Personal Finance

Safest Places to Live in Washington State (2015)

Safest Places to Live in Washington State (2015)

If you're trying to decide where to live, one of the most important factors to include in your decision is whether or not the city is safe for you and your family.

Everyone enjoys spending time in their neighborhoods if they're secure and free from significant criminal activity or threats.

So, in an attempt to quantify which areas of Washington are most safe, the team at ValuePenguin decided to break down the data so we could help our readers understand the issue. Not only do we look at which cities and towns in Washington are safest overall, we also analyze which places are safest inside of three different population buckets: large, midsize and small cities.

Keeping reading our report below to see where your town ended up:

Top 5 safest places in Washington State

Three of our top five safest places in Washington were located in the eastern Seattle metro area, while the other two were in the southern half of the state. Crime scores for this elite group ranged from 176 to 265. To give some perspective, the least safe city in the state, Tukwila, came in at a score of 5,200.

1. Sammamish

Located in King County, about a 30-minute drive from downtown Seattle, the City of Sammamish is no stranger to winning awards. Among past accolades it has received are friendliest town and best town to live in the U.S., from Forbes and CNN, respectively. Well, now Sammamish can add the "Safest City in Washington" trophy to its collection, as the city has the fourth-lowest violent crime and the second-lowest property crime per capita in the state.

Factor

Value

Population

49,805

Crime score

176

2. Duvall

Incorporated just over 100 years ago, Duvall was originally settled by the Duvall brothers, Francis and James, who both worked in the logging industry. Since then, Duvall has evolved into a quaint town of just over 7,000 residents, growing a whopping 62% since 2000. And thanks to police chief Carey Hert and the other officers in Duvall, the community ranks as the second-safest in Washington for our 2015 study.

Factor

Value

Population

7,342

Crime score

199.7

3. Snoqualmie

Best known for its 268-foot cascading waterfall, the City of Snoqualmie has plenty of activities to keep everyone busy. From hiking trails, to the Northwest Railway Museum, to its close proximity to Seattle, Snoqualmie is a versatile city. The 12,000 citizens living in town will also be happy to know that Snoqualmie is the third-safest town in the Evergreen State.

Factor

Value

Population

11,890

Crime score

200.3

4. Ridgefield

The smallest city in our top 5, Ridgefield sits in southwestern Washington state, right alongside the state border with Oregon. Originally home to the Chinook tribe, Ridgefield was settled by James Carty in 1840 and later incorporated in 1909. With the city’s rolling hills, tranquil setting and Main Street America Charm, it should come as little surprise that the city is one of the safest in all of Washington.

Factor

Value

Population

5,426

Crime score

257

5. Selah

A city famous for the delicious apples that it grows, Selah is home to more than 7,000 residents. Those who live in Selah can easily enjoy the great outdoors, where there are a multitude of hiking trails and climbing opportunities to enjoy year round. More into nature sightseeing? You'll run into all sorts of interesting animals in Selah, from bighorn sheep to bald eagles. Beyond being a quiet agricultural city, Selah is also the fifth-safest place to live in Washington.

Factor

Value

Population

7,376

Crime score

265

Methodology

We sourced our data from 2013 FBI crime statistics by city, which provides the most recent data available. The raw data report included violent crimes (murder/manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault) and property crimes (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson) from all law enforcement agencies that participate in the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program.

We standardized the data to reflect violent and property crimes per 100,000, to account for population. We then aggregated a "crime score". In order to calculate this, we weighted violent crime at 90% and property crime at 10%. Though property crime is far more prevalent, we figured that the violent crime data points are more relevant when calculating the relative safety of these cities. We then ranked the cities relative to each other based on their crime scores. Additionally, we only looked at cities/towns in Washington that had populations larger than 5,000.

Full list of Washington cities

Below is a complete rundown of the cities and towns we've included in our 2015 study of safest places in Washington. They're listed in order from safest to least safe, with their corresponding crime score to the right of the city name. Assuming you can't find your city or town, there are two possible reasons. First, this study only includes places with a population of 5,000 or greater. And second, the FBI doesn't receive crime data from every municipality. In that event, we won't have quantifiable data to analyze.

If you're looking for an alphabetical list of the cities in Washington and where they stack up in terms of safety, here is a table you can look at that makes finding your town easier:

Rank

City
Population
Violent crime per 100,000
Property crime per 100,000
Crime score

88

Aberdeen16,4083535,7531,882

58

Airway Heights6,441935,1701,144

48

Anacortes15,9801313,498983

82

Arlington18,4252016,1001,687

96

Auburn74,5653935,2892,150
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