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 2018) in Idaho.
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 187 crimes committed in Rexburg which had a reported population of 28,698. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.0065 which translates into a 1 in 153 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 2017. This left us with a total of 24 of the biggest cities in Idaho to rank.
We ranked each city for each criteria from 1 to 24 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 Idaho".
The safest city, based on our criteria, is Rexburg. The most dangerous city in Idaho? Garden City, where residents had a 1 in 28 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: 28,698 Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 38 (1st safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 613 (2nd safest) More on Rexburg:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Rexburg is a city in Madison County, Idaho, United States. The population was 25,484 at the 2010 census, up from 17,257 in 2000. The city is the county seat of Madison County and its largest city. Rexburg is the principal city of the Rexburg, ID Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Fremont and Madison Counties. The city is home to Brigham Young University-Idaho, a private institution operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Population: 5,205 Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 57 (2nd safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 730 (3rd safest) More on Fruitland:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Fruitland is a city in Payette County, Idaho, United States. It lies along U.S. Route 95 in the Treasure Valley of southwest Idaho, about 50 miles west of Boise on the border with Oregon. It is part of the Ontario Micropolitan Area. Fruitland is named after the apple orchards that surround the community, and its slogan is "The Big Apple of Idaho."
Population: 8,267 Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 4) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 157 (6th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 532 (1st safest) More on Hailey:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Hailey is a city in and the county seat of Blaine County, in the Wood River Valley of the central part of the U.S. state of Idaho.
The city is named after John Hailey, a two-time Congressional delegate from the Idaho Territory.
Population: 99,241 Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 150 (5th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,500 (8th safest) More on Meridian:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Meridian is a city located in Ada County in the US state of Idaho. As of the 2010 census, the population of Meridian was 75,092 making it the third largest city in Idaho after Boise and Nampa. A 2015 estimate placed the population at approximately 90,739. Meridian is the state's fastest-growing city, with an 81.5 percent increase in population since 2000.
Population: 5,372 Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 3) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 186 (8th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,079 (5th safest) More on Preston:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Preston is a city in Franklin County, Idaho, United States. The population was 5,204 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Franklin County. It is part of the Logan, Utah-Idaho Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Population: 8,113 Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 197 (9th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,097 (6th safest) More on Rathdrum:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Rathdrum is a city in Kootenai County, Idaho, United States. The population was 6,826 at the 2010 census, up from 4816 in 2000. It is part of the Coeur d'Alene Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes the entire county. It is named after Rathdrum in Ireland.
Population: 25,576 Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 132 (4th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,474 (18th safest) More on Moscow:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Moscow is a city in northern Idaho along the state border with Washington, with a population of 23,800 at the 2010 census. The county seat and largest city of Latah County, Moscow is the home of the University of Idaho, the state's land grant institution and primary research university, as well as the home of New Saint Andrews College, a Christian liberal arts college.