Top 15 Safest Cities In Iowa For 2018

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

Join HomeSnacks
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:

  1. Sioux Center (Photos | Homes)
  2. Orange City (Photos | Homes)
  3. Eldridge (Photos | Homes)
  4. Pella (Photos | Homes)
  5. Johnston (Photos | Homes)
  6. Decorah (Photos | Homes)
  7. Vinton (Photos | Homes)
  8. Norwalk (Photos | Homes)
  9. De Witt (Photos | Homes)
  10. Iowa Falls (Photos | Homes)
  11. Urbandale (Photos | Homes)
  12. Spencer (Photos | Homes)
  13. Carroll (Photos | Homes)
  14. Anamosa (Photos | Homes)
  15. Ankeny (Photos | Homes)

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

How we calculated the safest cities in Iowa

Safest Cities in Iowa Graph

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)
10 Worst Places To Live In Iowa

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.

1. Sioux Center

Sioux Center, IA

Population: 7,544
Rank Last Year: -
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 26 (1st safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 145 (1st safest)
More on Sioux Center: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Sioux Center is a city in Sioux County, Iowa, United States with a population of 7,048. Sioux Center is notable for its recent population boom, Dutch heritage, and agribusiness.

2. Orange City

Orange City, IA
Source: Public domain

Population: 6,225
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 32 (2nd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 771 (6th safest)
More on Orange City: PhotosReal 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.

3. Eldridge

Eldridge, IA

Population: 6,348
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 94 (6th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 220 (2nd safest)
More on Eldridge: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Eldridge is a city in Scott County, Iowa, United States. The population was 6,162 in a 2014 census estimate; Eldridge is a suburb and also part of the Quad Cities metropolitan area.

4. Pella

Pella, IA

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: PhotosReal 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.

5. Johnston

Johnston, IA

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: PhotosReal 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.

6. Decorah

Decorah, IA

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: PhotosReal 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.

7. Vinton

Vinton, IA

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: PhotosReal 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.

8. Norwalk

Norwalk, IA

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: PhotosReal 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.

9. De Witt

De Witt, IA

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: PhotosReal 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.

10. Iowa Falls

Iowa Falls, IA

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: PhotosReal 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.

11. Urbandale

Urbandale, IA
Source: Public domain

Population: 45,012
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 148 (14th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,555 (18th safest)
More on Urbandale: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Urbandale is a city in Polk and Dallas counties in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 39,463. It is part of the Des Moines-West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area.

12. Spencer

Spencer, IA

Population: 11,211
Rank Last Year: 26 (Up 14)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 80 (5th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,051 (30th safest)
More on Spencer: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Spencer is a city in the state of Iowa, and the county seat of Clay County. It is located at the confluence of the Little Sioux and Ocheyedan rivers. The population was 11,233 in the 2010 census, a decline from 11,317 in the 2000 census. Spencer has a notable Clay County Fair, held annually in September, which averages more than 300,000 visitors each year.

13. Carroll

Carroll, IA

Population: 9,940
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 7)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 60 (4th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,092 (32nd safest)
More on Carroll: PhotosReal 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.

14. Anamosa

Anamosa, IA

Population: 5,454
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 7)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 183 (21st safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,338 (16th safest)
More on Anamosa: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Anamosa is a city in Jones County, Iowa, United States. The population was 5,533 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Jones County.

15. Ankeny

Ankeny, IA

Population: 59,236
Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 216 (23rd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,276 (14th safest)
More on Ankeny: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Ankeny is a city in Polk County, Iowa, United States and home to Des Moines Area Community College. The population was 45,562 in the 2010 census, an increase of 68% from the 27,117 population in the 2000 census. It is part of the Des Moines-West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is one of the most affluent cities in all of Iowa.

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.

Here's a look at the most dangerous cities in Iowa according to the data:

  1. Clinton
  2. Davenport
  3. Keokuk
For more reading, check out:

List Of Safest Cities In Iowa For 2018

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per 100k Property Crimes Per 100k
1 Sioux Center, IA 7,544 26 145
2 Orange City, IA 6,225 32 771
3 Eldridge, IA 6,348 94 220
4 Pella, IA 10,368 96 1,012
5 Johnston, IA 21,635 120 1,044
6 Decorah, IA 7,864 139 966
7 Vinton, IA 5,128 175 351
8 Norwalk, IA 10,371 154 838
9 De Witt, IA 5,226 133 1,569
10 Iowa Falls, IA 5,186 38 2,043
11 Urbandale, IA 45,012 148 1,555
12 Spencer, IA 11,211 80 2,051
13 Carroll, IA 9,940 60 2,092
14 Anamosa, IA 5,454 183 1,338
15 Ankeny, IA 59,236 216 1,276
16 Sheldon, IA 5,067 256 1,045
17 Algona, IA 5,453 311 715
18 Ames, IA 66,333 161 1,623
19 Cedar Falls, IA 41,651 158 1,699
20 North Liberty, IA 16,458 315 735
21 Marion, IA 37,845 187 1,595
22 Manchester, IA 5,051 98 2,276
23 Le Mars, IA 9,750 102 2,287
24 Winterset, IA 5,170 251 1,605
25 Webster City, IA 7,768 308 1,622
26 Charles City, IA 7,417 283 1,928
27 Boone, IA 12,702 377 1,330
28 Oelwein, IA 6,104 360 1,539
29 Hiawatha, IA 7,235 234 2,252
30 Iowa City, IA 75,527 260 2,053
31 West Des Moines, IA 65,631 227 2,305
32 Altoona, IA 17,503 177 2,988
33 Creston, IA 7,860 330 2,035
34 Estherville, IA 5,947 353 1,765
35 Washington, IA 7,437 578 1,183
36 Fairfield, IA 9,982 170 3,235
37 Mason City, IA 27,230 135 4,120
38 Glenwood, IA 5,250 552 1,561
39 Maquoketa, IA 5,961 301 2,734
40 Waverly, IA 10,104 1,128 1,167
41 Clear Lake, IA 7,555 344 2,501
42 Coralville, IA 20,957 276 3,158
43 Perry, IA 8,160 404 2,389
44 Cedar Rapids, IA 131,181 295 3,826
45 Newton, IA 15,102 357 3,052
46 Oskaloosa, IA 11,626 421 2,597
47 Spirit Lake, IA 5,049 376 3,010
48 Dubuque, IA 59,026 355 3,103
49 Muscatine, IA 24,010 658 2,211
50 Indianola, IA 15,601 596 2,243
51 Council Bluffs, IA 62,642 239 6,165
52 Storm Lake, IA 10,959 529 2,919
53 Red Oak, IA 5,424 387 3,171
54 Centerville, IA 5,343 318 4,697
55 Marshalltown, IA 27,628 589 2,942
56 Fort Madison, IA 10,654 497 3,360
57 Sioux City, IA 82,819 440 3,920
58 Clarinda, IA 5,386 519 3,397
59 Grinnell, IA 9,127 832 2,947
60 Ottumwa, IA 24,543 411 4,375
61 Waterloo, IA 68,470 740 3,096
62 Fort Dodge, IA 24,557 586 3,986
63 Des Moines, IA 211,501 707 4,199
64 Burlington, IA 25,376 815 4,043
65 Keokuk, IA 10,577 718 5,067
66 Davenport, IA 103,118 727 4,849
67 Clinton, IA 25,906 883 4,477

Like HomeSnacks on Facebook:

Safest Cities By State

Enjoy The Snack?

About HomeSnacks

HomeSnacks is based in Durham, NC.

We aim to deliver bite-sized pieces of infotainment about where you live.

We use data, analytics, and a sense of humor to determine quality of life for places across the nation.

© Chasing Chains, LLC. All rights reserved.