Editor's Note: This article has been update for 2019. This is our fifth time rankings the safest places to live in Montana.
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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 Baker.
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 31 cities in Montana with a population of more than 2,000 using the latest FBI crime data.
Here are the 10 safest places to live in Montana for 2019:
Population: 5,860 Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 9) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 392 (18th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,416 (5th safest) More on Lewistown:Photos | Search Homes For Sale | Data
Lewistown is a city in and the county seat of Fergus County, Montana, United States. The population was 5,901 at the 2010 census. Lewistown is located in central Montana, the geographic center of the state, southeast of Great Falls. First planned in 1882, it was the site of an 1880s gold rush.
How we calculated the safest cities in Montana 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 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 4 crimes committed in Baker which had a reported population of 2,029. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.002 which translates into a 1 in 507 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 2017. This left us with a total of 31 of the biggest cities in Montana to rank.
We ranked each city for each criteria from 1 to 31 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.
There You Have It - The Safest Cities In The Treasure State
Looking at the data, you can tell that Baker 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.