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City of Bismark, ND

10/17/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/17/2021 16:29

Bismarck ranks #30 among the safest cities in the U.S.

People encounter hazards every day, some serious, others rare and innocuous. We fear certain kinds more than others, though, and COVID-19 is one of the biggest concerns in 2021. A recent Gallup poll found that only 38% of Americans feel "very" confident they can protect themselves from COVID-19 while they are out in public, a sharp drop from around 51% in May. While COVID-19 has continued to dominate the news this year, Americans still have other dangers to worry about, from mass shootings to riots to traffic accidents.

People can feel unsafe in other ways, too. Aside from the types of hazards that can cause bodily injury or other physical harm, taking out an unaffordable second mortgage, forgoing health insurance or even visiting unsecured websites are also ways people run into danger. One of the biggest worries for many people is the availability of affordable healthcare. In fact, half of all U.S. adults are worried a major health event could lead to bankruptcy.

No one can avoid all danger, however, and we take on a certain level of risk based on where we choose to live. Some cities are simply better at protecting their residents from harm. To determine where Americans can feel most secure - in more than one sense - WalletHub compared more than 180 cities across 44 key indicators of safety. Our data set ranges from COVID-19 deaths in the past week per capita and assaults per capita to the unemployment rate and road quality.

Main Findings

Safest Cities in the U.S.

Overall Rank
City Total Score Home & Community Safety Natural-Disaster Risk Financial Safety
1 Columbia, MD 87.83 1 63 41
2 South Burlington, VT 85.04 7 36 5
3 Nashua, NH 84.38 8 27 3
4 Yonkers, NY 84.04 2 39 102
5 Madison, WI 83.26 11 89 2
6 Portland, ME 82.98 15 11 21
7 Warwick, RI 82.36 13 22 55
8 Raleigh, NC 82.27 19 55 6
9 Burlington, VT 81.83 20 37 40
10 Winston-Salem, NC 81.07 38 40 34
11 Manchester, NH 80.97 42 30 11
12 Gilbert, AZ 80.78 32 14 43
13 Durham, NC 80.56 44 42 9
14 Salem, OR 80.46 40 70 18
15 Fremont, CA 80.43 4 157 15
16 Plano, TX 80.22 12 113 51
17 Buffalo, NY 80.10 48 5 33
18 Worcester, MA 80.07 41 17 45
19 Laredo, TX 80.05 23 24 140
20 Irvine, CA 79.98 3 150 87
21 Virginia Beach, VA 79.94 25 44 76
22 Lincoln, NE 79.76 34 105 16
23 Chandler, AZ 79.71 52 8 37
24 Scottsdale, AZ 79.38 50 53 30
25 Aurora, IL 79.05 9 91 152
26 Brownsville, TX 78.99 35 2 155
27 Rochester, NY 78.95 54 4 66
28 Fargo, ND 78.89 67 77 8
29 Charlotte, NC 78.23 62 57 26
30 Bismarck, ND 78.17 88 64 14
31 Sioux Falls, SD 78.09 61 103 4
32 Peoria, AZ 78.07 58 26 68
33 Bridgeport, CT 77.98 18 16 179
34 Las Cruces, NM 77.96 53 66 107
35 Mesa, AZ 77.92 56 18 67
36 Glendale, CA 77.81 5 151 124
37 Omaha, NE 77.80 43 107 49
38 Tempe, AZ 77.74 70 9 56
39 Providence, RI 77.59 60 10 95
40 Henderson, NV 77.54 26 95 141
41 Salt Lake City, UT 77.37 57 116 10
42 Lewiston, ME 77.35 83 12 100
43 Vancouver, WA 77.32 75 87 23
44 Cheyenne, WY 77.20 72 97 36
45 Pembroke Pines, FL 77.20 47 48 148
46 Chesapeake, VA 77.01 45 69 137
47 Boise, ID 76.86 91 71 17
48 Huntington Beach, CA 76.76 14 170 71
49 Santa Rosa, CA 76.71 22 153 75
50 Santa Clarita, CA 76.67 6 168 147
51 Grand Rapids, MI 76.66 85 7 91
52 Fort Wayne, IN 76.64 78 59 82
53 New Haven, CT 76.53 51 6 172
54 Boston, MA 76.49 97 35 13
55 San Jose, CA 76.48 31 169 20
56 Overland Park, KS 76.39 63 121 24
57 San Diego, CA 76.37 36 130 74
58 Chula Vista, CA 76.32 28 132 106
59 Cedar Rapids, IA 76.27 64 101 79
60 Garden Grove, CA 76.23 10 171 129
61 Oceanside, CA 76.02 17 144 108
62 Rancho Cucamonga, CA 75.95 21 159 78
63 Greensboro, NC 75.81 96 33 54
64 Santa Ana, CA 75.68 16 167 115
65 Casper, WY 75.66 110 20 58
66 Glendale, AZ 75.62 95 13 98
67 Missoula, MT 75.49 74 108 93
68 Oxnard, CA 75.29 33 148 105
69 Spokane, WA 75.18 114 19 35
70 Anaheim, CA 74.91 24 154 128
71 Newport News, VA 74.67 93 21 143
72 Grand Prairie, TX 74.53 65 112 117
73 Minneapolis, MN 74.52 77 131 46
74 Colorado Springs, CO 74.37 80 126 59
75 North Las Vegas, NV 74.29 49 99 170
76 Sacramento, CA 74.25 73 119 85
77 Jersey City, NJ 74.20 79 84 145
78 Cape Coral, FL 74.17 86 111 109
79 Pearl City, HI 74.11 46 N/A 1
80 Fontana, CA 74.10 29 163 138
81 Moreno Valley, CA 74.07 27 166 142
82 Portland, OR 73.98 119 86 12
83 Norfolk, VA 73.95 71 81 158
84 Ontario, CA 73.91 39 156 114
85 Corpus Christi, TX 73.83 122 3 90
86 Aurora, CO 73.63 68 133 99
87 Tampa, FL 73.56 103 92 64
88 Fayetteville, NC 73.53 105 51 119
89 Arlington, TX 73.51 66 122 132
90 Tallahassee, FL 73.47 112 28 120
91 Irving, TX 73.41 89 125 92
92 West Valley City, UT 73.38 30 N/A 38
93 Columbia, SC 73.38 98 83 131
94 El Paso, TX 73.34 101 74 122
95 Gulfport, MS 73.19 99 56 157
96 Juneau, AK 73.16 149 50 22
97 Newark, NJ 73.04 69 29 181
98 San Antonio, TX 73.01 109 73 94
99 New York, NY 72.96 124 34 73
100 Nampa, ID 72.91 132 49 65
101 Reno, NV 72.62 92 158 39
102 Augusta, GA 72.61 135 61 116
103 Nashville, TN 72.60 107 115 53
104 Des Moines, IA 72.34 90 143 83
105 St. Paul, MN 72.28 37 N/A 47
106 Columbus, GA 72.24 115 38 156
107 Fort Worth, TX 72.17 82 134 139
108 Hialeah, FL 72.01 59 128 171
109 Phoenix, AZ 71.89 131 25 89
110 Pittsburgh, PA 71.86 140 72 32
111 Austin, TX 71.65 134 98 29
112 San Francisco, CA 71.57 125 123 27
113 Modesto, CA 71.54 106 135 60
114 Chicago, IL 71.43 94 79 180
115 Louisville, KY 71.41 108 106 123
116 Toledo, OH 71.37 113 60 168
117 Long Beach, CA 71.36 76 152 130
118 Springfield, MO 71.35 120 127 50
119 Jacksonville, FL 71.29 136 62 84
120 Fresno, CA 71.19 111 117 117
121 Cincinnati, OH 71.08 126 76 125
122 Atlanta, GA 71.07 121 82 135
123 Riverside, CA 70.98 84 164 126
124 Richmond, VA 70.52 127 75 154
125 Akron, OH 70.41 118 68 173
126 Milwaukee, WI 70.40 130 52 146
127 Amarillo, TX 70.37 117 162 31
128 Billings, MT 70.35 160 58 44
129 Charleston, WV 70.26 163 45 25
130 Bakersfield, CA 70.18 102 146 111
131 Montgomery, AL 70.17 116 93 178
132 Fort Smith, AR 70.10 148 94 86
133 Seattle, WA 69.97 128 141 19
134 Wilmington, DE 69.89 141 23 153
135 Indianapolis, IN 69.85 123 124 103
136 Dover, DE 69.80 156 1 149
137 Rapid City, SD 69.74 155 129 7
138 Albuquerque, NM 69.48 138 88 113
139 Wichita, KS 69.31 100 172 97
140 Knoxville, TN 69.23 150 78 104
141 Miami, FL 69.08 104 118 175
142 Honolulu, HI 69.05 81 N/A 28
143 Mobile, AL 68.91 147 43 164
144 Lexington-Fayette, KY 68.79 55 N/A 110
145 Garland, TX 68.72 143 110 112
146 Tulsa, OK 68.02 145 120 88
147 Las Vegas, NV 67.70 137 96 163
148 Houston, TX 67.52 139 102 159
149 Shreveport, LA 67.45 146 100 161
150 Washington, DC 67.43 162 80 72
151 Huntsville, AL 67.36 153 142 52
152 Stockton, CA 67.36 133 140 136
153 Charleston, SC 67.14 142 165 61
154 Port St. Lucie, FL 67.13 87 N/A 81
155 Columbus, OH 67.08 163 46 121
156 Orlando, FL 66.64 174 32 57
157 Kansas City, MO 66.58 151 138 101
158 Tacoma, WA 66.29 154 145 77
159 Philadelphia, PA 66.23 169 15 133
160 Denver, CO 66.22 158 139 62
161 Tucson, AZ 66.19 167 65 127
162 Huntington, WV 66.18 175 47 70
163 New Orleans, LA 66.13 159 31 176
164 Baltimore, MD 65.26 161 67 174
165 Oakland, CA 64.78 157 155 96
166 Cleveland, OH 64.75 166 54 169
167 Dallas, TX 64.66 168 104 134
168 Los Angeles, CA 64.64 152 149 144
169 Little Rock, AR 64.35 144 147 167
170 Detroit, MI 63.55 173 41 177
171 Chattanooga, TN 63.13 178 109 80
172 Jackson, MS 63.07 165 137 166
173 Lubbock, TX 62.89 180 114 63
174 St. Petersburg, FL 62.64 129 N/A 42
175 Anchorage, AK 61.87 177 161 48
176 Birmingham, AL 61.33 172 136 165
177 Baton Rouge, LA 61.32 182 90 150
178 Memphis, TN 60.51 176 85 182
179 Oklahoma City, OK 58.54 170 173 69
180 San Bernardino, CA 58.02 179 160 162
181 Fort Lauderdale, FL 50.69 171 N/A 160
182 St. Louis, MO 47.64 181 N/A 151

Note: *No. 1 = Safest
With the exception of "Total Score," all of the columns in the table above depict the relative rank of that city, where a rank of 1 represents the best conditions for that metric category.

Ask the Experts

For the best ways to improve safety, we asked a panel of experts to weigh in with their thoughts on the following key questions:

  1. What steps should local authorities take to help reduce the public costs associated with cleanups after major natural disasters? Should flood or other types of insurance be mandatory?
  2. What measures can police departments take to increase public trust? How important is it to have a police force that is representative of the local community?
  3. Has the vaccination rollout influenced the perception of safety in the past months?
  4. What can local authorities do to ensure a safe reopening of businesses and prevent new surges in coronavirus cases?
  5. What can consumers do to increase their financial literacy, considering sound financial decisions increase a person's financial safety?
David McEntire
Professor, Emergency Services Department - Utah Valley University
Read More Katharine Kravetz
Faculty Emerita, School of Education - American University
Read More Brian Bossak
Ph.D., MPH - Associate Professor, Public Health; Faculty Fellow, Honors College; Senator, Faculty Senate; Department of Health & Human Performance - College of Charleston
Read More Christopher L. Atkinson
Assistant Professor, Administration and Law - University of West Florida
Read More


Methodology

In order to determine the safest cities in which to live, WalletHub compared 182 cities - including the 150 most populated U.S. cities, plus at least two of the most populated cities in each state - across three key dimensions: 1) Home & Community Safety, 2) Natural-Disaster Risk, and 3) Financial Safety.

We evaluated those dimensions using 44 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the highest level of safety.

We then determined each city's weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample. In determining our sample, we considered only the city proper in each case, excluding cities in the surrounding metro area.

Home & Community Safety - Total Points: 50

  • Average COVID-19 Deaths in the Past Week per Capita: Double Weight (~4.00 Points)
  • Average COVID-19 Cases in the Past Week per Capita: Double Weight (~4.00 Points)
  • Percentage of Residents Who Are Fully Vaccinated: Double Weight (~4.00 Points)
  • Presence of Terrorist Attacks: Triple Weight (~6.00 Points)
    Note: This binary metric considers the presence or absence of terrorist attack or terrorist-related incident in the city between 2010 and 2020.
  • Number of Mass Shootings: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
  • Murders & Non-Negligent Manslaughters per Capita: Triple Weight (~6.00 Points)
  • Forcible Rapes per Capita: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
  • Assaults per Capita: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
  • Thefts per Capita: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
  • Sex Offenders per Capita: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
  • Law-Enforcement Employees per Capita: Half Weight (~1.00 Points)
  • Active Firefighters per Capita: Half Weight (~1.00 Points)
  • EMTs & Paramedics per Capita: Half weight (~1.00 Points)
    Note: "EMTs" refer to Emergency Medical Technicians.
  • Hate Crimes per Capita: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
  • Share of Sheltered Homeless: Half Weight (~1.00 Points)
  • Perception of Safety (Safety walking alone during daylight/night): Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
    Note: These data are based on perceptions of visitors of Numbeo website in the past 3 years. If the value is 0, it means it is perceived as very low, and if the value is 100, it means it is perceived as very high.
  • Drug Poisoning Deaths per Capita: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
  • Traffic Fatalities per Capita: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)
  • Pedestrian Fatalities per Capita: Full Weight (~~2.00 Points)
    Note: "Pedestrians" also includes pedacyclists.
  • Road Quality: Full Weight (~2.00 Points)

Natural-Disaster Risk - Total Points: 30

  • Earthquake Risk Level: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
  • Flood Risk Level: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
  • Hail Risk Level: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
  • Hurricane Storm-Surge Risk Level: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
  • Tornado Risk Level: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
  • Wildfire Risk Level: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)

Financial Safety - Total Points: 20

  • Unemployment Rate: Double Weight (~2.11 Points)
  • Underemployment Rate: Full Weight (~1.05 Points)
  • Share of Uninsured Population: Full Weight (~1.05 Points)
  • Share of Uninsured Drivers: Full Weight (~1.05 Points)
  • Foreclosure Rate: Full Weight (~1.05 Points)
  • Median Credit Score: Full Weight (~1.05 Points)
  • Debt-to-Income Ratio: Full Weight (~1.05 Points)
  • Share of Owner Occupied Housing Units Spending at Least 35% of Their Household Income on Housing: : Full Weight (~1.05 Points)
  • Poverty Rate: Full Weight (~1.05 Points)
  • Fraud & Other Complaints per Capita: Full Weight (~1.05 Points)
    Note: "Other" includes both financial and nonfinancial complaints.
  • Identity-Theft Complaints per Capita: Full Weight (~1.05 Points)
  • Share of Unbanked Households: Full Weight (~1.05 Points)
  • Job Security: Full Weight (~1.05 Points)
    Note: This metric was calculated as follows: (Total Workers in May 2021 - Total Workers in May 2020) / Total Workers in May 2020.
  • Employment Growth: Full Weight (~1.05 Points)
    Note: This metric was adjusted for the working-age population growth and compares figures between 2020 and 2021.
  • Share of Households with Emergency Savings: Full Weight (~1.05 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the share of households that saved for unexpected expenses or emergencies in the past 12 months.
  • Retirement Plan Access & Participation Rate: Full Weight (~1.05 Points)
    Note: "Retirement Plan" includes only employer-based plans.
  • Personal Bankruptcy Filings per Capita: Full Weight (~1.05 Points)
  • Share of Seriously Underwater Mortgages: Full Weight (~1.05 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the proportion of seriously underwater mortgages, where the combined estimated balance of loans secured by those properties was at least 25 percent more than their estimated market value.


Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Federal Bureau of Investigation, TransUnion, Parents for Megan's Law, U.S. Fire Administration, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Wm. Robert Johnston, Federal Trade Commission, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Chmura Economics & Analytics, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, The Road Information Program, The Pew Charitable Trusts, County Health Rankings, Numbeo, Gun Violence Archive, ATTOM Data Solutions, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Insurance Information Institute and The New York Times.

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