So far on the Movoto Real Estate Blog, we have shown you some of the all around best places to live in Kentucky, due to various factors like income, home prices, education, etc., but in today’s post, we are narrowing the focus to one of the most important factors in choosing a place to live: safety.
Which city is the safest in the Bluegrass State? After conducting our analysis, we determined that Lawrenceburg is the state’s safest place with a population of more than 10,000. The full list of 10 includes the following cities:
1. City of Lawrenceburg
2. City of Fort Thomas
3. City of Independence
4. City of Jeffersontown
5. City of Mayfield
6. City of Glasgow
7. City of Berea
8. City of Madisonville
9. City of Shepherdsville
10. City of Radcliff
How We Created This Ranking
In order to find these 10 safest places in Kentucky, we started by creating a list from the U.S. Census data, of all of the places in the state with populations of 10,000 or more. Then, we gathered crime data on each place from the FBI’s 2012 Uniform Crime Report (the latest full-year edition), omitting any place that did not report crime data to the FBI, which left us with a total of 35 places. We looked at each of these places in terms of the following:
- Vehicle theft
We divided these crimes into four distinct categories:
- Violent crimes
- Property crimes
- Total crimes
Then, we calculated crime rates for each place based on crimes per 100,000 residents, in order to fairly compare cities with both larger and smaller populations. We ranked each place from one to 35 in terms of murders, violent crimes, property crimes, and total number of crimes per 100,000 people, with one being the safest place, which in this case, was Lawrenceburg.
Finally, we weighted these rankings so that murders, violent crimes, and property crimes each accounted for 30 percent of the overall score, while total crimes made up 10 percent. We averaged these weighted rankings into an overall Big Deal Score, with the lower the score, the safer the place.
You can head to the end of the post for a complete list of how our 35 places in Kentucky ranked; otherwise, keep reading for a closer look at each of our top 10 cities, starting with our winner, Lawrenceburg.
This community in the heart of Kentucky is not just rich in history, but safety as well. Along with the rest of our top 10, Lawrenceburg had no reported murders in 2012; but what really made it stand out from the rest was its extremely low ranking for property crime.
In one year, Lawrenceburg had a reported 902 property crimes per 100,000 people, including 601 thefts, 244 burglaries, and 56 vehicle thefts per 100,000 people. Additionally, there were 28 assaults and nine robberies, making 38 violent crimes, and a total of just 940 crimes per 100,000 for the entire year. Residents here also had the lowest chance of being the victim of a crime: just 1 in 106 odds.
2. Fort Thomas
Next on our list was Fort Thomas, which ranked well in all of the categories, but particularly for its nearly nonexistent violent crime. In 2012, Fort Thomas only saw 12 violent crimes per 100,000 people, including no murders.
Fort Thomas ranked first in the category of violent crimes, and second in both the categories of property crimes and total number of crimes for the year, with a reported 1,189 property crimes and a total number of 1,202 crimes per 100,000 in 2012.
To put that into perspective, take a look the similarly sized Newport. Here, there were a total of 8,759 crimes per 100,000 in 2012, including 552 violent crimes and 8,208 property crimes.
This Kenton County city came in third on our list, for ranking third overall in three of the four categories: violent crimes, property crimes, and total crimes; it tied for first in the category of murders, as it also had none.
In 2012, Independence reported a total of just 1,288 crimes per 100,000, which included 76 violent crimes and 1,212 property crimes per 100,000 people. Of the total crimes committed, 20 were rapes, 24 robberies, 32 assaults, 317 burglaries, 818 thefts, and 76 were vehicle thefts.
Easily the safest place in Jefferson County, and one of the safest in the state, Jeffersontown saw an impressively low number of total crimes in 2012—just 2,348 per 100,000 people. Of those 2,348 crimes, 145 were violent crimes and 2,203 were property crimes.
To break that down further for you, there were 15 rapes,100 robberies, and 30 assaults, and 1,436 thefts, 629 burglaries, and 138 vehicle thefts. This may seem like a lot, but considering the fact that in Paducah, which has a similar-sized population, there were a total of 310 violent crimes and 5,080 property crimes per 100,000 people, it’s no wonder why Jeffersontown made our list.
Located in Graves County, Mayfield may be located in a foreboding-sounding area, but as our analysis shows, it is anything but. With just 1,605 property crimes and 167 violent crimes per 100,000 people, Mayfield ranked fourth and ninth in these categories, respectively, for a total of 1,773 crimes per 100,000 people, for all of 2012. This was nearly seven times fewer than the similarly sized City of Middlesbrough.
This city is well known for its annual Scottish Highland Games, and as our analysis shows, making it all possible is Glasgow’s underlying safety.
In 2012, Glasgow reported just 2,221 property crimes per 100,000 people, ranking it sixth in this category; 184 violent crimes per 100,000 people, ranking it 11th in this category; and 2,405 total crimes per 100,000 people, again, ranking it sixth in this category, and overall. That’s nearly four times fewer total crimes than the city ranked at the bottom of our list, Newport.
This city, best known for its art festivals, historic restaurants, buildings, and, of course, Berea College, can now add “safety” to its list of accolades. That’s because in 2012, Berea had one of the lowest numbers of total violent crimes in the state—just 116 per 100,000 people.
These included no murders (as with all of our other top 10 places), seven rapes, 29 robberies, and 80 assaults per 100,000 people. Additionally, Berea had 3,218 property crimes per 100,000 people; which was certainly not one of the best rankings in this category (13th to be exact), but with such a lack of violence, Berea more than made up for this.
The commercial center for the region, Madisonville will make shoppers and visitors feel welcome with its all around low crime rate. In 2012, this city reported just 3,244 crimes per 100,000 people. Of those, there were 178 violent crimes (66 rapes, 46 robberies, and 66 assaults), and 3,066 property crimes per 100,000 people (560 burglaries, 2,383 thefts, and 122 vehicle thefts).
Ranking 12th in our analysis in the categories of both property crimes and total number of crimes, Shepherdsville beat out 26 other places in the state for our No. 9 spot. For property crimes, Shepherdsville reported just 3,069 per 100,000 in 2012, and for violent crimes, 211, for a total of 3,280 crimes per 100,000 for the entire year.
This is not the lowest number of total crimes on our list by far; in fact, it is not even lower than our next and final city’s, but because violent crime was ranked more heavily than total crime, Shepherdsville came out on top.
The final spot on our list goes to the City of Radcliff, mostly due to its impressively low number of property crimes and crimes overall.
In 2012, this Hardin County city had a reported 2,804 property crimes per 100,000, which included 691 burglaries, 2,063 thefts, and 50 vehicle thefts per 100,000 people. With an additional 230 violent crimes for the year, Radcliff had a total of just 3,034 crimes per 100,000 people.
Keep Safe, Kentucky
Not that this should be too difficult to do, especially if you’re in one of these 10 cities. Of course, as our analysis shows, not all places in Kentucky are as safe as, say, Lawrenceburg. For a complete list of how all 35 places in our analysis ranked, see the table below.
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