Special Report

America's Safest Cities

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40. Simi Valley, California
> 2018 violent crime rate: 168.2 per 100,000 people
> 2018 homicides: 0
> Poverty rate: 6.2%
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.1%

Simi Valley is a small city of 127,000 about 35 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The city was one of 19 mid- to large-size cities nationwide with no criminal homicides reported in all of 2018. Other crimes like aggravated assault and robbery are also relatively uncommon in the city, and overall, there were only 168 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in Simi Valley in 2018.

Simi Valley also has one of the lowest property crime rates of any U.S. city tracked by the FBI. There were only 1,172 property crimes like motor vehicle theft and burglary for every 100,000 people in 2018, nearly half the national property crime rate of 2,200 per 100,000.

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39. Scottsdale, Arizona
> 2018 violent crime rate: 165.5 per 100,000 people
> 2018 homicides: 7
> Poverty rate: 8.9%
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.5%

Scottsdale is one of three Arizona cities to rank among the safest cities in the United States. There were only 166 violent crimes reported for every 100,000 people in 2018, less than half the national violent crime rate of 369 per 100,000.

Like in many of the safest cities, Scottsdale residents are relatively wealthy. The typical Scottsdale household earns $80,306 a year, far more than the national median household income of $57,652. Similarly, just 8.9% of residents live in poverty, compared to the 14.6% national poverty rate.

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38. Stamford, Connecticut
> 2018 violent crime rate: 165.1 per 100,000 people
> 2018 homicides: 3
> Poverty rate: 9.3%
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.7%

Stamford, Connecticut, is the safest city of 100,000 or more residents in Connecticut and the broader New England region. There were 165 violent crimes reported for every 100,000 people in the city in 2018, well below the 369 per 100,000 national violent crime rate. Meanwhile, New Haven, located about 40 miles east of Stamford, is one of the most dangerous cities in the country, with a violent crime rate of 842 incidents per 100,000 people.

As is often the case in the safest American cities, Stamford is growing rapidly. In the last decade, the number of people living in the city climbed from 119,500 to 132,000, a 10.5% increase. Over the same period, the total U.S. population grew by 6.6%.

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37. Sunnyvale, California
> 2018 violent crime rate: 163.8 per 100,000 people
> 2018 homicides: 1
> Poverty rate: 6.6%
> 2018 unemployment rate: 2.2%

Sunnyvale is a city of about 156,000 in California’s Silicon Valley area. There were just 164 violent crimes reported for every 100,000 people in the city in 2018, less than half the 369 per 100,000 national violent crime rate.

Wealthier cities with plenty of economic opportunity tend to be safer, on average, than other parts of the country. In Sunnyvale, most households have an income of over $118,000 a year, more than double the national median household income, and the annual unemployment is just 2.2%, well below the 3.9% national rate. Safe streets and a strong economy may explain the city’s rapid population growth. Over the last decade, the number of people living in Sunnyvale spiked by 17.8%, well more than double the national population growth of 6.6% over the same period.

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36. Rancho Cucamonga, California
> 2018 violent crime rate: 161.9 per 100,000 people
> 2018 homicides: 1
> Poverty rate: 8.4%
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.1%

Rancho Cucamonga’s violent crime rate of 162 incidents per 100,000 is among the lowest of any mid- to large-sized American city. As is typical of safer American cities, joblessness and financial hardship are not common in Rancho Cucamonga. Just 3.1% of area workers were unemployed in 2018, and 8.4% of the population live below the poverty line — compared to the 3.9% national unemployment rate and the 14.6% national poverty rate.

Rancho Cucamonga is located just 20 miles east of San Bernardino, one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. There were 1,333 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in San Bernardino in 2018, more than three times the national violent crime rate of 369 per 100,000.