Special Report

Safest Cities in America

Source: Thinkstock

20. Provo, Utah
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 125.9
> 2017 murders: 1
> Poverty rate: 27.2%
> 2017 unemployment rate: 2.8%

There were just 126 violent crimes reported per 100,000 Provo residents in 2017, less than one-third of the national violent crime rate of 383 incidents per 100,000 Americans. Additionally, there were only 1,732 property crimes — which include burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft — reported per 100,000 city residents, a 26.1% decline from the year before and far less than the national rate of 2,362 property crimes per 100,000 Americans.

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

19. Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 124.1
> 2017 murders: 1
> Poverty rate: 8.0%
> 2017 unemployment rate: 3.9%

In recent years, the incidence of violent crime in the midsize city of Broken Arrow has declined more than in nearly any other city. There were just 124 violent crimes reported per 100,000 city residents in 2017, down 19.2% from 2016. Over the same period, the national violent crime rate fell 0.9% from 386 to 383 incidents per 100,000 Americans.

Financial hardship is also relatively uncommon in Broken Arrow. Just 8.0% of residents live in poverty, one of the lowest poverty rates of any U.S. city.

Source: roadgeek / Flickr

18. Carrollton, Texas
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 122.2
> 2017 murders: 2
> Poverty rate: 10.3%
> 2017 unemployment rate: 3.3%

Carrollton, a small affluent community in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, has one of the lowest violent crime rates in the United States. There were just 122 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in the city in 2017, less than a third of the national rate of 383 incidents per 100,000.

Like many safe communities, Carrollton residents have access to a strong job market. Just 3.3% of the local workforce was unemployed in 2017, well below the 4.4% national unemployment rate.

Source: Bill_Dally / Getty Images

17. Sunnyvale, California
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 117.5
> 2017 murders: 1
> Poverty rate: 7.0%
> 2017 unemployment rate: 2.8%

Sunnyvale is one of the wealthiest, most educated, and safest cities in the country. The typical household earns $109,799 a year, nearly twice the national median household income of $55,322. Nearly 22% of households earn at least $200,000 a year, and 62% of adults have a bachelor’s degree — the largest and eighth largest such shares nationwide.

Wealthier areas with greater educational attainment tend to have less violent crime. In Sunnyvale, there were just 117 violent crimes reported per 100,000 residents in 2017, less than one-third of the national violent crime rate.

Source: Thomson200 / Wikimedia Commons

16. Sandy Springs, Georgia
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 116.9
> 2017 murders: 0
> Poverty rate: 11.8%
> 2017 unemployment rate: 3.6%

Sandy Springs is the only city in Georgia to rank among the country’s safest cities. There were no murders in the city in 2017, and the overall violent crime rate of 117 incidents per 100,000 residents is a fraction of the national violent crime rate of 383 per 100,000.

Like many safe American cities, Sandy Springs has a well-educated population. Approximately 61% of adults in the community have a bachelor’s degree or higher, double the 30% share of adults nationwide.