St. George, Utah, tanked most secure place to live

December 10, 2006

St. George, Utah, is the most secure place in the nation to live, according to the third annual “Most Secure U.S. Places to Live” rankings from Los Angeles-based Farmers Insurance Group of Companies.

The rankings, compiled by www.bestplaces.net, evaluated communities in three groups — large metropolitan areas, mid-size cities and small towns — when looking at crime statistics, extreme weather, risk of natural disasters, environmental hazards, terrorism threats and job loss numbers.

Top-ranked St. George, whose population of 110,515 places it among the small towns, features mild winters, low annual precipitation and clean air. St. George had the lowest crime rate of all 379 communities in the Farmers study and the lowest unemployment rate among the 138 small towns. It was not unusual for a city in the West to receive the No. 1 ranking. In 2005, the Richland-Kennewick-Pasco area in southeast Washington received top billing, while the Provo-Orem, Utah, area was ranked first in the 2004 Farmers Insurance study.

In evaluating large metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or greater, Boise City-Nampa, Idaho, ranked most secure. Nestled against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the area is shielded from severe weather and has one of the lowest unemployment rates, the study indicated.

The most secure mid-size city with a population between 150,000 and 500,000 is Las Cruces, N.M., which scored well in the evaluation of extreme weather and unemployment.

Most Secure Places to Live

Large Metro Areas (500,000 or more residents)

1. Boise City-Nampa, Idaho

2. Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, Maine

3. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev.

4. Honolulu, Hawaii

5. Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, Calif.

Most Secure Places to Live

Mid-Size Cities (150,000 – 500,000 residents)

1. Las Cruces, N.M.

2. Rockingham County-Strafford County, N.H.

3. Huntington, W.Va.-Ashland, Ky.

4. Bellingham, Wash.

5. Burlington-South Burlington, Vt.

Most Secure Places to Live

Small Towns (Fewer than 150,000 residents)

1. St. George, Utah

2. Bend, Ore.

3. Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, Va.

4. Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

5. Ithaca, N.Y.

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