due to its low number of sex offenders and accidental child deaths. In addition, Virginia Beach has the highest concentration of military personnel outside the Pentagon.

Honolulu, Hawaii

Beaches, romance, family, and nature blended with a hospitable, laid-back culture likely contributes to Honolulu’s low rates of violent crime. The city also has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. Traffic fatalities are low, although it’s likely due to gridlock on congested freeways. Honolulu’s sex offenders per capita is also well below average.

Scottsdale, Ariz.

Scottsdale benefits from its affluent, mature population, with 90 percent of its residents over the age of 45. The city has a high ratio of police officers to population at one per 557 residents, one of the best in the country. Violent crime and homicide rates are exceedingly low, perhaps due to the low unemployment rate. Scottsdale has the fewest vehicular deaths for a city of its size, likely due to the small number of youth drivers.

Santa Clara, Calif.

Home of the 49ers and host to the 2016 Super Bowl, Santa Clara gets high marks for safety thanks to its progressive city services. The police department encourages community engagement, which pays off in low violent crime rates. In addition, Pepperdine University was recently ranked first for its commitment to campus safety.

Living in one of these seven cities doesn’t mean you don’t have to lock your doors at night, but you can rest easy knowing your chances of being a victim of crime are very small.

About the author

Jake McHenry is a travel enthusiast, blogger and family man (not necessarily in that order) living in the Chicago-area.

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1 Comment

  1. Charu

    January 7, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Not surprised to see Scottsdale on the list…thanks!