These Are The 10 Safest Cities In Virginia For 2018
We used data and science to determine the places in Virginia where everyone sleeps safe and sound.
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 Virginia, safety isn't a problem, but we don't live in the safest state, either. Virginia is somewhere in the middle.
The purpose of this post is to determine where the safest places to live are in the Old Dominion. Those places where crime is usually something you hear about on Facebook, but not in your local paper.
After analyzing 62 places in Virginia with a population of more than 5,000, we came up with this list as the safest places here:
- Bridgewater (Photos)
- Purcellville (Photos)
- Buena Vista (Photos)
- Dumfries (Photos)
- Vienna (Photos)
- Blacksburg (Photos)
- Lexington (Photos)
- Manassas Park (Photos)
- Smithfield (Photos)
- Fairfax City
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:
How we calculated the safest cities in Virginia
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)
For example, there were a total of 18 crimes committed in Bridgewater which had a reported population of 5,939. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.00303 which translates into a 1 in 330 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 62 places in Virginia to rank.
We ranked each place for each criteria from 1 to 62 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 Virginia".
The safest city, based on population, is Bridgewater. The most dangerous? Portsmouth, where residents had a 1 in 16 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.
Population: 5,939Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 16 (2nd safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 286 (1st safest)
Taking the crown as the safest city in Virginia for 2018 is Bridgewater -- a classic example of everything that makes Virginia great.
We are talking about only having a 1 in 349.4 chance of being the victim of a property crime and a 1 in 5,939 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.
Population: 9,547Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 31 (3rd safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 565 (2nd safest)
If you're thinking of moving to Virginia and safety is a top priority, then you can't do much better than Purcellville -- the 2nd safest in the Old Dominion.
Purcellville 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 176.8 chance of being the victim of a property crime in Purcellville.
3. Buena Vista
Population: 6,576Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 45 (5th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 836 (3rd safest)
You might not post on Facebook that much, but now's a time to change that. Be proud that Buena Vista ranks as the 3rd safest city in Virginia.
Go on. With all the negativity on Facebook all the time now, this is great news for Buena Vista.
We'll wait here safe and sound.
Population: 5,263Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 4) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 0 (1st safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,425 (9th safest)You might be surprised to find Dumfries this high on the list, but, trust us, no one in Dumfries is surpised.
This gem of a place in the Old Dominion boasts the 9th best property crime rate and 1st best violent crime rate for 2018.
Population: 16,679Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 41 (4th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,013 (6th safest)
Finishing just inside the top five is Vienna, VA.
You get what you pay for in Vienna -- super low crime rates. A 1 in 2,382 chance of being the victim of violent crime gives Vienna residents a well earned feeling of safety.
We'd move to Vienna in heartbeat.
Population: 44,528Rank Last Year: - Violent Crimes Per 100k: 96 (10th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 918 (4th safest)
Everyone is trying to get in on the quality of life in Blacksburg, the 6th safest city in Virginia.
The town of some 44,528 people will have to try and continue to try and keep Blacksburg a secret, lest crime starts going up simply because of people breaking down the doors to get into town.
See what we did there Blacksburg?
Population: 7,264Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 137 (13th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,060 (7th safest)
Lexington is a feel good story of safety and comfort in Virginia.
It has 1 in 94.3 chance of being the victim of a property crime and a 1 in 726 chance of being the victim of violent crime.
That's some of the tops you'll find across the country -- nevermind just in Virginia.
8. Manassas Park
Population: 15,912Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 150 (16th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,005 (5th safest)
The eighth safest city in Virginia for 2018 goes to Manassas Park. Let's see why.
There were only 24 violent crimes here last year -- which is basically 0 for the average citizen. And there were only 160 property crimes to boot.
Population: 8,418Rank Last Year: 20 (Up 11) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 83 (6th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,793 (16th safest)
If you're looking for a safe place to live in Virginia, may we present Smithfield as an option.
While it doesn't sit at the very top of the chart for Virginia, it still has an impressively low crime rate.
151 property crimes occurred here, which nets out to being the 16th best in Virginia on a rate basis.
10. Fairfax City
And just making it into the top ten for 2018 is Fairfax City.
But we know they don't take this spot for granted -- Fairfax City residents can attest that their home town deserves to be the on list.
In total, there were 23 violent crimes and 407 property crimes in Fairfax City; that's really good for a place of 24,173 people and definitely something to be happy about looking forward into 2018.
There You Have It - The Safest In Virginia
Looking at the data, you can tell that Bridgewater is as safe as they come, according to science and data.
But as most Virginia 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 Virginia:3rd Most Dangerous: Emporia 2nd Most Dangerous: Marion Most Dangerous: Portsmouth
Detailed List Of The Safest Cities To Live In Virginia For 2018
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