These Are The 10 Safest Cities In Virginia

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

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

After analyzing 60 places in Virginia with a population of more than 5,000, we came up with this list as the safest places here:

  1. Bridgewater
  2. Purcellville
  3. Lexington
  4. Vienna
  5. Blacksburg
  6. Poquoson
  7. Manassas Park
  8. Williamsburg
  9. Strasburg
  10. Fairfax City

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 Virginia

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
10 Small Towns In Virginia Where You'd Never Want To Live

For example, there were a total of 26 crimes committed in Bridgewater which had a reported population of 5,938. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.00438 which translates into a 1 in 228 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 60 places in Virginia to rank.

We ranked each place for each criteria from 1 to 60 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 Virginia".

The safest city, based on population, is Bridgewater. The most dangerous? Portsmouth, where residents had a 1 in 352 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. Bridgewater

Bridgewater - Safest Places In Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,938
Property Crime Rank: 6
Violent Crime Rank: 20

2. Purcellville

Purcellville - Safest Places In Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,821
Property Crime Rank: 10
Violent Crime Rank: 19

3. Lexington

Lexington - Safest Places In Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,203
Property Crime Rank: 19
Violent Crime Rank: 32

4. Vienna

Vienna - Safest Places In Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 16,527
Property Crime Rank: 26
Violent Crime Rank: 23

5. Blacksburg

Blacksburg - Safest Places In Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 43,842
Property Crime Rank: 23
Violent Crime Rank: 34

6. Poquoson

Poquoson - Safest Places In Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 12,098
Property Crime Rank: 18
Violent Crime Rank: 53

7. Manassas Park

Manassas Park - Safest Places In Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 16,618
Property Crime Rank: 25
Violent Crime Rank: 63

8. Williamsburg

Williamsburg - Safest Places In Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,494
Property Crime Rank: 33
Violent Crime Rank: 71

9. Strasburg

Strasburg - Safest Places In Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,537
Property Crime Rank: 34
Violent Crime Rank: 65

10. Fairfax City

Fairfax City - Safest Places In Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 24,345
Property Crime Rank: 54
Violent Crime Rank: 33

There You Have It

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

Most dangerous cities in Virginia:
3rd Most Dangerous: South Boston
2nd Most Dangerous: Emporia
Most Dangerous: Portsmouth

Detailed List Of The Safest Places To Live In Virginia

CityRankPopulationProperty Crime RankViolent Crime Rank
Bridgewater15,938620
Purcellville28,8211019
Lexington37,2031932
Vienna416,5272623
Blacksburg543,8422334
Poquoson612,0981853
Manassas Park716,6182563
Williamsburg815,4943371
Strasburg96,5373465
Fairfax City1024,3455433
Warrenton119,9204844
Leesburg1248,9134559
Falls Church1313,7944962
Herndon1424,7143583
Smithfield158,2515176
Christiansburg1621,6636647
Salem1725,4156457
Dumfries185,2127537
Abingdon198,2095872
Covington205,7866274
Alexandria21151,0656377
Virginia Beach22451,1027066
Wytheville238,2408748
Staunton2424,4998061
Manassas2542,64153112
Harrisonburg2652,0267386
Front Royal2715,00910068
Richlands285,6348984
Woodstock295,2109673
Suffolk3085,98785100
Farmville318,0439094
Waynesboro3221,32110669
Culpeper3317,2599496
Pulaski348,91891102
Radford3517,38368136
Bristol3617,22599108
Lynchburg3778,63983131
Martinsville3813,76598115
Vinton398,17486130
Chesapeake40232,48993122
Petersburg4132,54684135
Hampton42136,59011098
Big Stone Gap435,53311687
Hopewell4422,054103119
Newport News45182,374104125
Charlottesville4644,574105124
Ashland477,30312299
Colonial Heights4817,70613390
Winchester4927,481126107
Marion505,889121116
Bedford515,88213991
Roanoke5298,941129114
Franklin538,651132110
Norfolk54247,078125132
Richmond55216,747124134
Danville5642,936127129
Fredericksburg5729,158128128
South Boston587,954136123
Emporia595,511135133
Portsmouth6096,435137137

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