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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 South Dakota, safety isn't a problem, but we don't all get to live in the safest cities -- unless of course you live in Brandon.
The purpose of this post is to determine where the safest cities to live are in the Mount Rushmore State. Those places where crime is usually something you hear about on Facebook, but not from your local paper.
In all, we analyzed 28 cities in South Dakota with a population of more than 2,000 using the latest FBI crime data.
Here's the list of the safest cities in South Dakota for 2019:
How we calculated the safest cities in South Dakota
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 South Dakota.
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 26 crimes committed in Brandon which had a reported population of 10,090. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.0026 which translates into a 1 in 388 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 28 of the biggest cities in South Dakota to rank.
We ranked each city for each criteria from 1 to 28 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 South Dakota".
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.