Every summer the quiet city of Brandon, South Dakota sees its streets filled with the rumble of hot rods, muscle cars, and sports cars. All the classics roll into town and bring about 70,000 tourists with them for the famous annual Automania event. At this one-of-a-kind festival, you’ll find not only cars and motorcycles but also contests for kids, live music, and great carnival food. But one thing you won’t find is crime. As it turns out, Brandon is one of the safest cities in America. In fact, according to the 2016 FBI crime report, Brandon and nine other cities in South Dakota experience some of the lowest crime rates in the US. It’s just one more thing that makes The Mount Rushmore State great!
South Dakota as a whole has seen an uptick in violent crime in its bigger cities, but its smaller cities like Brandon and Brookings have not followed that trend. Two other South Dakota cities, Summerset and North Sioux City, along with Brandon, experienced zero violent crimes—well below the national average of 4.6 violent crimes per 1,000 people. These communities are some of the best kept secrets when it comes to raising a family in a safe, worry-free environment.
Other encouraging crime statistics show that even property crimes, the most common crimes committed, are between nine to twenty-four points lower than national averages. Another city on our list, Sturgis, is well-known because of its extremely popular motorcycle rally every August. Even Sturgis, which experiences a tourist boom of more than half a million people for their event, still has a property crime rate nine points less than the state and national average, and the city has only 1.5 violent crimes per 1,000 people.
For more info and resources on staying safe in South Dakota, check out our South Dakota Safety Directory, where you’ll find tips on emergency preparedness, crime prevention, and more.
The 10 Safest Cities in South Dakota
Population: 10,042 Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.00 Property crimes per 1,000: 3.78 Total crime: 0% violent, 100% property
Population: 2,329 Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.00 Property crimes per 1,000: 8.59 Total crime: 0% violent, 100% property
3. North Sioux City
Population: 2,772 Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.00 Property crimes per 1,000: 18.76 Total crime: 0% violent, 100% property
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.34
Property crimes per 1,000: 5.04
Total crime: 6.67% violent, 93.33% property
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.54
Property crimes per 1,000: 10.26
Total crime: 5.26% violent, 94.74% property
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.87
Property crimes per 1,000: 3.91
Total crime: 22.22% violent, 77.78% property
Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.22
Property crimes per 1,000: 4.08
Total crime: 30.00% violent, 70.00% property
Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.46
Property crimes per 1,000: 15.60
Total crime: 9.36% violent, 90.64% property
Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.49
Property crimes per 1,000: 18.51
Total crime: 8.06% violent, 91.94% property
Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.78
Property crimes per 1,000: 13.23
Total crime: 13.43% violent, 86.57% property
How We Chose the Safest Cities in South Dakota
To identify the ten safest cities in South Dakota, we reviewed the 2016 FBI crime report statistics and population data. Cities that fell below identified population thresholds or that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI were excluded from the ranking system.
Our evaluation is based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) in each city. If there was a tie, we also factored in the number of property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft). To level the playing field, we calculated the rate of crimes per 1,000 people in each city. This makes it easier to directly compare the likelihood of these crimes occurring in cities with vastly different populations.
Wherever you live, feeling safe in your home can bring greater peace of mind and happiness. 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.
If you would like to contact a SafeWise Safest Cities Analyst, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Laura E. Hilton
Laura is a writer, teacher, and mother based out of Utah. She is passionate about making and maintaining strong, safe, healthy communities. To learn more, visit her website at lauraehilton.com. Learn more