Picture above is from a traffic accident in Albuquerque.

With the U.S. experiencing over 500 mass shootings and over 25,000 motor vehicle deaths so far this year, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2023’s Safest Cities in America, as well as expert commentary.

YOU and I are not safe in Albuquerque! I am angry! Fly the flag upside down!

To determine where Americans can feel most protected against life’s hazards, including nonphysical forms of danger, WalletHub compared more than 180 U.S. cities across 41 key metrics. The data set ranges from traffic fatalities per capita and assaults per capita to the unemployment rate and the percentage of the population that is uninsured.

Safest Cities in America Least Safe Cities in America
1. Nashua, NH 173. Washington, DC
2. Columbia, MD 174. Los Angeles, CA
3. South Burlington, VT 175. Oklahoma City, OK
4. Gilbert, AZ 176. Memphis, TN
5. Warwick, RI 177. Oakland, CA
6. Portland, ME 178. Detroit, MI
7. Casper, WY 179. Baton Rouge, LA
8. Yonkers, NY 180. San Bernardino, CA
9. Burlington, VT 181. Fort Lauderdale, FL
10. Scottsdale, AZ 182. St. Louis, MO

Safest vs. Least Safe

  • Irvine, California, has the fewest aggravated assault incidents (per 100,000 residents), 22.22, which is 86.3 times fewer than in Memphis, Tennessee, the city with the most at 1,917.08.
  • Port St. Lucie, Florida, has the fewest thefts (per 1,000 residents), 8.26, which is 9.2 times fewer than in Salt Lake City, the city with the most at 75.93.
  • Washington has the most law-enforcement employees (per 100,000 residents), 624, which is 6.8 times more than in Chula Vista, California, the city with the fewest at 92.
  • Plano, Texas and Lincoln, Nebraska, have among the fewest pedestrian fatalities (per 100,000 residents), 0.35, which is 25.4 times fewer than in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the city with the most at 8.89.

To read the full report and your city’s rank, please visit:

More from WalletHub

Expert Commentary

What steps should local authorities take to help reduce the public costs associated with clean-ups after major natural disasters? Should flood or other types of insurance be mandatory?

“It may surprise many residents and local officials, but the best way to save money on disaster clean-up costs is to mitigate the damage upfront BEFORE it happens. This involves knowing what the threats are and taking proactive measures to limit losses. This could involve creating defensive space around structures prone to wildfires, creating berms to improve drainage and resilience to flooding, and reinforcing buildings and infrastructure to sustain earthquake shakes. Insurance policies such as flood insurance are also an important part of the preparedness recipe along with other mitigation plans. Homeowners should be aware that FEMA rarely covers the restoration costs of personal property. Most of FEMA’s funds go towards reimbursing local jurisdictions for a percentage of the costs of damage to public infrastructure. Local jurisdictions should have standby contracts in place with restoration companies to make quick repairs and for delivery of essential supplies following a disaster. After the disaster strikes, mobilizing community cleanup teams to assist with neighborhood needs (schools, roads, and community centers) will help facilitate a quicker return to normal operations.”
Laurie J. Holien – Associate Professor; Homeland Security and Emergency Management Program Director, Idaho State University

“The first step taken by local authorities to reduce the public costs of disaster is to ban development in high-risk areas within their communities. One example is banning new construction in low-lying areas that are the first to flood. A second step is to ban any changes to the surrounding landscape that make the existing community more vulnerable, such as paving over wilderness areas that absorb rainfall run-off and damaging winds during bad storms. Another step is to establish and enforce building codes and maintenance practices, so that built structures within the community can reasonably withstand disaster. Requiring metal or tile roofing in communities exposed to wildfire threat is an example of this. And finally, local authorities are responsible for building and maintaining local public infrastructure to the same level of disaster-resistance that is expected of the community, for the same reasons.”
Natalie Simpson, Ph.D. – Professor, University at Buffalo

What are some of the top public safety issues this year?

“Our country faces many threats and hazards every year. The top natural hazards are usually related to extreme weather (hurricanes, storms, high winds, tornadoes, etc.). NOAA publishes a graphic each year of Billion Dollar disasters. Other public safety threats that threaten American lives and property include targeted acts of violence, wildfires, and cyber-related crimes.”
Laurie J. Holien – Associate Professor; Homeland Security and Emergency Management Program Director, Idaho State University

“Ultimately, one of the biggest threats to public safety is our country’s ongoing mental health crisis. The well-being of the public is not only threatened by increasing mental health emergencies but also by our current inability to collectively face this threat and develop solutions.”
Natalie Simpson, Ph.D. – Professor, University at Buffalo

What can consumers do to increase their financial literacy since sound financial decisions increase a person’s financial safety?

“This is such a great question! Protecting your personal financial portfolio is an important component of managing your family’s overall risk. We advocate for individuals, families, and business owners to be resilient, and financial wellness is an important element of resiliency. There are many scams and cyber criminals out there that could wipe out an unsuspecting individual and jeopardize your finances. Limiting your exposure to fraud and hoaxes, being financially literate, having the ability to make sound investment decisions, and taking steps to protect your identity, your credit, and your assets, will ensure you can recover from the standard fluctuations in the economy.”
Laurie J. Holien – Associate Professor; Homeland Security and Emergency Management Program Director, Idaho State University

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