The U.S. violent crime rate — an annual, population-adjusted measure of cases of rаpe, robbery, aggravated assault, and homicide — climbed by 5% in 2020. The increase was driven by a rise in aggravated assault and, most notably, a historic 29% surge in homicides that made 2020 the deadliest year in the United States since the mid-1990s.
Despite rising violence nationwide — and the largest single-year increase in homicides on record — many parts of the country remain relatively safe. In most states, there is at least one metropolitan area with a violent crime rate that is far below the national average.
Using data from the FBI’s 2020 Uniform Crime Report, 24/7 Wall St. identified the safest metro area in every state. Metro areas are ranked by the violent crime rate — specifically, the number of violent crimes reported for every 100,000 residents.
It is important to note that in eight states, there is only one eligible metro area with available data. In each of these cases, which are noted, the metro area listed ranks as the safest in the state by default only. In two states — Alabama and Pennsylvania — there are no qualifying metro areas with available crime data.
Though each of the metro areas on this list ranks as the safest in its state, violent crime rates in these cities vary considerably, from as low as 58 incidents per 100,000 people to as high as 841 per 100,000. Still, violent crime rates in nearly every city on this list are lower than the rate across the state as a whole.
Potential explanations for lower levels of violence in these places are varied, though one factor may be relative financial security, as low-income communities in the U.S. are disproportionately burdened by crime.
One study found that individuals with family incomes of less than $15,000 annually are three times more likely to be victimized by crime than those with family incomes of $75,000 or more. In most metro areas on this list, the share of residents living on poverty-level income is lower than the 12.3% national poverty rate. Here is a look at the city hit hardest by extreme poverty in every state.
Click here to see the safest metro area in every state
Click here to read our detailed methodology
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