Safest Cities Idaho - header

Idaho – A north-Western state which shares a small border with Canada. Sections of the Rockies pass through Idaho which, despite its northerly and inland location, is protected from the worst of the winter weather by the Pacific’s coastal weather patterns. It has a population of around 1.6 million (2015 figures) which combined with its area, make it the 7th least densely populated state in the US.

Once known almost exclusively for its agriculture, mining, forestry, and tourism industries, the position today is far more diverse. The science and technology industries now provide over 25% of the state’s wealth and are the origin for over 70% of Idaho’s exports. At a little over $52,000, Idaho’s household income average is below the US national average.

2.80 Average violent crime per 1,000
22.53 Average property crime per 1,000

In terms of crime statistics, Idaho has a reputation of being a safe state though, as always, some areas run against the general trend. Overall Idaho:

  • Is the 12th safest state for property crime (where 1st = lowest crime)
  • Has a lower violent crime rate than the national average (0.81 ratio) with 2.8 crimes per 1,000 against a national average of 3.47.
  • When compared to national averages, has property crime levels of 22.53 per 1,000 which are roughly 50% lower than the national average of 40.43.

The safest areas in the state are:

  1. Rexburg
  2. Mountain Home
  3. Idaho Falls
  4. Post Falls
  5. Jerome

Safest Cities in Idaho, 2019

RankCityViolent CrimesProperty CrimesViolent Crime RateProperty Crime Rate
1Rexburg111760.3836.133
2Mountain Home312272.25116.483
3Idaho Falls2151,1223.54018.476
4Post Falls657361.99522.588
5Jerome272502.37321.968
6Coeur d'Alene1971,1423.83522.233
7Meridian1491,4891.50115.004
8Garden City663475.63729.638
9Blackfoot413403.45428.644
10Lewiston539431.60528.551
11Pocatello2431,6094.43329.354
12Caldwell1391,0602.55819.505
13Twin Falls2101,2874.29326.313
14Boise6305,5172.79224.446
15Nampa2642,4552.83726.380
16Moscow346331.32924.750

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in Idaho, 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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