2015 Safest Places in Colorado Study

When deciding where to live, safety is a top priority. Our team at ValuePenguin has analyzed the most recent FBI Crime Report to determine the safety of cities in Colorado. These 81 cities ranged in a crime score from 42 to 5,423, with an average of 1,525. In the expansive state known for its section of the grand Rocky Mountains, smaller turned out to be safer. Each member of our five safest places, while not completely immune from crime, enjoys the quiet of a population lower than 8,000 residents. Capital Denver, by contrast, with its approximately 650,000 people, ranked third-to-last in our crime score, which took into account both the amount of violent and property-related crimes per 100,000 people (more on our methodology below). For more insight, take a look at the report below:

5 Safest Places in Colorado

These cities have an average crime score of 178, 88 percent lower than their typical peer in Colorado. All of these places have populations of less than 8,000. With some of the state’s lowest total violent crime rates, these five are the safest places in Colorado. 

1. Dacono, CO

Dacono came out on top with a crime score of 42, which is 72 percent better than the next safest city on our list. It reported one violent crime and one property crime for all of 2013. Home to the Colorado National Speedway, a NASCAR-quality racetrack, Dacono calls itself a “mecca” for extreme sports. A lot has changed since the city’s founder named the city using three residents’ first names (Daisy, Cora and Nora) at the beginning of the 20th century. One thing that’s stayed the same: Dacono’s panoramic views of the nearby Rockies.

Factor Value
Population 4,373
Crime Score 42

2. Fort Lupton, CO

The city with the highest population among these five, Fort Lupton resides a 45-minute drive north of Denver and just eight miles east of the even safer Dacono. With just three violent crimes to speak of for 2013, it registered a crime score of 183. Property crime is a bigger threat for local law enforcement. Fort Lupton as a whole is more focused on its mission of preserving the city’s unique history. 

Factor Value
Population 7,649
Crime Score 183

3. Rocky Ford, CO

Rocky Ford, situated in the Arkansas River Valley, reported just three crimes to the FBI two years ago, giving it a crime score of 211, or 86 percent lower than that of the state’s average city. This is the case despite its below-average median household income ($21,694) and median home value ($68,645), according to 2012 data. The residents claim to fame? The watermelon and cantaloupe that local farms grow and export across the country every year. President Obama even endorsed the smallish city’s juicy fruit.

Factor Value
Population 3,906
Crime Score 211

4. Eaton, CO

Eaton, a town crosses that the 200-mark in crime score coming in at 228, is the northern-most place on our list. Served by a 10-person police department, it has the opposite problem of Fort Lupton: more violent crimes (six) than property-related infractions (three). The town itself has placed an emphasis on fostering local business, with its chamber of commerce taking the lead. It’s chasing its unofficial “Garden of Eaton” nickname. 

Factor Value
Population 4,575
Crime Score 216

5. Yuma, CO

Yuma has the lowest population among our top five. Like Dacono, it classifies itself as a more independent “home rule municipality.” The oddly-shaped municipality, which is located about 150 miles east of Denver, traces its roots to the Yuma Indians, the name its high school now bears. It’s protected by a police department comprising seven officers. 

Factor Value
Population 3,563
Crime Score 239

Safest Places in Colorado by Population

Although we adjusted for population in our crime rankings, it is still difficult to compare a small town to a large city. To account for this fact, we separated the safest cities into three categories: towns with populations between 3,000 and 8,000, midsize cities with populations between 8,000 and 20,000, and larger cities with populations greater than 20,000. Here are our findings:

Full List of Places in Colorado

Below is the entire list of places that we included in our “Safest Places in Colorado” study. They are listed from the safest to the least safe, according to our analysis. The calculation for the crime scores can be found in the methodology section below. Take a look at the graph and see where your hometown ranks.

Methodology

To rank these places, we collected data from the 2013 FBI crime statistics by city, which provides the most recent crime data available. Not every town participates in this report and we also excluded towns with fewer than 3,000 residents because towns with small populations are more sensitive to crime score fluctuations for fewer crimes committed. The raw data report included property crimes (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson), and violent crimes (murder/manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) from all law enforcement agencies that chose to partake in the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program.

We standardized the data to reflect violent and property crimes per 100,000, to account for population. Then, we aggregated a “crime score” by weighting violent crime at 80% and property crime at 20%. Though property crime is more prevalent, we figured that violent crime is more concerning to town residents. Then we adjusted the crime score for population size, giving more slack to larger cities. Finally, we ranked the cities based on their crime scores. 

Here is an alphabetical table of all cities included with their ranks, making it easier to compare different cities. See where your city lies!

Rank City Violent Crime per 100k Property Crime per 100k Crime Score
41 Arvada 163 2,666  1,510
63 Aspen 14 314  2,116
71 Aurora 1,436 10,786  2,664
29 Avon 9 140  1,056
21 Basalt 2 63  666
12 Berthoud 3 45  399
57 Boulder 218 2,948  1,862
78 Breckenridge 22 349  3,502
30 Broomfield 33 1,204  1,074
13 Brush 6 36  407
37 Burlington 11 98  1,296
68 Canon City 80 595  2,343
24 Carbondale 11 87  767
20 Castle Rock 45 556  664
26 Centennial 141 1,194  843
8 Cherry Hills Village 1 55  356
77 Colorado Springs 1,893 18,175  3,330
62 Commerce City 156 1,546  2,069
60 Cortez 18 348  1,949
40 Craig 18 238  1,374
1 Dacono 1 1  42
64 Delta 25 380  2,152
79 Denver 4,087 23,711  3,588
46 Durango 47 464  1,598
19 Eagle 8 77  643
4 Eaton 6 3  216
18 Edgewater 2 77  603
6 Erie 11 103  322
11 Estes Park 5 44  399
38 Evans 69 341  1,333
74 Federal Heights 55 628  2,905
10 Firestone 2 91  360
9 Florence 3 27  360
53 Fort Collins 357 3,808  1,807
2 Fort Lupton 3 24  183
54 Fort Morgan 33 383  1,820
42 Fountain 78 619  1,520
16 Frederick 6 84  446
28 Fruita 20 201  906
80 Glendale 47 451  5,186
65 Glenwood Springs 26 427  2,180
33 Golden 33 402  1,184
73 Grand Junction 262 2,552  2,859
72 Greeley 491 3,219  2,687
45 Greenwood Village 19 466  1,545
49 Gunnison 17 189  1,647
7 Johnstown 4 84  355
69 La Junta 16 377  2,416
31 Lafayette 50 449  1,096
76 Lakewood 624 6,892  3,316
48 Lamar 15 268  1,636
43 Littleton 44 1,278  1,522
66 Lone Tree 5 637  2,223
47 Longmont 226 2,009  1,613
27 Louisville 18 309  846
44 Loveland 150 1,665  1,540
39 Manitou Springs 14 133  1,346
25 Mead 7 63  840
14 Milliken 5 45  420
61 Monte Vista 16 183  2,036
52 Montrose 48 589  1,766
34 Monument 5 173  1,252
17 New Castle 3 49  489
55 Northglenn 95 1,103  1,821
23 Parker 53 522  719
81 Pueblo 1,011 7,596  5,423
59 Rifle 36 304  1,911
3 Rocky Ford 2 15  211
56 Salida 11 218  1,827
75 Sheridan 13 438  3,141
32 Silverthorne 6 98  1,118
36 Steamboat Springs 37 227  1,274
50 Sterling 27 480  1,668
58 Thornton 331 3,296  1,873
22 Trinidad 8 126  716
70 Vail 18 275  2,462
51 Westminster 214 2,987  1,759
67 Wheat Ridge 103 1,128  2,240
15 Windsor 6 172  420
35 Woodland Park 10 195  1,261
5 Yuma 2 16  239