A new Gallup study has found the six safest cities in the U.S. based on residents’ perceived safety. Using the Gallup-Heathways Well-Being Index, data was collected between January-December 2012 from the 50 most populated Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). Participants answered the question, “do you feel safe walking alone at night in the city or area where you live?", and the sample sizes varied to be more reflective of the demographics in certain areas. Here are the six metropolitan areas where people feel the most safe.
1. Minneapolis-St. Paul Area
With a sample size of nearly 4,500 participants, 80%agreed that Minneapolis-St. Paul and Bloomington in the MN-WI area is safe. Only 19% disagreed by feeing unsafe. Based on this overwhelming majority, it appears that the Twin Cities are of the most desirable in the nation.
2. Denver-Aurora, Colo.
Out of about 3,500 residents, 78% feel safe compared to 21% unsafe in the mile-high city as well as nearby Aurora. However this data is surprising considering Aurora was faced with one of the most brutal mass killing sprees in July 2012. James Holmes opened fire during the Dark Knight movie premiere fatally shooting twelve people. With gun policy dominating the national conversation, and gun sales spiking after this event, residents still take pride in their cities despite such a shocking act of violence.
3. Raleigh-Cary, N.C.
This metropolitan area tied with that of Denver with 78%-21% feeling safe. While the sample size was nearly half of Denver’s with 1,419 residents, the perceived safety was overwhelming.
4. Greater Boston Area
The Bay State dropped a few places after it tied with Minneapolis in 2011 for being the safest. Nonetheless, the greater Boston area, including Cambridge, Quincy, and the New Hampshire area, found 77% of participants feel safe opposed to 22% unsafe.
5. Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City residents had the same break down as that of Massachusetts with 77%-22% feeling safe vs. unsafe. Not based on crime and violence, the city made headlines as not being environmentally safe. A health emergency was issued in January 2013 when toxic smog was settling and trapped in the mountainous region.
6. Austin- Round Rock, Texas
Once again, the Texas cities tied with the number 4 and 5 spots with overall 77% feeling safe. Austin nearly had the same sample size as Salt Lake City’s with 1,818 to Salt Lake’s 1,666.
Crime rates were not used as a part of this study, but based on the 2011 crime data gathered by the FBI, a strong correlation can be found when analyzing the top six safest cities.