2016 Safest Places in Washington

by Susan Gulliford

Washington has seen its population grow by over 6% since the 2010 census. With so many people, flocking to the Evergreen State, the ValuePenguin team analyzed the most recent FBI Crime Report to determine its safest places.

These 117 cities had populations of at least 5,000 people, and the crime scores ranged from 284 to an outlier of 8,533. This score takes into account violent and property crime and adjusts it for population size. The major takeaway from this research is that a community can experience rapid population growth without sacrificing safety. You can review the complete report below.

5 Safest Places in Washington

These cities had an average final crime score of 408, which was 81% lower than their typical peer in the state. The team at ValuePenguin determined that these five are the safest cities in the Washington.

1. DuPont

This small community earns the number one spot in this ranking. Dupont’s population grew over 14% from the 2010 census to 2015, yet it has not compromised on safety. In addition to a low rate of violent crime, it had the lowest rate of property crime for any city in this study. The police department’s philosophy of being “...proactive, sensitive, and responsive to the needs of the community” pays dividends for residents. DuPont is slightly over 18 miles from Tacoma.

2. Sammamish

Sammamish is the largest community (population of 51,016) in the top five. It had the second-lowest level of violent crime and the third-lowest rate of property crime. The city’s police officers are King County Sherrif’s Office deputies. Like the smaller communities in this research, this Seattle suburb has experienced strong population growth (more than 12%) since the 2010 census. It is a very affluent city with a median household income 2.4 times the state’s median household income and 73% of the adult population has at least a bachelor’s degree.

3. Duvall

The police department fulfills its goal of maintaining a high quality of life for residents. Duvall had the lowest rate of violent crime of any city in this research. It also had the fourth-lowest rate of property crime. Duvall is a fast-growing city (population up 14.3% from 2010 to 2015) approximately 25 miles from Seattle. The median household income is 75% higher than Washington state’s median household income.

4. Ridgefield

The police department in this community is 24 miles north of Portland, Ore., and fosters a good relationship with the community. The result is a safe community with rapid population growth (35% from 2010 to 2015). Only four violent crimes were reported in 2014, and the city has the fifth-lowest rate of property crime. The median household income in Ridgefield was 51% above Washington state’s median household income.

5. Connell

Connell is the smallest city in the top five with a population of only 5,746 residents. Like the other safe communities, it experienced rapid population growth (plus 30%) in the last five years. However, this city in southeastern Washington is different from other communities because it has a median household income below Washington’s, and residents are less likely to hold a bachelor’s degree. The police department prides itself on having strong community orientation. The result is Connell achieved the second-lowest rate of property crime for any Washington city.

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 5,000 and 15,000, midsize cities with populations between 15,000 and 30,000, and larger cities with populations greater than 30,000. Here are our findings:

Safest Places in Washington

Full List of Places in Washington

Below is the entire list of places that we included in our “Safest Places in Washington” 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.

Rank

CityCrime Score

1

Dupont284

2

Sammamish386

3

Duvall396

4

Ridgefield483

5

Connell491

6

Selah515

7

Lynden540

8

Brier563

9

Snoqualmie642

10

Bainbridge Island705

11

Mercer Island713

12

Liberty Lake721

13

Maple Valley727

14

Camas730

15

Kenmore750

16

Steilacoom775

17

Pullman849

18

West Richland857

19

Normandy Park919

20

Battle Ground964

21

Oak Harbor1,037

22

Pacific1,041

23

Ocean Shores1,054

24

College Place1,080

25

Grandview1,094

26

Wapato1,106

27

Fircrest1,145

28

Orting1,162

29

Lake Forest Park1,167

30

Mill Creek1,211

31

Poulsbo1,269

32

Edgewood1,272

33

Washougal1,277

34

Anacortes1,318

35

East Wenatchee1,321

36

Newcastle1,338

37

Mukilteo1,338

38

Kirkland1,359

39

Bonney Lake1,362

40

University Place1,375

41

Milton1,381

42

Richland1,388

43

Sunnyside1,413

44

Prosser1,419

45

Cheney1,443

46

Lake Stevens1,444

47

Stanwood1,497

48

Bothell1,515

49

Issaquah1,519

50

Enumclaw1,521

51

Redmond1,524

52

Pasco1,530

53

Ferndale1,536

54

Edmonds1,572

55

Woodland1,624

56

Woodinville1,672

57

Ellensburg1,700

58

Lacey1,764

59

Shoreline1,769

60

Mountlake Terrace1,799

61

North Bend1,799

62

Wenatchee1,937

63

Toppenish1,955

64

Bellevue1,963

65

Kennewick2,008

66

Covington2,008

67

Ephrata2,024

68

Tumwater2,051

69

Airway Heights2,053

70

Sedro Woolley2,067

71

Yelm2,167

72

Monroe2,256

73

Sequim2,290

74

Vancouver2,345

75

Des Moines2,377

76

Marysville2,426

77

Port Townsend2,487

78

Mount Vernon2,540

79

Centralia2,582

80

Quincy2,639

81

Othello2,677

82

Gig Harbor2,719

83

Kelso2,757

84

Port Angeles2,761

85

Snohomish2,787

86

Walla Walla2,795

87

Arlington2,823

88

Olympia2,848

89

Clarkston3,044

90

Bremerton3,089

91

Sumner3,099

92

Renton3,112

93

Kent3,114

94

Chehalis3,181

95

Burien3,182

96

Lakewood3,207

97

Bellingham3,305

98

Yakima3,316

99

Spokane Valley3,492

100

Aberdeen3,507

101

SeaTac3,513

102

Burlington3,518

103

Longview3,550

104

Port Orchard3,644

105

Union Gap3,653

106

Lynnwood3,680

107

Auburn3,707

108

Moses Lake3,719

109

Federal Way3,724

110

Puyallup3,784

111

Shelton3,982

112

Everett3,987

113

Fife4,548

114

Seattle4,972

115

Tacoma4,987

116

Spokane5,724

117

Tukwila8,533

Year-over-year Change

There was a great deal of consistency in the results for 2015 and 2016. Three of this year’s safest places were repeats from 2015. Interestingly, the bottom five of the safest city’s study was exactly the same for 2015 and 2016.

Small communities dominated the top five in 2015 and 2016. In both years, Sammamish was the lone big community to make the top five. No communities from the middle category made the top five either year.

There are notably safe places for people who want a mid-size community. Bainbridge Island was this year’s champion of the mid-size category with the fifth-lowest rate of violent crime overall. Mercer Island, 2015’s number one and 2016’s number two in the mid-size category, achieved the third-lowest rate of violent crime in the whole state.

Safest Places in Washington

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 5,000 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

CityPopulationViolent Crime per 100KProperty Crime per 100KCrime Score

100

Aberdeen16,2436345,7933,507

69

Airway Heights6,502925,0142,053

34

Anacortes16,1191432,5621,318

87

Arlington18,8361815,8822,823

107

Auburn76,0203936,0223,707

10

Bainbridge Island23,228391,459705

20

Battle Ground18,4491251,762964

64

Bellevue135,4491063,4011,963

97

Bellingham83,0482655,6583,305

39

Bonney Lake18,5191082,7591,362

48

Bothell36,087723,0371,515

90

Bremerton39,3595314,5993,089

8

Brier6,425781,167563

95

Burien50,2845114,7233,182

102

Burlington8,5241418,3883,518

14

Camas21,275751,387730

79

Centralia16,6774864,1732,582

94

Chehalis7,2711517,6333,181

45

Cheney11,3872462,5731,443

89

Clarkston7,3824745,9743,044

24

College Place9,012442,5521,080

5

Connell5,746157679491

66

Covington19,1462143,8342,008

75

Des Moines30,9263913,7282,377

1

Dupont9,53752503284

3

Duvall7,65813966396

35

East Wenatchee13,5391112,7551,321

32

Edgewood9,6452492,1981,272

54

Edmonds40,9721342,8701,572

57

Ellensburg18,3821363,4441,700

50

Enumclaw11,5711563,1201,521

67

Ephrata8,0241624,5362,024

112

Everett105,9113446,5593,987

109

Federal Way93,5513855,9533,724

53

Ferndale12,5682152,8881,536

113

Fife9,4791,1087,0054,548

27

Fircrest6,6441662,3331,145

82

Gig Harbor7,9782136,1172,719

25

Grandview11,1721252,2021,094

49

Issaquah34,372523,1391,519

83

Kelso11,7832725,6862,757

15

Kenmore21,886871,380750

65

Kennewick77,3812463,1262,008

93

Kent125,8372864,9613,114

38

Kirkland85,352982,3631,359

58

Lacey45,5251763,0841,764

29

Lake Forest Park13,209682,5591,167

46

Lake Stevens30,3871652,5641,444

96

Lakewood59,3136414,1563,207

12

Liberty Lake8,436471,648721

103

Longview36,4593656,3223,550

7

Lynden13,127611,067540

106

Lynnwood36,6302736,9723,680

13

Maple Valley25,331511,445727

76

Marysville64,0631754,3472,426

11

Mercer Island24,446251,526713

30

Mill Creek18,9701272,3251,211

41

Milton7,2682482,5871,381

72

Monroe17,8263483,9162,256

108

Moses Lake21,5804596,7473,719

78

Mount Vernon32,8052594,5882,540

60

Mountlake Terrace20,8711923,3971,799

37

Mukilteo21,0021242,6001,338

36

Newcastle11,235623,0531,338

19

Normandy Park6,610912,042919

61

North Bend6,3401893,9751,799

21

Oak Harbor22,1231671,7181,037

23

Ocean Shores5,6221252,3121,054

88

Olympia48,7634064,4502,848

28

Orting7,0931132,5661,162

81

Othello7,6935074,8622,677

22

Pacific7,1421262,1981,041

52

Pasco69,1152552,1431,530

84

Port Angeles19,2205154,3862,761

104

Port Orchard13,1456016,4443,644

77

Port Townsend9,2316283,7592,487

31

Poulsbo9,5661572,5611,269

44

Prosser5,8093622,3241,419

17

Pullman31,8101571,257849

110

Puyallup39,0162797,1253,784

80

Quincy7,3553815,3032,639

51

Redmond58,311512,9931,524

92

Renton98,2402335,3003,112

42

Richland53,4451682,2621,388

4

Ridgefield5,856681,008483

2

Sammamish51,01616757386

101

SeaTac28,1026375,3483,513

114

Seattle663,4106036,1274,972

70

Sedro Woolley10,6591594,4942,067

6

Selah7,447271,222515

73

Sequim6,6821205,5072,290

111

Shelton9,7244018,3813,982

59

Shoreline55,2061703,0501,769

85

Snohomish9,4592545,9942,787

9

Snoqualmie12,359811,246642

116

Spokane211,0255488,5595,724

99

Spokane Valley91,3823255,7403,492

47

Stanwood6,6652103,0761,497

16

Steilacoom6,157971,657775

91

Sumner9,6274056,1603,099

43

Sunnyside16,1051302,8381,413

115

Tacoma204,7227946,2144,987

63

Toppenish9,0242334,0121,955

117

Tukwila19,92181816,5758,533

68

Tumwater18,8003093,5642,051

105

Union Gap6,0103338,3363,653

40

University Place32,2702112,2061,375

74

Vancouver168,6883423,1182,345

86

Walla Walla31,8333274,9012,795

26

Wapato5,0591582,3521,106

33

Washougal14,9041272,5501,277

62

Wenatchee32,8201923,5221,937

18

West Richland13,2721131,627857

56

Woodinville11,408703,8391,672

55

Woodland5,5572883,1851,624

98

Yakima93,6674364,9283,316

71

Yelm7,8363704,0842,167

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