Safest Cities Colorado - header

Colorado – well known for its role in the opening up of the West, this is one of the “open spaces” western states with a proud and very distinctive and independently-minded culture. The state’s population was around 5.5 million in 2018. Well over half of that figure lives in the greater Denver metropolitan area. By the standards of nearby states, Colorado is considered to be a socially progressive and liberally-minded state, supporting legislation that has proven controversial in many other parts of the US.

The state has higher household and personal per capita income levels, being approximately $75,000 and $52,000 respectively (2016 and 2010 figures). This places it 8th and 11th respectively, in terms of national averages. A 2010 survey of business leaders showed it was rated as the third best state to do business in. The economy was originally driven by mining and to some extent agriculture but more recently manufacturing, high technology, military support and tourism have all played an increasing role.

3.21 Average violent crime per 1,000
30.43 Average property crime per 1,000

Colorado sits below the national average as it relates to crime, although as with all states, some challenges exist in certain locations. The figures indicate:

  • It’s the 30th safest state for property crime (where 1st = lowest crime)
  • Colorado is slightly below the national average violent crime level (ratio 0.92) with 3.21 crimes per 1,000 against the national average of 3.47.
  • The state’s property crime levels of 30.43 per 1,000 put it considerably below the national average of 40.43 – the exact ratio being 0.75.

Some parts of Colorado have very low crime figures. The top four safest locations are:

  1. Louisville
  2. Frederick
  3. Firestone
  4. Erie

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Safest Cities in Colorado, 2019

RankCityViolent CrimesProperty CrimesViolent Crime RateProperty Crime Rate
1Louisville18850.8484.005
2Frederick7580.5454.514
3Firestone91190.6718.870
4Erie122000.5078.453
5Parker777841.47615.025
6Windsor52690.21311.436
7Johnstown31710.18110.331
8Broomfield841,7901.23226.263
9Fruita251721.92713.260
10Steamboat Springs222941.71922.971
11Golden236001.09828.642
12Castle Rock549690.91016.330
13Longmont3312,3183.52224.665
14Durango447082.34037.658
15Evans684583.07020.674
16Fort Morgan443183.87828.025
17Loveland2491,8883.16523.999
18Fort Collins3694,2502.20125.353
19Arvada1933,3021.61727.667
20Westminster2753,6682.38831.853
21Littleton481,4291.01930.332
22Greeley4492,7144.24025.626
23Lafayette667112.28124.569
24Fountain1497815.10226.744
25Aurora2,23911,0546.08430.037
26Brighton1881,3074.80833.428
27Glenwood Springs274572.68045.369
28Wheat Ridge1341,5414.24548.817
29Canon City736504.36538.869
30Denver4,77425,9126.75636.671
31Sterling614534.37132.461
32Lone Tree228921.61365.405
33Colorado Springs2,47915,2145.24132.168
34Grand Junction3612,8495.79045.692
35Commerce City3141,8435.56132.637
36Federal Heights775416.09942.855
37Northglenn1521,3843.84635.020
38Lakewood1,0077,5966.44148.585
39Montrose449462.27448.899
40Alamosa467214.58971.920
41Pueblo1,1676,83810.52661.675

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in Colorado, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics. A total of 7,639 cities were factored into this ranking with populations ranging from 7,639 to 4,007,147. However, we eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 10,000.

Overall, data from 8,793 law enforcement agencies that represented more 193 million of the US population helped us draw interesting insights between the size of the police force and incidence of crime.

There are two broad classifications of crimes: violent crimes and non-violent crimes. According to the FBI, “Violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses that involve force or threat of force. Property crime includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The object of the theft-type offenses is the taking of money or property, but there is no force or threat of force against the victims. ”

We computed the total number of crimes reported by each city by adding violent crimes and property crimes. We then rated them using the population of the city and created a crime rate as the number of crimes per 1,000 population. Then we transformed the total crime rate variable so that the skewness was reduced and we normalized it so the final number became a score between 0 and 1.

Next, we computed a new variable called Police Adequacy (TotalCrimes / Number of police employees). We consider that the smaller the police adequacy statistic is, the safer the city is. We transformed and normalized this police adequacy variable also, resulting in a score between 0 and 1. Finally, we combined the two scores to create a safety score for each city.

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