The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the seventh annual Safest Cities report.
Minnesota’s 20 Safest Cities of 2021
Here are the 10 safest cities in Minnesota for 2021
1. Elko New Market
4. West Hennepin
5. La Crescent
6. Big Lake
7. Cold Spring/Richmond
9. Belle Plaine
See if your city made the full list.
In our 2021 State of Safety survey, residents of Minnesota (33%) were far less likely to worry about their safety on a daily basis than most Americans (47%)—a 12-point decrease from last year (45%).
While daily levels of high concern went down, survey participants noted an increase in personal experiences with violent crime and gun violence in the last 12 months. Meanwhile, the state also saw a decrease in personal experiences with property crime. All of Minnesota's 20 safest cities reported violent crime and property crime rates well below the state average.
2021 Minnesota crime rates
Although more than half of US states continued to experience decreasing crime rates compared to last year, Minnesota's crime rates increased. The violent crime rate rose from 2.2 per 1,000 people to 2.4 while property crime increased from 19.9 per 1,000 to 20.8.
In the West North Central region, Minnesota had the lowest violent crime rate at 2.4 compared to the regional average of 3.5. However, it had the third-highest property crime rate (20.8) behind Missouri (26.4) and Kansas (23.1).
Even with the increases in Minnesota's crime rates this year, the state remained below the national average for both violent crime and property crime. Among all 50 states, Minnesota had the twelfth-lowest violent crime rate and the twenty-fifth-lowest property crime rate.
Level of concern and experience with crime in Minnesota
Minnesotan survey participants tended to worry less about their personal safety on a daily basis than last year. A possible explanation for this 12-point drop might be due to the decrease in personal experiences with property crime rather than the uptick in experiences with gun violence and violent crime.
Crime concerns in Minnesota
We asked Minnesota residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if Minnesota residents are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.
View the complete 2021 State of Safety report.
Violent crime in Minnesota: Fear vs. reality
A slight rise in Minnesota's violent crime rate this year reflects that over half of survey respondents don't feel safe in the state. This growing unease also accounts for an increase in personal experiences with violent crime and gun violence compared to last year.
- 48% of Minnesota residents report feeling safe in their state compared to 55% of Americans.
- 13% of survey participants reported having a personal experience with violent crime in the last 12 months—this is a big increase—4% higher than the previous year.
- Murder is the least common violent crime in The North Star State, making up just 0.9% of violent crimes (US 1%). In comparison, murder in the state's 20 safest cities averaged just 0.6%.
- Rape accounts for 18.4% of violent crimes in Minnesota but the 20 safest cities had a relatively higher number of incidents at 29.7%.
- 25% of respondents use some form of personal protection—much lower than the national average of 34%.
- 45% of Minnesotans say their personal safety has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic compared to 44% of Americans.
Attitudes about police and gun violence in Minnesota
- 52% of Minnesotans named gun violence as a top safety concern—slightly lower than the US average of 53%.
- 11% of those surveyed reported an experience with gun violence in the past 12 months, a 4% increase over last year.
- There were 2 mass shootings in Minnesota in 2019 and 6 in 2020.
- 38% of Minnesotans worry about police violence daily—slightly less than the average American at 40%.
- A narrow majority of Minnesota residents (51%) reported having confidence in law enforcement; this is slightly below the national average (56%).
- There were 24 officer-involved shootings in 2020, a small decrease from 25 in 2019.
Violent crime rates 2019–2021
Property crime in Minnesota: Fear vs. reality
In terms of property crime, Minnesota occupies the middle ground compared to most of the country and is the closest to the overall national average. Despite a growth in property crimes year over year, Minnesotan respondents reported far fewer experiences with property crime and lower daily concerns for safety overall.
- Minnesotans reported fewer personal experiences with property crime this year (18%)—12% lower than last year.
- Burglary accounts for 14% of all property crimes in The North Star State (the 20 safest cities average 11%), which is lower than the national rate of 16%.
- 29% of survey respondents reported having experienced a package theft in the past 12 months. This is nearly 1.5 times higher than the national average of 20%.
- 54% of Minnesotans surveyed use some form of property protection (62% US).
- The top form of property protection in Minnesota this year is security cameras with 25% using them compared to 28% of Americans.
- 32% of Minnesota residents say the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the security of their property, compared to 29% nationally.
Property crime rates 2019–2021
A closer look at the safest cities in Minnesota
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.
- The safest city in Minnesota this year is Elko New Market, which moved up 3 spots from last year. It's also the smallest city in the top 20.
- Kasson, which jumped 53 ranks last year to claim the number 1 position, dropped 23 spots and off the list entirely.
- Northfield made the biggest jump into the top 20 this year, moving up 32 spots to number 12.
- There are 5 new cities in the top 20 this year—West Hennepin, Belle Plaine, Northfield, Wyoming, and New Ulm.
- With the exception of Farmington and Chaska, all of the repeat safest cities from last year shifted rankings this year.
- Corcoran was the only city to report 0 violent crimes this year while Elko New Market, Dayton, and Medina each reported a single violent crime.
- There was only a single murder among the top 20 safest cities this year, unchanged from last year.
- Except for Lakeville, the largest city on the list (2.5 times the size of Chaska, the next largest), all of the safest cities reported fewer than 25 violent crime incidents each.
- 60% of cities reported fewer than 100 total property crimes.
How we determined the safest cities
Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.
How to make a safe home anywhere
Didn't find your city in the top 20?
We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, based on the state’s median population. See how the remaining cities ranked in the list below.
NOTE: If you don’t see your city on the list, it means that it was below the population threshold or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI in 2019.
VC per 1,000
PC per 1,000
|21||South Lake Minnetonka||12,762||0.9||6.9|
|36||Thief River Falls||8,825||0.7||15.0|
|45||East Grand Forks||8,597||1.3||11.6|
|76||White Bear Lake||26,176||1.3||23.3|
|82||Inver Grove Heights||35,668||2.2||18.2|
|85||North St. Paul||12,595||1.6||24.8|
|95||South St. Paul||20,148||2.3||23.9|
|96||St. Louis Park||49,535||1.8||28.2|
|97||St. Paul Park||5,410||2.0||27.2|
|107||Spring Lake Park||6,994||2.7||27.9|
|108||Oak Park Heights||4,972||0.4||48.5|
|126||West St. Paul||19,694||4.2||69.7|
Find the safest cities in each state
Click on the state image or dropdown menu below to check out the safest cities for each state.
Related articles on SafeWise
FBI: Uniform Crime Reporting Program, “2019 Crime in the United States,” Accessed March 15, 2021.
US Census Bureau, "Data Explorer," Accessed November 18, 2020.
Best Places, “Find a Place Search Tool,” Accessed January 6, 2021.
SafeWise, “2021 State of Safety survey,” Accessed March 15, 2021.
Gun Violence Archive, “Past Summary Ledgers,” Accessed January 6, 2021.
Gun Violence Archive, “General Methodology,” Accessed March 15, 2021.
Melody Hicks, Ben Stickle, Joshua Harms, American Journal of Criminal Justice, “Assessing the Fear of Package Theft,” January 04, 2021. Accessed March 15, 2021.
For definitions and more on data sources, see our methodology page.