Utah is known around the country for its natural beauty, being a good place to raise a family, and, of course, some great snowboarding. But did you know that the state is also thought of as one of the safest in the nation?
Here at the Movoto Real Estate Blog, that’s what interests us the most right now. We have looked at several places around the U.S. already, and today, we’re heading to the Beehive State to see what the buzz is all about. According to our analysis, here is the complete list of the top 10 safest places in Utah:
1. City of Heber
2. City of Syracuse
3. City of Pleasant Grove
4. City of Lehi
5. City of Farmington
6. City of Spanish Fork
7. City of Kaysville
8. City of Saratoga Springs
9. City of North Ogden
10. City of Clinton
To find out how we created this ranking, and just what makes each of these 10 places safer than the rest, keep reading to the next section.
How We Created This Ranking
We started with a list of places in the state with populations of 10,000 people or more, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Then, with the FBI’s 2012 Uniform Crime Report we gathered information about each, omitting any place that did not report crime data. This left us with a total of 37 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
Then, we calculated crime rates for each place based on crimes per 100,000 people in order to level the playing field between places with both larger and smaller populations. We ranked each place from 1 to 37 in all of these categories per 100,000, with scores closer to one being the safest.
Next, we ranked these so that murders, violent crimes, and property crimes accounted for 30 percent of the overall score, where total crimes made up 10. Lastly, we averaged these rankings into one overall Big Deal Score, where the lowest score was our safest place.
At the end of this article, be sure to check out a complete list of the 37 places we looked at and how they ranked. For now, though, we’ll take a closer look at each of our top 10.
This Wasatch County city ranked well in our analysis for coming in at No. 1 in every single one of our categories. In 2012, Heber saw only 635 total crimes for the year per 100,000 residents. These included 627 property crimes per 100,000 (eight vehicle thefts, 494 thefts, and 125 burglaries) and just eight violent crimes, including no murders.
As a matter of fact, out of the 37 places we looked at in Utah, 25 of them tied for first place in the category of murder, all for having none per 100,000 people. That’s a feat that we certainly don’t see in all of our state safety analysis.
A quick 25 miles north of Salt Lake City is the smaller, and much safer city of Syracuse. It ranked No. 2 in our study, mainly for coming in second for both the categories of property crime and total crimes in 2012.
That year, there were just 901 property crimes per 100,000 people in the city and 40 violent crimes (no murders, like the rest of our top 25), for a total of 941 crimes per 100,000 people for the entire year. For comparison, take a look at nearby Salt Lake City, which ranked 36th overall, with 7,459 property crimes and 675 violent crimes per 100,000 people.
3. Pleasant Grove
Pleasant Grove, also known as “Utah’s City of Trees,” may want to add “Utah’s City of Safety” to its list of nicknames, particularly for its low violent crime rate.
After all, in 2012, Pleasant Grove only had a reported 29 violent crimes per 100,000, including no murders, three rapes, six robberies, and 20 assaults, plus 1,478 property crimes per 100,000 people, for a total of 1,507 crimes per 100,000.
Named after the prophet Lehi from the Book of Mormon, this Utah County city is just as safe as it sounds. In 2012, Lehi had a total of just 1,359 crimes per 100,000. Of those, there were 1,323 property crimes (59 vehicle thefts, 1,009 thefts, and 255 burglaries), and 36 violent crimes (22 assaults, six robberies, eight rapes, and no murders).
Even compared to its relatively safe neighbor, Provo, where there were a total of 2,237 crimes per 100,000, Lehi looks downright holy.
This beautiful Davis County city has made it into Money Magazine’s “Best Places to Live” index more than once, and it seems much of this has to do with its safety, and particularly for its lack of violence. In 2012, Farmington had only 32 violent crimes per 100,000 people, including 16 rapes and 16 assaults.
It also had a reported 37 burglaries, 1,364 thefts, and 101 vehicle thefts, making a total of 1,502 property crimes per 100,000, and a grand total of 1,534 crimes per 100,000 people.
6. Spanish Fork
In 2012, Spanish Fork had a reported total of just 1,380 crimes per 100,000 people, ranking it sixth in this category. Of those, there were 1,342 property crimes per 100,000 (28 vehicle thefts, 1,087 thefts, and 227 burglaries) and 38 violent crimes per 100,000 (11 assaults, 19 rapes, eight robberies).
Just like all of the places in our top 10, and in fact the top 25 on our list, there were no murders in Spanish Fork in 2012.
This Davis County city is known as a good place to raise a family, and one primary reason is its lack of crime. In 2012, there were just 1,073 crimes per 100,000 in Kaysville. Of those 1,073, the vast majority were property crimes—1,030—where the remaining 43 were violent crimes.
To break this down further, the property crimes included 46 vehicle thefts, 789 thefts, and 195 burglaries. The violent crimes included no murders, 32 assaults, 11 rapes, and no robberies.
8. Saratoga Springs
Saratoga Springs is a relatively new city in Utah, but it is growing fast, and with such a low crime rate, it’s no wonder why. In 2012, there were 1,068 crimes per 100,000 people. Of those, there were 992 property crimes and 76 violent crimes per 100,000, ranking it third and 14th in these categories, respectively.
This number of violent crimes may seem a bit high compared to the rest of our top 10, but in comparison to, say, South Salt Lake, where there were 854 violent crimes per 100,000 people, Saratoga Springs is looking pretty good.
9. North Ogden
This Weber County city was one of the least violent in the state, with a total of just 39 violent crimes per 100,000, for the year of 2012. Of those, there were six robberies, 11 assaults, and 22 rapes per 100,000. For some perspective, take a look at the Utah city of Washington, where in 2012, there were 21 robberies, 138 assaults, 31 rapes, plus five murders per 100,000 people.
In addition to its mere 39 robberies, North Ogden reported 1,604 property crimes per 100,000, for a relatively low total of 1,643 crimes per 100,000 people.
The final spot on our list went to the fast-growing city of Clinton. Looking at these numbers, it is no wonder people are moving here in a hurry. In 2012, there were just 1,519 property crimes per 100,000 people, including 43 vehicle thefts, 1,296 thefts, and 180 burglaries per 100,000 people.
There were also 57 violent crimes per 100,000, including no murders, no robberies, 14 rapes, and 43 assaults. In total, there were 1,576 crimes per 100,000 for the entire year.
What All The Buzz Is About
After looking at these numbers, it’s clear what the buzz is all about in the Beehive State. With some of the lowest crime rates we’ve seen so far at Movoto, Utah is a very safe place overall, but these 10 places are at the top of the list.
To check out those that weren’t at the top, just take a look at the table below, starting with our winner and the state’s safest place, Heber.