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, 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

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, 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, 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, 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:

Safest Places in Colorado

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.

Full List of Places in Colorado

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!

RankCityViolent Crime per 100kProperty Crime per 100kCrime Score

41

Arvada1632,6661,510

63

Aspen143142,116

71

Aurora1,43610,7862,664

29

Avon91401,056

21

Basalt263666

12

Berthoud345399

57

Boulder2182,9481,862

78

Breckenridge223493,502

30

Broomfield331,2041,074

13

Brush636407

37

Burlington11981,296

68

Canon City805952,343

24

Carbondale1187767

20

Castle Rock45556664

26

Centennial1411,194843

8

Cherry Hills Village155356

77

Colorado Springs1,89318,1753,330

62

Commerce City1561,5462,069

60

Cortez183481,949

40

Craig182381,374

1

Dacono1142

64

Delta253802,152

79

Denver4,08723,7113,588

46

Durango474641,598

19

Eagle877643

4

Eaton63216

18

Edgewater277603

6

Erie11103322

11

Estes Park544399

38

Evans693411,333

74

Federal Heights556282,905

10

Firestone291360

9

Florence327360

53

Fort Collins3573,8081,807

2

Fort Lupton324183

54

Fort Morgan333831,820

42

Fountain786191,520

16

Frederick684446

28

Fruita20201906

80

Glendale474515,186

65

Glenwood Springs264272,180

33

Golden334021,184

73

Grand Junction2622,5522,859

72

Greeley4913,2192,687

45

Greenwood Village194661,545

49

Gunnison171891,647

7

Johnstown484355

69

La Junta163772,416

31

Lafayette504491,096

76

Lakewood6246,8923,316

48

Lamar152681,636

43

Littleton441,2781,522

66

Lone Tree56372,223

47

Longmont2262,0091,613

27

Louisville18309846

44

Loveland1501,6651,540

39

Manitou Springs141331,346

25

Mead763840

14

Milliken545420

61

Monte Vista161832,036

52

Montrose485891,766

34

Monument51731,252

17

New Castle349489

55

Northglenn951,1031,821

23

Parker53522719

81

Pueblo1,0117,5965,423

59

Rifle363041,911

3

Rocky Ford215211

56

Salida112181,827

75

Sheridan134383,141

32

Silverthorne6981,118

36

Steamboat Springs372271,274

50

Sterling274801,668

58

Thornton3313,2961,873

22

Trinidad8126716

70

Vail182752,462

51

Westminster2142,9871,759

67

Wheat Ridge1031,1282,240

15

Windsor6172420

35

Woodland Park101951,261

5

Yuma216239

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