Minnesota’s 20 Safest Cities of 2020

Minnesota safest cities badge

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 crime experience infographic; 9% violent crime, 30% property crime, 7% mass shooting

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.

Check out the full list of Minnesota’s safest cities of 2020. 

Our 2020 State of Safety study found that 45% of Minnesota residents express high concern about safety every day. That’s just one percentage point below the national average of 46%.

Minnesota crime concern infographic

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%. 
  • As of July 15, there have been four mass shootings in Minnesota, claiming one life and injuring 25. All four happened in Minneapolis, and occurred after George Floyd died in police custody at the end of May.
  • 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. So far in 2020, there have been 299 mass shootings in the US.
Minnesota crime concern infographic
Minnesota crime concern infographic

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. 
Minnesota crime concern infographic
Minnesota crime concern infographic

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.
Minnesota safest cities heat map showing population and crime score

The 20 safest cities in Minnesota

VC = Violent Crime PC = Property Crime

Kasson, Minnesota
#1
Kasson
(
+53
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    6,444
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $71,098
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.2, 1.1, 0.8
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    1.2, 12.5, 10.6
La Crescent, Minnesota
#2
La Crescent
(
+36
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    5,012
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $55,952
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.4, 1.0, 0.4
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    4.4, 7.3, 6.2
Orono, Minnesota
#3
Orono
(
+13
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    20,225
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $130,300
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.3, 0.6, 0.2
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    5.8, 6.1, 8.4
Elko New Market, Minnesota
#4
Elko New Market
  • Circle Population
    Population
    4,809
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $118,750
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.4, 0.2, 0.0
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    4.6, 0.4, 2.7
South Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota
#5
South Lake Minnetonka
(
+37
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    12,731
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    Not available
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.2, 0.9, 0.8
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    6.9, 9.2, 9.3
Cold Spring-Richmond, Minnesota
#6
Cold Spring/Richmond
(
-3
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    5,572
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $49,041
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.4, 0.2, 0.7
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    6.6, 8.3, 7.4
Minnetrista, Minnesota
#7
Minnetrista
(
+14
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    10,357
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $148,783
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.4, 0.6, 0.2
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    8.1, 11.9, 8.7
Dayton, Minnesota
#8
Dayton
(
+7
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    5,970
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $87,966
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.3, 0.5, 0.0
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    9.4, 11.8, 8.3
Lake City, Minnesota
#9
Lake City
(
+11
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    5,116
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $53,300
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.2, 0.6, 0.8
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    11.5, 8.9, 6.8
Farmington, Minnesota
#10
Farmington
(
+7
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    23,355
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $88,674
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.6, 0.6, 0.4
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    7.5, 9.1, 9.6
Medina, Minnesota
#11
Medina
(
+1
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    6,721
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $138,125
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.3, 0.5, 0.5
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    11.0, 10.5, 15.9
#12
Jordan
(
+43
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    6,375
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $66,194
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.6, 1.1, 1.1
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    7.1, 11.0, 8.1
Lino Lakes, Minnesota
#13
Lino Lakes
(
-3
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    21,577
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $107,438
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.6, 0.4, 0.5
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    8.4, 9.2, 9.9
Rosemount, Minnesota
#14
Rosemount
(
+5
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    24,707
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $94,341
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.6, 0.6, 1.0
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    7.6, 8.6, 8.1
#15
Lakeville
(
+10
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    64,914
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $102,943
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.6, 0.7, 0.7
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    8.2, 9.5, 10.0
#16
St. Joseph
(
+13
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    7,212
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $56,754
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.6, 0.7, 0.9
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    9.6, 8.7, 8.1
#17
Corcoran
(
+7
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    5,988
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $102,708
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.7, 0.7, 0.2
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    8.7, 6.6, 5.0
Big Lake, Minnesota
#18
Big Lake
(
-16
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    11,036
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $73,500
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    1.0, 0.1, 1.4
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    4.8, 5.5, 7.3
#19
Chaska
(
+16
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    26,962
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $81,938
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.8, 0.8, 0.6
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    8.4, 9.7, 11.3
Plymouth, Minnesota
#20
Plymouth
(
+13
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    79,559
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $91,867
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.6, 0.8, 0.6
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    11.4, 12.3, 13.1

How we determined the safest cities

Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.

How to make a safe home anywhere

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 your home security options, check out SafeWise’s picks for Best Home Security Systems.

Didn't find your city in the top 20?

We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, which is based on the median population of the state. 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 2018.

2020 RankingCity Population Violent Crime (per 1,000) Property Crime (per 1,000)
21

West Hennepin

5,663

0.9

7.6

22

Belle Plaine

7,189

0.7

10.6

23

Stillwater

19,467

0.9

7.8

24

New Prague

7,884

0.6

11.5

25

Chisholm

4,908

0.8

9.8

26

East Grand Forks

8,632

0.8

10.1

27

Edina

52,544

0.4

15.3

28

New Ulm

13,202

0.7

12.3

29

Eden Prairie

64,917

0.6

13.4

30

Minnetonka

53,573

0.5

15.1

31

Montevideo

5,101

0.8

12.2

32

Woodbury

70,900

0.7

13.3

33

Champlin

25,304

1

9.2

34

Wyoming

7,900

1.1

8

35

Grand Rapids

11,297

0.8

12.8

36

Maple Grove

72,502

0.6

15.4

37

Cottage Grove

37,102

0.7

14.7

38

Sartell

18,014

0.6

16.7

39

Ramsey

27,023

1

12.9

40

Glencoe

5,480

1.1

11.9

41

Sauk Rapids

13,853

0.4

20.4

42

Centennial Lakes

11,062

1

13.4

43

International Falls

5,933

1.3

9.8

44

Northfield

20,535

1.4

9.7

45

New Hope

21,168

0.7

18.7

46

Rogers

13,257

0.8

17.8

47

St. Peter

12,012

1.2

12.7

48

Savage

32,029

1.1

13.5

49

North Mankato

13,794

1.4

10.4

50

Isanti

5,787

0.7

19.2

51

Cloquet

11,911

1

15.2

52

Litchfield

6,615

1.2

12.7

53

Becker

4,880

1.8

4.9

54

Owatonna

25,829

1

17

55

Eagan

66,981

0.9

19.2

56

Waseca

8,918

0.8

21.3

57

Wayzata

6,582

0.9

19.8

58

St. Francis

7,728

1.3

15.3

59

Golden Valley

21,688

1

18.9

60

Elk River

24,724

1.2

17.4

61

St. Paul Park

5,409

1.1

18.5

62

North St. Paul

12,588

1.2

17.5

63

Buffalo

16,304

1

19.4

64

Baxter

8,372

1.1

19.1

65

Apple Valley

52,922

1.2

18.1

66

Morris

5,300

1.9

9.4

67

Mendota Heights

11,381

1.4

18.2

68

Sauk Centre

4,389

1.8

13.9

69

Little Falls

8,683

1.4

19.7

70

Coon Rapids

62,818

1.3

21

71

North Branch

10,511

1.1

23.4

72

Blaine

65,649

1

26

73

New Brighton

22,978

1.1

24.5

74

Windom

4,401

1.8

15.5

75

Hopkins

18,838

1.7

17.7

76

Crystal

23,310

1.5

20.9

77

Fairmont

10,053

1.2

24.3

78

Prior Lake

26,925

1.5

21.3

79

Oakdale

28,178

1.3

23.5

80

Moorhead

43,657

1.4

23.5

81

Marshall

13,713

1.8

18.2

82

Hastings

22,799

1.8

18.1

83

Lakes Area

9,679

2.1

15.5

84

Worthington

13,309

2.6

8.3

85

Anoka

17,574

1.5

22.4

86

Hutchinson

13,862

2

16.4

87

Shakopee

41,424

1.8

19.6

88

St. Louis Park

49,595

1.4

24.7

89

Winona

26,840

1.6

22.9

90

White Bear Lake

26,187

1.4

26.9

91

Albert Lea

17,655

1.5

26.4

92

Rochester

117,037

1.9

20.8

93

Thief River Falls

8,865

1.8

23.4

94

Hibbing

15,998

2.8

11.4

95

Cambridge

8,905

1

34.8

96

Inver Grove Heights

35,592

2.5

15.7

97

St. Anthony

9,205

2.1

22.4

98

Richfield

36,300

2.2

21.2

99

Burnsville

61,592

1.9

26.2

100

Princeton

4,666

1.3

35.1

101

Crookston

7,779

2.4

20.4

102

South St. Paul

20,260

2.3

24.9

103

Bloomington

86,279

1.9

30

104

Oak Park Heights

4,991

1.2

39.3

105

Detroit Lakes

9,289

2

29.1

106

Austin

24,935

2.6

21.8

107

Mounds View

13,235

1.7

33.9

108

Hermantown

9,525

1

43.3

109

Red Wing

16,405

2.4

26

110

Columbia Heights

21,119

2.7

23.9

111

Robbinsdale

14,629

3.3

15.9

112

Faribault

23,806

3.2

17.8

113

Willmar

19,635

2.8

25.4

114

Fergus Falls

13,839

2.2

35.3

115

Dilworth

4,474

1.3

46.5

116

Redwood Falls

4,952

3

32.3

117

Maplewood

41,339

2.2

45

118

Fridley

27,943

3

36.3

119

Mankato

42,606

3.3

33.3

120

Alexandria

13,759

3.7

28.3

121

Brooklyn Park

81,263

3.7

30.3

122

Roseville

36,701

2.3

49.8

123

Brooklyn Center

31,128

3.8

34.2

124

St. Cloud

68,282

3.8

37.7

125

Virginia

8,458

4.1

34.6

126

Duluth

86,048

3.6

42.9

127

Brainerd

13,404

4.6

33.8

128

West St. Paul

19,798

3.7

48.5

129

Spring Lake Park

6,515

4.1

44.7

130

St. Paul

309,756

6.3

32.5

131

Bemidji

15,528

5.1

70.5

132

Minneapolis

428,261

7.9

39.1

133

Waite Park

7,512

3.9

100.1

Find the safest cities in each state

Sources

FBI Uniform Crime Reporting, “2018 Crime in the United States
SafeWise, “2020 State of Safety
US Census Bureau, “American Fact Finder
BestPlaces, “Find a Place Search Tool
Gun Violence Archive (GVA), “Mass Shootings Reports

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.”

Rebecca Edwards
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.
  • Jonald Blip

    I noticed that you have cities in Minnesota “ranked.” The FBI doesn’t rank them. So, you decided to make up your own ranking system? That’s impressive!

  • Jessica Roskosh-Gunter

    If we are below the threshold for population or have no crime data submitted to the FBI, wouldn’t we be safest city? Lol

  • Jessica Roskosh-Gunter

    I don’t see Ely on the list.