Special Report

America's Safest Cities

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45. Torrance, California
> 2018 violent crime rate: 181.7 per 100,000 people
> 2018 homicides: 2
> Poverty rate: 7.2%
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.8%

A small city of 147,000 located about 15 miles south of Los Angeles, Torrance is one of 14 cities in California to rank among the safest nationwide. There were only 182 violent crimes in Torrance for every 100,000 people in 2018, half the national violent crime rate of 369 incidents per 100,000 people.

Property crimes — another broad FBI classification that includes infractions like motor vehicle theft, burglary, and larceny — are also relatively rare in Torrance. There were just 1,838 property crimes reported for every 100,000 people in the city in 2018, well below the national rate of 2,200 per 100,00.

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44. Pembroke Pines, Florida
> 2018 violent crime rate: 181.4 per 100,000 people
> 2018 homicides: 1
> Poverty rate: 8.4%
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.1%

Pembroke Pines has one of the lowest murder rates of any U.S. city home to at least 100,000 people. There was only one homicide in the southeastern Florida city in 2018, or 0.6 murders for every 100,000 people. Nationwide, the annual murder rate stands at 5 homicides per 100,000 people. Including other crimes like aggravated assault and robbery, the overall violent crime rate in the city is just 181 per 100,000 people, about half the national rate of 369 per 100,000.

Like most other safe U.S. cities, the vast majority of those living in Pembroke Pines are financially secure. The city’s 8.4% poverty rate is well below the comparable 14.6% national rate.

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43. Centennial, Colorado
> 2018 violent crime rate: 180.9 per 100,000 people
> 2018 homicides: 2
> Poverty rate: 4.3%
> 2018 unemployment rate: 2.8%

There were only 181 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in Centennial, Colorado, a small city just southeast of Denver. Non-violent crimes like motor vehicle theft and burglary are also not especially common in the city. There were 1,754 property crimes for every 100,000 people in 2018, well below the national property crime rate of 2,200 per 100,000.

Wealthier cities tend to be relatively safe, and Centennial is one of the wealthiest cities in the country. Over half of all households in the city have an income of over $100,000 a year, well above the median household income nationwide of $57,652.

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42. Sterling Heights, Michigan
> 2018 violent crime rate: 180.4 per 100,000 people
> 2018 homicides: 2
> Poverty rate: 12.0%
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.8%

The eastern Michigan city of Sterling Heights is the only city in the state to rank among the safest in the country. There were only 180 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in the city in 2018 — a stark contrast to Detroit, located roughly 20 miles to the south, and its nation-leading violent crime rate of 2,008 incidents per 100,000 people.

Economic opportunities appear to be much more widely available in Sterling Heights than in Detroit. The 2018 unemployment in Sterling Heights was just 3.8%, while it was 9.0% in Detroit.

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41. Provo, Utah
> 2018 violent crime rate: 175.4 per 100,000 people
> 2018 homicides: 2
> Poverty rate: 25.4%
> 2018 unemployment rate: 2.7%

Home to Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, is one of several college towns to rank among the safest cities in the country. There were only 175 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in the city in 2018, by far the lowest rate of any city with a population of at least 100,000 in Utah and well below the 369 per 100,000 national rate.

Robbery, a component of violent crime, is especially uncommon in Provo. Just 22 robberies were reported in the city in 2018 — or 19 robberies for every 100,000 people, a fraction of the national robbery rate of 86 per 100,000.