Georgia is having some COVID-19 related controversies. Read our coronavirus crime update for details about gun violence, back-to-school, and mask mandate madness.
The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the sixth annual Safest Cities report. Here are the 50 Safest Cities in Georgia for 2020. See if your city made the list.
Georgia residents are less concerned about their safety this year than last, and it could be due to the state’s low violent crime rate. Georgia’s safest cities boast some of the lowest violent crime rates in the country.
Our 2020 State of Safety study revealed that 47% of Georgia residents express high or very high concern about safety and security on a daily basis. That’s five percentage points below the state’s level of concern last year and just one point above the national average.
47% of Georgia residents think that the most likely crime to happen is having their digital property stolen.
Georgia’s violent crime rate is lower than the national rate at 3.3 incidents per 1,000 versus 3.7 nationwide. But the state doesn’t fare as well in regard to property crime. Georgia saw 25.7 incidents per 1,000 in 2018, almost four points higher than the national rate of 22.0.
Violent Crime in Georgia: Fear vs. Reality
Being robbed on the street is the violent crime for which Georgians expressed the highest level of concern. It was also named as the violent crime that people felt was the most likely crime to occur.
46% of participants named robbery as their top fear, compared to 40% nationwide.
Mass shooting was the second most concerning violent crime in Georgia, with 43% citing it. Across the US, 38% named mass shooting as their biggest violent crime worry.
33% said they felt robbery was the crime most likely to actually happen, versus 27% across the country.
Robbery was the second most common violent crime among the safest cities, accounting for 29% of reported violent crimes in those cities, and 24% statewide.
The most common violent crime was aggravated assault, accounting for 59% of all violent crime in the safest cities and 66% across the state.
28% of respondents felt that assault by a stranger was likely to happen, and 21% felt assault by someone they know was likely to occur.
11% reported personal experience with violent crime in the past year. That’s one point lower than last year, and one point lower than the national average.
Property Crime in Georgia: Fear vs. Reality
Georgia residents disagree when it comes to the property crime they’re most worried about and the one they feel is most likely to happen in their lives. Break-ins dominate when it comes to high concern, but having digital property stolen is the crime they expect to actually occur.
65% expressed high or very high concern about someone breaking in when they’re not at home, versus 62% nationwide.
Burglaries account for just 12% of all property crime in the safest cities and 17% of all property crime across the state.
Larceny-theft was the most common property crime in Georgia, accounting for 81% of all property crime in the safest cities and 74% statewide—but only 45% of respondents named property being stolen as a top concern, and even fewer (38%) think it’s likely to happen.
46% believe they are more likely to fall victim to digital theft than any other property crime.
Digital security was the number one safety concern overall last year.
37% of Georgians use a security system to protect their property, 36% use security cameras, and 29% each use either a guard dog or a firearm.
26% of respondents don’t use any kind of security to protect their property.
28% reported experiencing a property crime in the past year—that’s two percentage points higher than the national average.
A Closer Look at Georgia’s Safest Cities of 2020
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.
Braselton moved from number 17 last year to claim the top spot with a violent crime rate of 0.1 incidents per 1,000 and just 66 total crimes reported in 2018.
27 cities (54%) improved their rank year over year.
The biggest jump was Lyons, moving 92 places to be named the 18th safest city in Georgia.
20 cities (40%) dropped in rank year over year.
Chatsworth is brand new to the list this year, debuting at nine with a violent crime rate of 1.6 and a 5.6 rate for property crime.
90% of the cities stayed under the state violent crime rate of 3.3, and all cities are below the national rate of 3.7.
Summerville moved from second place last year to fifth this year despite having the lowest violent crime rate at zero incidents per 1,000 and zero violent crimes reported. The city’s property crime rate of 10.3 incidents per 1,000 caused the city to fall in the rankings.
75% of cities reported zero murders and there were only 20 total murders among the safest cities.
31 cities (62%) kept property crime lower than the national rate of 22.0 and 72% stayed under the state rate of 25.7.
Chatsworth had the fewest total property crimes (24) and Senoia and Lyons had the second-lowest number of total property crimes reported, at 33 each.
Mass Shooting Definition:
SafeWise uses the GVA definition of a mass shooting: “If four or more people are shot or killed in a single incident, not involving the shooter, that incident is categorized as a mass shooting based purely on that numerical threshold.
Written by Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past six. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month testing and evaluating security products and strategies. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her work and contributions in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, HGTV, MSN, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips. Learn more