Naperville is the safest city in the U.S. based on cost of crime: study

(NEXSTAR) – What’s the impact of crime in your city? A team of researchers has put together a formula that calculates the economic cost of criminal activity.

MoneyGeek published the study in December 2021. They analyzed FBI crime statistics in 297 cities around the country to calculate the cost of crime in each area. Nationwide, MoneyGeek found the total cost of crime in the U.S. topped $200 billion in 2020.

The cost of crime includes impacts to victims, like the loss of stolen property and medical bills, MoneyGeek explained, as well as the cost to the justice system. Violent crimes typically result in a higher cost than nonviolent crimes, MoneyGeek said.

How much of that weight falls on your community depends on where you live and the types of crime that occur there.

The study found the safest cities, ranked by cost of crime per capita, to be:

  1. Naperville, Illinois ($187 per capita)
  2. Cary, North Carolina ($195 per capita)
  3. Murrieta, California ($200 per capita)
  4. Carmel, Indiana ($214 per capita)
  5. Frisco, Texas ($218 per capita)
  6. Amherst Town, New York ($227 per capita)
  7. Cape Coral, Florida ($233 per capita)
  8. Irvine, California ($236 per capita)
  9. Thousand Oaks, California ($252 per capita)
  10. McKinney, Texas ($276 per capita)

No large cities, which MoneyGeek defines as a place with more than 300,000 people, made the study’s top-10 list of safest cities. Of large cities, MoneyGeek found the safest ones to be:

  1. Virginia Beach, Virginia ($611 per capita)
  2. Honolulu ($695 per capita)
  3. Henderson, Nevada ($767 per capita)
  4. El Paso, Texas ($811 per capita)
  5. Mesa, Arizona ($901 per capita)

The study found the most dangerous cities, ranked by the highest cost of crime per capita to be:

  1. St. Louis ($11,574 per capita)
  2. Jackson, Mississippi ($9,138 per capita)
  3. Detroit ($7,292 per capita)
  4. New Orleans ($7,214 per capita)
  5. Baltimore ($7,091 per capita)
  6. Memphis, Tennessee ($6,884 per capita)
  7. Cleveland ($6,423 per capita)
  8. Baton Rouge, Louisiana ($6,150 per capita)
  9. Kansas City, Missouri ($5,382 per capita)
  10. Shreveport, Louisiana ($5,153 per capita)

Though they didn’t make a top-10 list, both Chicago and Milwaukee were included in the study. Milwaukee ranked #11 for most dangerous cities with a cost per capita of $5,049 and Chicago #21 with a cost per capita of $4,070.

MoneyGeek looked at crime data from 297 cities with more than 100,000 people to put together the lists. You can see the full dataset here.