Green, mountainous, rainy, and coastal, the state of Washington is a fascinating mix of wilderness and civilization. There's no other place in the country where towering mountains serve as a backdrop to island-scattered waters and verdant rainforests. The state is the 13th most populated and the 18th largest, though it was only admitted to the Union in 1889 (as the 42nd state). Its fjords, islands, and bays were carved out by passing glaciers long ago, but these days Seattle serves as a hub for technological innovation and keeps the state's eyes firmly on the future.
Washington is a big producer of lumber, but it's also the country's biggest producer of apples, pears, hops, spearmint oil, and sweet cherries. Meanwhile, manufacturing is also big business here, and Washington is home to companies that produce aircraft, missiles, ships, metals, machinery, chemicals, and transportation equipment, among others. Washington's mix of economic opportunity and untamed nature is exactly what many people are looking for.
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.
Located in the greater Seattle metro area, the town of Duvall is a quiet place that roughly 7,882 residents call home. It also happens to be the safest town in the state of Washington, seeing a mere 2 violent crimes and 49 property crimes last year. The area was home to the Tulalip and Snoqualmie Native American tribes, but was eventually settled by veterans of the Civil War. Locals enjoy participating in community events, which include an annual Easter egg hunt, Christmas tree lighting, and the Duvall Classic Car Show that's held every summer. However, perhaps the town's biggest claim to fame is holding a music festival in 1968 in which a piano was dropped out of a helicopter. Hey, that sounds like fun!
Not unexpectedly, the city of Sammamish is located just east of Lake Sammamish, which is in turn located east of Lake Washington and Seattle. It's a sizable city of about 52,365 residents, but it's still an extremely safe place, last year experiencing a total of 12 violent crimes and 7.49 property crimes per 1,000 people. While current-day Sammamish was part of unincorporated King County for most of its history, it was officially incorporated in August of 1999. Many locals enjoy golfing, and the town is served by courses such as the Sahalee Country Club, the Plateau Club, and Aldarra Golf Club (fun fact: Clint Eastwood worked as a lifeguard here in 1953).
Way back when, Connell was simply open range used by ranchers, but the community popped up when a railroad junction was created. Fast forward a couple hundred years, and today Connell is one of the safest towns in Washington, experiencing just 7 violent crimes and 36 property crimes last year. Many of the town's residents work locally in food processing, agricultural chemicals, and corrections. Nearby, the Hanford Reach National Monument and Scooteney Park offer outdoors escapes.
Originally home to the Nisqually tribe, which lived off the area's shellfish and salmon, the DuPont area was later settled by the Hudson's Bay Company, when it established a fur trading post. DuPont was officially incorporated in 1912 and today this town of around 9,597 residents is one of the safest in Washington, seeing just 9 violent crimes and 76 property crimes last year. There are plenty of outdoor activity opportunities in the area, including the Sequalitchew Creek trail, from which visitors can see bald eagles and hawks, as well as the adjacent Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, a 762-acre area that offers bird and whale watching.
With about 32,174 residents, Pullman ain't no tiny backwoods town. Named after the industrialist George Pullman, the town is known as a fertile agricultural area that produces wheat and legumes. It has also been acknowledged by publications as a great place to raise kids and is one of the safest cities in the state, seeing just 1.03 violent crimes and 8.58 property crimes per 1,000 people last year. Pullman is home to Washington State University, which enrolls 29,686 students and offers programs that focus on chemical engineering, agriculture, and pharmacy, among others. Meanwhile, the University of Idaho is just eight miles away, which has 10,474 students at its Moscow campus.
The Top 50 Safest Cities in Washington, 2017
32. Battle Ground
13. Bainbridge Island
33. Lake Stevens
43. Ocean Shores
24. Mercer Island
25. Mill Creek
16. Liberty Lake
26. Normandy Park
36. Bonney Lake
27. Lake Forest Park
8. West Richland
38. University Place
48. Mountlake Terrace
9. Oak Harbor
19. Maple Valley
To identify the safest cities in Washington, 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.