by Susan Gulliford
A community can grow quickly without compromising the safety of its residents. That is the major takeaway from the ValuePenguin team’s analysis of the FBI Crime Report for the state of Utah. Cities and towns that experienced double-digit population growth since the 2010 census dominate the safest places.
These 57 cities have populations of at least 3,000, and the final crime scores range from 230 to 6,048. The average crime score for a city in Utah is 1,230. To obtain the final crime score, the ValuePenguin team takes into account violent and property crime and adjusts it per population size.
5 Safest Places in Utah
These cities have an average final crime score of 343, which is 72% lower than their typical peer in the state. With some of its lowest total violent crime rates, these five are the safest places in Utah.
This city seven miles north of Logan grew 12% between 2010 and 2015; however, it remains a safe place to live. Smithfield has the lowest rate of property crime of any community in this research, and it also reported only four violent crimes for 2014. (Fun fact: A marshal and a night watchman handled law enforcement from 1868 until 1971.) The median household income for Smithfield is $2,149 lower than the median for Utah, but the poverty level is lower too (6.7% for Smithfield versus 11.7% for Utah).
2. Lone Peak
The Lone Peak police department provides services to over 27,000 residents in two communities, Alpine and Highland. These two cities are approximately 30 miles south of Salt Lake City. The Lone Peak Police Department takes its name from a mountain in the Wasatch Range. These cities had the second-lowest rate of violent crime and the third lowest rate of property crime. They are affluent communities; Highland has a median household income 78% greater than the median for Utah, and Alpine has a median household income 65% higher than the state’s median.
The Santaquin Police Department serves Santaquin (population 10,572) and the town of Genola (population 1,370). Santaquin’s population grew nearly 16% from the 2010 census through July 2015. Despite rapid growth, this area had the fourth-lowest rate of violent crime and the seventh-lowest rate of property crime. Santaquin and Genola are 22 miles and 29 miles south of Provo.
4. Santa Clara/Ivins
These dual cities in southwest Utah are the fourth-safest place. The Santa Clara/Ivins Police Department formed in 2012, and it keeps the two communities safe. In addition to a low amount of violent crime, Santa Clara /Ivins had the second-lowest rate of violent crime. These cities experienced over 16% and 11% growth for Ivins and Santa Clara respectively since the 2010 census. These are middle-class cities; the median household income for Ivins is 15% lower than the median for Utah, and the median household income for Santa Clara is approxiamtely $4,500 higher than the state’s median.
5. Pleasant Grove
Nicknamed Utah’s City of Trees, Pleasant Grove earns the fifth spot in this study. It is approximately 11 miles from Provo and has the largest population, 35,317, of any top five cities. Pleasant Grove has the seventh-lowest rate of violent crime and the fourth-lowest rate of property crime. The police department has a Tip-a-Cop line so that residents can share information about crime anonymously. The median household income is close to the median for Utah ($62,660 versus $59,846), and its population grew over 13% from the 2010 census to the 2015 update.
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 10,000, midsize cities with populations between 10,000 and 25,000, and larger cities with populations greater than 25,000. Here are our findings:
Full List of Places in Utah
Below is the entire list of places that we included in our “Safest Places in Utah” 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.
|31||American Fork/Cedar Hills||1,080|
|37||North Salt Lake||1,199|
|56||South Salt Lake||4,485|
|57||Salt Lake City||6,048|
To rank these places, we collected data from the 2014 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||Population||Violent Crime per 100K||Property Crime per 100K||Crime Score|
|31||American Fork/Cedar Hills||38,412||55||2,137||1,080|
|37||North Salt Lake||17,170||82||2,504||1,199|
|57||Salt Lake City||192,368||752||8,436||6,048|
|56||South Salt Lake||24,962||869||6,722||4,485|