2016 Safest Places in Utah

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.

1. Smithfield

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.

3. Santaquin/Genola

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.

Population Breakdown

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:

Top Cities

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.

RankCityCrime Score
1Smithfield 230
2Lone Peak 347
3Santaquin/Genola 373
4Santa Clara/Ivins 378
5Pleasant Grove 389
6Saratoga Springs 425
7Mapleton 449
8Ephraim 475
9Salem 508
10Grantsville 510
11Syracuse 523
12Clinton 547
13North Ogden 569
14Spanish Fork 633
15Farmington 658
16Mount Pleasant 664
17Perry 710
18Bluffdale 714
19Lehi 731
20Hurricane 753
21Enoch 775
22North Park 822
23Sunset 823
24Lindon 939
25La Verkin 960
26West Bountiful 975
27South Ogden 979
28Centerville 1,030
29Bountiful 1,039
30Springville 1,071
31American Fork/Cedar Hills 1,080
32Blanding 1,108
33Roy 1,120
34Orem 1,135
35Washington 1,162
36Clearfield 1,176
37North Salt Lake 1,199
38Payson 1,201
39South Jordan 1,214
40Cottonwood Heights 1,221
41St. George 1,228
42Nephi 1,273
43Draper 1,303
44Brigham City 1,310
45Tremonton 1,499
46Moab 1,561
47Richfield 1,586
48Cedar City 1,649
49Sandy 1,722
50Vernal 1,924
51Price 2,243
52Tooele 2,425
53Riverdale 2,478
54Roosevelt 2,625
55Ogden 3,159
56South Salt Lake 4,485
57Salt Lake City 6,048

Methodology

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!

RankCityPopulationViolent Crime per 100KProperty Crime per 100KCrime Score
31American Fork/Cedar Hills38,412 55 2,137 1,080
32Blanding3,631 165 2,451 1,108
18Bluffdale8,596 81 1,489 714
29Bountiful43,115 77 1,937 1,039
44Brigham City18,579 145 2,487 1,310
48Cedar City29,221 267 2,625 1,649
28Centerville16,953 142 1,870 1,030
36Clearfield30,535 128 2,112 1,176
12Clinton21,029 43 1,094 547
40Cottonwood Heights34,439 122 2,204 1,221
43Draper46,032 119 2,316 1,303
21Enoch6,051 215 1,190 775
8Ephraim6,506 46 1,061 475
15Farmington22,471 71 1,228 658
10Grantsville9,790 133 746 510
20Hurricane14,781 101 1,400 753
25La Verkin4,186 215 1,792 960
19Lehi56,080 68 1,268 731
24Lindon10,734 75 2,031 939
2Lone Peak27,524 25 679 347
7Mapleton8,970 33 1,003 449
46Moab5,133 195 3,429 1,561
16Mount Pleasant3,284 61 1,644 664
42Nephi5,459 37 3,261 1,273
13North Ogden18,176 83 1,007 569
22North Park14,255 49 1,782 822
37North Salt Lake17,170 82 2,504 1,199
55Ogden 84,557 525 4,311 3,159
34Orem92,409 43 2,112 1,135
38Payson19,338 78 2,493 1,201
17Perry4,532 88 1,589 710
5Pleasant Grove35,317 42 685 389
51Price8,436 166 5,050 2,243
47Richfield7,555 79 3,772 1,586
53Riverdale 8,587 210 5,462 2,478
54Roosevelt 6,935 822 3,547 2,625
33Roy37,923 111 2,004 1,120
9Salem7,052 85 978 508
57Salt Lake City 192,368 752 8,436 6,048
49Sandy90,860 168 2,799 1,722
4Santa Clara/Ivins14,179 71 628 378
3Santaquin/Genola11,407 35 780 373
6Saratoga Springs24,125 54 754 425
1Smithfield10,672 37 422 230
39South Jordan61,601 78 2,224 1,214
27South Ogden16,843 142 1,746 979
56South Salt Lake 24,962 869 6,722 4,485
14Spanish Fork37,444 21 1,298 633
30Springville31,593 108 1,950 1,071
41St. George77,838 144 1,935 1,228
23Sunset5,138 78 1,907 823
11Syracuse26,104 50 985 523
52Tooele 32,502 298 4,181 2,425
45Tremonton7,965 201 3,038 1,499
50Vernal10,705 168 4,101 1,924
35Washington22,727 114 2,209 1,162
26West Bountiful5,398 111 2,167 975

Comments and Questions