These Are The 10 Safest Cities In Iowa For 2017

We used data and science to determine the places in Iowa where everyone sleeps safe and sound.

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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 live in the safest state, either. Iowa is somewhere in the middle.

The purpose of this post is to determine where the safest places to live are in the Hawkeye State. Those places where crime is usually something you hear about on Facebook, but not in your local paper.

After analyzing 70 places in Iowa with a population of more than 5,000, we came up with this list as the safest places here:

  1. Eldridge
  2. Orange City
  3. Hiawatha
  4. Pella
  5. Carroll
  6. Johnston
  7. Vinton
  8. Anamosa
  9. Shenandoah
  10. Decorah

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked. Or for more reading on safe places to read, check out:

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How we calculated the safest cities in Iowa

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 2015). 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 three criteria:

  • Violent crimes per capita (murders, assaults, rapes, armed robberies)
  • Property crimes per capita (thefts, burglaries, motor vehicle thefts)
  • Total crimes per capita
These Are The 10 Snobbiest Cities In Iowa

For example, there were a total of 341 crimes committed in Eldridge which had a reported population of 6,017. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.0567 which translates into a 1 in 18 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 2014. This left us with a total of 70 places in Iowa to rank.

We ranked each place for each criteria from 1 to 70 where 1 in any particular category is the safest.

Next, we averaged each places three 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 population, is Eldridge. The most dangerous? Keokuk, where residents had a 1 in 2 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.

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1. Eldridge

Eldridge - Safest Places In Iowa
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,017
Property Crime Rank: 10
Violent Crime Rank: 331

2. Orange City

Orange City - Safest Places In Iowa
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,147
Property Crime Rank: 271
Violent Crime Rank: 78

3. Hiawatha

Hiawatha - Safest Places In Iowa
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,150
Property Crime Rank: 437
Violent Crime Rank: 510

4. Pella

Pella - Safest Places In Iowa
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,316
Property Crime Rank: 848
Violent Crime Rank: 44

5. Carroll

Carroll - Safest Places In Iowa
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,020
Property Crime Rank: 665
Violent Crime Rank: 695

6. Johnston

Johnston - Safest Places In Iowa
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 19,550
Property Crime Rank: 514
Violent Crime Rank: 1,029

7. Vinton

Vinton - Safest Places In Iowa
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,197
Property Crime Rank: 193
Violent Crime Rank: 1,668

8. Anamosa

Anamosa - Safest Places In Iowa
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,518
Property Crime Rank: 784
Violent Crime Rank: 703

9. Shenandoah

Population: 5,062
Property Crime Rank: 920
Violent Crime Rank: 599

10. Decorah

Decorah - Safest Places In Iowa
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,009
Property Crime Rank: 948
Violent Crime Rank: 558

There You Have It - The Safest In Iowa

Looking at the data, you can tell that anything within a 15-minute drive of Eldridge is the most desirable, according to science and data. But as most Iowa residents would agree, almost every place here is awesome.

Most dangerous cities in Iowa:
3rd Most Dangerous: Clinton
2nd Most Dangerous: Fort Dodge
Most Dangerous: Keokuk

Detailed List Of The 100 Safest Cities To Live In Iowa

CityRankPopulationProperty Crime RankViolent Crime Rank
Eldridge16,01710331
Orange City26,14727178
Hiawatha37,150437510
Pella410,31684844
Carroll510,020665695
Johnston619,5505141,029
Vinton75,1971931,668
Anamosa85,518784703
Shenandoah95,062920599
Decorah108,009948558
De Witt115,2836511,126
Algona125,4941622,172
Cedar Falls1340,4391,077898
Norwalk149,6711,055944
Urbandale1542,0999931,042
Winterset165,1599831,155
Bettendorf1734,6635311,953
North Liberty1814,9722192,575
Estherville196,0915072,116
Marion2036,3118701,642
Cherokee215,1475552,166
Sheldon225,0245032,300
Ankeny2351,4897121,995
Le Mars249,7571,593523
Washington257,3482223,011
Pleasant Hill269,0991,2201,418
Ames2762,8151,3961,343
Mount Pleasant288,5751,786741
Boone2912,6317672,564
Spencer3011,1861,739967
Iowa Falls315,1981,809959
Creston327,8861,2121,996
Charles City337,5001,7731,377
Webster City347,8691,0702,607
Glenwood355,2438363,154
West Des Moines3661,2661,7971,786
Fairfield379,7392,542727
Altoona3815,8082,3391,366
Waverly3910,0138733,586
Oelwein406,2751,4822,979
Mason City4127,6432,5951,268
Clarinda425,4761,8332,595
Iowa City4371,8322,1482,157
Atlantic446,9291,8672,693
Manchester455,1062,0712,551
Grinnell469,1321,5463,302
Clear Lake477,6752,0902,550
Oskaloosa4811,5581,9752,812
Perry498,0861,9972,847
Newton5015,1472,2882,565
Storm Lake5110,8142,0882,899
Coralville5220,0382,6512,077
Indianola5315,1651,8443,343
Dubuque5458,4092,6412,253
Muscatine5523,8882,0943,127
Red Oak565,5882,8122,057
Maquoketa576,0292,4113,036
Cedar Rapids58128,8292,9572,216
Ottumwa5924,7582,9452,332
Sioux City6082,7923,1562,795
Marshalltown6127,7702,7203,456
Council Bluffs6262,3093,5902,087
Waterloo6368,4322,6653,642
Burlington6425,5372,9243,360
Des Moines65208,0203,0773,430
Centerville665,4313,3753,115
Davenport67101,8633,2853,422
Clinton6826,4133,2263,535
Fort Dodge6924,7893,3553,478
Keokuk7010,7053,3023,670

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