(NEXSTAR) — If you’re looking to move, you may have a number of questions about the suburb you’re considering — e.g., what the nearest schools are like, is it walkable, how close is it to your job, etc.
You’re also likely wondering if the area is considered safe. But as you may expect, there are a number of things that can impact the perceived safety of the suburb.
SmartAsset, a personal finance website, reviewed 370 suburbs across the 100 largest cities in the U.S. and analyzed them based on multiple safety-related metrics, including violent crime rates and property crime rates based on FBI data, as well as the rates of adults engaging in excessive drinking and deaths related to traffic accidents or drug poisonings from County Health Rankings.
Overall, SmartAsset found suburbs on the East Coast and in the Midwest were among the safest. Suburbs in the West and South ranked further down on the list.
Great Falls, Virginia, a Washington D.C. suburb located along the Potomac River, ranked highest on SmartAsset’s list. The census-designated location — where Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin once lived — had the second-lowest violent crime rate at 6.81 per 100,000 residents (coming in behind Edgerton, Wisconsin, with a crime rate of 0) and one of the lowest vehicle mortality rates. Additionally, SmartAsset found that, based on U.S. Census Bureau data, Great Falls had the highest median household income of any of the suburbs analyzed at just over $250,000.
Nearby Bethesda, Maryland, ranked third on the list, boasting some of the lowest vehicle mortality and excessive drinking rates in the study.
Indiana suburbs rounded out the top-five safest, with Carmel ranking second overall, and Fishers and Noblesville in fourth and fifth places.
The 10 safest suburbs, according to SmartAsset’s analysis, are:
- Great Falls, Virginia
- Carmel, Indiana
- Bethesda, Maryland
- Fishers, Indiana
- Noblesville, Indiana
- Lehi, Utah
- Fort Bliss, Texas
- Frisco, Texas
- Dacula, Georgia
- Castle Rock, Colorado
Furthermore, Indiana’s top entries were also listed as the most affordable of the safest suburbs, with Carmel, Fishers and Noblesville — in that order — taking the top spots. Brownsburg, which was listed in the ranking as the 24th safest suburb in the country, also made the top 10 most affordable.
“Housing costs in each of the four Indiana suburbs are less than 17.5% of the median household income,” SmartAsset wrote.
Not all of Indiana’s entries ranked so high, of course. Of the 15 total entries on SmartAsset’s rankings, the least safe suburbs were Gary (315th); Scottsburg (tied for 309th); Lawrenceburg (307th); Lebanon (269th); and Columbia City (tied for 142nd).
Nationwide, however, Gonzales, Louisiana, had the worst overall safety rating. Located outside Baton Rouge, the suburb had the second-worst property crime rates at 7,466 per 100,000 residents, coming in only behind the North Carolina town of Pineville, which has property crime rates of 11,600 per 100,000.
Florida, meanwhile, had the most suburbs ranking among the bottom of SmartAsset’s list, including DeLand, which ranked as the second-worst overall behind Gonzales.
The 10 lowest-ranking suburbs in SmartAsset’s analysis were:
- Gonzales, Louisiana
- DeLand, Florida
- Treasure Island, Florida
- Rock Hill, South Carolina
- Washington, Pennsylvania
- Granite City, Illinois
- Wilmington, Delaware
- Largo, Florida
- Jacksonville Beach, Florida
- Lumberton, North Carolina
SmartAsset’s full list and methodology can be found here.
Another recent analysis of FBI data, conducted by U.S. News and World Report, found that states in the Northeast — Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut — were largely the safest, reporting lower rates of violent crime and property crime than others.