Somewhere between the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean and the horizon-spanning Great Plains lies Nevada and its sun-baked landscape. Also known as the Silver State, Nevada is the 7th-largest state in the country, yet has the 34th-largest population. Add the fact that three-fourths of its population lives in Clark County, and it's evident that Nevada is a place where bustling cities give way to big, empty spaces. Legalized gambling and national parks remain a huge draw for tourism, while the state remains the fourth-largest producer of gold in the world. The state is also experiencing rapid population growth, though its five safest cities remain great places to move to.
Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.
1. BOULDER CITY
Located 26 miles southeast of Sin City, Boulder City is comparably a much-quieter town that also has 15,481 residents and a dearth of slot machines. (It's only one of two cities in Nevada that does not allow gambling). Instead of rolling die, Boulder City locals are keeping their eyes peeled for any shenanigans, and that's probably why there were only 13 cases of violent crime and 147 cases of property crime reported last year. Besides having the distinction of being the safest city in Nevada, Boulder City also boasts the Nevada Southern Railroad Museum, scenic Hemenway Park, and access to nearby Hoover Dam.
Located on the foot of the Virgin Mountains in the northeastern part of the Mojave Desert, the town of Mesquite is an 80-mile drive up Interstate 15 from Las Vegas. And while Mesquite does have several casino resorts, such as the Virgin River Casino, Eureka Casino Hotel, and CasaBlanca, this town of 17,412 also enjoys a slower pace of life. It's also so gosh-darn safe that it's the second-safest city in Nevada, last year experiencing only 34 violent crimes and 16.02 instances of property crime per 1,000 people. Add plenty of sun and verdant golf courses, and it makes for a pretty appealing place to live.
As the second-largest city in the state of Nevada, Henderson boasts an impressive population of 282,554. However, its size hasn't stopped it from popping up in the list of the state's safest, coming in fast and loud at #3. Experiencing only 1.68 violent crimes and 18.93 property crimes per 1,000 people last year, Henderson is quite the success story for a large city. In fact, it was named one of the safest cities in the United States in a 2014 report by the FBI. That's tough to beat.
Though it may sound like a frigid city located in northern Minnesota, Winnemucca is very much a sun-soaked Nevada town that's perched at an elevation of 4,295 feet. In fact, it's actually named after Chief Winnemucca of the Northern Paiute tribe and is home to 8,144 residents. While in the year 1900 Butch Cassidy's gang was robbing its downtown bank of $32,640, these days Winnemucca is a much safer place, experiencing just 18 violent crimes and 186 property crimes last year.
Take a short drive east from Reno and you'll find yourself at Sparks, a sizable town of 95,815 residents that also happens to be the fifth-largest in the state. Coincidentally, it also happens to be the fifth-safest city in Nevada, experiencing 3.75 violent crimes and 27.74 property crimes per 1,000 people last year. And while most of Nevada may be desert, Sparks is located near a naturally occurring aquifer, allowing locals to sail, swim, fish, and boat whenever they're not preparing for the annual Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off.
The Top 10 Safest Cities in Nevada, 2017
1. Boulder City
6. North Las Vegas
10. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
To identify the safest cities in Nevada, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000. Note that our use of the word "cities" is versatile, refers to populations of 5,000 and over, and thus includes places with the words "town" and "township."
The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.