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10 Safest Cities in Minnesota (2022 Update)

Minnesota

Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.

We sometimes take feeling safe in our homes for granted. Yet, it’s something everyone deserves to know. After all, its absence has far-reaching implications that can impact us physically, mentally, and spiritually. Minnesota is the 12th largest state in the total area. An estimated 5,707,390 residents are living in 2,243,573 households.

These figures represent only 1.71% of the total United States population. Another figure to consider regarding crime is population density: 72 residents per square mile. It’s also worth noting that only 20 cities of Minnesota’s 853 municipalities have over 50,000 people. That can also play a role in the low crime rate of these towns.

(MN State Demographic Center, United States Census Bureau)

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The 10 Safest Cities in Minnesota: A Quick Look

There are many ways to define safe. This article uses the FBI’s definition of violent and non-violent crimes to remove any bias for our purposes. However, these statistics only scratch the surface for determining the safety of a locale. Each city, like its residents, is unique. We also only considered towns with populations over 5,000 to be statistically meaningful.

(FBI)


1. Orono, MN

Lakeview Neighborhood Walking Path, Orono - Mound, Minnesota (42686509024)
Lakeview Neighborhood Walking Path, Orono – Mound, Minnesota (42686509024) (Image Credit: Tony Webster, Wikimedia Commons CC 2.0 Generic)
Population: 8,284
Murder rate: 1
Median Household Income: $167,577
Poverty rate: 4.9%
Violent crimes in 2019: 14

Orono is located on Lake Minnetonka’s north shore, the ninth largest in the state. The town also goes by Navarre, referencing a now-defunct streetcar stop. While Orono is mostly rural, it still hosts many spectacular homes, especially on the lakeshore. This area commands some of the highest property values in the state.

The overall crime rate is extremely low in Orono, with rates decreasing over the past 10 years for both violent and non-violent crime. Theft is the primary type at 93 per 100,000. It is a white-collar community, with technical services and healthcare its main industries. The city’s higher education rate and household income are well over Minnesota’s average figures.

(MN State Demographic Center, FBI, United States Census Bureau)


2. Big Lake, MN

Big Lake High School
Big Lake High School (Image Credit: KAM32296, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported)
Population: 11,551
Murder rate: 0
Median Household Income: $87,197
Poverty rate: 7.6%
Violent crimes in 2019: 5

The appropriately named Big Lake is one of the safest places to live in Minnesota. It’s a small town located about 42 miles west of the Twin Cities. Despite the distance, Big Lake still qualifies as an exurb because of the high number of commuters. Its quiet atmosphere makes it an excellent place to enjoy country living.

Big Lake stands out for its low rates of both violent and non-violent crime, with only 5 and 55 known offenses, respectively. Thefts and larceny were the main types crime. Interestingly, there hasn’t been a homicide in the town for over 15 years. That fact alone is enough to warrant its high ranking on our list.

(MN State Demographic Center, FBI, United States Census Bureau)


3. South Lake Minnetonka, MN

Population: 12,762
Murder rate: 0
Median Household Income: $73,763
Poverty rate: 7.1%
Violent crimes in 2019: 12

The South Lake Minnetonka area includes the cities of Excelsior, Shorewood, Tonka Bay, and Greenwood, about 15 miles southwest of the Twin Cities. All have significant amounts of shoreline along the lake. They are all rural communities and decidedly lake-focused in the business and recreational opportunities available. A distinct small-town feel permeates this area, which adds to the safety factor.

The South Lake Minnetonka area has a rich history of tourism going back to the mid-1800s in the era of the grand hotels. While this industry has dwindled, it’s a significant driver in the local economy. It’s worth noting that the area’s high school was ranked the top public educational facility in the state by Niche. Like our previous entry, property crime is the primary concern, albeit well below the national average.

(MN State Demographic Center, FBI, United States Census Bureau)


4. Minnetrista, MN

Population: 8,108
Murder rate: 0
Median Household Income: $181,021
Poverty rate: 2.2%
Violent crimes in 2019: 3

Minnetrista is a sprawling town that includes annexed portions of land and water in the Southwest Lake Minnetonka area. The latter plays a significant role in the economy, with several bays located within the city limits. There are also several smaller lakes and county and city parks in the area. Much of the community is rural, where agriculture also shapes the communities.

Violent crime is virtually non-existent in Minnetrista. The same applies to property crime, with only 76 offenses known to law enforcement in 2019. All types are well below the national average. The rates have also decreased in recent years, following a similar trend in the country. The city is located about 21 miles west of Minneapolis.

(MN State Demographic Center, FBI, United States Census Bureau)


5. Stillwater, MN

Stillwater, Minnesota - 15646290018
Stillwater, Minnesota – 15646290018 (Image Credit: Dougtone, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 2.0 Generic)
Population: 19,767
Murder rate: 0
Median Household Income: $95,059
Poverty rate: 4.9%
Violent crimes in 2019: 18

Stillwater is a bit of an anomaly. Its downtown area retains its historic character, with some buildings dating back to the city’s founding. It is also a tourist mecca, with its streets lined with specialty shops and restaurants. It’s a local destination for day trips and perhaps a cruise down the St. Croix River. The landscape with its deeply carved bluffs is stunning. The other side features big-box retail and fast food.

Violent crime isn’t a significant issue in this river town. However, property crime increased in recent years before dropping to low levels after 2018. Nevertheless, the average rates for all types are much lower than the national average, making it one of the safer places in Minnesota. The city is located about 27 miles northeast of the Twin Cities.

(MN State Demographic Center, FBI, United States Census Bureau)


6. Rosemont, MN

Rosemount, MN - Anytime Fitness gym exterior (43460728481)
Rosemount, MN – Anytime Fitness gym exterior (43460728481) (Image Credit: Rand Tracy, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 2.0 Generic)
Population: 25,207
Murder rate: 0
Median Household Income: $108,186
Poverty rate: 3.7%
Violent crimes in 2019: 21

Rosemont holds steadfastly onto its Irish roots in its name and annual Leprechaun Days festival. Even its city flag is green. It’s a small town located about 20 miles southeast of the Twin Cities in Dakota County. The area is fascinating from a geological perspective, with its smattering of pothole lakes that provide excellent habitat for wildlife.

Like many Minnesota cities, Rosemont boasts a crime rate that is well below the national average. Things have settled down in this suburban town since 2002. Thefts and larceny have the highest number of known offenses for non-violent crime. Rape tops the list of violent crimes, with 8 per 100,000 residents. Unfortunately, violent crime saw a slight uptick in 2019.

(MN State Demographic Center, FBI, United States Census Bureau)


7. Farmington, MN

Farmington High School (MN)
Farmington High School (MN) (Image Credit: Darb02, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International)
Population: 23,123
Murder rate: 0
Median Household Income: $98,465
Poverty rate: 2.2%
Violent crimes in 2019: 12

Even though Farmington is located 33 miles south of the Twin Cities, it’s still considered a suburb. It’s also the site of the Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZMP). It’s also near one of the other safe cities on our list, Lakeville. While the town has seen a lot of recent development, Farmington still holds onto its small-town character. That’s evident in its low crime rates.

While violent crime isn’t a significant issue, property crime remains a scourge. However, it has seen precipitous drops in recent years. It is worth noting that auto thefts have also risen, with 15 reported in 2019. However, overall crime is a fraction of the national average, making it a safe place to consider living that’s quiet, yet near enough to the Twin Cities.

(MN State Demographic Center, FBI, United States Census Bureau)


8. Lino Lakes, MN

Dam - Lino Lakes, MN - panoramio
Dam – Lino Lakes, MN – panoramio (Image Credit: Gabriel Vanslette, Wikimedia Commons CC 3.0 Unported)
Population: 21,925
Murder rate: 0
Median Household Income: $117,022
Poverty rate: 2.0%
Violent crimes in 2019: 19

The name Lino Lakes describes several water bodies in the city limits and surrounding area. The Rice River is also a part of the landscape. The town is located about 25 miles northeast of the Twin Cities. It has a rich history of First-Nation, Swedish, French, and German settlements. There are plenty of recreational opportunities here, with the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Regional Park Reserve just one option.

Lino Lakes hasn’t had a homicide for over 15 years, although there is a small amount of other violent crime. Burglaries and theft are the main sources of property crime. Both have seen modest drops in recent years. Overall, it’s a safe place to live, again, with crime rates below the national average.

(MN State Demographic Center, FBI, United States Census Bureau)


9. Chaska, MN

Chaska, Minnesota 5
Chaska, Minnesota 5 (Image Credit: Jon Platek, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported)
Population: 27,692
Murder rate: 0
Median Household Income: $85,091
Poverty rate: 5.7%
Violent crimes in 2019: 16

The First-Nation heritage of Chaska is evident even from its name, which comes from the Dakota word for the first-born male child. It’s also apparent with the mounds dotted here and all around the state. The town is a welcome mix of the new and old. Its recent claim to fame was hosting the hosted the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Course in 2016.

Violent crime is relatively low in this Twin Cities suburb, located about 28 miles southwest of the state capitol. Burglaries and theft are a bit higher in this town, yet still below the national average. Most violent and property crime has declined in recent years on a national level. Sadly, the figures may tell a different story when everything is tallied for 2020.

(MN State Demographic Center, FBI, United States Census Bureau, City of Chaska)


10. Lakeville, MN

Lakevillestores
Lakevillestores (Image Credit: William Wesen, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported)
Population: 65,831
Murder rate: 0
Median Household Income: $117,083
Poverty rate: 7.0%
Violent crimes in 2019: 45

Despite its larger size, Lakeville is a safe town and well below the national average for many crime variables. Both violent and non-violent crime have decreased in recent years. The last homicide was in 2008. Unfortunately, rape has increased in the last few years. However, the rate is relatively low at 13 per 100,000 residents. It is Minnesota’s 11th largest city.

Lakeville is located about 20 miles south of Minneapolis-St. Paul. Agriculture is the main economic force in this community. This outer-ring suburb of the Twin Cities has still retained this rural character. The Scandinavian influence is also quite evident. The town has an active park and rec program, with 10 skating rinks and many parks and trails scattered throughout the city limits.

(MN State Demographic Center, FBI, United States Census Bureau)

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How to Stay Safe in Minnesota

Staying safe in Minnesota is no different from anyplace else. Stay aware of your surroundings and use common sense. Don’t set yourself up to be a victim and take the necessary precautions. While crime is still declining, the pandemic and current events have thrown the proverbial wrench in the stats. It remains to be seen whether any upticks are an outlier or a changing trend.

Property crime is on the radar. Surprisingly, people have experienced more package theft than in recent years. That’s not unexpected, given the rise in delivery. Our advice is to report it. Tell the police and contact the carrier. If feasible, install a camera to catch the porch pirates red-handed. Regrettably, Minneapolis and St. Paul have seen skyrocketing violent crime rates. It must stop.

(Axios)

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Conclusion

There are many places where you can find peace of mind in Minnesota. The best thing is that our list is only a small sampling of cities in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Whether you want a suburban or rural environment, you’ll find it in Minnesota.


Featured Image Credit: 12019, Pixabay

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