Safe & Secure
3 Dallas neighbors lock in rankings as safest cities in U.S., report says
Real estate may be all about location, location, location, but when movers decide where to settle down within a large metro area in 2023, safety and security are huge factors, too. No wonder so many people are moving to Frisco, then. For the second year in a row, the Dallas suburb has been named the safest city in America by SmartAsset.
Neighbors McKinney and Plano also land in top five, at No. 2 and 5, respectively, in SmartAsset's report "Safest Cities in America - 2023 Edition." McKinney repeats at No. 2 for the second year, while Plano is up from No. 9 in 2022.
To come up with its rankings, SmartAsset studied data from 200 of the country’s largest cities across five metrics: violent crime, property crime, vehicular death rate, drug-poisoning death rate, and percentage of the population engaging in excessive drinking. They also examined affordability among the 35 safest cities.
"While popular restaurants and shops can be convenient in a neighborhood, safety remains a primary concern," the authors of the study write.
The National Association of Realtors backs up that statement. The group’s annual survey of homebuyers from 2022 found that 49% of all buyer scited the quality of a neighborhood as the No. 1 factor for determining where to live, ahead of both proximity to friends and family (37%) and - surprisingly - affordability (37%).
All three of the top-ranked North Texas cities have violent crime rates lower than 90% of the cities in the study.
No. 1-ranked Frisco, SmartAsset notes, has the fourth-lowest violent crime rate (95 crimes for every 100,000 residents) and the sixth-lowest property crime rate (901 for every 100,000 residents). Frisco and the surrounding area also averaged eight drug poisoning deaths per 100,000 residents in 2022, which ranked fourth-lowest across the study.
No. 2-ranked McKinney, (just east of Frisco) has the fifth-lowest property crime rate out of all 200 cities in the SmartAsset study. In 2021, they note, 887 property crimes were reported for every 100,000 residents. The city also has the 10th-lowest violent crime rate (127 for every 100,000 residents). And its drug poisoning mortality rate is tied for the fourth-lowest.
No. 5-ranked Plano (like its neighbors Frisco and McKinney) has the fourth-lowest drug poisoning mortality rate. There are 157 violent crimes reported in the city for every 100,000 residents, making it the 17th-lowest among the 200 cities evaluated for SmartAsset's study.
Perhaps surprisingly, McAllen, along the Texas-Mexico border, ranks No. 3, just behind McKinney and two places ahead of Plano. McAllen and its surrounding Hidalgo County have the second-lowest drug poisoning mortality rate (five deaths for every 100,000 residents) in the SmartAsset study and the seventh-lowest percentage of people engaging in excessive drinking (15.27%). The city records 179 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents, which is the 18th-lowest violent crime rate, the report says.
Rounding out the top five is Santa Clarita, California, which comes in at No. 4.
Other places in DFW and throughout Texas on the list of the safest cities in the country are:
- Laredo, No. 7
- El Paso, No. 12
- Denton, No. 26
- Grand Prairie, No. 42
- Brownsville, No. 43
- Arlington, No. 51
- Fort Worth, No. 52
- Garland, No. 62
- Irving, No. 68
- Killeen, No. 90
- Pasadena, No. 97
Notably, Frisco is the only city to rank in the top five for both safety and affordability in the SmartAsset study. It has one of the highest median household incomes ($130,118) out of the 35 safest cities. That means Frisco’s median annual housing costs ($24,600) are 18.91% of the median household income, the authors note.