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 all get to live in the safest cities -- unless of course you live in Sioux Center.
The purpose of this post is to determine where the safest cities to live are in the Hawkeye State. Those places where crime is usually something you hear about on Facebook, but not from your local paper.
In all, we analyzed 67 cities in Iowa with a population of more than 5,000 using the latest FBI crime data.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked. Or for more reading on safe places to live, check out:
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) in Iowa.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:
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 0.0017 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 of the biggest cities in Iowa to rank.
We ranked each city 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 our criteria, is Sioux Center. The most dangerous city in Iowa? Clinton, where residents had a 1 in 18 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.
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 3,772 chance of being the victim of violent crime.
That's crazy safe. Compare it to St. Louis, MO -- the most dangerous city in the country -- with roughly a 1 in 30 chance of beign the victim of a property crime.
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.
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.
This gem of a place in the Hawkeye State boasts the 9th best property crime rate and 7th best violent crime rate for 2018.
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 a heartbeat.
Everyone is trying to get in on the quality of life in Decorah, the 6th safest city in Iowa.
The town of some 7864 people will have to try and continue to 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?
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.
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.
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.
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 5186 people and definitely something to be happy about looking forward into 2018.
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.
Here's a look at the most dangerous cities in Iowa according to the data:
|City||Rank||Previous Rank||Population||Violent Crimes Per 100k||Property Crimes Per 100k|
|Sioux Center, IA||1||-||7,544||26||145|
|Orange City, IA||2||2||6,225||32||771|
|De Witt, IA||9||11||5,226||133||1,569|
|Iowa Falls, IA||10||29||5,186||38||2,043|
|Cedar Falls, IA||19||14||41,651||158||1,699|
|North Liberty, IA||20||20||16,458||315||735|
|Le Mars, IA||23||16||9,750||102||2,287|
|Webster City, IA||25||38||7,768||308||1,622|
|Charles City, IA||26||33||7,417||283||1,928|
|Iowa City, IA||30||40||75,527||260||2,053|
|West Des Moines, IA||31||34||65,631||227||2,305|
|Mason City, IA||37||37||27,230||135||4,120|
|Clear Lake, IA||41||45||7,555||344||2,501|
|Cedar Rapids, IA||44||54||131,181||295||3,826|
|Spirit Lake, IA||47||-||5,049||376||3,010|
|Council Bluffs, IA||51||57||62,642||239||6,165|
|Storm Lake, IA||52||55||10,959||529||2,919|
|Red Oak, IA||53||47||5,424||387||3,171|
|Fort Madison, IA||56||-||10,654||497||3,360|
|Sioux City, IA||57||61||82,819||440||3,920|
|Fort Dodge, IA||62||69||24,557||586||3,986|
|Des Moines, IA||63||66||211,501||707||4,199|
HomeSnacks is based in Durham, NC.
We aim to deliver bite-sized pieces of infotainment about where you live.
We use data, analytics, and a sense of humor to determine quality of life for places across the nation.