The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the sixth annual Safest Cities report. Here are the 20 Safest Cities in Minnesota for 2020. See if your city made the list.
Minnesota is in line with the majority of the country when it comes to how concerned people are about their safety on a daily basis. But those who call one of the state’s 20 safest cities home may be less worried thanks to crime rates that are below national averages.
Minnesota's property crime rate decreased, but reported experience with property crime increase by 329%.
Experience with property crime made a huge leap year over year, jumping from 7% in 2019 to 30% this year. The national average is 26%. Despite that experiential increase, Minnesota’s overall property crime rate decreased from 22 incidents per 1,000 in 2019 to 19.9 this year—and it remains below the national rate (22.0) year over year.
Those who reported experience with violent crime over the past 12 months increased from 6% to 9%, which is still far below the current national average of 12%. The state also came in with a violent crime rate that’s one point lower than the national average. Minnesota reported 2.2 violent crime incidents per 1,000, compared to 3.7 nationwide.
Violent Crime in Minnesota: Fear vs. Reality
The top violent crime concern in the North Star State is being robbed on the street, but the crime respondents feel is the most likely to happen is a mass shooting.
29% reported the highest concern about being robbed on the street. That’s almost 10 points lower than the national average of 38%.
Robbery accounted for 12% of all violent crime reported by the safest cities and 24% across the state.
The most common violent crime was aggravated assault, comprising 51% of the incidents reported among the safest cities and 55% across the state.
24% named mass shooting the violent crime they feel is most likely to actually happen. That’s one point higher than the national average of 23%.
There were 20 mass shooting incidents in Minnesota between 2014 and 2019, resulting in 14 deaths and 88 injured—two occurred in 2019.
Nationwide, there were 2,087 mass shooting incidents during the same time period.
Property Crime in Minnesota: Fear vs. Reality
Break-ins are the biggest property crime concern in Minnesota, and having property stolen is the crime most people feel is likely to actually happen.
51% are highly concerned about someone breaking in when no one is at home, compared to 58% nationwide.
Burglary was the second most prevalent property crime, making up 14% of all property crime in the safest cities and across the state.
35% think the property crime that’s most likely to happen is having property stolen. That’s just one point behind the national average of 36%.
Larceny-theft was the most common property crime, accounting for 81% of all incidents reported by the safest cities and 76% reported statewide.
17% of Minnesota participants use a security system to protect their home, versus 24% across the country.
Firearms are the second most common security measure used in Minnesota, with 25% using firearms to protect their property. The national average is 28%.
34% of Minnesota residents use no security measure to protect their property, compared to 29% nationwide.
A Closer Look at Minnesota’s Safest Cities of 2020
For the purposes of this report, the terms “safest” and “dangerous” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.
The top three cities all made big jumps to land on top this year: Kasson moved up 53 spots, La Crescent rose 36, and Orono climbed 13.
80% of the cities improved in rank year over year.
Only three cities (15%) dropped in rank from 2019 to 2020.
Every city on the list had one or fewer violent crime incidents per 1,000. A full 90% reported fewer than one incident per 1,000.
Two cities reported only one violent crime each—Kasson and Lake City
Only one city reported any counts of murder in 2018.
All cities are below both state (19.9) and national (22.0) property crime rates, and no city reported more than 11.5 incidents per 1,000.
Kasson has the lowest property crime rate with 1.2 incidents per 1,000, and zero counts of burglary, which is the most feared property crime in the state. Cold Spring/Richmond also reported zero counts of burglary.
65% of the cities held property crime to fewer than 100 total incidents each.
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