Special Report

The Safest Cities in America

15. Bellevue, Washington
> Violent crimes per 100,000:
106
> 2014 murders: 2
> Poverty rate: 7.4%
> Unemployment rate: 4.1%

As in many of the safest cities in the country, adults in Bellevue are more likely to have high educational attainment. Nearly 64% of the city’s adult population has a bachelor’s degree, a larger share than in all but a handful of other U.S. cities, and more than double the national share. Higher educational attainment contributes to higher incomes in the area. The typical household in Bellevue earns $95,146 annually, about $41,000 more than the national median income.

While in most of the safest cities crime is low across the board, Bellevue is an exception. Roughly 3,400 incidents of property crime were reported in the city per 100,000 residents in 2014. Across the nation, property crime is considerably less common with 2,596 reported incidents per 100,000 people.

14. Corona, California
> Violent crimes per 100,000:
106
> 2014 murders: 0
> Poverty rate: 11.4%
> Unemployment rate: 6.5%

Of the 14,249 murders and non-negligent manslaughters reported across the nation in 2014, none occurred in Corona, California. The 48 aggravated assaults per 100,000 Corona residents, while the most common violent crime in the city, was a fraction of the national aggravated assault rate of 233 per 100,000 Americans. As in most of the nation’s safest cities, Corona residents are relatively wealthy. A typical household earns $69,407 annually, versus the national median household income of $53,657. On the other hand, unlike most of the nation’s 25 safest cities, Corona’s unemployment rate of 6.5% is slightly higher than the national jobless rate of 6.2%.

13. Torrance, California
> Violent crimes per 100,000:
105
> 2014 murders: 2
> Poverty rate: 6.8%
> Unemployment rate: 5.8%

The violent crime rate in Torrance has declined each year since 2012. Last year, 105 violent crimes were reported per 100,000 people in the city, down from 127 per 100,000 area residents in the previous year.

Compared to Americans living in the nation’s largest cities, adults in Torrance are among the most likely to have completed college. Nearly half of all adults in the city have at least a bachelor’s degree, versus the less than one-third of adults nationwide who have similar education. Just as more educated populations are less likely to commit violent crimes, a college education helps increase income. Torrance households are some of the nation’s wealthiest, with a median annual income of $80,198, about $27,000 more than the national median income. The city’s poverty rate of 6.8% is also one of the lowest in the country, at less than half the nationwide rate of 15.5%.

12. Orange, California
> Violent crimes per 100,000:
101
> 2014 murders: 0
> Poverty rate: 13.7%
> Unemployment rate: 5.2%

Orange, California is one of only 19 U.S. cities with no reported murders in 2014. Other types of violent crime, including robbery and aggravated assault, were relatively uncommon. The city’s total violent crime rate of 101 incidents per 100,000 residents is well below the national rate of 366 incidents per 100,000 people. As in most of the safest cities in the country, non violent crimes in Orange are also low. City residents reported 1,592 property crimes per 100,000 people, one of the lowest such rates in the country and considerably lower than the nationwide rate of 2,596 incidents per 100,000 people.


11. Thousand Oaks, California
> Violent crimes per 100,000:

99
> 2014 murders: 1
> Poverty rate: 6.6%
> Unemployment rate: 6.5%

With fewer than 100 incidents of violent crime per 100,000 residents in 2014, Thousand Oaks is one of the safest cities in the country. The city reported only one murder last year, and only five other cities had fewer robberies than the 22 robberies reported in Thousand Oaks.

One of the reasons for the low crime rates in Thousand Oaks is likely the small share of area residents living below the poverty line, which itself may help maintain the safety of the city in the future. Only 11 major U.S. cities have a lower poverty rate than Thousand Oaks’ rate of 6.6%.