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 all get to live in the safest cities -- unless of course you live in Bridgewater.
The purpose of this post is to determine where the safest cities to live are in the Old Dominion. Those places where crime is usually something you hear about on Facebook, but not from your local paper.
In all, we analyzed 62 cities in Virginia 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 Virginia.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 18 crimes committed in Bridgewater which had a reported population of 5,939. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.003 which translates into a 1 in 329 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 of the biggest cities in Virginia to rank.
We ranked each city 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 our criteria, is Bridgewater. The most dangerous city in Virginia? Portsmouth, where residents had a 1 in 15 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 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 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 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.
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.
This gem of a place in the Old Dominion boasts the 9th best property crime rate and 1st best violent crime rate for 2018.
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 a heartbeat.
Everyone is trying to get in on the quality of life in Blacksburg, the 6th safest city in Virginia.
The town of some 44528 people will have to try and continue to 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?
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.
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.
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.
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 95 (9th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,683 (15th safest)
More on 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 24173 people and definitely something to be happy about looking forward into 2018.
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.
Here's a look at the most dangerous cities in Virginia according to the data:
|City||Rank||Previous Rank||Population||Violent Crimes Per 100k||Property Crimes Per 100k|
|Buena Vista, VA||3||4||6,576||45||836|
|Manassas Park, VA||8||6||15,912||150||1,005|
|Fairfax City, VA||10||15||24,173||95||1,683|
|Falls Church, VA||20||13||14,124||191||1,550|
|Virginia Beach, VA||23||17||453,017||154||2,176|
|Big Stone Gap, VA||25||36||5,378||92||2,863|
|Front Royal, VA||32||30||15,193||289||2,172|
|Newport News, VA||53||48||181,676||466||3,070|
|Colonial Heights, VA||54||47||17,814||325||4,580|
|South Boston, VA||56||56||7,944||465||3,965|
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.