Do you feel safe where you live? Here at the Movoto Real Estate Blog we are taking a look around the country in an effort to bring you the safest places within each state. So far we have seen places like Rhode Island and Delaware, just to name two, and today we are heading south to the Land of Opportunity: Arkansas.
According to our analysis, the safest place in this state is Siloam Springs, with a low crime rate overall. We’ll discuss that in more detail later. For now, here is a list of the 10 safest places in Arkansas:
1. City of Siloam Springs
2. City of Bella Vista
3. City of Sherwood (tie)
3. City of Mountain Home (tie)
5. City of Rogers
6. City of Bentonville (tie)
6. City of Magnolia (tie)
8. City of Russellville
9. City of Maumelle
10. City of Cabot
Residents may notice that four out of 10 of these places are in Benton County. Just what makes this area so safe? We’ll answer that in the upcoming paragraphs as well. First, though, we’ll take a look at the method behind our analysis.
How We Created This Ranking
We started out by creating a list of all the places in Arkansas with populations of 10,000 people or more, using the 2010 U.S. Census. Then, we used the FBI’s latest Uniform Crime Report (2012) to find data about each of the places, omitting any place that did not report their data to the bureau. This left us with 35 places, which we looked at in terms of the following:
- Vehicle theft
We divided these crimes into four distinct categories:
- Violent crimes
- Property crimes
- Total crimes
Next, we calculated the crime rates for each place based on crimes per 100,000 people, in order to create a fair comparison between places with both large and small populations. So each place was ranked from one to 35 in terms of murders, violent crimes, property crimes, and total crimes, per 100,000 people, with the lowest score being the safest.
Then, we ranked these places so that murders, violent crimes, and property crimes made up 30 percent of the overall score, while total crimes made up just 10 percent. Finally, we averaged these rankings into a Big Deal Score, the lowest score being our safest place: Siloam Springs.
For a ranking of how each of the places we looked at in Arkansas ranked, head to the bottom of the article. Otherwise, keep reading for a closer look at just what makes each of these 10 winners so safe, starting with the winner.
1. Siloam Springs
The first and safest of four cities on our list in Benton County is Siloam Springs. Historically, Siloam Springs was well known for the natural healing powers of the Sager Creek water, and perhaps a bit of that power is still around today, influencing the community’s safety.
After all, a total of just 3,195 crimes per 100,000 people, made up of 2,878 property crimes and 317 violent crimes per 100,000, including no murders, is nothing short of magical. It’s pretty apparent from that why this was our safest ranked place.
2. Bella Vista
Another community in Benton County, the city of Bella Vista, has gone from resort community to retirement community over the years. But no matter what phase it’s in, its safety has remained unchanged—a good thing, especially when it comes to residents’ likelihood of being the victim of a crime.
That’s because with just 777 total crimes per 100,000 people, including 685 property crimes and 92 violent crimes per 100,000, Bella Vista locals have just a one in 129 chance of being the victim of a crime; the lowest likelihood in our analysis. The only reason Bella Vista ranked No. 2 and not No. 1, it seems, were the four reported murders per 100,000 in 2012.
Like several of our top 10 safest places, Sherwood did well in our analysis for its lack of murders; no murders were reported in 2012. Where it really stood out, though, was in both its low number of property crimes (3,440 per 100,000) and low number of total crimes overall (3,848 per 100,000).
Of those property crimes, there were 170 vehicle thefts, 2,404 thefts, and 866 burglaries per 100,000 people. To put that into comparison, let’s take a look at West Memphis. Here, there were a staggering 9,154 property crimes per 100,000 people, including 528 vehicle thefts, 4,458 thefts, and 4,168 burglaries per 100,000 people.
3. Mountain Home
Tied for third place on our list was Mountain Home. This quiet little town tucked away in the Ozark Mountains is an idyllic place to get away, or better still, to live. Not only is it beautiful, but it was also one of the safest places in the state, with the lowest violent crime rank out of any place we looked at.
In 2012, Mountain Home saw just 56 violent crimes, including no murders, 48 rapes, and eight assaults per 100,000 residents. In comparison to Little Rock, where there were 23 murders, 70 rapes, 412 robberies, and 811 assaults per 100,000, Mountain Home looks downright saintly.
Rogers is located in the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers Metropolitan area, one of the fastest growing in the nation; which, according to our analysis, may have a lot to do with its safety.
In Rogers particularly, there were just 3,620 property crimes in 2012, including 93 vehicle thefts, 2,900 thefts, and 627 burglaries per 100,000. There were also 349 violent crimes per 100,000, for a total of 3,969 crimes per 100,000 people in 2012, ranking it seventh in this category, and fifth overall.
The final city in Benton County and the sixth spot on our list goes to Bentonville. In 2012, this city reported only 2,256 total crimes per 100,000 people, ranking it third in this category. Of those crimes, there were 2,031 property crimes and 225 violent crimes per 100,000 people, ranking Bentonville second and fifth in these categories, respectively.
In fact, the only reason Bentonville did not rank higher overall on our list was due to its rank for murders—17th. That’s because there were five murders per 100,000 residents in 2012. But compared to Blytheville where there were 52 murders per 100,000 in 2012, Bentonville is still looking pretty safe all around.
The second No. 6 and final tie on our list went to Magnolia, particularly for its very low rate of violence. In 2012, this Columbia County city reported just 234 violent crimes per 100,000 people, ranking it 6th in this category. These crimes included no murders, 26 rapes, 35 robberies, and 173 assaults per 100,000 people.
If this sounds like a lot, just bear in mind that this is for the entire year. Also note that places like El Dorado, Texarkana, Pine Bluff, and Little Rock all had well over 1,000 violent crimes per 100,000 people.
With a population of over 28,000 people, Russellville is the largest city in Pope County, but as our analysis shows, a larger population does not necessarily mean more crime, and certainly does not mean more violence. In fact, Russellville ranked as one of the 10 least violent places in the state, with just 333 violent crimes per 100,000 people in 2012, including no murders.
It also ranked relatively well for its lack of property crime; just 3,987 property crimes per 100,000. All told, Russellville saw a total of 4,320 crimes per 100,000 people in 2012.
As the Maumelle website says, “there are numerous reasons Maumelle is the fastest growing city in Central Arkansas,” and according to our analysis, one of the big ones is safety. In 2012, Maumelle residents had just a one in 45 chance of being the victim of a crime, the third lowest likelihood in the state.
This was mostly due to a total of just 2,238 crimes per 100,000 people, including 162 violent crimes and 2,076 property crimes. The only reason Maumelle did not rank higher on our list was for its reported six murders per 100,000 people in 2012, which weighed heavily against it.
The final spot on our list went to the city of Cabot. This Little Rock suburb ranked relatively well in our analysis across the board, but it was particularly impressive for its lack of violent crimes.
In 2012, Cabot reported no murders and just 253 violent crimes per 100,000 people, ranking it seventh in this category. Those violent crimes were made up of 21 rapes, 25 robberies, 207 assaults, and again, no murders per 100,000 people. Compared to its larger neighbor, Little Rock, where there were 70 rapes, 412 robberies, 811 assaults, and 23 murders per 100,000 people, Cabot is certainly a much safer option for moving to the area.
Plenty Of Opportunities To Be Safe
Arkansas is known as the Land of Opportunity, and according to this analysis, it certainly is; especially when it comes to opportunities to feel safe. The 10 cities we mentioned above are the very safest in the state, Siloam Springs in particular, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other safe places as well.
For a complete list of how all 35 places we looked at ranked, see the table below, and stay safe out there Arkansas.