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The 20 Safest Cities in Iowa — 2016

Safest Cities in Iowa

If you want to take advantage of a hot business market and the energy of living in one of the most politically relevant states, Iowa may be exactly what you’re looking for. In 2014, the capital city was named the wealthiest city in America, and every presidential election cycle, the entire nation waits to see which candidates Iowa will embrace. With so much going on in the Hawkeye State, it’s nice to know Iowa never overlooks the importance of keeping its residents safe.

Iowa’s 20 safest cities do an impressive job of limiting both violent and property crimes. In fact, there were no murders reported in any of the cities on our list. In addition, 60% of the recognized cities had zero counts of murder, rape, and robbery during the FBI’s most current reporting period. When it comes to keeping property safe, 18 of our safest cities reported fewer than 100 property crimes, including 15 cities with fewer than five motor vehicle thefts and just four that reported any incidents of arson.

With statistics like that, it’s no surprise that 75% of these cities were also recognized last year. Most impressively, Waukon held onto the number-one spot once again. Whether you like the hustle and bustle of more urban communities like Johnston (which moved up to number 13 this year) or smaller towns like Independence, which made its debut as a safest city this year, Iowa has a safe community for you to call home. Don’t miss out on the latest home security tips and community safety initiatives included in our Iowa Safety Directory. Your efforts can help your Iowa city become — or remain — one of the state’s safest.

How We Chose the Safest Cities in Iowa

To identify the 10 safest cities in Iowa, we reviewed the most recent FBI Crime Report statistics from 2014, along with population data. We eliminated all cities with fewer than 3,000 residents as well as any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI.

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From there, we evaluated the remaining cities. We narrowed it down based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) in each city. To further level the playing field, we calculated the likelihood of these crimes occurring out of 1,000 people in each city.

Learn more about how we rank our Safest Cities reports.

You can also see how the cities ranked in the past with the 2015 Safest Cities in Iowa report here.

1. Waukon 

Previous rank: 1

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.00
Property Crimes per 1,000: 0.52

2. Eldridge 

Previous rank: 13

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.31 
Property Crimes per 1,000: 3.43

3. Orange City 

Previous rank: 12

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.16
Property Crimes per 1,000: 6.12

4. Williamsburg 

Previous rank: 5

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.00 
Property Crimes per 1,000: 6.68

5. Independence 

Previous rank: Not ranked

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.34
Property Crimes per 1,000: 6.53

6. Humboldt 

Previous rank: 21

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.30
Property Crimes per 1,000: 5.84

7. New Hampton 

Previous rank: 4

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.40 
Property Crimes per 1,000: 6.44

8. Polk City 

Previous rank: Not ranked

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.00 
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.25

9. Story City 

Previous rank: 16

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.29
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.44

10. Algona 

Previous rank: 27

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.54
Property Crimes per 1,000: 6.36

11. Waukee 

Previous rank: 9

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.78
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.19

12. Norwalk 

Previous rank: 10

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.10
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.19

13. Johnston 

Previous rank: 15

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.83
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.47

14. Shenandoah 

Previous rank: Not ranked

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.20
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.31

15. Le Claire 

Previous rank: 23

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.02
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.09

16. West Liberty ↑

Previous rank: 20

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.34
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.86

17. Albia 

Previous rank: Not ranked 

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.26
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.00

18. Carroll 

Previous rank: 25

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.30
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.41

19. Pleasant Hill 

Previous rank: 24

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.09 
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.38

20. Osage 

Previous rank: Not ranked 

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.55
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.27

Didn’t see your city rank in the top 20?

Check the remaining cities below, and take a look at the most recent FBI crime data here.

21. North Liberty 22. Decorah 23. Camanche
24. Vinton 25. Dyersville 26. Mount Vernon
27. Monticello 28. Ankeny 29. Eagle Grove
30. Jefferson 31. Bettendorf 32. Cherokee
33. Estherville 34. Washington 35. Anamosa
36. Cresco 37. Forest City 38. Marion
39. De Witt 40. Atlantic 41. Emmetsburg
42. Pella 43. Charles City 44. Carlisle
45. Winterset 46. Urbandale 47. Osceola
48. Ames 49. Glenwood 50. Sheldon
51. Tipton 52. Waverly 53. Cedar Falls
54. Manchester 55. Creston 56. Webster City
57. Spirit Lake 58. Clive 59. Sergeant Bluff
60. Hiawatha 61. Iowa Falls 62. Boone
63. Fort Madison 64. Le Mars 65. Storm Lake
66. Spencer 67. Perry 68. Adel
69. Muscatine 70. West Des Moines 71. Iowa City
72. Dubuque 73. Indianola 74. Grinnell
75. Coralville 76. Oelwein 77. Evansdale
78. Mount Pleasant 79. Altoona 80. Fairfield
81. Red Oak 82. Clarinda 83. Chariton
84. Maquoketa 85. Marshalltown 86. Mason City
87. Clear Lake 88. Windsor Heights 89. Burlington
90. Cedar Rapids 91. Sioux City 92. Newton
93. Centerville 94. Ottumwa 95. Davenport
96. Carter Lake 97. Des Moines 98. Waterloo
99. Keokuk 100. Clinton

How safe is your home?

Wherever you live, feeling safe in your home can bring greater peace of mind and happiness. Whether your city made our list or not, we recommend adding extra security to your home with monitored security services provided by the nation’s leading home security providers.

To learn more about the home security options available to you in your area, select the city nearest you in the drop down menu below.


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Rebecca Edwards

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