Blanketed by security

This DFW suburb ranks as the safest big city in the U.S.

This DFW suburb ranks as the safest big city in the U.S.

Police line do not cross police tape
Plano's murder rate is more than 10 times lower than the national average.

No wonder Plano is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country: Among other positive traits, it’s the safest large city in the U.S.

A new ranking from RewardExpert, a free service that helps users take advantage of credit card and travel rewards, shows Plano is the safest city with at least 250,000 residents. RewardExpert based its ranking on 32 safety indicators in eight categories: crime, mortality rates, firearms, motor vehicle crash risks, health risks and health care, economic and financial risks, manmade environmental hazards, and natural disasters.

“Plano scored highly in all measures of safety we considered. Violent crime is very rare for a city of its size, and the murder rate is more than 10 times lower than the national average,” Roman Shteyn, co-founder and CEO of RewardExpert, tells CultureMap. “The wealth of local employers leads to a short drive time to jobs in the region, resulting in low rates of traffic fatalities. And the local environment is relatively uncontaminated due to the city’s recent development.”

In the RewardExpert ranking, Fort Worth ranks 22nd among large cities. Relatively low scores in the firearms and disaster categories weighed down Fort Worth’s overall ranking. The firearms category refers to the number of gun-related deaths and the number of licensed gun dealers.

Dallas ranks 31st among large cities. Low scores in the financial, firearms, and vehicular death categories led to Dallas’ less-than-impressive showing.

Arlington ranks 64th among large cities. It has the worst score in the disaster category and a pretty low score in the firearms category.

Elsewhere in Texas:

  • Austin appears at No. 6 in cities of at least 250,000 residents, benefiting from strong showings in the mortality, disaster, and financial categories. RewardExpert emphasizes Austin’s “extraordinarily low levels” of unemployment and income inequality.
  • San Antonio ranks 52nd among large cities. Poor scores in the firearms, mortality, and vehicular death categories dragged down San Antonio’s overall ranking.
  • Houston ranks 58th among large cities. Dismal scores in the disaster, environment, and crime categories tanked Houston’s total ranking.

In explaining the study’s methodology, Shteyn says, “Threats to our safety come in many shapes and forms. Violent crime statistics are only one factor that determine how safe a city is for its residents and visitors.”

“After all,” he adds, “an American citizen is more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle accident than to be a victim of homicide. Likewise, natural disasters and health hazards are greater safety risks than theft and assault. This ranking is founded on a more robust definition of safety than what crime statistics alone can tell us.”