8 Safest Cities in Utah (2023 Update)
Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.
Utah is just about what you’d expect from this western state regarding crime. Violent crime isn’t a significant issue compared to the rest of the country, but this sparsely populated state is on a par with the rest of the United States regarding property crime. However, violent offenses are below national figures, undoubtedly due to the influence of the Church of Latter-day Saints and low population density.
Overall, Utah ranks 20th among the safest states in the Union. It only has 5.19 million residents and is among the least populated of all the states. But that is the proverbial double-edged sword. It reduces the possibility of tension but also makes it easier to get away with crime with fewer people to witness it. Going in its favor is the fact that 44.4% of the population is college-educated.
Top 8 Safest Cities in Utah: A Quick Look
Salt Lake City is Utah’s most populated state, with a population of 199,723. That figure is low when you compare it to the large cities of many states. However, it’s essential to take the statistics into context. It’s also vital to consider these numbers in relation to the amount and types of crime. The FBI cautions us that it’s imperative to consider other factors that can influence the number of offenses.
The other thing to remember is that many cities have several neighborhoods with varying degrees of safety. That means you shouldn’t use a broad brush to categorize any town. Seemingly unimportant factors, such as climate and tourism, can affect crime. There are also seasonal shifts in the population with vacation travelers.
|Average Household income||$120,098|
|Violent crimes in 2019||2|
Mapleton is in the center of the state, about 54 miles southeast of Salt Lake City. The Spanish Fork Peak is the primary geographical feature of the area. While it’s a sleepy town with few businesses, it has seen rapid growth since the 2000 census. It has shifted from the rural village that it was to a developed area with plenty of recreational opportunities, including several trails.
Overall crime is low in Mapleton and well below the national average. It has shown a cyclical pattern in the last several years, with spikes in reported offenses in 2014, 2017, and 2020. Thefts are the only type with double-digit figures. It’s worth noting that the cost of living is less than the national average and that the poverty rate is less than one-quarter of the state average.
|Average Household income||$76,888|
|Violent crimes in 2019||8|
Santaquin lies in the south-central portion of the state, about 65 miles due south of Salt Lake City. It’s a scenic area with the nearby Mount Timpanogos and Utah Lake north of the town. Mormon pioneers got along peacefully with the American Indian population. It gets its name from that of the son of a local leader. There are several parks and tourist attractions located here, including the Nebo Scenic Byway.
Violent crime is low in Santaquin. The town has a high rate of cleared crimes, which undoubtedly is an effective deterrent. Property crime isn’t high, either, with most offenses related to vandalism or drugs. Like violent crime, most are solved by law enforcement. The poverty rate is well below the state average.
|Average Household income||$79,001|
|Violent crimes in 2019||11|
Heber is located about 40 miles southeast of Salt Lake City. The Timpanogos Utes originally settled in the area before English immigrants who called the site London. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints renamed it after their mission leader. Ranching and dairy farms have been the primary economic drivers. Several events of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games were held in the area.
Thefts and burglaries are the main known offenses in Heber, and even these figures have been declining in recent years. Almost all violent crime is eventually cleared, helping to keep the numbers in check. The poverty rate is lower than the state average, while the average household income is higher. There hasn’t been a homicide in this town for over 14 years.
4. Bountiful, UT
|Average Household income||$81,669|
|Violent crimes in 2019||36|
The pleasantly named Bountiful is Utah’s second settlement after Salt Lake City in 1847. It is now a suburb. The town is appropriately named with its collection of parks, trails, and six boweries for rent. The city takes pride in its Mormon history and the beauty of its community. The Wasatch Range provides a gorgeous backdrop to the area.
Burglaries and theft are the primary crime concerns. Vandalism and theft from vehicles are also problems. However, known offenses have dropped in recent years, while the percentage of cleared crimes has risen. It’s worth noting that strangers commit most property offenses. This town also has a lower number of officers per 1,000 residents at 0.82.
5. Pleasant View
|Average Household income||$106,053|
|Violent crimes in 2019||4|
Pleasant View is located 46 miles north of Salt Lake City, although it shares more in common with nearby Ogden. Its claim to fame is its natural hot springs and once-thriving resort, which was a popular tourist attraction during the late 1880s. The town’s name is a fitting one, given its beautiful neighborhoods and low population density. Education and public administration are the primary employers.
Pleasant View scores high marks for its low crime rate. It’s a testament to the community rallying after a spike in 2002 that put it above the national average. Violent crime is virtually non-existent. Property offenses, including thefts and burglaries, take those top spots. Numbers for all crime types have declined in the last few years.
6. Woods Cross
|Average Household income||$81,260|
|Violent crimes in 2019||42|
Woods Cross is a suburb of nearby Salt Lake City, located just 10 miles north of Interstate 15. Wasatch Front provides stunning scenery. It’s an active community with many programs serving its citizens. It has several parks and boweries for rent. Unemployment is lower here than the state average. Construction and education are the primary employers.
Crime has remained relatively low and below the state average except for a spike in 2013 with property offenses. Assaults and auto thefts have increased. The good news is that other types have declined. The average household income for Woods Cross is slightly higher than the state average. Likewise, the poverty rate is low because of the lower cost of living compared to the national average.
7. North Ogden
|Average Household income||$87,190|
|Violent crimes in 2019||17|
North Ogden originally got its start as a cattle ranching town. The area also proved conducive to agriculture, with sugar beets an important crop. It is now primarily an urban community. Public administration, education, and transportation are the primary industries. As the name suggests, it is a suburb near Ogden, the Weber County seat.
Overall crime in North Ogden is a fraction of the national average, with only a slight uptick in 2015. Assaults, thefts, and burglaries are the primary offenses. While theft has declined in recent years, the other two have risen significantly. Nevertheless, North Ogden remains a safe community, despite its urban location.
|Average Household income||$86,221|
|Violent crimes in 2019||17|
Clinton is also a suburb of Ogden. While it stayed rural for a relatively long time, it has seen increased development and expansion. Farming and ranching gave way long ago to jobs in public administration, education, and, not surprisingly, construction. The city offers several public programs, including its Movies in the Park, giving it a small-town feel.
Theft is the primary concern in Clinton, with 266 offenses reported in 2019. Other figures have remained low or non-existent, although there was an increase in assaults this same year. The poverty rate is less than a third of the state average. The household income is also nearly 14% higher. It’s worth noting that property crimes have a low clearance rate, making safety precautions necessary.
How to Stay Safe in Utah
Tourism is a significant factor when it comes to crime in Utah. With its five national parks, it is a mecca for outdoor lovers. That means a lot of transient traffic. Visitors flock to the state year-round because of its winter sports and ski resorts. There are also several high-profile events, such as the Red Rock Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival. Many attract international traffic.
Nevertheless, crime is well below the national average on all scores. However, tourism is a significant economic driver and a source of crime. That’s especially true since it is a major transportation hub, given its location. Therefore, staying safe depends on being aware of your surroundings, especially if you attend events or visit tourist attractions. That explains the high rate of theft rampant throughout Utah.
Utah is a popular tourist destination because of its wealth of natural resources. The state is beautiful on many scores. The landscape and topography are jam-packed with scenery that many consider worthy of yearly visits. The recreational opportunities with skiing, hiking, and hunting also put it high on the list of places to see.
Crime isn’t a significant problem, but something you must consider, nevertheless. Utah shows that tourism and a low population density have a flipside that you must keep on the front burner. It applies whether you’re a resident or a visitor. Stay alert to stay safe.
Featured Image Credit: Bountiful Utah Temple (Rick Willoughby, Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0)