Safety.com’s Safest Cities in North Dakota

  • Population
    758,080
  • Avg Annual Rent
    $9,427
  • Avg Household Income
    $58,792
  • Cost of Living
    16.50%
  • Violent Crime Rate
    10.23
  • Property Crime Rate
    24.24
  • Primary Care Ranking
    20
  • Mental Health Provider
    37

North Dakota is known for its roaming prairie lands and sweeping hills, leading the United States in the agricultural production of wheat, pea and honey and is home to more wildlife refuges than any other state. With around 39.1 million acres (90%) of North Dakota's land area attributed to farms and ranches, it's a perfect destination for agritourism and a great place to live if you want plenty of room. If you're looking to settle into this northern state, you may wonder which of North Dakota's cities are the safest. We've got the answers for you.

How We Determined the Safest Cities in North Dakota

We narrowed down the safest cities in each state based on two primary categories. First, we evaluated public safety factors including violent, property and hate crimes in each area to help determine the safest areas to live. We then evaluated financial and socioeconomic factors including household income, average rent and health insurance. In addition, we evaluated each state for natural disaster safety and public health safety. You can find a detailed breakdown of our methodology and links to sources here.

Here are the public safety factors we counted for each city:

*Public safety data is based on a population of 10,000 (for example, a “2” means two incidents for every 10,000 people).

  • Property crime – Number of property crimes reported in the city (FBI Crime Report)
  • Violent crime – Number of violent crimes reported in the city (FBI Crime Report)
  • Aggravated assaults – Number of aggravated assaults reported in the city (FBI Crime Report)
  • Hate crime – Number of hate crimes reported in the city (FBI Hate Crime Report)
  • Officer-related incidents – Number of officer-involved shootings reported in the city (Gun Violence Archive)
  • Mass shootings – Incidents in which four or more people are shot/killed in the city (Gun Violence Archive)

Here are the financial safety factors we counted for each city:

  • Annual rent – Annualized median rent
  • Unemployment rate – The average rate of unemployed residents in each city
  • Cost of living – The average annual rent and household income per city
  • Poverty rate – Percentage of families that reported experiencing poverty in the last 12 months
  • Uninsured employed – Percentage of employed residents that reported not having health insurance
  • Uninsured unemployed – Percentage of unemployed residents that reported not having health insurance

5 Safest Cities in North Dakota

  • No. 1 Grand Forks

    Bordering just along the Red River and Minnesota, Grand Forks is home to the University of North Dakota and several grand recreation centers such as the Ralph Engelstad Arena, the Alerus Center and more. The city has the lowest all-around crime rates, but the poverty level is slightly higher than the rest.

    90out of 100

    Public Safety

    45out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeSociety CrimesProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    9.191495 (2nd)16.47532 (2nd)244.5285 (1st)0.173424 (2nd)0.173424 (2nd)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    9708 (3rd)47871 (4th)0.041 (1st)0.11 (1st)0.014 (3rd)0.192 (5th)
  • No. 2 Williston

    Williston is a wonderful place for families due to its extremely low rate of crime across all categories. It’s surrounded by several state historic sites such as the Fort Union Trading Post, Sitting Bull monument located at Fort Buford, and the Missouri-Yellowstone River Confluence Interpretive Center. The city is home to the community-driven and highly rated Williston State College, with a large variety of commercial shopping opportunities.

    74out of 100

    Public Safety

    58out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeSociety CrimesProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    6.206645 (1st)45.63709 (5th)283.3151 (3rd)0.365097 (4th)0.365097 (4th)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    10920 (1st)85426 (1st)0.027 (3rd)0.045 (5th)0.027 (2nd)0.457 (2nd)
  • No. 3 Bismarck

    Bismarck is known for its recreational venues such as the Dakota Zoo, Grand 22 Theatres, Laughing Sun Brewing Company, Belle Mehus Auditorium and many more. Nature lovers also appreciate living in Bismarck for its wide-spread park systems and outdoor activity zones. Bismarck’s overall crime rate is very low, with only a slightly higher rate in officer incidents and hate crimes.

    68out of 100

    Public Safety

    56out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeSociety CrimesProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    9.645785 (3rd)20.22936 (3rd)272.4934 (2nd)0.267938 (3rd)0.267938 (3rd)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    10200 (2nd)63608 (2nd)0.019 (4th)0.051 (4th)0.011 (4th)0.268 (4th)
  • No. 4 Devils Lake

    Devils Lake also has an extremely low crime rate all around. It’s well-known for hosting a variety of historic sites and nature preserves such as the White Horse Hill National Game Preserve, Grahams Island State Park, Black Tiger Bay Recreation Area, and the Lake Region Heritage Center. The city is named after the nearby body of water, Devil’s Lake, which was deemed the perch-fishing capital of the world.

    68out of 100

    Public Safety

    52out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeSociety CrimesProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    12.30517 (4th)10.93793 (1st)385.5619 (5th)1.367241 (5th)1.367241 (5th)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    6756 (5th)43750 (5th)0.007 (5th)0.098 (2nd)0.036 (1st)0.545 (1st)
  • No. 5 Fargo

    Fargo is home to the Plains Art Museum and Fargo Air Museum, hosting works from Native American culture and vintage airplane builds. The Red River Zoo is also a great destination to learn about cold-climate species, such as the red panda or gray wolf. Fargo rates higher on the list for property crimes and violence, but the overall crime rates for other categories are still considerably low.

    58out of 100

    Public Safety

    50out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeSociety CrimesProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    13.85042 (5th)27.94101 (4th)314.7167 (4th)0.16012 (1st)0.16012 (1st)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    9552 (4th)53309 (3rd)0.035 (2nd)0.077 (3rd)0.008 (5th)0.3 (3rd)

North Dakota State Safety

Natural Disaster Safety

The state of North Dakota’s Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan addresses 13 major hazards in three separate categories based on impact severity. Among the highest risks are severe winter or summer weather, floods and wildland fire. There were a total of 11,703 extreme weather events from 1950 to 2010, according to information from the U.S. Tornado and Weather Extremes database. The U.S. Tornado Index ranks North Dakota as 33rd out of the 50 states where a tornado is likely to occur, while the Insurance Journal ranks the state 46th on their list of states at risk for natural disasters..

46out of 50

Natural Disaster

Health Safety

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that North Dakota’s leading causes of death are heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and stroke. Around 10.2 deaths per 100,000 people were caused by drug overdose. There were about 155 licensed primary care physicians per 100,000 people in North Dakota, according to 2019 statistics from America’s Health Rankings. North Dakota ranks 37th nationally in mental health services.  However, the state ranks 2nd in the nation for air quality, thanks to minimal levels of pollution.

13out of 50

Health Safety

Top 5 Safest Cities in North Dakota

Grand Forks57,662151
Williston27,390212
Bismarck74,644323
Devils Lake7,314334
Fargo124,906545