Swipe left for slideshow. Article continues below.
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.
Here's the list of the safest cities in Iowa for 2018:
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:
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 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.
Population: 10,368 Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 96 (7th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,012 (9th safest) More on Pella:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Pella is a city in Marion County, Iowa, United States, with a population of 10,352 at the time of the 2010 U.S. Census. Founded by immigrants from the Netherlands, it is forty miles southeast of Des Moines. Pella is the home of Central College, as well as several manufacturing companies, including Pella Corporation and Vermeer Manufacturing Company.
Population: 21,635 Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 120 (10th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,044 (10th safest) More on Johnston:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Johnston is a city in Polk County, Iowa, United States. The population was 17,278 in the 2010 census, an increase of almost 100% from the 8,649 population in the 2000 census. It is part of the Des Moines?West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Population: 7,864 Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 139 (13th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 966 (8th safest) More on Decorah:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Decorah is a city in and the county seat of Winneshiek County, Iowa, United States. The population was 8,127 at the 2010 census. Decorah is located at the intersection of State Highway 9 and U.S. Route 52, and is the largest community in Winneshiek County.
Population: 5,128 Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 175 (19th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 351 (3rd safest) More on Vinton:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Vinton is a city in Benton County, Iowa, United States. The population was 5,257 in the 2010 census, an increase from 5,102 in the 2000 census. It is also part of the Cedar Rapids Metropolitan Statistical Area. Vinton is the county seat of Benton County.
Population: 10,371 Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 5) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 154 (15th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 838 (7th safest) More on Norwalk:Real Estate | Data
Norwalk is a city in Warren County, with some small portions extending into Polk County, in the U.S. state of Iowa. The population was 8,945 at the 2010 census. The city is part of the Des Moines?West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area and is located just south of the Des Moines International Airport.
Population: 5,226 Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 133 (11th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,569 (20th safest) More on De Witt:Photos | Real Estate | Data
DeWitt is a city in Clinton County, Iowa, United States. The population was 5,322 at the 2010 census, which is a 5.2% increase from the 2000 census, making it the fastest growing city in Clinton County.
Population: 5,186 Rank Last Year: 29 (Up 19) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 38 (3rd safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,043 (29th safest) More on Iowa Falls:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Iowa Falls is a city in Hardin County, Iowa, United States. Iowa Falls is the home of Ellsworth Community College. It is also a regional transportation center, located along U.S. Routes 20 and 65 and the Canadian National and Union Pacific Railroads. The population was 5,238 at the 2010 census. A landmark in the city is its movie theater. Built as the Metropolitan Opera House in 1899, it presented plays, operas, and vaudeville in the town during the first half of the twentieth century, and today is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
There You Have It - The Safest Cities In The Hawkeye State
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.