The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the ninth annual Safest Cities report.
Colorado’s 20 Safest Cities of 2023
Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Colorado for 2023
See if your city made the full list.
Colorado leads the nation in property crime per capita, with motor vehicle thefts representing 20% of those crimes. Colorado's violent crime rate also increased for the second year in a row and is the ninth-highest in the nation.
However, our survey results show that Coloradans have lower-than-average concerns about experiencing violent crime and property crime.
In this report
2023 Colorado crime rates
Colorado has the highest property crime rate in the US at 31.4 per 1,000 people—62% higher than the national average of 19.3. The Centennial State’s violent crime rate of 4.8 is also higher than the national average, which remains unchanged from the year before (4.0).
Only 12 other states saw increases in both crime categories.
Level of concern and experience with crime in Colorado
According to our latest State of Safety survey, Coloradans express the eight-lowest concern about violent crime in the nation. In terms of property crime, they're the seventeenth least concerned.
With that said, 46% of Coloradans feel safe in The Centennial State, which is lower than the national average of 50%.
In addition, 42% of Coloradans said they experienced package theft in the past 12 months, which is the fifth-highest response in the nation and a 62% increase compared to last year's survey. Colorado residents also reported increased experiences with violent crime (19%), property crime (30%), and gun violence (13%) compared to last year's survey.
Level of concern and experience with natural disasters in Colorado
This year we asked our State of Safety survey participants about their natural disaster concerns, preparations, and experiences. Coloradans were most concerned about fire or smoke (68%), strong or high winds (65%), drought (63%), and extreme heat or cold (63%). The average American is less concerned with these natural disasters than the average Colorado resident.
Coloradans indicated they were less prepared than the average American for a natural disaster, with 33% indicating they had no disaster protection plan (US 32%). Around 41% said they had an emergency kit (US 44%) and 36% had a family emergency plan (US 40%). On the other hand, Coloradans were more likely to have made property modifications to prepare for a natural disaster (16% CO, 8% US).
About 12% of Coloradans said they evacuated due to a natural disaster in the previous 12 months, which is slightly higher than the national average of 11%.
Crime concerns in Colorado
We asked Colorado residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if Coloradans are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.
View the complete 2023 State of Safety report.
Violent crime in Colorado: Fear vs. reality
Colorado’s violent crime rate for the 2023 reporting year was 4.8, which is just 0.8 points above the national average and the ninth-highest rate in the nation. It also represents about a 14% increase compared to The Centennial State’s violent crime rate the previous year.
Coloradans we surveyed reported 58% more violent crime experiences year over year. Around 19% of Coloradans said they experienced violent crime in the previous year, which is 7 percentage points higher than our prior survey and 4 percentage points higher than the national average.
- Violent crime represents 13% of all crime in Colorado, which is 4 percentage points lower than the national average.
- Colorado has the highest violent crime rate in the Mountain Region, but Montana is a close second with 4.7 incidents per 1,000 people.
- Rape accounts for 15% of violent crime in Colorado, which is 4 percentage points higher than the national average.
- 48% of Coloradans use some form of personal protection (US 39%), with pocket knives being the most popular choice at 46%.
- 47% of Colorado residents say their personal safety has been affected by the pandemic—3 percentage points higher than the national average.
Attitudes about gun violence in Colorado
- 36% of Coloradans are worried about gun violence (47% US).
- 13% experienced gun violence in the 12 months prior to the survey (12% US).
- Coloradans' gun violence experiences increased 30% year over year.
- 13 mass shooting events occurred in Colorado during the 2023 reporting year, which is the same number that occurred the previous year.
- Of the Coloradans who use some form of personal protection, 35% said they use concealed firearms (41% US).
Property crime in Colorado: Fear vs. reality
Colorado experienced the highest property crime rate in the nation during the 2023 reporting year: 31.4 property crimes per 1,000 people, representing an 11% increase from the previous year. The national average property crime rate is 19.3.
Our Colorado survey respondents reported a 50% increase in property crime experiences year over year, rising 10 percentage points compared to the previous survey.
- 30% of Coloradans claimed to have experienced property crime in the 12 months prior to our survey, which is higher than the national average of 27%.
- Property crime has decreased in the Mountain region and nationwide but increased year over year in Colorado.
- Motor vehicle theft accounts for 20% of all property crime in Colorado, which is the highest percentage in the nation.
- Of the Coloradans who use some form of property protection, guard dogs lead the way at 44%. Firearms and security cameras tie for second place with 41% each.
- 30% of Colorado residents say the security of their property has been affected by the pandemic—2 percentage points higher than the national sentiment.
- 56% of Coloradans worry about package theft and 42% report having experienced a package theft within the past year—the fifth-highest response in the nation and a 62% increase over the previous year.
- Coloradans prefer to use doorbell cameras for package theft prevention (29%).
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A closer look at the safest cities in Colorado
For the purposes of this report, the terms “dangerous” and “safest” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.
- 66 cities in Colorado met the criteria for ranking, including 6 cities that weren’t in the running last year.
- This year’s safest city in Colorado—Severance—was in fourth place last year.
- Severance, Milliken, and Cherry Hills Village reported zero violent crimes for the 2023 reporting year.
- With the exception of Lamar, which reported 2, each of Colorado's safest cities reported zero murders.
- Of the cities that were repeats from last year’s rankings, only 7 experienced a decline in both violent crime and property crime rates: Milliken, Eaton, Cherry Hills Village, Erie, Firestone, Castle Rock, and Avon.
- 7 cities reported 50 or fewer property crimes: Severance, Milliken, Frederick, Eaton, Gypsum, Estes Park, and Carbondale.
- Frederick also ties for thirteenth place in our latest report on the 100 Safest Small Towns in America and landed in forty-fourth place in our list of the 100 Safest Cities in America.
How to make a safe home anywhere
Whether your city made our list or not, we encourage everyone to be proactive about home security. One of the best ways to stop a burglary before it happens is to add a home security system.
Find security and safety resources in your area
Didn't find your city?
We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, based on the state’s median population as calculated using FBI data. To request a report of the remaining cities in your state email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Safest Cities Full Report.
NOTE: If your city is missing from our full report, it means that it was below the population threshold or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI in 2021.
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Endnotes and sources
FBI Crime Data Explorer, "Documents & Downloads." Accessed February 6, 2023.
- 2021 and 2020 Crime in the United States Annual Reports
- Offenses Known to Law Enforcement
- 2021 NIBRS Estimation Tables
FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program, "Offenses Known to Law Enforcement ." Accessed February 6, 2023.
Bureau of Justice Statistics, "National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)." Accessed February 6, 2023.
US Census Bureau, "2021: ACS 5-Year Estimates Subject Tables." Accessed February 6, 2023.
US Census Bureau, "2021: ACS 5-Year Estimates Detailed Tables." Accessed February 6, 2023.
SafeWise, "2022 State of Safety survey." Accessed February 6, 2023.
Gun Violence Archive, "General Methodology." Accessed February 6, 2023.
Gun Violence Archive, "Past Summary Ledgers." Accessed January 3, 2023.
Gun Violence Archive, "Congress."
- 2022 totals: Accessed January 3, 2023.
- 2021 and 2020 totals: Accessed December 19, 2022.