Safety is a major factor for many families when choosing a city or neighborhood in which to live. WalletHub released its annual list of the safest cities in America and they all have this surprising thing in common. Did yours make the list?

To determine which cities make their residents breathe the easiest, WalletHub compared 182 cities across the country focusing in 39 safety related factors to compile their list of the safest places to live in 2018. The study included the 150 most populated cities in the country along with at least two of the most populated cities in each state. The factors considered were divided into three categories: Home & Community Safety, Natural Disaster Risk and Financial Safety.

Photo: Blake Wheeler via Unsplash

Based on the 39 metrics weighted under these main categories, the top 10 safest cities in the United States are:

1. Columbia, Maryland

2. South Burlington, Vermont

3. Plano, Texas

4. Virginia Beach, Virginia

5. Warwick, Rhode Island

6. Gilbert, Arizona

7. Yonkers, New York

8. Bismarck, North Dakota

9. Nashua, New Hampshire

10. Boise, Idaho

So what do these safe cities all have in common? It’s definitely not what you’d expect, because they legitimately have nothing in common with each other! These cities are spread across the country with varying populations and demographics. They are all “average” American cities, but beyond that there is no standout factor that unites them all. You can explore WalletHub’s full 150 city ranking below.

Source: WalletHub

If there’s anything the study proves, it’s that there is no magic formula when it comes to the conditions needed for a safe city. For example, Irvine, California, which comes in at 30 on the list, has the fewest assaults per capita despite the fact that the city also has the fewest law enforcement employees per capita. Washington D.C., on other hand, which ranks in as one of the least safe cities, has the most law enforcement employees.

There are of course steps that can be taken to make cities safer. WalletHub’s experts weighed in on ideas from reducing risks of destruction after natural disaster with stronger infrastructure to building a more diverse police force.

—Shahrzad Warkentin



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