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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 72 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 2019:
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 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 23 crimes committed in Sioux Center which had a reported population of 7,578. 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 2017. This left us with a total of 72 of the biggest cities in Iowa to rank.
We ranked each city for each criteria from 1 to 72 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? Keokuk, where residents had a 1 in 13 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: 10,874 Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 4) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 82 (5th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 827 (6th safest) More on Norwalk:Photos | 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: 6,199 Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 129 (8th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 516 (3rd safest) More on Orange City:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Orange City is a city in and the county seat of Sioux County, Iowa, United States. The population was 6,004 in the 2010 census, an increase from 5,582 in the 2000 census. Named after William of Orange, the community maintains its Dutch settler traditions visibly, with Dutch storefront architecture and an annual Tulip Festival.
Population: 7,883 Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 50 (3rd safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,065 (9th 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: 21,816 Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 146 (11th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,109 (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: 17,913 Rank Last Year: - Violent Crimes Per 100k: 78 (4th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,518 (19th safest) More on Clive:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Clive is a city in Dallas and Polk counties in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 Census the population is at 15,447. It is part of the Des Moines-West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area. Clive is known for its Greenbelt Park and trail system running through the entire community. Clive serves as the axis of the western Des Moines suburbs, being located between Urbandale, Waukee and West Des Moines along the major transportation corridors of I-35, I-80 and I-235. The City of Urbandale is to the north to northwest, the City of West Des Moines is to the southeast to southwest, the City of Waukee in Dallas County is to the west.
Population: 9,920 Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 5) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 20 (1st safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,693 (23rd safest) More on Carroll:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Carroll is a city in and the county seat of Carroll County, Iowa, United States, located along the Middle Raccoon River. The population was 10,103 in the 2010 census, down from three people in the 10,106 population in the 2000 census.
Population: 20,359 Rank Last Year: - Violent Crimes Per 100k: 152 (13th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,169 (12th safest) More on Waukee:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Waukee is a city in Dallas County, Iowa, United States. The population was 13,790 at the 2010 Census; a fast growth has been measured since as it is estimated there were 19,284 people living in Waukee in 2016. It is part of the Des Moines - West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area.
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.