These Are The 10 Safest Cities In South Dakota For 2019

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

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Editor's Note: This article has been update for 2019. This is our fifth time rankings the safest places to live in South Dakota.
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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 are the 10 safest places to live in South Dakota for 2019:

  1. Brandon (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Lennox (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Lead (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Madison (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. North Sioux City (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Brookings (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Canton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Summerset (Homes For Sale)
  9. Sisseton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Winner (Photos | Homes For Sale)

So what's the safest place to live in South Dakota for 2019? According to the most recent FBI UCR data, Brandon ranks as the safest place to live on a violent crime and property crime rate basis.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked.

For more reading on safe places to live in and around South Dakota, check out:

How we calculated the safest cities in South Dakota for 2019

Safest Cities in South Dakota 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 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)
10 Worst Places To Live In South Dakota

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".

The safest city, based on our criteria, is Brandon. The most dangerous city in South Dakota? Rapid City, where residents had a 1 in 22 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.

The 10 Safest Places To Live In South Dakota For 2019

Brandon, SD
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 10,090
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 0 (1st safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 257 (2nd safest)
More on Brandon: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

Welcome to Brandon, our number one safest city in South Dakota. It's so safe in this Soiux Falls-burb, that the wolves, coyotes, and bears are always howling and growling at the residents reminding them to get home before dark. Thanks furry friends!

Nestled along the Big Sioux River in the southeast corner of South Dakota's western border, Brandon offers a safe environment with small town charm that packs a big punch. Not literally, of course. No fighting happens here; that wouldn't be safe. Not to mention, there are a lot of hunters, here, if ya know what we mean. #winkwink

With a little over 10,000 residents, the superb quality of life in this little village in Minnehahah County is the reason that it is our number one Safest City in South Dakota 2019. Yes, Brandon, you truly are "Building a Better Life".

Lennox, SD
Overall SnackAbility
5
/10

Population: 2,364
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 126 (6th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 169 (1st safest)
More on Lennox: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

Where South Dakota State Road 44 meets South Dakota State Road 17 is Lennox. This town, where the only crimes being committed might be a flannel or carhart fashion faux pas, is our second Safest City in South Dakota.

This SoDak town is also known for its safe, family friendly atmosphere. There is a ton of stuff to do in this little town with only 2,364 residents in the middle of nowhere, Lincoln County. They have a boat load of places to shop and dine, and their immaculate parks provide the backdrop for safe, friendly games of basketball, volleyball, and tennis for all ages.

Lennox is the kind of place where one can safely cruise the roads on tractors, horses, and bicycles. It's also the kind of place where packages from Amazon won't get stolen from your front porch. #winning

Lead, SD
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 2,990
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 66 (5th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 568 (3rd safest)
More on Lead: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

Lead is the ideal destination when you're trying find that true northern plains feel with small city vibes. We're not sure if it's where the buffalo roam, but but we do know that it's safe enough to let your children roam. And this is definitely one of the reasons it's hanging strong as our third safest city in SoDak.

It might not be Sioux City, but this little town with a vibrant downtown scene, unforgettable summer festivals, and year-round fun is just as notable and just as safe. Probably why it's one of the most populous towns in the Black Hills.

Lead is known for its low crime, A+ education rating, and affordability. Do we think it has something to do with the discovery of gold in 'dem 'der hills? Probably. One thing we do know for sure, however, is that there is a true sense of community in this little village in Lawrence County.

So grab the fam, pack up the pick-up, and get a-movin' so you don't miss out on any of their safe, family friendly, activities scheduled for 2019.

Madison, SD
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 7,584
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 145 (7th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,147 (7th safest)
More on Madison: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

Plug in the flashing lights and slap a fluorescent orange safety jacket on this little city in southeastern Lake County and call them safe.

Our fourth safest city in South Dakota, Madison, is known for its scenic location, low taxes, and educational opportunities. Afterall, it is the home to the Dakota State Trojans. Now if "Trojans" doesn't scream safe, we give up.

This little gem of a city in the Mount Rushmore State is a family friendly, safe Sioux City-burb nestled between Madison Lake and Lake Herman. It boasts convenient restaurants and stores and an occasional rodeo or two. It's a great place to raise a family. Word on the street is that young professionals are starting to take notice and move their direction. So don't wait, cuz the word is out.

And if you love winter, you can get snow here as early as July. To best be safe, make sure you get the best snow tires, winter boots, and fleece jacket, cuz you're gonna need 'em.

North Sioux City, SD
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 2,766
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 36 (2nd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,626 (12th safest)
More on North Sioux City: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

North Sioux City, located in the very southeast corner of Union County, is our fifth safest city in South Dakota. This little city on the banks of the Missouri River and McCook Lake is super family friendly and virtually crime free.

North Sioux City's overall HomeSnacks snackability score was an 8/10! Not surprising, considering their safety rating scored an 8.5/10 and percentage of educated residents scored 6/10. Busy people = less naughty people. Again, if that doesn't say safe, we don't know what does.

There's a reason North Sioux City's motto is "Where you want to be." The people in this corner of The Mount Rushmore State are super nice, hardworking, individuals that strive to create a better corner of the world for its residents.

And if you don't like people peeping through your windows, you don't have to worry cuz there's plenty of room in North Sioux City. And if you love nature, it can be found as close as your backyard. Really. We're not joking. No tricks, it is one of the safest cities to call home on our list.

Brookings, SD
Overall SnackAbility
8.5
/10

Population: 24,198
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 148 (8th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,301 (8th safest)
More on Brookings: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

Next up is Green River. This little piece of heaven in the 697 scored an 8.5/10 on our snackability chart to become our sixth safest city in South Dakota.

Home to the second largest city in SoDak, this is the place to be. There are a boat load of things to do and the residents have the money to safely enjoy life in the "Scoreboard Town." They have the state's Children's Museum, the Brookings Summer Arts Festival, and it is the home to a multiple manufacturing and agricultural companies. So it's not surprising that Brookings received an 8/10 job score and an 8.5/10 amenities score. Nice work Brookings!

Whether the residents are tailgating at the South Dakota State University Jackrabbits, sharing a beer at the Brookings Blizzard game, or sipping coffee at the local coffee shop, nothin' says safe like a community that creates opportunities to get to know anything and everything about each other. Just make sure you take the trash out in proper attire cuz someone is always watching and you wouldn't want to become the talk of Sweetwater County.

Canton, SD
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 3,437
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 174 (11th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 960 (5th safest)
More on Canton: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

Welcome to our seventh safest city in South Dakota: Canton. This town in Lincoln County is home to the rolling foothills of the Sioux Valley. It is every outdoor enthusiasts dream with the Big Sioux River to the East, Newton Hills State Park to the South, and Lake Alvin to the North. Just remember to wear your helmet. Safety first, right?

More importantly, the term SAFE takes on a new meaning in Canton. It's a family friendly town in southeastern SoDak where the (S)treets (A)re (F)or (E)veryone. The people here are super welcoming and there are a ton of safe, family friendly parks and activities.

And kudos to Canton, their snackability rating is off the charts: a whopping 6/10! Their job market scored an 8/10 and their safety rating an 8/10! It's like Barney Fife's Mayberry in the middle of the northern plains.

Overall SnackAbility
9
/10

Population: 2,499
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 40 (3rd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,960 (14th safest)
More on Summerset: Search Homes For Sale | Data

In Summerset they love their wide open spaces, their parks, their super safe neighborhoods, and they take pride in their South Dakota roots. The only crimes committed, here, are the occasional cow tippin' or beer drinikin' in the Black Hills.

This western Meade County city is our eighth safest city. It's a place where work and play meet at the foothills of Mount Rushmore. Summerset's small town charm delivers big opportunities to all that are searching for a safe, not scary, place to call home. Heck, they scored and 8/10 in safety on our snackability scale.

The residents in Summerset look out for each other. It is evident in their gold star qualities like the non-existent number of crimes last year, their large number of educated residents, and just their overall safety standards. They are going to keep you safe and alive in the 605.

Sisseton, SD
Overall SnackAbility
5
/10

Population: 2,426
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 329 (14th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 659 (4th safest)
More on Sisseton: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

Sisseton is a little rodeo town located in the extreme northeast corner of Roberts County.

Sisseton has been holding strong on our top 10 list for the last couple of years. So, it's no surprise that they are our ninth safest city in SoDak.

Sisseton's slogan should be: "Where It's Happening". They have their own airport, four gun shops, and three boot stores. So, if safe, family friendly communities that are happenin', is your cup of tea, you better hurry cuz Sisseton's homes are sellin' like hotcakes.

Sisseton is one of those snowy towns. They average close to 50" of snow/year. According to their residents, the only dangers lurking in the shadows of this city might be the occasional snowball fight. Keep that snow slingin' to a minimum Sisseton, we wouldn't want you to tarnish that impeccable 8/10 safety rating.

Winner, SD
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
7
/10

Population: 2,850
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 280 (13th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,017 (6th safest)
More on Winner: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

Winner rounds out our safest cities in South Dakota list coming in at number ten. They crushed our snackability scale with an 8/10 safety ranking and an 8/10 affordability score. What do you expect from the home to the infamous Bob Parker, host to the Price is Right. Winner produces winners.

It should be no surprise to Winner's residents that they scored an 8/10 education score and an 8.5/10 job score cuz legend has it that Winner got its name because it was the most successful trading post in Tripp County. Smart people know that working hard creates a safe, productive environment necessary for a city to survive.

And you won't hear 'hold my beer and watch me handle this" in this little city on the southern border. They are a safe, family friendly, town with a ton of respect for each other. Heck, crime is pretty much nonexistent in this town of 3,000. Yep, you heard hear first, folks: Winners can get along.

There You Have It - The Safest Cities In The Mount Rushmore State

Looking at the data, you can tell that Brandon is as safe as they come, according to science and data.

But as most South Dakota 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 South Dakota according to the data:

  1. Rapid City
  2. Mitchell
  3. Sioux Falls
For more reading, check out:

List Of 10 Safest Cities In South Dakota For 2019

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per 100k Property Crimes Per 100k
1 Brandon, SD 10,090 0 257
2 Lennox, SD 2,364 126 169
3 Lead, SD 2,990 66 568
4 Madison, SD 7,584 145 1,147
5 North Sioux City, SD 2,766 36 1,626
6 Brookings, SD 24,198 148 1,301
7 Canton, SD 3,437 174 960
8 Summerset, SD 2,499 40 1,960
9 Sisseton, SD 2,426 329 659
10 Winner, SD 2,850 280 1,017

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

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