Known by many as one of the most scenic states in the land, Utah was for a long time part of the American frontier and was eventually the 45th state admitted to the union. It's the 13th largest state and has a population of about 3 million, making it one of the less densely populated states. It borders six different states, including Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada. It also has a large population of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), which accounts for more than 60% of its residents. This makes it the only state in the country where the majority of people belong to a single church.
The official motto of the state is “Industry,” and its economy has helped it become one of the fastest-growing states in the country. It's a center for transportation, mining, education, and information technology, allowing the Utah to have the least income inequality in the country. A strong tourist industry also remains due to the many natural wonders and parks that Utah boasts. The state is actually positioned at the convergence of three different regions: the Colorado Plateau, the Great Basin, and the Rocky Mountains. The result is a striking natural landscape, with five different national parks residing in Utah: Zion, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, and Arches. It's this natural beauty, combined with a strong economy, that keeps attracting more people to Utah each year.
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.
Near the northern border of Utah, wedged between the Uinta-Wasatch-Catche National Forest (which sits at the foot of Mt. Elmer) and the Bear River, lies the town of Smithfield. Home to about 11,375 residents, the town is surrounded by beautiful scenery and is also the safest in the state, seeing a total of 3 violent crimes and 70 property crimes last year. Founded in 1857 by Robert Thornley, Smithley was originally known as Summit Creek before it was renamed. Many people who live in Smithfield work at the local Schreiber Foods, or commute to nearby Logan, which is also home to Utah State University. The Idaho border is also less than 12 miles away due north.
Located in what looks almost like the dead center of the state, Ephraim is the largest city in Sanpete County and sits along U.S. Route 89. It's a smallish town of 6,546 residents, but it's also very safe, seeing only 4 violent crimes and 43 property crimes last year. Named after the Ephraim of the Hebrew Bible, the town has had its post office operating since 1856. It's also home to Snow College, a two-year state college that was founded in 1888 by local followers of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Residents also have easy access to the nearby Bald Mountain Wildlife Management Area, which, not coincidentally, is located on Bald Mountain.
3. PLEASANT GROVE
Known as “Utah's City of Trees,” Pleasant Grove is a scenic town that's home to 37,963 residents. It was originally named Battle Creek after a battle between Mormon settlers and Ute Indians. However, the settlers decided to step up their marketing a bit and renamed the town Pleasant Grove after a nearby grove of cottonwood trees. These days, it's one of the safest cities in Utah and experienced just 18 violent crimes and 6.93 property crimes per 1,000 people last year. A monument to the previously mentioned battle still stands at nearby Kiwanis Park, next to Battle Creek Canyon. Fun fact: the town was a filming location in the 1995 film Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain.
4. SARATOGA SPRINGS
Saratoga Springs is perched on the northern shore of Utah Lake and located about 35 miles south of Salt Lake City. This city of 26,260 residents originally became a city in 2001, and that year had a population of just 1,003 people. Since then, it has been one of the fastest-growing cities in the country while also remaining one of the safest cities in Utah—last year, it only saw a total of 14 violent crimes and 7.62 property crimes per 1,000 people. Saratoga Springs started as a resort town, inspired by the hot springs that are located near the source of the Jordan River. One of its claims to fame is being one of the few 21st century American cities that built its library with mostly private donations.
5. SANTA CLARA / IVINS
Santa Clara and Ivins aren't just neighbors, they're sister cities. In fact, they're so closely intertwined that they even share a police department. Together, this conjoined town is home to about 14,710 residents, and also happens to be one of the safest places in the state of Utah. Last year, residents saw just 3 violent crimes and 8.97 violent crimes per 1,000 people. Nearby, the massive Pine Valley recreation area offers nearly endless hiking opportunities, and Snow Canyon State Park is a mere stroll away. And since Santa Clara-Ivins is located in the southwest corner of Utah, residents can drive on over to Nevada and Arizona without breaking a sweat.
The Top 50 Safest Cities in Utah, 2017
12. Pleasant View
3. Pleasant Grove
33. North Salt Lake
43. Cottonwood Heights
4. Saratoga Springs
14. North Ogden
24. St. George
5. Santa Clara/Ivins
25. American Fork/Cedar Hills
45. West Jordan
26. South Ogden
36. South Jordan
8. Spanish Fork
18. North Park
38. West Bountiful
40. Cedar City
To identify the safest cities in Utah, 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.