Bethesda, Md., Ranked as Most Secure Metro Area in Farmers Insurance Study

The Bethesda–Gaithersburg–Frederick region in Maryland was ranked as the most secure large U.S. metro area in the latest study published by Farmers Insurance Group of Companies.

This annual study defines large metropolitan areas as regions with population of 500,000 or greater. The study of large metropolitan areas in the United States, compiled by researchers at Sperling’s BestPlaces, considered a number of criteria. They include economic stability, crime statistics, extreme weather, risk of natural disasters, housing depreciation, foreclosures, air quality, environmental hazards, life expectancy, motor vehicle fatalities, and employment numbers.

Farmers Insurance said this is the seventh consecutive year that the Bethesda area has earned the top 20 rating among large metro areas in the annual study, and it has been among the top 10 each year since 2007. The company said some of the key factors that helped the historical Maryland area earn its top spot in the latest study included its low unemployment and low personal crime rates, while its long life expectancy rate contributed to its top rating.

Several other Northeastern metropolitan regions also fared well in the study. Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania was ranked the third-most secure large metro area in the country. The Cambridge–Newton–Framingham metro region in Massachusetts came in fifth. The Portland–South Portland–Biddeford region in Maine was ranked as the fifteenth-most secure metro region in the country, while the Essex County in Massachusetts came in at sixteenth.

“Our most secure large metropolitan areas are islands of security in our challenging times,” said Bert Sperling, president of Sperling’s BestPlaces, the firm that compiled data for the study.

“Some have a stable economy due to their local colleges and seats of government, and some may be fortunate that their locale is not prone to hurricanes, tornadoes or earthquakes. Although each metropolitan area is different, they all possess a desirable combination of factors (jobs, low crime rates, housing, climate, health, reduced levels of natural disasters) that make these some of the best places to live in the United States.”

Here are the top 20 most secure large metropolitan areas, according to the latest Farmers Insurance study:

1. Bethesda–Gaithersburg–Frederick, Md.

2. Grand Rapids–Wyoming, Mich.

3. Pittsburgh, Penn.

4. Austin–Round Rock, Texas

5. Cambridge–Newton–Framingham, Mass.

6. Omaha, Neb.–Council Bluffs, Iowa

7. San Jose–Sunnyvale–Santa Clara, Calif.

8. San Francisco–San Mateo–Redwood City, Calif.

9. Portland–Beaverton, Ore.–Vancouver, Wash.

10. Dallas–Plano–Irving, Texas

11. Boise City–Nampa, Idaho

12. Madison, Wis.

13. Minneapolis–St. Paul–Bloomington, Minn.

14. Raleigh–Cary, N.C.

15. Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine

16. Essex County, Mass.

17. El Paso, Texas

18. Honolulu, Hawaii

19. Santa Ana–Anaheim–Irvine, Calif.

20. Des Moines–West Des Moines, Iowa