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 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 198 crimes committed in Rexburg which had a reported population of 28,112. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.007 which translates into a 1 in 141 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 26 of the biggest cities in Idaho to rank.
We ranked each city for each criteria from 1 to 26 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 23 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.
Source: Public domain
Population: 28,112 Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 32 (1st safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 672 (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 (BYU-Idaho), a private institution operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).
Population: 5,214 Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 76 (3rd safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,476 (6th 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: 5,281 Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 113 (6th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,325 (5th safest) More on Weiser:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Weiser (/wizr/ WEE-zr) is a city in the rural western part of the U.S. state of Idaho and the county seat of Washington County. With its mild climate, the city supports farm, orchard, and livestock endeavors in the vicinity. The city sits at the confluence of the Weiser River with the great Snake River, which marks the border with Oregon. The population was 5,507 at the 2010 census.
Population: 25,307 Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 71 (2nd safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,916 (11th safest) More on Moscow:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Moscow (/msko/ MOSS-koh) 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.
Source: Public domain
Population: 94,113 Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 111 (5th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,548 (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.
Source: Public domain
Population: 8,175 Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 281 (15th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 489 (1st safest) More on Hailey:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Population: 7,681 Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 104 (4th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,499 (18th 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.
There You Have It - The Safest Cities In The Gem State
Looking at the data, you can tell that Rexburg is as safe as they come, according to science and data.
But as most Idaho residents would agree, almost every place here has its safe and not safe parts. So just make sure you're informed ahead of time.