The Mount Rushmore State conjures images of motorcycle gatherings in Sturgis, buffalo roaming the open prairie, and, of course, the immortalized stone visages of four of the nation’s most influential presidents. It’s also a safe and family-friendly place to call home. In fact, South Dakota was recently named the “Best State in America” by the Washington Post — an honor based on survey results that revealed that families make more time for each other in South Dakota than anywhere else in the country.
Those strong family values are sure to be one reason the cities on our list have such impressive safety records. Four of the five cities are being recognized for the second year in a row, and every one can boast zero murders and robberies reported in the FBI’s most recent crime statistics. There were also five or fewer violent crimes in each of the cities recognized here — that’s fewer than two per 1,000 people at the highest. In addition, none of South Dakota’s safest cities had more than 25 property crimes reported.
Brandon, our number one safest city, moved into the top spot from number two last year. The city motto is “Building a Better Life,” and the city’s strong commitment to safety is part of fulfilling that goal. Whether it’s maintaining peace and order when more than 70,000 avid car fans descend on the town each year for Automania, or honoring veterans in one of the country’s largest Loyalty Day parades, Brandon knows how to look after its own.
Remember, even if you call one of our safest cities home, it’s always important to evaluate your home and personal safety. Get tips and ideas to enhance your current safety strategies by visiting our South Dakota Safety Directory.
How We Chose the Safest Cities in South Dakota
To identify the 10 safest cities in South Dakota, we reviewed the most recent FBI Crime Report statistics from 2014, along with population data. We eliminated all cities with fewer than 2,000 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.
You can also see how the cities ranked in the past with the 2015 Safest Cities in South Dakota report here.
1. Brandon ↑
Previous rank: 2
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.10
Property Crimes per 1,000: 2.58
2. Lennox ↑
Previous rank: 3
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.44
Property Crimes per 1,000: 3.98
3. Hot Springs
Previous rank: Not ranked
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.86
Property Crimes per 1,000: 6.90
Previous rank: 4
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.51
Property Crimes per 1,000: 6.93
Previous rank: 5
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.76
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.47
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.
|6. Summerset||7. Tea||8. Lead|
|9. Beresford||10. Madison||11. Belle Fourche|
|12. Sisseton||13. Box Elder||14. Brookings|
|15. North Sioux City||16. Flandreau||17. Aberdeen|
|18. Sturgis||19. Watertown||20. Vermillion|
|21. Mobridge||22. Huron||23. Spearfish|
|24. Sioux Falls||25. Yankton||26. Pierre|
|27. Mitchell||28. Rapid City||29. Chamberlain|
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.