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 WA are safest overall, we'll 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:
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 the 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, WA
Located in King County, about a 30 minute drive from downtown Seattle, the City of Sammamish is no stranger to winning awards. Amongst past accolades they’ve received are Friendliest Town and Best Town to Live in the US, from Forbes and CNN respectively. Well, now they can add the “Safest City in Washington” trophy to their collection as the city has the 4th lowest violent crime and the 2nd lowest property crime per capita in the state.
2. Duvall, WA
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 LE officers in Duvall, the community ranks as the 2nd safest in WA for our 2015 study.
3. Snoqualmie, WA
Best known for its 268 feet 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 3rd safest town in the Evergreen State.
4. Ridgefield, WA
The smallest city inside of 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!
5. Selah, WA
A city famous for the delicious apples that it grows, Selah is home to over 7,000 residents. Those who are fortunate enough to 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 5th safest place to live in Washington.
To make a more direct "apples to apples" comparison amongst WA city crime rates, we wanted to breakout the towns by population. Our small towns bucket consists of cities with fewer than 15,000 residents, midsize cities range from 15,000 to 30,000, and large cities with more than 30,000 citizens. Here is what this breakdown looks like:
Our interactive map visually displays each of the cities and towns in Washington that were included in our study. If you want more details, just roll your mouse over each dot for the location name and crime score rank.
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.
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 100k, 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.
|Rank||City||Population||Violent Crime per 100k||Property Crime per 100k||Crime Score|
|17||Lake Forest Park||13,088||38||1,887||459|