These Are The 10 Safest Cities In South Dakota For 2017

We used data and science to determine the places in South Dakota 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 South Dakota, safety isn't a problem, but we don't live in the safest state, either. South Dakota is somewhere in the middle.

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

After analyzing 16 places in South Dakota with a population of more than 5,000, we came up with this list as the safest places here:

  1. Brandon
  2. Madison
  3. Belle Fourche
  4. Brookings
  5. Box Elder
  6. Vermillion
  7. Aberdeen
  8. Spearfish
  9. Sturgis
  10. Yankton

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 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 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 Best Places To Retire In South Dakota

For example, there were a total of 16 crimes committed in Brandon which had a reported population of 9,497. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.00168 which translates into a 1 in 594 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 16 places in South Dakota to rank.

We ranked each place for each criteria from 1 to 16 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 South Dakota".

The safest city, based on population, is Brandon. The most dangerous? Rapid City, where residents had a 1 in 11 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. Brandon

Brandon - Safest Places In South Dakota
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,497
Property Crime Rank: 15
Violent Crime Rank: 1

2. Madison

Madison - Safest Places In South Dakota
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,972
Property Crime Rank: 320
Violent Crime Rank: 953

3. Belle Fourche

Belle Fourche - Safest Places In South Dakota
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,702
Property Crime Rank: 411
Violent Crime Rank: 1,363

4. Brookings

Brookings - Safest Places In South Dakota
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 22,974
Property Crime Rank: 1,134
Violent Crime Rank: 899

5. Box Elder

Box Elder - Safest Places In South Dakota
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,959
Property Crime Rank: 810
Violent Crime Rank: 2,367

6. Vermillion

Vermillion - Safest Places In South Dakota
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,746
Property Crime Rank: 1,616
Violent Crime Rank: 1,743

7. Aberdeen

Aberdeen - Safest Places In South Dakota
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 27,418
Property Crime Rank: 1,498
Violent Crime Rank: 2,545

8. Spearfish

Spearfish - Safest Places In South Dakota
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,980
Property Crime Rank: 2,133
Violent Crime Rank: 1,577

9. Sturgis

Sturgis - Safest Places In South Dakota
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,657
Property Crime Rank: 2,144
Violent Crime Rank: 2,160

10. Yankton

Yankton - Safest Places In South Dakota
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 14,531
Property Crime Rank: 2,136
Violent Crime Rank: 2,673

There You Have It - The Safest In South Dakota

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

Most dangerous cities in South Dakota:
3rd Most Dangerous: Mitchell
2nd Most Dangerous: Pierre
Most Dangerous: Rapid City

Detailed List Of The 100 Safest Cities To Live In South Dakota

CityRankPopulationProperty Crime RankViolent Crime Rank
Brandon19,497151
Madison26,972320953
Belle Fourche35,7024111,363
Brookings422,9741,134899
Box Elder58,9598102,367
Vermillion610,7461,6161,743
Aberdeen727,4181,4982,545
Spearfish810,9802,1331,577
Sturgis96,6572,1442,160
Yankton1014,5312,1362,673
Huron1113,1591,8603,093
Watertown1221,9192,2652,682
Sioux Falls13164,3412,7253,041
Mitchell1415,5432,8692,858
Pierre1513,9382,9482,832
Rapid City1671,6923,0523,383

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