As one of the least densely populated U.S. states, Wyoming is as peaceful and untouched a state as you’ll find in the country, with vast high plains in the east running into the many stunning mountain ranges in the western part of the state.
Additionally, Wyoming is one of the safest states in the U.S., and it’s already low violent crime rate dropped an additional 17% between 2016 and 2018. Let’s take a look at the Cowboy State’s five safest cities.
Wyoming’s safest community is Green River, a small city of about 12K located in Sweetwater County in the southwest part of the state. Green River logged just 14 violent crimes in 2018, good for a violent crime rate of just 1.16 per 1K, and it’s property crime rate of 8.48 per 1K is the lowest in the state.
#2 Laramie actually has a lower violent crime rate than #1 Green River, yet is brought down a notch by its slightly higher property crime rate of 12.15 per 1K. The Albany County county seat had its beginnings as a chaotic frontier town in the Old West era, but is now an in-demand retirement community due to its safety, affordability, and beautiful scenery.
Placing #3 on the list is Rock Springs, a city of 23.4K (large by Wyoming standards) in Sweetwater County near #1 Green River. The city is known as the “Home of 56 Nationalities” as its booming coal mines attracted immigrants from around the world in the early part of its settlement. Today, residents of Rock Springs enjoy a total crime rate of 15.25 per 1K.
Rounding out the list of Wyoming’s top five cities are Sheridan (#4), a city of nearly 18K positioned halfway between Yellowstone Park and Mount Rushmore with a violent crime rate below 1 per 1K, and Evanston (#5), a small city of about 12K near the Utah border that recorded a mere 11 violent crimes in 2018.
Wyoming’s Safest Cities
WY City Population Violent
Total crimes Crime rate per 1,000 Violent crimes per 1,000 Property crimes per 1,000 Law enforcement per 1,000
1 Green River 12025 14 102 33 116 9.65 1.16 8.48 2.74
2 Laramie 32509 32 395 72 427 13.13 0.98 12.15 2.21
3 Rock Springs 23405 43 314 56 357 15.25 1.84 13.42 2.39
4 Sheridan 17919 17 313 44 330 18.42 0.95 17.47 2.46
5 Evanston 11797 11 212 30 223 18.90 0.93 17.97 2.54
6 Gillette 30659 56 667 80 723 23.58 1.83 21.76 2.61
7 Casper 58200 117 1630 136 1747 30.02 2.01 28.01 2.34
8 Riverton 11076 26 332 24 358 32.32 2.35 29.97 2.17
9 Cheyenne 64178 207 2559 126 2766 43.10 3.23 39.87 1.96
To identify the safest cities, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and cities with populations under 10,000. This left 3,381 cities (out of a total of 9,251).
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 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 normalized.
Data from 2,831 law enforcement agencies was then collected to determine police adequacy (TotalCrimes / Number of police employees). We consider that the smaller the police adequacy statistic is, the safer the city is. This variable was also transformed and normalized.
Finally, the two variables were combined to create a safety score for each city.