Concern about safety in the Beehive State is much higher than in the rest of the country, and reported experience with crime also exceeds national averages. However, the state’s crime rates went down year over year, helping the 20 cities that made our list stand out as pillars of community safety.
High concern about safety in Utah increased 68% this year, jumping from 31% to 52%. The national average is 46%. Utah also saw steep increases in people reporting a personal experience with either violent or property crime.
Levels of concern in Utah increased 68% from 2019, and reported violent crime experience jumped 650%.
Although Utah’s violent crime rate is lower than the national average (2.3 compared to 3.7), the percentage of people reporting a personal experience with violent crime over the past 12 months climbed by 13 points. That puts Utah higher than the national average of 12%.
Experience with property crime also went up year over year, nearly doubling from 16% to 31%. That makes more sense given that Utah’s property crime rate of 23.8 incidents per 1,000 is higher than the national rate of 22.0. But Utah is trending downward—dropping four points from last year’s property crime rate of 27.8.
Violent Crime in Utah: Fear vs. Reality
Being assaulted by a stranger is the number one violent crime concern in Utah, and it’s the crime most people feel is most likely to happen.
40% of Utah survey participants said physical assault by a stranger is the most concerning violent crime, matching the national average of 40%.
27% named physical assault by a stranger as the violent crime most likely to occur, compared to 26% nationwide.
Aggravated assault is the most common violent crime in Utah, accounting for 50% of the incidents reported by the safest cities and 59% of all violent crime across the state.
Rape was the second-most reported crime in the safest cities, making up 40% of all violent crime. Statewide, there were more rapes reported than robberies, comprising 24% of all violent crime. That’s higher than most other states.
Sexual assault by a stranger was the second most concerning crime in Utah, with 37% of respondents saying they are highly concerned about it. Only 17% said they feel likely to become a victim of sexual assault by a stranger.
Property Crime in Utah: Fear vs. Reality
Folks in the Beehive State are most concerned about someone breaking in when there’s no one at home, but they think it’s more likely that someone will break into their car.
65% of Utahns, versus 62% of all Americans, expressed highest concern about a break-in when the occupants are out.
Burglary made up 12% of all property crime reported by the safest cities and 13% of all property crime in Utah.
The most prevalent property crime in Utah was larceny-theft, totalling 76% of the state’s property crimes and 82% of the incidents reported by the safest cities.
A vehicle break-in is the property crime considered most likely by Utah respondents, with 39% of them naming it, versus 36% nationally.
30% of Utah respondents said they use a home security system. That’s six points higher than the national average of 24%.
A guard dog or other animal is the security measure used the most across Utah, with 36% using one. Nationwide, 33% use a guard animal for protection.
25% reported that they don’t use any kind of extra protection on their property, just under the national average of 29%.
A Closer Look at Utah’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.
Highland/Alpine moved up from number two to become the safest city in Utah for 2020. These cities share a police department, so crime statistics are reported collectively.
Thirteen cities (65%) improved rank year over year, with Syracuse making the biggest move—jumping from 20 last year to claim the fourth spot.
Five cities (25%) fell in the rankings this year but still remained in the top 20.
All cities came in well under both state (2.3) and national (3.7) violent crime rates, with the highest rate being 1.4 incidents per 1,000 in Roy and Logan.
13 cities (65%) limited violent crime to less than one incident per 1,000, with Highland/Alpine boasting the lowest violent crime rate (0.2), followed by Spanish Fork and North Ogden with 0.3 each.
No city reported more than 77 total violent crimes, which is impressive for cities ranging from 19,000 to nearly 100,000.
Statewide, Utah may have a slightly higher property crime rate than the national average, but its safest cities kept property crime to below 20 incidents/1,000 across the board.
Five cities (25%) have property crime rates under 10 incidents per 1,000.
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