If you think that Arizona is just all desert and Mexican food, you’re absolutely wrong. Sure, it has both of those things, but on the other hand it’s also home to interesting people, good family environments, and a wealth of unique culture. The real question for potential homebuyers though is “Is it safe?”
At the Movoto Real Estate Blog, we’ve been ranking the safest cities in each state recently, using newly released FBI data, and today we turned our sights on Arizona. A lot of the rankings were the same as our list last year, but there were also some newcomers. So who took gold this year in The Copper State? These are the 10 safest places in Arizona:
1. Town of Sahuarita
2. City of Somerton
3. Town of Paradise Valley
4. City of Surprise
5. City of Maricopa
6. Town of Gilbert
7. Town of Prescott Valley
8. Town of Florence (Tie)
8. City of Sedona (Tie)
10. Town of Camp Verde
You might only think of small-town environments as offering good family environments and all around safety, but as you can see, some rather big places made this list too. So how did we get these results? You can read all about it in the very next section.
This safety analysis was not done using personal experience or opinion. Instead, in order to get this ranking, we turned to the 2013 FBI Uniform Crime Report for hard numbers. We looked at all of the places in Arizona with populations of at least 10,000 people in the following crime criteria:
- Vehicle Thefts
From there, we divided these crimes into four categories:
- Violent Crimes
- Property Crimes
- Total Crimes
We omitted any place that did not report complete data to the bureau that year, which left us with a total of 37 places to rank. We then ranked each place in each category from one to 37, with scores closer to one being safer.
Lastly, we weighted these rankings so that murders, violent crimes, and property crimes each made up 30 percent of the overall score, whereas the total number of crimes accounted for a smaller portion of the final score: 10 percent. We averaged these weighted rankings together into one overall Big Deal Score, and the place with the lowest number for that score was our safest spot.
If you’d like to see where all 37 of the spots we analyzed ranked, you can simply check out the chart at the bottom of this list. For now, though, we’ll go into a little more detail about how each of our top 10 spots made this prestigious safety list.
- This ranking is not a critique of police practices or effectiveness. It’s simply an analysis of where crimes occurred.
It’s pretty hard to go wrong with our No. 1 spot. This little town of 26,535 people had only 366 crimes total in 2013, or 0.0138 crimes per person, and most of those offenses were property crimes, arguable the less dangerous crime. In fact, there were only 17 violent crimes reported that year, which was enough to rank this place No. 1 for that criteria.
More than that, this place had the third lowest property crime and the third lowest total crime, meaning locals can breathe easy no matter if they’re worried about personal safety or the safety of their possessions. It also should help them breathe easy to know locals of Sahuarita had merely a 1 in 73 chance of being the victim of a crime in 2013.
It should also be happily noted that there were no murders reported here during the year of our survey.
Somerton actually had very similar numbers to our No. 1 spot, but because we did things per capita, and this place was considerably smaller at 15,014 people, it only ranked second. Of course, that doesn’t mean this place wasn’t safe. For starters, this spot had the seventh lowest violent crime and had no murders or rapes reported in 2013.
Of course, if you were worried about your property, you’ll definitely want to consider this spot for your next home. There 0.0124 property crimes per person here, which was low enough to be ranked No. 2 on our list, which added to this spot having the second lowest total crime.
Though we’ll acknowledge that there were a surprisingly high number of vehicle thefts here for a small spot. Still, the chance of being the victim of a crime was only 1 in 74.
3. Paradise Valley
As far as population goes, this was one of the smaller spots in our top 10 at only 13,286 people. But besides a tight-knit community, this town also offered a great place to raise a family or just live in security. For one thing, there were no murders or robberies reported here in 2013.
All in all, the numbers here were great across the board. The violent crime was the fifth lowest, as was the property crime, and the total crime was also fifth lowest, adding to the mere 1 in 58 chance of being the victim of a crime that locals had.
More specifically, there were only 0.017 crimes per person in Paradise Valley, showing that this is more than an aptly named place to call home.
Shocked that a larger spot, of a whopping 122,497 people, made this list? Well, it’s no surprise to those who live in Surprise, and proves that not only small-town atmospheres offer safe environments. It’s especially noteworthy that there were no murders reported here during 2013, and that the crimes per person were only 0.0185.
This spot was also higher on our list than last year, showing that things are only getting better. The violent crime was the eighth lowest, the property crime was the sixth lowest, and the total crime was an impressive sixth lowest per capita.
So if you want excitement, great people, and the low chance of 1 in 54 that people here have of being the victim of a crime, then Surprise is the right place for you.
Like several others in our top 10, Maricopa had no murders reported in 2013, but the good news certainly didn’t stop there. There were merely 0.0014 violent crimes per person, the 11th lowest on our list, and locals had an impressively low 1 in 51 chance of being the victim of a crime during the year of our survey.
But what about people worried about their possessions? No need to fear in this spot, seeing as it had the seventh lowest property crime at only 0.018 crimes of that type per person. Not bad for a locale of 44,871 people.
All of this came out to Maricopa having the seventh lowest crime in the state during 2013.
If you thought Surprise was big, then you’ll be shocked to see the real heavyweight on our list. Gilbert is home to 225,232 very safe people, and with only a miniscule 0.00086 violent crimes per person, the second lowest on our list, it’s easy to see why so many people are clamoring to move here.
We’ll admit that the low property crime didn’t hurt this place’s curb appeal either, though. This spot had the fourth lowest property crime and the fourth lowest total crime on our list, leaving locals with a reassuring 1 in 61 chance of being the victim of a crime. The chances locals would be victims of a violent crime were even lower than that.
This place did have slightly more murders than the other spots in our top 10, but considering that a place this big had only one murder reported in 2013, that’s still pretty darn good.
7. Prescott Valley
While this spot may not be as big as, say, Gilbert, it still has plenty of fun and a good solid community. Lucky for that community, it also had a whole lot of safety. The violent crime was fairly low, and there were very few rapes or robberies reported during the year of our survey.
The property crime, however, was even lower. With the 10th lowest crime of that type, at only 0.019 per person, folks didn’t have to be too concerned about their things being stolen or damaged.
The biggest perk was that this place had no murders reported in 2012 and that locals had a mere 1 in 47 chance of being the victim of a crime.
We’ll start by saying that this place had one murder reported in 2013, and because we scored everything per capita, this 26,682 person locale didn’t rank as well against spots that had, say zero murders that year. However, the rest of the scores easily made up for that, starting with no rapes and merely two assaults reported that year.
The violent crime here was the fourth lowest, and the property crime was the absolute lowest on our list, thanks partially to the only one vehicle theft reported that year. All this meant that Florence had the lowest total crime on our list.
The biggest stat here to keep in mind is that locals were very unlikely to be the victim of a crime, with the chances being an outstanding 1 in 120.
The smallest spot (just 10,036 residents) on our list tied at No. 8. There were few vehicle thefts here, few burglaries, and very few robberies here 2013, and the total crime was merely 0.024 per person. It should also be noted, happily, that no murders were reported here during the year of our study.
The numbers here are pretty good in general. There was low violent crime, and the property crime was the 11th lowest in the state. More than that, Sedona had the 10th lowest total crime in Arizona.
As the final perk this nice little community offers locals, people who lived here in 2013 had a 1 in 42 chance of being the victim of a crime.
10. Camp Verde
Let us be very clear about one thing: just because this place was No. 10 in our ranking doesn’t mean this wasn’t a very safe community to call home. There were no murders reported here in 2013, and there were no rapes either. In fact, the violent crime in general here was fairly low.
The lowest ranked crime, however, was the property crime. Camp Verde had the 12th lowest property crime on our list, with just 0.027 crimes of that type per capita. We’ll admit, the vehicle thefts were a little more frequent here, but this spot still had low total crime too.
The friendly 10,942 locals here were lucky enough to enjoy a 1 in 37 chance of being the victim of a crime, which secures their place on this list.
A Grand Amount Of Safety In The Grand Canyon State
Whether you’re looking for big-city living, or you prefer that small-town vibe, Arizona offers plenty of sun and options when it comes to safety. If you’re looking to move to this great state, and you need a little help in your journey, feel free to drop us a line anytime. We do more than just make helpful lists like this one, we also sell houses and would be happy to help you through the process.