50. Boca Raton, Florida
> 2018 violent crime rate: 204.7 per 100,000 people
> 2018 homicides: 2
> Poverty rate: 8.4%
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.1%
Boca Raton is one of only 50 U.S. cities with a population of at least 100,000 to report fewer than 205 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in 2018. For reference, there were 369 violent crimes for every 100,000 people nationwide the same year. The city, located along the coast of southeastern Florida, has 46 parks, a well-regarded public school system, and a healthy job market. As is often the case in cities on this list, Boca Raton is a relatively affluent city. Most area households earn at least $76,000 a year — far more than the comparable median income nationwide of $57,652.
49. College Station, Texas
> 2018 violent crime rate: 203.3 per 100,000 people
> 2018 homicides: 1
> Poverty rate: 31.8%
> 2018 unemployment rate: 2.9%
College Station is a small city that is home to the main campus of Texas A&M University. Of the four classifications of violent crime — rape, robbery, homicide, and aggravated assault — rape is the only one with a higher than typical incidence rate in College Station. There were 65 reported rapes for every 100,000 people in the city, compared to about 43 per 100,000 nationwide.
Meanwhile, the murder rate in College Station is less than 1 per 100,000, well below the national rate of 5 per 100,000. Similarly, the robbery rate of 26 per 100,000 in the city is less than one-third the comparable national rate, and the aggravated assault rate of 112 per 100,000 is less than half the national rate.
48. Clovis, California
> 2018 violent crime rate: 197.7 per 100,000 people
> 2018 homicides: 1
> Poverty rate: 12.7%
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.9%
Clovis, a small city in central California, is one of only 48 cities with fewer than 200 violent crimes reported for every 100,000 people. The city’s rape rate of 41 incidents per 100,000 people is in line with the national rate, while robbereries and aggravated assaults are less than half as common than they are nationwide. Similarly, the city’s murder rate is less than one-fifth the national murder rate of 5 per 100,000.
More often than not, safe cities are relatively affluent. In Clovis, the typical household earns $68,682 a year, about $11,000 more than the typical American household.
47. Rochester, Minnesota
> 2018 violent crime rate: 194.0 per 100,000 people
> 2018 homicides: 5
> Poverty rate: 10.4%
> 2018 unemployment rate: 2.2%
Rochester is the safest city in Minnesota and one of the safest nationwide. There were 194 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in the city in 2018. For reference, there were about 627 violent crimes for every 100,000 in St. Paul — the second safest city in the state.
Crime rates tend to be lower in cities with better economic opportunities, and in Rochester, there are jobs available for nearly everyone who wants one. The city’s annual unemployment rate is just 2.2%, well below the 3.9% national unemployment rate.
46. Henderson, Nevada
> 2018 violent crime rate: 188.3 per 100,000 people
> 2018 homicides: 15
> Poverty rate: 9.1%
> 2018 unemployment rate: 4.4%
Henderson is the only city in Nevada with a population of at least 100,000 with a violent crime rate below the national rate of 369 incidents per 100,000 people. By far the safest city in the state, Henderson has an annual violent crime rate of 188 incidents per 100,000 residents. The next safest city in Nevada is Sparks, with a violent crime rate of 496 incidents per 100,000 people.
Cities with low rates of violent crime tend to have better economic opportunities and smaller shares of the population that are struggling financially. Henderson is the only city reviewed in Nevada where fewer than one in every 10 residents live below the poverty line.