Safest Cities in Idaho

Idaho’s claim to fame lies in potatoes, however, the first potato in America was planted in New Hampshire in 1719. Potatoes didn’t even reach Idaho until 1836. Still, Idaho produces approximately one-third of the potatoes in the United States. As a state, though, Idaho has much more to offer. The Idaho landscape is rugged and can be wild. It’s home to the deepest river gorge in North America: Hells Canyon. At 7,993 feet deep, Hells Canyon beats even the 6,000 foot depth of the Grand Canyon. In 1805-1806, while still a part of the Oregon country and jointly owned by the United States and Great Britain, this region was explored by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Idaho is known as the Gem State; as nearly every type of gemstone and more than seventy-two types of precious and semi- precious stones are mined there. Idaho is also one of only two places on the planet to find star garnets -- India is the other. Idaho even derives its name from a mining lie. A mining lobbyist named George M. Willing presented the name to Congress claiming that it was a Shoshone word meaning “Gem of the Mountains” and by the time they found out that it was an invented word “Idaho” had already stuck.

17,017 avg population
2.30 violent crime rate per 1,000 people
20 property crime rate per 1,000 people

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.  WEISER

Weiser, Idaho was named after Peter Weiser, an American soldier and member of the Corps of Discovery on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Weiser is the county seat of Washington County in southwest Idaho. Weiser’s community motto is “We Love Our Kids” which shows faith in their future, however, they’re equally proud of their past. Many of the town’s buildings, including the Galloway House, Pythian Castle, and the Union Pacific Train Depot, are now on the Historic Register. The town is also home to several parks and the National Oldtime Fiddle Contest and Festival.

5,321 Population
1 Violent Crimes
34 Property Crimes

2. REXBURG

Yellowstone and Teton National Parks are within an hour’s drive of Rexburg; outdoor recreational activities like fishing, hunting, and camping are common throughout all four seasons. The city founders recognized education and commerce as essential to building a strong community; in 1883, the first year of Rexburg’s settlement, they organized Bannock Stake Academy, the first primary school in the area. In 1888, just five years later, Ricks Academy was founded (eventually becoming Ricks College and, in 2001, became Brigham Young University-Idaho). With a student to teacher ratio of 15:1 in public schools, Rexburg is an ideal location to educate your children.

27,499 Population
12 Violent Crimes
181 Property Crimes

3. SODA SPRINGS

Soda Springs is home to the Soda Springs Geyser. The geyser was discovered in 1937 while a drilling operation was preparing to build a natural hot springs swimming pool. They struck the geyser and it shot 100 feet into the air. Now a timer activates it once an hour. It’s the only captive geyser in the United States. Soda Springs reported 3 violent crimes and 21 property crimes.

2,960 Population
3 Violent Crimes
21 Property Crimes

4. CHALLIS

Challis is located in central Idaho next to the Salmon/Challis National Forest and on the Salmon River. In 1876, Alvah Challis saw the area’s growing ranch and mining industries and knew there was a need for a supply depot. The Challis economy is still supported by active mines and many of its original buildings still exist along Main Street. Despite being a small, relatively isolated town in the Idaho mountains, Challis is the seat of Custer County. Challis had 2 violent crimes and 6 property crimes.

1,045 Population
2 Violent Crimes
6 Property Crimes

5. SALMON

Sacajawea (the Shoshone woman who acted as a guide and interpreter for the Lewis and Clark Expedition) was born near present-day Salmon, Idaho. Salmon is home to the Sacajawea Interpretive, Cultural, and Educational Center; their mission statement being, “...to foster the knowledge and appreciation of the Agai’dika Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, the Lewis & Clark Expedition, Western frontier life, and the natural environment.” Salmon reported 3 violent crimes and 24 property crimes.

3,013 Population
3 Violent Crimes
24 Property Crimes

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The Top 50 Safest Cities in Idaho, 2017

1. Weiser

11. Cottonwood

21. Emmett

31. Buhl

41. Sandpoint

2. Rexburg

12. Meridian

22. Bellevue

32. Moscow

42. Boise

3. Soda Springs

13. Wilder

23. Gooding

33. Kimberly

43. Jerome

4. Challis

14. Shelley

24. Rupert

34. Kamiah

44. Idaho Falls

5. Salmon

15. Parma

25. Mountain Home

35. Ketchum

45. McCall

6. Preston

16. St. Anthony

26. Wendell

36. Priest River

46. Cascade

7. Hailey

17. Shoshone

27. St. Maries

37. Orofino

47. Coeur d'Alene

8. Spirit Lake

18. Grangeville

28. Hagerman

38. Montpelier

48. Twin Falls

9. Osburn

19. Sun Valley

29. Caldwell

39. Payette

49. Nampa

10. American Falls

20. Rigby

30. Rathdrum

40. Post Falls

50. Lewiston

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in Idaho, 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.


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.

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