The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the ninth annual Safest Cities report.
North Dakota’s 10 Safest Cities of 2023
Here are the 10 safest cities in North Dakota for 2023
See if your city made the full list.
In our 2023 State of Safety survey, just 33% of respondents in North Dakota said that they worry about their safety overall. This makes North Dakota the second least-concerned state in the country.
The lack of concern lines up with North Dakota’s below-average violent crime rate and only slightly above-average property crime rate. The state's 10 safest cities are well below statewide and national crime rate averages.
In this report
2023 North Dakota crime rates
North Dakota's violent crime rate went down this year, with 2.6 incidents per 1,000 people compared to last year’s 3.3. The state's property crime rate increased from 21.2 per 1,000 people to 21.9.
North Dakota had a lower violent crime rate than the West North Central regional average of 3.9 per 1,000 people. The state came in just above the region’s property crime rate of 20.3. Overall, North Dakota comes in below the national average for violent crimes (US 4.0) but above for property crimes (US 19.3).
Violent crime in North Dakota: Fear vs. reality
Three-quarters of North Dakota residents feel safe in their home state, which is much more than the national average. The Peace Garden State also has fewer residents concerned about violent crime.
- 75% of North Dakota residents reported feeling safe in their state compared to 50% of Americans.
- 8% of North Dakota residents told us they had a personal experience with violent crime, the same as the year before.
- Murder is less common than other violent crimes in The Peace Garden State, making up only 14 of the state's 2,027 violent crime reports.
- 35% of survey participants report using some form of personal protection like pepper spray—slightly under the US average (39%).
- Pocket knives are the most common form of personal protection, with 46% of respondents saying they use one.
- 34% of North Dakotans say their personal safety has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to 44% of Americans.
Attitudes about gun violence in North Dakota
- 32% of North Dakota residents named gun violence as a safety concern (US 47%).
- 5% of survey participants reported experiencing gun violence in the last 12 months, which is 29% lower than last year (7%).
- There were no mass shootings in North Dakota for the past four years.
- 37% of residents carry a concealed firearm for personal protection. That's below the national average of 41%.
Property crime in North Dakota: Fear vs. reality
North Dakotans we surveyed had slightly more personal experience with property crime this year. This may be because the state saw an overall increase in property crime.
- More people in North Dakota (21%) reported personal experiences with property crime this year compared to last year (20%).
- Burglary accounts for 18% of all property crimes in The Peace Garden State. Its 10 safest cities average 11%.
- 31% of respondents reported experiencing package theft, putting North Dakota just below the US average of 34%.
- 25% of residents in North Dakota use no form of property protection—just above the 24% national average.
- The top form of property protection in North Dakota this year was security cameras, with 42% of survey respondents using them. This is higher than the national average of 38%.
- 17% of respondents say the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the security of their property—much lower than the US average of 28%.
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A closer look at the safest cities in North Dakota
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 top four safest cities (Oakes, Hazen, Stanley, and Carrington) reported zero rapes, murders, robberies, and aggravated assaults.
- All of North Dakota’s safest cities reported 1.5 or fewer violent crimes in 1,000 people.
- No city in the top 10 reported a murder.
- Eight safest cities reported zero rapes.
- All but one safest city reported zero robberies.
- The safest cities have far better violent crime (0.7) and property crime rates (5.8) than the state and national average.
- Overall, the safest cities have 75% less violent crime and 73% less property crime than the whole of North Dakota.
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 email@example.com 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.