When it comes to finding a safe place for you and your family to live, there are some that are just better than others. In Alabama, for example, Helena ranked at the top of the list. In Washington, it was the City of Sammamish.
In our latest analysis here at the Movoto Real Estate Blog, we found that in Indiana, the safest city was Zionsville. It wasn’t the only family friendly place worth looking into, though, and here are the 10 safest places in Indiana:
1. City of Zionsville
2. City of Carmel
3. Town of Fishers
4. Town of St. John
5. City of Jasper
6. City of Crown Point
7. City of Westfield
8. Town of Brownsburg
9. Town of Chesterton
10. Town of Munster
If you’re wondering how we came up with this ranking, keep on reading. In the following paragraphs, we’ll go over the method behind this analysis, plus, take a closer look at each of our top 10.
How We Created This Ranking
Just like with any of our other safest places rankings, to narrow this list down to 10 we started with a much larger list: all of the places in Indiana with populations of 10,000 or more, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.
Then, we gathered information about each place, omitting any that did not report data to the FBI’s 2012 Uniform Crime Report. This left us with a total of 62 places, which we looked at in terms of the following:
- Vehicle theft
We divided these crimes into four categories:
- Violent crimes
- Property crimes
- Total crimes
We calculated the crime rates for each place based on crimes per 100,000 residents. This is a standard analytical practice in order to fairly compare cities of all sizes. We then ranked each place from one to 62 in all of these categories—murders, violent crimes, property crimes, and total crimes per 100,000, with one being the safest.
In order to account for the varying severity of crime here, we ranked these spots so that murders, violent crimes, and property crimes accounted for 30 percent of the overall score, where total crimes made up 10. Finally, we averaged these rankings into one overall Big Deal Score, where the lowest score was our safest place.
You can see a table listing the rankings for the top 50 safest places in the state at the end of this article. First, though, let’s take a closer look at just what makes our top 10 safer than the rest, starting with our safest places, Zionsville.
In looking at the data for Zionsville, you might at first glance think something was wrong. That’s because in 2012, this town of nearly 24,000 had no reported violent crimes—that’s no murders, no rapes, no robberies, and no assaults per 100,000 people.
Additionally, there were just 193 property crimes per 100,000 in the town in 2012; the lowest out of any place in our ranking. These included 42 burglaries, 147 thefts, and four vehicle thefts per 100,000 people. All of this combined to give residents the very lowest odds of being the victim of a crime in this state and many others: just a one in 518 chance.
Carmel has a crime rate of just 1,000 total crimes per 100,000 people in 2012. Of these 1,000, there were 987 property crimes per 100,000 (793 thefts, 56 vehicle thefts, and 138 burglaries), and just 13 violent crimes per 100,000, including seven robberies, two rapes, and four assaults per 100,000 people.
Like the others in our top 10, and in fact, top 20, Camel had no murders in 2012. All of these factors combined to give residents one of the lowest chances of being the victim of a crime; just one in 100.
Fishers did particularly well in our ranking for its lack of violent crime. In 2012, there were only 17 violent crimes per 100,000 people, including no murders, 11 robberies, one rape, and five assaults per 100,000 people.
Additionally, Fishers reported 1,034 property crimes, for a total of just 1,051 crimes per 100,000 for the year.
4. St. John
Yet another highly rated city, St. John came in at No. 4 in our ranking for doing particularly well in the criteria of property and overall crime. In 2012, St. John had a total of 988 crimes per 100,000, 934 of which were property crimes.
Of these property crimes, there were 34 vehicle thefts, 779 thefts, and 121 burglaries per 100,000. To put that into perspective, take a look at a place with an even smaller population, Speedway. In this town, there were a total of 6,082 crimes per 100,000, including 5,831 property crimes, 251 violent crimes, which included 25 murders.
Residents in St. John had just a one in 101 chance of being the victim of a crime.
Jasper is a city with a small town feel, and much of that comes from its nearly unparalleled safety. In 2012, Jasper had just 39 violent crimes (all of which were assaults) per 100,000 and 1,053 property crimes (178 burglaries, 803 thefts, and 72 vehicle thefts) per 100,000, for a total of 1,092 crimes per 100,000.
This was over six times less than the total number of crimes per 100,000 seen in the city of Gary, which had 6,466 crimes per 100,000, including 905 violent crimes, 46 per 100,000 people.
6. Crown Point
This Lake County city ranked well in our analysis for its lack of crime, but particularly for its low rate of violent crime. In 2012, Crown Point had just 201 burglaries, 11 assaults, seven robberies, and no murders per 100,000, for a total of 25 violent crimes per 100,000 people for the entire year.
To put that into perspective, take a look at Lafayette, where there were 597 violent crimes per 100,000 in 2012, including one murder; or even one of the others in our top 10, Westfield, where there were 90 violent crimes per 100,000. Of course, Westfield made our top 10 for a reason, and we’ll see why right now.
In 2012, this city of just over 31,000 had one of the lowest overall numbers of crime per 100,000 in the state: just 1,723. Of those 1,723, there were 90 violent crimes, ranking it 13th in this category, and, more impressive still, just 1,633 property crimes per 100,000, ranking it 10th in this category.
Of those property crimes, 97 were vehicle thefts, 1,362, thefts, and 174, burglaries. Compared to the similarly sized Michigan City, where there were 193 vehicle thefts, 4,244 thefts, and 1,030 burglaries per 100,000 that year, it is clear why Westfield made our top 10.
In 2009, this Hendricks County town was named the best place to live in Indiana by CNN Money Magazine, 33rd best in the nation. This isn’t surprising when you look at its crime rate: just 1,611 crimes per 100,000 for the entire year of 2012.
Specifically, Brownsburg had 106 violent crimes and 1,505 property crimes per 100,000—one of the lowest numbers of property crimes in the state. The violent crimes included no murders, five rapes, 18 robberies, and 83 assaults per 100,000, while the property crimes were made up of 55 vehicle thefts, 1,238 thefts, and 212 burglaries per 100,000 people.
Residents in this safe town, famous for its annual Wizard of Oz Festival, know there is no place like home—especially when it comes to feeling safe. That’s because Chesterton had one of the overall lowest rates of crime in the state, with just 1,727 crimes per 100,000 in 2012.
These crimes consisted of 1,621 property crimes (114 vehicle thefts, 1,204 thefts, and 303 burglaries) and 106 violent crimes (83 assaults, 15 robberies, eight rapes, and no murders) per 100,000 people.
The Town of Munster is about a 30-minute drive to Chicago, a commute that may seem like a hassle for some Munster residents. Still, in looking at the town’s safety, it’s well worth it.
In 2012, Munster had just 1,898 crimes per 100,000, including 1,772 property crimes and 126 violent crimes per 100,000. To break this down further, the property crimes were made up of 127 vehicle thefts, 1,425 thefts, and 220 burglaries per 100,000. The violent crimes consisted of no murders, eight rapes, 42 robberies, and 76 assaults per 100,000 people.
Safety In Numbers
Residents of the 10 places above probably don’t need to worry about finding safety in numbers, but rather, can feel safe knowing how low the numbers of crimes were in their hometown or city—especially in Zionsville.
Of course, there were plenty of other safe places in Indiana. For a complete ranking of the 50 safest, see the table below.