Crime takes a toll on all communities both emotionally and economically.
Victims are left paying higher rates on car, homeowner, and renters insurance after their properties are taken or damaged. As a result, some residents may consider moving from a large city where violent crimes are on the rise to a smaller, safer town.
But, is a smaller town truly safer?
MoneyGeek attempted to answer that question and test our perception.
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To test whether smaller cities and towns are safer than large urban areas, MoneyGeek analzyed crime statistics by “quantifying the cost of crime and ranking 660 small cities and towns nationwide and in every state,” a spokesperson for the company stated. Crime statistics included data on violent crimes such as murder, rape, and aggravated assault or property crimes such as burglaries and car theft.
The survey found the cost of crime in small cities decreased by five percent from 2020 to 2021, while the cost in larger cities (100,000 or more residents) increased by six percent. In comparison, smaller cities and towns had 42 percent lower crime costs than their larger counterparts.
Furthermore, violent crime rates in larger cities were close to double that of smaller cities.
However, this does not guarantee that smaller cities were always safer. In fact, certain small cities bore the same costs of crime as larger ones, sometimes even greater.
Pine Bluff, Arkansas, a small town, yielded a higher crime cost per capita than a large city with the highest cost of crime, St. Louis, Missouri, the spokesperson said. Pine Bluff was labeled the least safe town in the United States.
Similarly, New York City had a crime cost comparable to Cedar City, Utah.
After ranking the different cities, 7 of 10 safest small cities were in the Northeast or Midwest. One in Ohio, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Texas, three in New York or New Jersey, and three in Massachusetts.
Mason, Ohio was ranked second as the safest small city or town in the United States.
“While the safest places to live tend to be smaller, there is not a perfect correlation between population size and crime levels,” the spokesperson said.
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