These Are The 10 Safest Cities In Virginia For 2017

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 59 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. Buena Vista
  4. Vienna
  5. Manassas Park
  6. Lexington
  7. Poquoson
  8. Williamsburg
  9. Dumfries
  10. Strasburg

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 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 (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 Most Miserable Cities In Virginia

For example, there were a total of 221 crimes committed in Bridgewater which had a reported population of 5,844. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.0378 which translates into a 1 in 26 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 59 places in Virginia to rank.

We ranked each place for each criteria from 1 to 59 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 14 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: 5,844
Property Crime Rank: 16
Violent Crime Rank: 205

2. Purcellville

Purcellville - Safest Places In Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,658
Property Crime Rank: 131
Violent Crime Rank: 407

3. Buena Vista

Buena Vista - Safest Places In Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,666
Property Crime Rank: 157
Violent Crime Rank: 560

4. Vienna

Vienna - Safest Places In Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 16,341
Property Crime Rank: 341
Violent Crime Rank: 385

5. Manassas Park

Manassas Park - Safest Places In Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,625
Property Crime Rank: 325
Violent Crime Rank: 577

6. Lexington

Lexington - Safest Places In Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,071
Property Crime Rank: 314
Violent Crime Rank: 649

7. Poquoson

Poquoson - Safest Places In Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 12,077
Property Crime Rank: 567
Violent Crime Rank: 708

8. Williamsburg

Williamsburg - Safest Places In Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 14,754
Property Crime Rank: 739
Violent Crime Rank: 496

9. Dumfries

Dumfries - Safest Places In Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,158
Property Crime Rank: 984
Violent Crime Rank: 248

10. Strasburg

Strasburg - Safest Places In Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,506
Property Crime Rank: 840
Violent Crime Rank: 1,181

There You Have It - The Safest In Virginia

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: Franklin
2nd Most Dangerous: Emporia
Most Dangerous: Portsmouth

Detailed List Of The 100 Safest Cities To Live In Virginia

CityRankPopulationProperty Crime RankViolent Crime Rank
Bridgewater15,84416205
Purcellville28,658131407
Buena Vista36,666157560
Vienna416,341341385
Manassas Park515,625325577
Lexington67,071314649
Poquoson712,077567708
Williamsburg814,754739496
Dumfries95,158984248
Strasburg106,5068401,181
Leesburg1147,8729251,514
Salem1225,1651,547457
Smithfield138,2337891,928
Falls Church1413,3081,2591,289
Staunton1524,1931,4691,271
Abingdon168,1431,6301,030
Alexandria17149,3151,3441,772
Virginia Beach18448,2901,6971,194
Manassas1940,7431,2911,884
Culpeper2017,1671,6581,401
Radford2117,0571,0472,502
Christiansburg2221,6231,9131,139
Covington235,7361,7461,501
Richlands245,6301,7291,536
Woodstock255,1812,164963
Wytheville268,1542,1141,372
Warrenton279,8432,3121,020
Harrisonburg2851,3881,8851,937
Vinton298,1622,1821,477
Front Royal3014,8462,0371,769
Bristol3117,5241,9002,088
Lynchburg3278,1581,6552,525
Waynesboro3321,1502,1591,733
Suffolk3486,1842,1582,040
Pulaski358,9582,2142,027
Farmville368,3552,5671,440
Chesapeake37230,6011,9392,688
Big Stone Gap385,5082,7651,404
Charlottesville3945,0842,0302,685
Hopewell4022,2792,3412,570
Hampton41137,0812,5982,209
Martinsville4213,6242,4322,627
Bluefield435,3503,2431,449
Newport News44181,3232,4582,857
Winchester4527,1682,9472,127
Marion465,9192,7462,809
Roanoke4798,7362,9812,506
Galax486,8763,1952,328
Ashland497,2983,0922,509
Petersburg5032,1232,4683,536
Colonial Heights5117,5153,4661,988
Norfolk52245,4522,8463,126
South Boston538,0372,9353,134
Fredericksburg5427,3953,1852,878
Richmond55213,7353,0683,113
Danville5642,4503,1013,253
Franklin578,4573,5342,697
Emporia585,6723,3543,103
Portsmouth5996,1353,4423,392

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