SafeWise Safest Cities: Our Methodology

May 15, 2018 |

The safety of a city can be a large factor in your decision to move, in the pride you feel towards your home, and in the well-being of you and your loved ones. We have evaluated the 100 Safest Cities in America and continue to release up-to-date Safest Cities rankings for each state, providing a comprehensive assessment of the general safety in each city that is reported on.

How the Cities Are Ranked

SafeWise uses the most up-to-date FBI Crime data as the backbone of our reports. We rely on information that cities across the nation report through the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program. If you don’t see your city represented, it’s possible that they reported incomplete data to the UCR or did not report data at all.

We also utilize a population threshold. We determine an appropriate threshold for each state and only report on cities with populations above this number. The number is based on the state’s population as a whole and the number of cities to be included in the list. Using a population threshold reduces the risk of outliers and lowers the likelihood of an extreme outlier skewing the data.

Before rankings can be assigned, we narrow down the list of eligible cities based on these criteria. This means that we leave out any city with a population below the established threshold, as well as any city that did not submit a complete crime report to the FBI.

Details on the Data

Once the field of eligible cities has been established, we then evaluate each remaining city based on its corresponding data.

This raw data that is used to calculate each city’s safety score is comprised of information on violent crimes (aggravated assault, forcible rape, murder, robbery) as well as property crimes (arson, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft). We evaluated and ranked each city based on its violent crime rate. If there was a tie, we also considered the number of property crimes.

In an effort to standardize the data, and level the playing field for cities of varying populations, each city is analyzed and scored to reflect crimes per 1,000 residents.

Staying Safe

Year after year, SafeWise has focused on providing resources to help your community stay safe, and the Safest Cities lists are no exception. With these reports, we have put ourselves into our reader’s shoes in order to understand what makes us all feel safe or unsafe in a city. We feel that these rankings help get to the heart of the issue: what are the chances of crime happening to you or your loved ones?

Written by Alyssa Baker

Alyssa Baker is a writer and a resident security expert for the SafeWise team. She enjoys writing about home automation and home security gadgets, and drinks a lot of coffee in her spare time. Learn more

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  • Chris

    I disagree with this analysis completely, reports based completely off ucr where agencies choose what they report to FBI, they do not have to report as well. Dumfries having zero violent crime is completely inaccurate. Request that you gather more factual data from these organizations such as direct reporting statistics, not UCR if you going to make this kind of report