We’ve all heard that everything is bigger in Texas: The trucks, the steaks, the houses, and in particular, the state pride. But is the crime rate also bigger in the Lone Star State?
Here on the Movoto Real Estate
blog, we decided to answer just that, and after conducting our analysis, we came up with a resounding “No.” Of course Texas itself is so big that it’s bound to have its fair share of crime; but in these 10 places, the safety is downright idyllic. Here are the 10 safest places in Texas:
1. Town of Flower Mound
2. City of Keller
3. City of Friendswood
4. Town of Little Elm
5. City of Allen
6. City of Missouri City
7. City of The Colony
8. City of Coppell
9. City of Leander
10. City of Rowlett
Not only do the places in our top 10 sound safe (Flower Mound? Friendswood?), they really are. To find out why exactly these places are so safe and how we got this order, keep reading.
How We Created This Ranking
Just like any of our other Safest Places lists, we started this one with the Census. We gathered a list of the top 100 most populous places in Texas that reported crime data to the bureau. Then we used the latest Uniform Crime Report from the FBI (2012)
to find crime data for all of these places, in the following categories:
We divided these crimes into four categories:
- Violent crimes
- Property crimes
- Total crimes
In order to compare both places with large and small populations fairly, we calculated each of these crime rates based on crimes per 100,000 residents. We ranked each place with a score from one to 100 in terms of murders, violent crimes, property crimes, and total crimes, per 100,000, with one being the safest possible score.
So that murders, violent crimes, and property crimes would account for more (because some crimes are more severe than others), we weighted these rankings so that they would be worth 30 percent of the overall score, where the total number of crimes would be worth just 10 percent.
We then averaged these weighted rankings into one overall Big Deal Score
, with the lowest score being our safest place
For a look at the top 50 safest places in the Lone Star State, you can head to the bottom of the post for a complete table. Otherwise, we’ll take a closer look at each of our top 10 safest, starting with our winner.
1. Flower Mound
Source: Flickr user Branden Williams
Just north of Dallas, this town is not only much safer than its nearby neighbor, but the safest in the entire state.
In 2012, Flower Mound saw just 858 crimes per 100,000 people, including 827 property crimes and 31 violent crimes per 100,000. This meant that Flower Mound ranked first in all of our categories, and residents had just a 1 in 117 chance of being the victim of a crime.
To put this into perspective, let’s take a look at the much larger city of Dallas.
While it wasn’t the least safe city on our list, Dallas certainly was more dangerous than Flower Mound. It ranked 95th for having a reported 5,049 crimes per 100,000 people, including 4,374 property crimes and 675 violent crimes, with 12 murders. Residents in Dallas had a 1 in 20 chance of being the victim of a crime.
Source: City of Keller
Another suburb in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, this city was ranked one of the best places to live in the U.S. by Money Magazine, not only for its affluence, but for its safety. For example, there were 981 total crimes per 100,000 people in 2012.
Of those crimes, there were 944 property crimes (32 vehicle thefts, 737 thefts, and 175 burglaries) and 37 violent crimes (22 assaults, 10 robberies, five rapes, and no murders) per 100,000.
With low numbers like these, residents had just a 1 in 102 chance of being the victim of a crime, the second lowest in the state.
Source: City of Friendswood
Perhaps the friendliest-sounding place in Texas, this city in both Galveston and Harrison Counties certainly lived up to its name.
Just like the other places in our top 10, there were no murders per 100,000 in 2012; but where Friendswood really stood out was in its particularly low rate of property crime.
In 2012, there were just 955 property crimes per 100,000 people, including 35 vehicle thefts, 741 thefts, and 179 burglaries. Additionally, Friendswood had just 41 violent crimes per 100,000 people, for a total of 996 crimes per 100,000.
To put this into perspective, just look at Texarkana, a similarly-sized place. Here, there were 6,764 property crimes and 1,058 violent crimes, including 13 murders, for a total of 7,822 crimes per 100,000 people.
4. Little Elm
Source: Little Elm EDC
The lakeside community of Little Elm is certainly idyllic; it’s beautiful, it’s charming, and as our analysis shows, it’s safe. In 2012, there were just 1,071 crimes per 100,000 people. Of those, there were 980 property crimes and 91 violent crimes, including no murders.
To be more precise, these property crimes consisted of 26 vehicle thefts, 752 thefts, and 202 burglaries, while the 91 violent crimes were made up of 55 assaults, 29 robberies, and seven rapes.
This may sound like quite a bit of violence, so for comparison’s sake, let’s take a look at Big Spring, a similarly-sized city in Howard County. Here, there were 576 violent crimes per 100,000, including 475 assaults, 40 robberies, 54 rapes, and seven murders in 2012. That number looks a little better now, doesn’t it?
Source: Mike Mezeul II
This Collin County city had one of the lowest rates of violent crime among our top 10, with just 62 per 100,000 people in 2012. Of those 62, there were 35 assaults, 15 robberies, 12 rapes, and no murders.
Additionally, Allen had a reported 50 vehicle thefts, 1,321 thefts, and 242 burglaries, for a total of 1,613 property crimes, and a grand total of just 1,675 crimes per 100,000 people, ranking it 10th in this category.
6. Missouri City
Source: City of Missouri City
Not only is Missouri City one of the safest places in the Houston area, but with just 1,362 crimes per 100,000 people, it was easily one of the safest in the state. This city had a particularly low number of property crimes in 2012: 1,241 per 100,000, including 66 vehicle thefts, 866 thefts, and 306 burglaries.
Additionally, Missouri City saw 121 violent crimes per 100,000 people in 2012, including no murders.
To see just how safe this really is, take a look at nearby Houston, the second-most dangerous place we looked at. In 2012, Houston had a total of 5,938 crimes per 100,000 people—4,945 property crimes and 993 violent crimes, including 10 murders, per every 100,000 people.
7. The Colony
Source: City of The Colony
This Dallas suburb may be best known as a great place for sports because of its Five Star Athletic Complex, but it is also a great place to raise a family, with one of the lowest crime rates in Texas.
In 2012, The Colony had just 1,250 property crimes and 100 violent crimes, for a total of just 1,550 crimes per 100,000 people. These included no murders, 16 rapes, 24 robberies, 60 assaults, 301 burglaries, 1,031 thefts, and 118 vehicle thefts.
All told, residents had a one in 65 chance of being the victim of a crime, which isn’t quite as low as it is in, say, Flower Mound; but compared to Weslaco where residents’ chances are just one in 12, the people of The Colony should be feeling pretty safe.
Source: Flickr user chunkysalsa
It’s no wonder many Coppell residents decide to commute to Dallas for work, rather than live in the larger city—just take a look at the crime rates.
In 2012, Coppell had just 1,722 crimes per 100,000 people, including 1,655 property crimes and an impressively low 67 violent crimes. Like the others in our top 10, there were no murders, and residents had a low chance of being the victim of a crime, just 1 in 58.
Dallas, on the other hand, had 5,049 crimes per 100,000 in 2012, including 4,374 property crimes, 675 violent crimes, with 12 murders. Residents in Dallas were over twice as likely to be the victim of a crime, with a 1 in 20 chance.
Source: Flickr user A Yee
This city is one of the fastest-growing in the Austin area, and after looking at these numbers, it’s pretty clear why. In 2012, Leander had one of the lowest rates of property crime in the state, just 1,246 per 100,000 people. These included 28 vehicle thefts, 1,030 thefts, and 188 burglaries.
Additionally, Leander had 145 violent crimes, for a total of 1,391 crimes per 100,000 people that year. This meant that residents had just a 1 in 72 chance of being the victim of a crime; one of the lowest likelihoods in the state.
Source: Flickr user Kevin Muncie
The final spot on our list goes to the City of Rowlett. This suburb is a quiet, upscale, and highly desirable bedroom community of Dallas, not only for its beautiful location on Lake Ray Hubbard, but also for its safety.
In 2012, Rowlett had just 1,847 crimes per 100,000. Of those, there were 1,726 property crimes and 121 violent crimes, including no murders.
To put this into perspective, let’s compare it to the nearby City of Fort Worth, which is typically not thought of as particularly dangerous. But in 2012, Fort Worth had a total of 4,810 crimes, including 4,222 property crimes, 588 violent crimes, and six murders, per 100,000 people, placing it at No. 85 on our list.
A Big State With Some Low Crime Rates
Just because everything is bigger in Texas doesn’t mean that the crime rate is. Of course not all of the Lone Star State’s cities and towns are as safe as Flower Mound, or the rest of our top 10; so for a list of the top 50 safest places in Texas, we’ve included the table below.
Be safe out there, y’all, and if living in one of these safe spots sounds good to you, we can help.