These Are The 10 Safest Cities In South Dakota

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. Sturgis
  7. Aberdeen
  8. Watertown
  9. Vermillion
  10. Spearfish

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

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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 (2014). 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 Worst Places To Live In South Dakota

For example, there were a total of 48 crimes committed in Brandon which had a reported population of 9,678. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.00496 which translates into a 1 in 202 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 601 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: 9,678
Property Crime Rank: 20
Violent Crime Rank: 28

2. Madison

Madison - Safest Places In South Dakota
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,057
Property Crime Rank: 42
Violent Crime Rank: 38

3. Belle Fourche

Belle Fourche - Safest Places In South Dakota
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,755
Property Crime Rank: 40
Violent Crime Rank: 43

4. Brookings

Brookings - Safest Places In South Dakota
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 23,145
Property Crime Rank: 45
Violent Crime Rank: 36

5. Box Elder

Box Elder - Safest Places In South Dakota
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,432
Property Crime Rank: 41
Violent Crime Rank: 47

6. Sturgis

Sturgis - Safest Places In South Dakota
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,950
Property Crime Rank: 52
Violent Crime Rank: 35

7. Aberdeen

Aberdeen - Safest Places In South Dakota
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 27,629
Property Crime Rank: 47
Violent Crime Rank: 46

8. Watertown

Watertown - Safest Places In South Dakota
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 22,118
Property Crime Rank: 50
Violent Crime Rank: 45

9. Vermillion

Vermillion - Safest Places In South Dakota
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,723
Property Crime Rank: 49
Violent Crime Rank: 48

10. Spearfish

Spearfish - Safest Places In South Dakota
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 11,246
Property Crime Rank: 54
Violent Crime Rank: 41

There You Have It

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: Pierre
2nd Most Dangerous: Mitchell
Most Dangerous: Rapid City

Detailed List Of The Safest Places To Live In South Dakota

CityRankPopulationProperty Crime RankViolent Crime Rank
Brandon19,6782028
Madison27,0574238
Belle Fourche35,7554043
Brookings423,1454536
Box Elder59,4324147
Sturgis66,9505235
Aberdeen727,6294746
Watertown822,1185045
Vermillion910,7234948
Spearfish1011,2465441
Huron1113,2255353
Yankton1214,6225752
Sioux Falls13167,3395556
Pierre1414,0615851
Mitchell1515,6005955
Rapid City1671,4816059

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