The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the seventh annual Safest Cities report.
North Dakota’s 10 Safest Cities of 2021
Here are the 10 safest cities in North Dakota for 2021
3. New Town
10. West Fargo
See if your city made the full list.
In our 2021 State of Safety survey, just 30% of respondents in North Dakota said that they worry about their safety on a daily basis. This is a noticeable drop from last year, when 36% of participants said the same thing. This is one of the lowest levels of concern in the country, which averaged 47%.
North Dakota residents reported more personal experiences with gun violence while encounters with property crime are much lower. Experiences with violent crime held steady compared to last year, which tracks with The Peace Garden State's stable violent crime rate over the last few years.
Compared to the national average, North Dakota has below-average crime rates, but the state's 10 safest cities come in well below the state average.
2021 North Dakota crime rates
North Dakota's violent crime rate didn't change this year—it stayed at 2.8 incidents per 1,000 people. In contrast, the state's property crime rate saw a modest decrease from 20.4 per 1,000 people to 19.8.
Within the West North Central region, North Dakota had the third-lowest rate of violent crime behind Minnesota (2.4) and Iowa (2.7). The state also had the third-lowest property crime rate behind Iowa (17.3) and South Dakota (17.7).
North Dakota comes in below the national average for both violent crime and property crime. Among all 50 states, North Dakota has the sixteenth-lowest violent crime rate and the twenty-second-lowest property crime rate.
Level of concern and experience with crime in North Dakota
North Dakotans worried less frequently about their personal safety in the last 12 months and had some of the lowest levels of worry in the US. Only two states, Vermont (18%) and Wyoming (26%), reported lower daily levels of concern.
When compared to last year's survey, participants reported less experience with property crime, the same level of experience with violent crime, and more experience with gun violence. North Dakota residents' experiences with violent crime and gun violence are close to the US average but above it for property crime.
The state also has some of the lowest levels of concern about the coronavirus pandemic in the country at 48%—only Wyoming (44%) and Alaska (47%) came in lower. By comparison, 62% of Americans worried about the pandemic on a daily basis.
Crime concerns in North Dakota
We asked North Dakota residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if North Dakota residents are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.
View the complete 2021 State of Safety report.
Violent crime in North Dakota: Fear vs. reality
Almost three quarters of North Dakota residents feel safe in their home state, which is much more than how the average American feels. The Peace Garden State also has fewer residents concerned about police violence than any other state and ranks second highest for trust in law enforcement.
- 74% of North Dakota residents reported feeling safe in their state compared to 55% of Americans.
- The same percentage of people as last year in North Dakota (9%) reported having a personal experience with violent crime.
- Murder is less common than other violent crimes in The Peace Garden State, making up 1% of violent crimes (US 1%)—the state's 10 safest cities didn't report any murders.
- Rape makes up 20% of violent crimes in North Dakota (US 8%). The 10 safest cities have a slightly lower number of instances at 19%.
- 30% of survey participants report using some form of personal protection like pepper spray—slightly under the US average (34%).
- 32% of North Dakotans say their personal safety has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic compared to 44% of Americans.
Attitudes about police and gun violence in North Dakota
- 28% of North Dakota residents named gun violence as a top safety concern—nearly half that of the US average of 53%.
- 9% of survey participants reported experiencing gun violence in the last 12 months, which is 1.5 times higher than last year (6%).
- There were no mass shootings in North Dakota in 2019 and 2020.
- 18% of North Dakotans worry about police violence daily—the lowest in the US, which averages 40%.
- 70% of North Dakota residents reported having confidence in law enforcement. This is well above the US average of 56% and second only to South Dakota (72%).
- There were 8 officer-involved shootings in 2020—a quadrupling of the 2 incidents in 2019.
Property crime in North Dakota: Fear vs. reality
North Dakotans reported less personal experience with property crime this year, which is similar to the overall decline in the state's property crime rate. Residents were much less likely to say the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their property's security.
- Fewer people in North Dakota (23%) reported personal experiences with property crime this year compared to last year (36%).
- Burglary accounts for 17% of all property crimes in The Peace Garden State (the 10 safest cities average 19%), which is higher than the national rate of 16%.
- 19% of respondents reported experiencing package theft, putting North Dakota just below the US average of 20%.
- 61% of residents in North Dakota use some form of property protection. This is just below the 62% national average.
- The top form of property protection in North Dakota this year was firearms with 34% of survey respondents using them. This is higher than the national average of 26%.
- 19% of respondents say the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the security of their property—this is much lower than the US average of 29%.
A closer look at the safest cities in North Dakota
For the purposes of this report, the terms “dangerous” and “safest” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.
- Hazen took the top spot in our ranking for the second year in a row.
- There are 2 new cities on our list this year—Carrington and Oakes.
- New Town has the biggest increase in ranking this year, moving up 4 spots from 7 to 3.
- Beulah had the biggest drop in ranking, moving down 5 spots from 2 to 7.
- Only 1 city had a population over 4,000—West Fargo (population 38,171), which is nearly 10 times the size of the next largest, Lincoln (3,986).
- New Town was the only city in the top 10 with no violent crimes, giving it the lowest violent crime rate in the state.
- 90% of the safest cities reported fewer than 5 total violent crimes.
- There were no reported murders among the safest cities.
- There were only 4 robberies in the safest cities, which is surprisingly low for any state.
- Stanley has the lowest property crime rate in North Dakota (0.7) with only 2 reported property crimes.
- Half of the safest cities reported fewer than 10 total property crimes.
How we determined the safest cities
Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.
How to make a safe home anywhere
Didn't find your city in the top 10?
We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, based on the state’s median population. See how the remaining cities ranked in the list below.
NOTE: If you don’t see your city on the list, it means that it was below the population threshold or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI in 2019.
VC per 1,000
PC per 1,000
Find the safest cities in each state
Click on the state image or dropdown menu below to check out the safest cities for each state.
Related articles on SafeWise
FBI: Uniform Crime Reporting Program, “2019 Crime in the United States,” Accessed March 15, 2021.
US Census Bureau, "Data Explorer," Accessed November 18, 2020.
Best Places, “Find a Place Search Tool,” Accessed January 6, 2021.
SafeWise, “2021 State of Safety survey,” Accessed March 15, 2021.
Gun Violence Archive, “Past Summary Ledgers,” Accessed January 6, 2021.
Gun Violence Archive, “General Methodology,” Accessed March 15, 2021.
Melody Hicks, Ben Stickle, Joshua Harms, American Journal of Criminal Justice, “Assessing the Fear of Package Theft,” January 04, 2021. Accessed March 15, 2021.
For definitions and more on data sources, see our methodology page.