Where is the safest city in America? On the east coast, in a smaller metropolitan area with lower home prices, a boon for home buyers and investors.

After comparing more than 180 cities across 39 key indicators of safety (like assaults per capita and road quality), WalletHub determined that Columbia, MD is the safest city in America in 2018. A combination of high community safety (4th), moderate financial safety (34th) and a low risk for natural disasters (63rd) secured its position at number one on the list. Other cities that rounded out the top five safest cities included South Burlington, VT (in the top 10 for financial safety), Plano, TX (number one for community safety), Virginia Beach, VA (in the top 10 for community safety) and Warwick, RI (11th for community safety).

The least safe city in America is St. Louis, for its low community safety (178th) and low financial safety (160th). It had the most traffic fatalities per capita (20) and tied for the city with the most assaults (1,297) and most law-enforcement employees (523). Fort Lauderdale, FL is second to last for its low community safety (170th) and low financial safety (169th). San Bernadino, CA is the third least safe city. It ranked 181st for community safety, 160th for natural disaster risk and 161st for financial safety.

When it comes to individual safety factors, the safest cities have a significant difference in assaults per capita. Irvine, CA, had the fewest assaults per capita (24). The cities with the most, Kansas City, MO (1,218), 

Little Rock, AR (1,266), St. Louis (1,297), Memphis (1,356) and Detroit (1,520), shockingly, had 64 times more assaults per capita.

Irvine, CA also has the fewest law-enforcement employees per capita (109) and Washington (645), New York (604), St. Louis (523), Chicago (501), Newark, NJ (526), and Wilmington, DE (509) were cities with the most law-enforcement employees.

Dover, DE is the city with the lowest natural-disaster risk (0.5 earthquake risk level, 1.16 flood risk level, 0.29 hurricane risk level and 0.07 tornado risk level) and conversely, Oklahoma City (1.97 earthquake, 1.31 flood, 50.53 hail, 57.34 tornado), is most at risk. Other cities with high disaster risk include Wichita, KS (0.4 earthquake, 1.04 flood, 56.5 hail, 8.83 tornado), Garden Grove, CA (57.7 earthquake, 6.09 flood, 0.15 hail, 0.13 tornado), Huntington Beach, CA (55.91 earthquake, 7.86 flood, 0.15 hail, 0.13 tornado) and San Jose, CA (59.94 earthquake, 2.9 flood, 0.02 tornado, 0.03 wildfire).

Some states were repeat offenders in certain categories. Dallas, Laredo and Brownsvillle, TX were included in the 5 cities with the highest percentage of uninsured residents (26-33 percent). Miami, Hialeah, Fort Lauderdale and Pembroke Pines, FL tied for cities with the lowest percentage of households with emergency savings (36 percent). Salt Lake City and West Valley City in Utah can take pride in having the highest percentage of households with emergency savings (77 percent).

Community safety is an important feature for any real estate investor or home buyer to consider before proceeding with an investment, but it isn’t the only thing that matters. You may find these other ThinkGlink.com real estate investing posts helpful:

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