(Editor’s Note: The following information was gleaned from SafeWise’s website which can be found at www.safewise.com )
Both Becker and Big Lake made the top 20 list of safest cities in the State of Minnesota for 2022 according to SafeWise, a company that conducts research as well as contextualizing national crime and safety trends to show how they affect one’s neighborhood.
In SafeWise’s 2022 State of Safety survey, residents of Minnesota (33%) were far less likely to worry about their safety on a daily basis than most Americans (47%). This makes sense since Minnesota’s violent crime rate falls far below the national rate, and its property crime rate isn’t too high above the national average.
The top 10 safest cities were: Corcoran, Elko New Market, West Hennepin, Cold Spring/Richmond, Rosemount, Minnetrista, Montevideo, St. Joseph, Dayton and South Lake Minnetonka.
Big Lake dropped to #13 (was #6 last year) while Becker rose to #18 (up from #38 last year).
All of Minnesota’s 20 safest cities reported violent crime and property crime rates well below the state average.
2022 Minnesota Crime Rates
Minnesota’s crime rates increased. The violent crime rate rose from 2.4 per 1,000 people to 2.8, while property crime increased from 20.9 per 1,000 to 21.2.
Even with the increases in Minnesota’s crime rates this year, the state remained below the national average for violent crimes. It rose slightly above the national average for property crime.
Concern and Experience with Crime in Minnesota
In SafeWise’s latest State of Safety survey, they found that 33% of Minnesota residents are highly concerned about safety every day (US 47%), and 48% feel safe in this state (US 55%).
Minnesotan survey participants tended to worry a lot less about their personal safety on a daily basis than last year. This is surprising since Minnesota is one of just nine states that increased in both property and violent crime this year.
SafeWise found that the majority of Minnesota residents (45%) were worried about package theft—more than violent crime, gun violence, and general property crime. This worry may be warranted since 29% experienced package theft in the past 12 months, which is one of the highest package theft rates in the country.
Violent Crime in Minnesota: Fear vs. Reality
A slight rise in Minnesota’s violent crime rate this year reflects that nearly half of survey respondents don’t feel safe in the state. This growing unease also aligns with an increase in personal experiences with violent crime and gun violence compared to the last reporting year.
Forty-eight percent of Minnesota residents report feeling safe in their state compared to 55% of Americans.
Thirteen percent of survey participants reported having a personal experience with violent crime in the last 12 months prior to SafeWise’s survey—four percentage points higher than the previous year.
There were almost 16,000 violent crimes in the North Star State. That’s up 17% from last year’s results.
Although this is the second consecutive year the violent crime rate has risen, Minnesota still has the lowest violent crime rate in the West North Central region and is well below the national violent crime rate.
Twenty-five percent of respondents use some form of personal protection—much lower than the national average of 34%.
Forty-five percent of Minnesotans say their personal safety has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic compared to 44% of Americans.
Attitudes About Gun Violence in Minnesota
Overall, gun safety is a big concern for the Great Lakes State. This may be due to the increase in mass shootings from the year before.
Fifty-two percent of Minnesotans named gun violence as a top safety concern—slightly lower than the U.S. average of 53%.
Thirty-eight percent of those surveyed are most worried about a gun violence incident happening to them (U.S. 38%).
Eleven percent of those surveyed reported an experience with gun violence in the past 12 months prior to the survey, four percentage points higher than last year (US 8%).
Property Crime in Minnesota: Fear vs. Reality
In terms of property crime, this is the second consecutive year where property crime has risen statewide—bucking the nationwide downward trend. It’s also one of just 11 states to see a rise in its property crime rate.
Minnesotans reported fewer personal experiences with property crime this year (18%)—12 percentage points lower than last year.
Minnesota is one of only nine states to see an increase in both violent crimes and property crime rates across the board.
Property crime increased by 1.9% in the North Star State year over year.
Twenty-nine percent of survey respondents reported experiencing package theft in the 12 months prior to the survey (U.S. 20%).
Fifty-four percent of Minnesotans surveyed use some form of property protection (U.S. 60%).
The top form of property protection in Minnesota this year is security cameras with 25% using them compared to 28% of Americans.
Thirty-two percent of Minnesota residents say the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the security of their property, compared to 29% nationally.
Safest Cities in Minnesota; A Closer Look
(For the purposes of this report, the terms “dangerous” and “safest” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.)
Thirteen (65%) of the safest cities reported fewer than 100 total property crimes.
Minnesota reported zero murders among the safest cities.
No city reported more than 1.2 violent crimes per 1,000 residents.
Corcoran moved up one to be the new top city in Minnesota—one of three cities (the top three, in fact) to report zero violent crime incidents.
Montevideo made the most dramatic improvement, rising 28 spots to number seven this year.
No cities are brand new to the list this year.