These Are The 10 Safest Cities In Iowa For 2018

We used data and science to determine the places in Iowa where everyone sleeps safe and sound.

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We all want the finer things in life. Love, comfort and safety are at the top of everyone's list. For a lot of people who live in the fine state of Iowa, safety isn't a problem, but we don't live in the safest state, either. Iowa is somewhere in the middle.

The purpose of this post is to determine where the safest places to live are in the Hawkeye State. Those places where crime is usually something you hear about on Facebook, but not in your local paper.

After analyzing 67 places in Iowa with a population of more than 5,000, we came up with this list as the safest places here:

  1. Sioux Center (Photos)
  2. Orange City (Photos)
  3. Eldridge (Photos)
  4. Pella (Photos)
  5. Johnston (Photos)
  6. Decorah (Photos)
  7. Vinton (Photos)
  8. Norwalk
  9. De Witt (Photos)
  10. Iowa Falls (Photos)

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked. Or for more reading on safe places to read, check out:

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How we calculated the safest cities in Iowa

While there are surveys and public polls on what cities in a state are the safest, we didn't want to rely on speculation and opinion. Instead, we looked at the hard numbers from the FBI's most recent report of crime (Sept 2017). Specifically, we analyzed the FBI's Uniform Crime Report which summarizes the number of property crimes and violent crimes in each city per year. We used two criteria:

  • Violent crimes per capita (murders, assaults, rapes, armed robberies)
  • Property crimes per capita (thefts, burglaries, motor vehicle thefts)
These Are The 10 Safest Places In Iowa

For example, there were a total of 13 crimes committed in Sioux Center which had a reported population of 7,544. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.00172 which translates into a 1 in 580 chance of being the victim of a crime.

We only looked at cities that have populations of more than 5,000 people reported to the FBI in 2016. This left us with a total of 67 places in Iowa to rank.

We ranked each place for each criteria from 1 to 67 where 1 in any particular category is the safest.

Next, we averaged each places two criteria to create a Safety Index. We crowned the place with the lowest overall Safety Score "The Safest Place In Iowa".

The safest city, based on population, is Sioux Center. The most dangerous? Clinton, where residents had a 1 in 19 chance of being the victim of a crime.

Note: This report is not an analysis of the effectiveness of local police departments, nor does it reflect the fact that people from out of town may come into a community and cause a crime. It simply looks at where crimes occurred most frequently, based on a city's population.

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1. Sioux Center

Sioux Center, Iowa
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,544
Rank Last Year: -
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 26 (1st safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 145 (1st safest)

Taking the crown as the safest city in Iowa for 2018 is Sioux Center -- a classic example of everything that makes Iowa great.

We are talking about only having a 1 in 685.8 chance of being the victim of a property crime and a 1 in 3,771 chance of being the victim of violent crime.

That's crazy safe. Compare it to Little Rock, AR -- the most dangerous city in the country -- with roughly a 1 in 30 chance of beign the victim of a property crime.

These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Iowa

2. Orange City

Orange City, Iowa
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,225
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 32 (2nd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 771 (6th safest)

If you're thinking of moving to Iowa and safety is a top priority, then you can't do much better than Orange City -- the 2nd safest in the Hawkeye State.

Orange City is the kind of place that old timers talk about longingly -- where kids can run around during the day without adult supervision and you can leave your front door unlocked.

You only had a 1 in 129.7 chance of being the victim of a property crime in Orange City.

3. Eldridge

Eldridge, Iowa
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,348
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 94 (6th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 220 (2nd safest)

You might not post on Facebook that much, but now's a time to change that. Be proud that Eldridge ranks as the 3rd safest city in Iowa.

Go on. With all the negativity on Facebook all the time now, this is great news for Eldridge.

We'll wait here safe and sound.

4. Pella

Pella, Iowa
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,368
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 96 (7th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,012 (9th safest)

You might be surprised to find Pella this high on the list, but, trust us, no one in Pella is surpised.

This gem of a place in the Hawkeye State boasts the 9th best property crime rate and 7th best violent crime rate for 2018.

5. Johnston

Johnston, Iowa
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 21,635
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 120 (10th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,044 (10th safest)

Finishing just inside the top five is Johnston, IA.

You get what you pay for in Johnston -- super low crime rates. A 1 in 832 chance of being the victim of violent crime gives Johnston residents a well earned feeling of safety.

We'd move to Johnston in heartbeat.

6. Decorah

Decorah, Iowa
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,864
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 139 (13th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 966 (8th safest)

Everyone is trying to get in on the quality of life in Decorah, the 6th safest city in Iowa.

The town of some 7,864 people will have to try and continue to try and keep Decorah a secret, lest crime starts going up simply because of people breaking down the doors to get into town.

See what we did there Decorah?

7. Vinton

Vinton, Iowa
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,128
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 175 (19th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 351 (3rd safest)

Vinton is a feel good story of safety and comfort in Iowa.

It has 1 in 284.9 chance of being the victim of a property crime and a 1 in 569 chance of being the victim of violent crime.

That's some of the tops you'll find across the country -- nevermind just in Iowa.

8. Norwalk

Population: 10,371
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 154 (15th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 838 (7th safest)

The eighth safest city in Iowa for 2018 goes to Norwalk. Let's see why.

There were only 16 violent crimes here last year -- which is basically 0 for the average citizen. And there were only 87 property crimes to boot.

9. De Witt

De Witt, Iowa
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,226
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 133 (11th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,569 (20th safest)

If you're looking for a safe place to live in Iowa, may we present De Witt as an option.

While it doesn't sit at the very top of the chart for Iowa, it still has an impressively low crime rate.

82 property crimes occurred here, which nets out to being the 20th best in Iowa on a rate basis.

10. Iowa Falls

Iowa Falls, Iowa
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,186
Rank Last Year: 29 (Up 19)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 38 (3rd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,043 (29th safest)

And just making it into the top ten for 2018 is Iowa Falls.

But we know they don't take this spot for granted -- Iowa Falls residents can attest that their home town deserves to be the on list.

In total, there were 2 violent crimes and 106 property crimes in Iowa Falls; that's really good for a place of 5,186 people and definitely something to be happy about looking forward into 2018.

There You Have It - The Safest In Iowa

Looking at the data, you can tell that Sioux Center is as safe as they come, according to science and data.

But as most Iowa residents would agree, almost every place here has its safe and not safe parts. So just make sure you're informed ahead of time.

Most dangerous cities in Iowa:
3rd Most Dangerous: Keokuk
2nd Most Dangerous: Davenport
Most Dangerous: Clinton

Detailed List Of The Safest Cities To Live In Iowa For 2018

City Rank Previous Rank Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
Sioux Center1 -
Orange City226,22532771
Eldridge316,34894220
Pella4510,368961,012
Johnston5421,6351201,044
Decorah687,864139966
Vinton795,128175351
Norwalk81210,371154838
De Witt9115,2261331,569
Iowa Falls10295,186382,043
Urbandale111345,0121481,555
Spencer122611,211802,051
Carroll1369,940602,092
Anamosa1475,4541831,338
Ankeny151859,2362161,276
Sheldon16255,0672561,045
Algona17175,453311715
Ames182766,3331611,623
Cedar Falls191441,6511581,699
North Liberty202016,458315735
Marion211937,8451871,595
Manchester22495,051982,276
Le Mars23169,7501022,287
Winterset24215,1702511,605
Webster City25387,7683081,622
Charles City26337,4172831,928
Boone273212,7023771,330
Oelwein28426,1043601,539
Hiawatha2937,2352342,252
Iowa City304075,5272602,053
West Des Moines313465,6312272,305
Altoona323617,5031772,988
Creston33317,8603302,035
Estherville34225,9473531,765
Washington35307,4375781,183
Fairfield36359,9821703,235
Mason City373727,2301354,120
Glenwood38395,2505521,561
Maquoketa39605,9613012,734
Waverly404310,1041,1281,167
Clear Lake41457,5553442,501
Coralville424120,9572763,158
Perry43508,1604042,389
Cedar Rapids4454131,1812953,826
Newton455315,1023573,052
Oskaloosa465211,6264212,597
Spirit Lake47 -
Dubuque485159,0263553,103
Muscatine495924,0106582,211
Indianola505615,6015962,243
Council Bluffs515762,6422396,165
Storm Lake525510,9595292,919
Red Oak53475,4243873,171
Centerville54655,3433184,697
Marshalltown556327,6285892,942
Fort Madison56 -
Sioux City576182,8194403,920
Clarinda58445,3865193,397
Grinnell59489,1278322,947
Ottumwa605824,5434114,375
Waterloo616468,4707403,096
Fort Dodge626924,5575863,986
Des Moines6366211,5017074,199
Burlington646225,3768154,043
Keokuk657010,5777185,067
Davenport6667103,1187274,849
Clinton676825,9068834,477

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