Iowa’s
50 Safest Cities

2019

The world’s largest strawberry? Check. The oldest water tower still in service? Check. The largest Danish settlement in the United States? Check, check, check. From Dubuque to Davenport, there’s a lot to experience in Iowa. It has everything from Spirit Lake, a large lake made by glaciers, to Quaker Oats, the world’s largest cereal company. Take your kids to Story City for the only operating antique carousel in the state, or to the National Spring Car Hall of Fame and Museum, the only museum in the United States regarding the history of spring car racing. Or, head out to the National Balloon Museum in Indianola to learn about how balloons came to be. As you can see, Iowa is more than just farmland. There’s tons to explore, while staying safe, of course.

To name a few things to do while you’re in Iowa, you have to visit:

  • Amana Colonies: German villages with old-fashioned shopping,dining, and artists’ workshops located in east-central Iowa make a great place to spend a day
  • Maquoketa Caves State Park: Located in Jackson County, this park has hiking, picnicking, and camping on 111 beautiful acres
  • Adventureland Park: Visit Altoona to go on over 100 rides, play in the water park and arcades, or enjoy entertaining variety shows and comfortable lodging options.

Using crime statistics from the FBI, we picked out the safest cities in Iowa, starting with Sioux Center. With a population of 7,578 and an impressive median income of $73,185, Sioux Center only had .26 violent crimes per 1,000 people and only 2.77 property crimes for the same population size! Some more of Iowa’s safest cities include Orange City, Algona, and Eldridge. Even Iowa City made the list, with a population of over 75,000 and 2.07 violent crimes for every 1,000 people.

2.934

This statistic shows the number of violent crimes per 1,000 people in the past year. Violent crimes include forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, as defined by the FBI. 

1.774
This statistic shows how many motor vehicles were stolen per 1,000 of the city’s inhabitants. Across the United States, the rate was 238.8 per every 100,000 inhabitants, according to the FBI.
21.253

Finally, this number shows how many property crimes were committed in the past year per every 1,000 of the city’s residents. Property crimes include burglary, motor vehicle theft, arson and larceny-theft.

Let Everyone Know Your City Made the List!

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Curious about how we came to these cities? Check out the bottom of the page for a full methodology. Otherwise, read on to see if your city made the list of the safest cities in Iowa.

1
Sioux Center, Iowa
Sioux Cente.
Safety Score: 90.1

Sioux Center, IA

Population 7,578
Median Income 73,185
Households 2,361
Violent Crime 0.26
Violent Crime -0.01
Property Crimes 2.77
Property Crime 1.31

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2
Orange City, Iowa
Orange City
Safety Score: 87.67

Orange City, IA

Population 6,199
Median Income 71,843
Households 2,031
Violent Crime 1.29
Violent Crime +0.97
Property Crimes 5.16
Property Crime -2.55

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3
Algona, Iowa
Algona
Safety Score: 86.91

Algona, IA

Population 5,509
Median Income 53,891
Households 2,571
Violent Crime 2.72
Violent Crime -0.4
Property Crimes 4.9
Property Crime -2.25

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4
Eldridge, Iowa
Eldridge
Safety Score: 86.3

Eldridge, IA

Population 6,406
Median Income 66,544
Households 2,307
Violent Crime 0.94
Violent Crime -0.01
Property Crimes 7.81
Property Crime 5.6

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5
Norwalk, Iowa
Norwalk
Safety Score: 86.07

Norwalk, IA

Population 10,874
Median Income 82,566
Households 3,891
Violent Crime 0.83
Violent Crime -0.71
Property Crimes 8.28
Property Crime -0.11

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6
Denison, Iowa
Denison
Safety Score: 85.58

Denison, IA

Population 8,304
Median Income 51,122
Households 2,646
Violent Crime 1.81
Violent Crime NAN
Property Crimes 7.83
Property Crime NAN

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7
Decorah, Iowa
Decorah
Safety Score: 84.61

Decorah, IA

Population 7,883
Median Income 55,282
Households 2,781
Violent Crime 0.51
Violent Crime -0.89
Property Crimes 10.66
Property Crime 1

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8
Johnston, Iowa
Johnston
Safety Score: 83.41

Johnston, IA

Population 21,816
Median Income 94,539
Households 8,084
Violent Crime 1.47
Violent Crime +0.27
Property Crimes 11.09
Property Crime 0.64

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9
North Liberty, Iowa
North Liber.
Safety Score: 83.02

North Liberty, IA

Population 19,491
Median Income 80,426
Households 6,865
Violent Crime 2.87
Violent Crime -0.29
Property Crimes 9.75
Property Crime 2.4

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10
Waukee, Iowa
Waukee
Safety Score: 82.87

Waukee, IA

Population 20,359
Median Income 91,875
Households 6,691
Violent Crime 1.52
Violent Crime NAN
Property Crimes 11.69
Property Crime NAN

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11
Webster City, Iowa
Webster Cit.
Safety Score: 81.9

Webster City, IA

Population 7,708
Median Income 46,324
Households 3,364
Violent Crime 1.95
Violent Crime -1.14
Property Crimes 12.71
Property Crime -3.51

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12
Vinton, Iowa
Vinton
Safety Score: 81.88

Vinton, IA

Population 5,125
Median Income 48,072
Households 2,140
Violent Crime 3.9
Violent Crime +2.14
Property Crimes 10.15
Property Crime 6.64

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13
Pella, Iowa
Pella
Safety Score: 81.8

Pella, IA

Population 10,240
Median Income 64,527
Households 3,825
Violent Crime 1.86
Violent Crime +0.9
Property Crimes 13.18
Property Crime 3.05

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14
Urbandale, Iowa
Urbandale
Safety Score: 81.39

Urbandale, IA

Population 43,637
Median Income 85,432
Households 16,424
Violent Crime 2.64
Violent Crime +1.15
Property Crimes 12.33
Property Crime -3.22

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15
Clive, Iowa
Clive
Safety Score: 81.08

Clive, IA

Population 17,913
Median Income 94,907
Households 6,607
Violent Crime 0.78
Violent Crime -0.68
Property Crimes 15.18
Property Crime 15.18

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16
Ankeny, Iowa
Ankeny
Safety Score: 80.88

Ankeny, IA

Population 61,090
Median Income 79,536
Households 20,723
Violent Crime 2.13
Violent Crime -0.03
Property Crimes 13.6
Property Crime 0.84

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17
Le Mars, Iowa
Le Mars
Safety Score: 80.38

Le Mars, IA

Population 9,955
Median Income 58,063
Households 4,169
Violent Crime 0.9
Violent Crime -0.13
Property Crimes 15.87
Property Crime -7

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18
Carroll, Iowa
Carroll
Safety Score: 80.31

Carroll, IA

Population 9,920
Median Income 44,561
Households 4,418
Violent Crime 0.2
Violent Crime -0.4
Property Crimes 16.94
Property Crime -3.99

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19
Estherville, Iowa
Estherville
Safety Score: 79.73

Estherville, IA

Population 5,877
Median Income 46,028
Households 2,369
Violent Crime 5.27
Violent Crime +1.74
Property Crimes 11.57
Property Crime -6.09

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20
Marion, Iowa
Marion
Safety Score: 79.5

Marion, IA

Population 39,050
Median Income 69,882
Households 15,232
Violent Crime 1.74
Violent Crime -0.14
Property Crimes 15.95
Property Crime -0.01

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21
Boone, Iowa
Boone
Safety Score: 79.12

Boone, IA

Population 12,607
Median Income 50,323
Households 5,407
Violent Crime 5.08
Violent Crime +1.3
Property Crimes 12.77
Property Crime -0.53

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22
De Witt, Iowa
De Witt
Safety Score: 78.67

De Witt, IA

Population 5,218
Median Income n/a
Households n/a
Violent Crime 3.45
Violent Crime +2.11
Property Crimes 15.71
Property Crime 0.02

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23
Osceola, Iowa
Osceola
Safety Score: 78.52

Osceola, IA

Population 5,051
Median Income 46,642
Households 2,089
Violent Crime 1.58
Violent Crime +0.37
Property Crimes 18.21
Property Crime -0.68

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24
Bettendorf, Iowa
Bettendorf
Safety Score: 78.46

Bettendorf, IA

Population 36,133
Median Income 76,900
Households 13,955
Violent Crime 1.49
Violent Crime -0.15
Property Crimes 17.99
Property Crime 17.99

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25
Anamosa, Iowa
Anamosa
Safety Score: 77.91

Anamosa, IA

Population 5,411
Median Income 41,484
Households 1,996
Violent Crime 2.03
Violent Crime +0.2
Property Crimes 18.3
Property Crime 4.92

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26
Sheldon, Iowa
Sheldon
Safety Score: 77.21

Sheldon, IA

Population 5,102
Median Income 50,611
Households 2,200
Violent Crime 2.94
Violent Crime +0.37
Property Crimes 18.03
Property Crime 7.57

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27
Independence, Iowa
Independenc.
Safety Score: 77.1

Independence, IA

Population 6,027
Median Income 49,104
Households 2,537
Violent Crime 1.99
Violent Crime NAN
Property Crimes 19.41
Property Crime NAN

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28
Spencer, Iowa
Spencer
Safety Score: 76.85

Spencer, IA

Population 11,125
Median Income 45,719
Households 4,928
Violent Crime 1.35
Violent Crime +0.55
Property Crimes 20.67
Property Crime 0.15

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29
Cedar Falls, Iowa
Cedar Falls
Safety Score: 76.72

Cedar Falls, IA

Population 41,744
Median Income 58,855
Households 14,948
Violent Crime 2.06
Violent Crime +0.48
Property Crimes 19.69
Property Crime 2.69

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30
Ames, Iowa
Ames
Safety Score: 76.19

Ames, IA

Population 67,461
Median Income 42,755
Households 25,123
Violent Crime 1.84
Violent Crime +0.23
Property Crimes 20.63
Property Crime 4.39

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31
Creston, Iowa
Creston
Safety Score: 76.01

Creston, IA

Population 7,829
Median Income 42,198
Households 3,361
Violent Crime 1.66
Violent Crime -1.65
Property Crimes 21.08
Property Crime 0.72

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32
Charles City, Iowa
Charles Cit.
Safety Score: 75.84

Charles City, IA

Population 7,425
Median Income 40,610
Households 3,414
Violent Crime 1.89
Violent Crime -0.94
Property Crimes 21.41
Property Crime 2.13

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33
Atlantic, Iowa
Atlantic
Safety Score: 75.57

Atlantic, IA

Population 6,588
Median Income 39,702
Households 3,283
Violent Crime 3.49
Violent Crime NAN
Property Crimes 19.88
Property Crime NAN

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34
Clear Lake, Iowa
Clear Lake
Safety Score: 75.56

Clear Lake, IA

Population 7,559
Median Income 54,123
Households 3,352
Violent Crime 3.7
Violent Crime +0.26
Property Crimes 19.98
Property Crime -5.04

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35
Glenwood, Iowa
Glenwood
Safety Score: 75.01

Glenwood, IA

Population 5,315
Median Income 59,805
Households 1,813
Violent Crime 3.2
Violent Crime -2.32
Property Crimes 20.88
Property Crime 5.26

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36
Spirit Lake, Iowa
Spirit Lake
Safety Score: 74.91

Spirit Lake, IA

Population 5,124
Median Income 51,758
Households 2,530
Violent Crime 3.9
Violent Crime +0.14
Property Crimes 20.49
Property Crime -9.61

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37
Oelwein, Iowa
Oelwein
Safety Score: 74.46

Oelwein, IA

Population 5,999
Median Income 42,074
Households 2,624
Violent Crime 3.17
Violent Crime -0.43
Property Crimes 21.5
Property Crime 6.1

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38
Iowa City, Iowa
Iowa City
Safety Score: 74.1

Iowa City, IA

Population 75,519
Median Income 45,991
Households 29,697
Violent Crime 2.07
Violent Crime -0.54
Property Crimes 23.4
Property Crime 2.86

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39
Oskaloosa, Iowa
Oskaloosa
Safety Score: 74.09

Oskaloosa, IA

Population 11,525
Median Income 41,392
Households 4,878
Violent Crime 3.99
Violent Crime -0.22
Property Crimes 21
Property Crime -4.98

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40
Manchester, Iowa
Manchester
Safety Score: 73.6

Manchester, IA

Population 5,032
Median Income 52,089
Households 2,131
Violent Crime 3.97
Violent Crime +2.98
Property Crimes 21.86
Property Crime -0.91

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41
Mount Pleasant, Iowa
Mount Pleas.
Safety Score: 73.32

Mount Pleasant, IA

Population 8,349
Median Income 47,060
Households 3,194
Violent Crime 1.56
Violent Crime +0.13
Property Crimes 25.27
Property Crime 25.27

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42
Washington, Iowa
Washington
Safety Score: 73.23

Washington, IA

Population 7,451
Median Income 45,509
Households 3,132
Violent Crime 8.32
Violent Crime +2.54
Property Crimes 17.18
Property Crime 5.35

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43
Indianola, Iowa
Indianola
Safety Score: 71.59

Indianola, IA

Population 15,953
Median Income 55,634
Households 6,048
Violent Crime 5.64
Violent Crime -0.32
Property Crimes 22.5
Property Crime 0.07

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44
Muscatine, Iowa
Muscatine
Safety Score: 71.13

Muscatine, IA

Population 23,940
Median Income 50,849
Households 9,346
Violent Crime 8.1
Violent Crime +1.52
Property Crimes 20.01
Property Crime -2.11

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45
Altoona, Iowa
Altoona
Safety Score: 70.8

Altoona, IA

Population 18,556
Median Income 77,801
Households 6,242
Violent Crime 1.29
Violent Crime -0.48
Property Crimes 29.37
Property Crime -0.51

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46
Dubuque, Iowa
Dubuque
Safety Score: 70.76

Dubuque, IA

Population 58,674
Median Income 50,171
Households 23,974
Violent Crime 2.83
Violent Crime -0.73
Property Crimes 27.37
Property Crime -3.67

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47
Mason City, Iowa
Mason City
Safety Score: 69.62

Mason City, IA

Population 27,327
Median Income 47,273
Households 12,426
Violent Crime 1.57
Violent Crime +0.21
Property Crimes 30.52
Property Crime -10.68

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48
Maquoketa, Iowa
Maquoketa
Safety Score: 69.41

Maquoketa, IA

Population 5,954
Median Income 46,173
Households 2,643
Violent Crime 2.52
Violent Crime -0.5
Property Crimes 29.56
Property Crime 2.22

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49
Clarinda, Iowa
Clarinda
Safety Score: 69.19

Clarinda, IA

Population 5,353
Median Income 41,566
Households 2,099
Violent Crime 3.18
Violent Crime -2.02
Property Crimes 29.33
Property Crime -4.65

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50
Storm Lake, Iowa
Storm Lake
Safety Score: 68.3

Storm Lake, IA

Population 10,790
Median Income 48,382
Households 3,550
Violent Crime 6.58
Violent Crime +1.29
Property Crimes 26.14
Property Crime -3.06

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Didn’t Find Your City in the Top 50?

No big deal! We ranked all of the cities in your state for safety, so scroll down to see where your city landed. And remember— there’s always next year!

Safety RankCityPopulationMedian IncomeViolent CrimeProperty CrimeLaw OfficerSafety Score
51Perry, IA7,82442,4422.04 31.57 1.5368.19
52Waterloo, IA67,85544,4295.03 28.4 1.868.05
53Fairfield, IA10,33736,7811.55 32.7 1.3567.86
54Grinnell, IA9,14144,5258.2 25.05 1.5367.48
55Pleasant Hill, IA9,91074,3562.42 34.21 1.7266.58
56Coralville, IA20,65257,9902.28 36.46 1.6564.95
57Newton, IA14,99948,8474.73 33.27 1.5364.88
58Cedar Rapids, IA131,87856,8282.81 37.55 1.5863.71
59Red Oak, IA5,43734,9667.36 34.95 1.6661.06
60Windsor Heights, IA5,00159,1482.8 43.39 2.259.46
61Sioux City, IA82,87948,5594.34 42.97 1.5258.55
62Burlington, IA25,22742,9079.28 39.05 1.7856.6
63Fort Dodge, IA24,33138,3866.21 44.18 1.655.76
64Des Moines, IA217,27749,9996.7 44.13 1.6155.69
65Davenport, IA103,06349,3357.28 50.93 1.5550.36
66Centerville, IA5,31630,9933.57 54.36 2.0750.13
67Ottumwa, IA24,39739,1935.86 53.04 1.3949.44
68Council Bluffs, IA62,54949,7502.4 59.43 1.8449.09
69Clinton, IA25,53242,70211.55 49.15 1.6447.67
70Keokuk, IA10,37638,7508.67 63.22 2.3140.52

How Did We Determine the Safest Cities?

Of course, this isn’t just the safest cities according to personal opinion. Rather, we used the FBI’s 2017 and 2016 Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) data to choose our top picks, based on factors like:

  • Murder rate
  • Rape rate
  • Robbery Rate
  • Assault rate
  • Burglary rate
  • Theft rate
  • Vehicle theft rate
  • Arson rates
  • Median Income

For each city, we’ll provide the most important information that you need to know, such as the city’s population, violent and property crime rates and trends, median income, average household income, and an overall safety score and ranking. Plus, we’ll show you all the specific numbers for the above rates, in addition to larceny theft rates and the total number of civilians working in law offices.

Find the Safest Cities in the following States