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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 all get to live in the safest cities -- unless of course you live in Bridgewater.
The purpose of this post is to determine where the safest cities to live are in the Old Dominion. Those places where crime is usually something you hear about on Facebook, but not from your local paper.
In all, we analyzed 62 cities in Virginia with a population of more than 5,000 using the latest FBI crime data.
Here's the list of the safest cities in Virginia for 2018:
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 2017) in Virginia.
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 18 crimes committed in Bridgewater which had a reported population of 5,939. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.003 which translates into a 1 in 329 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 2016. This left us with a total of 62 of the biggest cities in Virginia to rank.
We ranked each city for each criteria from 1 to 62 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 Virginia".
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.
Source: Public domain
Population: 5,939 Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 16 (2nd safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 286 (1st safest) More on Bridgewater:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Bridgewater is an incorporated town in Rockingham County, Virginia, United States. The population was 5,644 at the 2010 census. It is included in the Harrisonburg, Virginia Metropolitan Statistical Area. Bridgewater is also home to Bridgewater College.
Population: 9,547 Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 31 (3rd safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 565 (2nd safest) More on Purcellville:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Purcellville is a town in Loudoun County, Virginia, United States. The population was 9,232 according to the United States Census 2015 Population Estimate (as of July 1, 2015). Purcellville is the major population center for western Loudoun and the Loudoun Valley. Today[update], many of the older structures remaining in Purcellville reflect the Victorian architecture popular during the early 20th century. Patrick Henry College is located in the town.
3. Buena Vista
Source: Public domain
Population: 6,576 Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 45 (5th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 836 (3rd safest) More on Buena Vista:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Buena Vista (/bjunvst/ BEW-n-VIS-t) is an independent city located in the Blue Ridge Mountains region of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 6,650. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the independent cities of Buena Vista and Lexington, along with surrounding Rockbridge County, for statistical purposes.
Population: 16,679 Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 41 (4th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,013 (6th safest) More on Vienna:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Vienna (/vin/) is a town in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, it had a population of 15,687. Significantly more people live in ZIP codes with the Vienna postal addresses (22180, 22181, and 22182) bordered approximately by Interstate 66 on the south, Interstate 495 on the east, Route 7 to the north, and Hunter Mill road to the west.
Population: 44,528 Rank Last Year: - Violent Crimes Per 100k: 96 (10th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 918 (4th safest) More on Blacksburg:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Blacksburg is an incorporated town in Montgomery County, Virginia, United States, with a population of 42,620 at the 2010 census. Blacksburg is dominated economically and demographically by the presence of Virginia Tech (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University).
Population: 7,264 Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 137 (13th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,060 (7th safest) More on Lexington:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Lexington is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 7,042. It is the county seat of Rockbridge County, although the two are separate jurisdictions. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Lexington (along with nearby Buena Vista) with Rockbridge County for statistical purposes. Lexington is about 57 miles east of the West Virginia border and is about 50 miles north of Roanoke, Virginia. It was first settled in 1777.
Population: 15,912 Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 150 (16th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,005 (5th safest) More on Manassas Park:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Manassas Park is an independent city in the U.S. state of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 14,273. Manassas Park is bordered by the city of Manassas and Prince William County. Manassas Park is a part of the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. "A" Fort and Battery Hill Redoubt-Camp Early resides in Manassas Park.
Source: Public domain
Population: 8,418 Rank Last Year: 20 (Up 11) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 83 (6th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,793 (16th safest) More on Smithfield:Photos | Real Estate | Data