Here Are 2020’s Safest and Least Safe U.S. Cities

WalletHub’s 2020 ‘Safest Cities in America’ report compared more than 180 major U.S. cities across 42 key safety indicators to determine which ones are the safest… and which ones are the most dangerous.

Here Are 2020’s Safest and Least Safe U.S. Cities

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. was named the least safe city this year by WalletHub.

Personal-finance website WalletHub has released this year’s edition of its annual “Safest Cities in America” report.


In order to determine its rankings, WalletHub compared more than 180 U.S. cities across 42 key metrics and three key dimensions: home and community safety, natural-disaster risk, and financial safety. The methodology also includes COVID-19 cases in the past seven days per 100,000 residents.

Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the highest level of safety. You can view the full details of the report and its methodology here.

The Safest Cities in America

For the third year in a row, Columbia, Md. has been named the safest city in America. South Burlington moves up from five to second place this year while Gilbert, Ariz. drops from fourth to tenth. Lewiston, Salem and Raleigh are all new to this year’s top 10 safest cities.

  1. Columbia, Md.
  2. South Burlington, Vt.
  3. Plano, Texas
  4. Nashua, N.H.
  5. Lewiston, Maine
  6. Burlington, Vt.
  7. Salem, Ore.
  8. Virginia Beach, Va.
  9. Raleigh, N.C.
  10. Gilbert, Ariz.

The Least Safe Cities in America

In general, the country’s least safe cities are in the South and Midwest. Fort Lauderdale overtook St. Louis for the title of least safe city in America. New to the bottom 10 this year is Chattanooga.

  1. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  2. St. Louis, Mo.
  3. San Bernardino, Calif.
  4. Birmingham, Ala.
  5. Detroit, Mich.
  6. Jackson, Miss.
  7. Baton Rouge, La.
  8. Memphis, Tenn.
  9. Oklahoma City, Okla.
  10. Chattanooga, Tenn.

Here are some key statistics comparing the safest cities versus the least safe:

  • Irvine, California, has the fewest aggravated assault incidents (per 100,000 residents), 23.58, which is 60.5 times fewer than in Detroit, the city with the most at 1,426.82.
  • Port St. Lucie, Florida, has the fewest thefts (per 1,000 residents), 8.74, which is 9.1 times fewer than in Springfield, Missouri, the city with the most at 79.81.
  • Washington has the most law-enforcement employees (per 100,000 residents), 641, which is 5.8 times more than in Irvine, California, the city with the fewest at 111.
  • St. Paul, Minnesota, has among the fewest pedestrian fatalities (per 100,000 residents), 0.32, which is 24 times fewer than in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the city with the most at 7.67.

Click here for a slideshow comparing statistics such as assaults per capita and law enforcement numbers between the safest and least safe cities.

This article originally appeared in CS sister publication, Security Sales & Integration. Steve Karantzoulidis is SSI’s web/senior editor.

If you appreciated this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!

Leading in Turbulent Times: Effective Campus Public Safety Leadership for the 21st Century

This new webcast will discuss how campus public safety leaders can effectively incorporate Clery Act, Title IX, customer service, “helicopter” parents, emergency notification, town-gown relationships, brand management, Greek Life, student recruitment, faculty, and more into their roles and develop the necessary skills to successfully lead their departments. Register today to attend this free webcast!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Our Newsletters
Campus Safety Conference promo