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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 Montana, safety isn't a problem, but we don't all get to live in the safest cities -- unless of course you live in Colstrip.
The purpose of this post is to determine where the safest cities to live are in the Treasure State. Those places where crime is usually something you hear about on Facebook, but not from your local paper.
In all, we analyzed 30 cities in Montana with a population of more than 2,000 using the latest FBI crime data.
Here's the list of the safest cities in Montana 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 Montana.
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 15 crimes committed in Colstrip which had a reported population of 2,359. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.0064 which translates into a 1 in 157 chance of being the victim of a crime.
We only looked at cities that have populations of more than 2,000 people reported to the FBI in 2016. This left us with a total of 30 of the biggest cities in Montana to rank.
We ranked each city for each criteria from 1 to 30 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 Montana".
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: 6,986 Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 143 (5th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,104 (12th safest) More on Laurel:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Laurel is a city in Yellowstone County, Montana, United States. It is the third largest community in the Billings Metropolitan Statistical Area, and is located in the Yellowstone Valley, as an east-west terminal division point of the Burlington-Northern Railroad. The population was 6,781 at the 2010 census.
Population: 7,364 Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 3) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 230 (11th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,449 (20th safest) More on Livingston:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Livingston is a city and the county seat of Park County, Montana, United States. Livingston is located in southwestern Montana, on the Yellowstone River, north of Yellowstone National Park. The population was 7,044 at the 2010 census.
There You Have It - The Safest Cities In The Treasure State
Looking at the data, you can tell that Colstrip is as safe as they come, according to science and data.
But as most Montana residents would agree, almost every place here has its safe and not safe parts. So just make sure you're informed ahead of time.