2016 Safest Places in Georgia

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2016 Safest Places in Georgia

by Susan Gulliford

Over 10 million people call Georgia home and they all want a safe place to live and work. The ValuePenguin team analyzed 99 cities with populations of more than 5,000 to determine the safest cities in the Peach State. The crime scores ranged from 413 to 8,227.

The takeaway from this research was that there was no typical safe city in Georgia. Large, mid-size, and small cities all made the top five. Some of the safest cities had affluent, highly-educated populations and others were more middle-class. For more details, you can review the report here.

5 Safest Places in Georgia

These cities had an average crime score of 470, which was 83% lower than their typical peer in the state. With some of its lowest total violent crime rates, these five are the safest places in the state.

1. Johns Creek

With a population of over 84,000, Johns Creek is the largest city in the top five. It is a suburb northeast of Atlanta. In addition to its low rate of violent crime, Johns Creek had the lowest rate of property crime. This city is very affluent with a median household income more than double the median for Georgia and a very low rate of poverty.

2. Grovetown

The safest city in the mid-size category is the second safest overall. Grovetown had the fifth-lowest rate of violent crime and the second-lowest rate of property crime of any city. The police department has programs such as a house watches for when residents are away from home to keep crime low. Grovetown is a middle-class community with a median household income slightly above the median for Georgia and is located approximately 12 miles from Augusta, Ga.

3. Flowery Branch

The smallest city in this research comes in at third. It is a middle-class community with a median household income of $62,863 and is situated 14 minutes from Gainesville, Ga. Flowery Branch had zero violent crimes reported in 2014 and the fifth-lowest rate of property crime.

4. Milton

Milton (population of 36,702) is the second “large” city in the top five. The 39 police officers in Milton work hard to keep crime low. It had the second-lowest rate of violent crime in addition to a low rate of violent crime. This community is very affluent with a median household income 2.2 times the median for the state of Georgia.

5. Tyrone

This small town with a population of approximately 7,000 is 25 miles south of Atlanta. The city had the third-lowest rate of violent crime for 2014. The city has a median household income and homeownership rate above the averages for Georgia .

Population Breakdown

Although we adjusted for population in our crime rankings, it is still difficult to compare a small town to a large city. To account for this fact, we separated the safest cities into three categories: towns with populations between 5,000 and 10,000, midsize cities with populations between 10,000 and 25,000, and larger cities with populations greater than 25,000. Here are our findings:

Full List of Places in Georgia

Below is the entire list of places that we included in our “Safest Places in Georgia” study. They are listed from the safest to the least safe, according to our analysis. The calculation for the crime scores can be found in the methodology section below. Take a look at the graph and see where your hometown ranks.

RankCityCrime Score
1Johns Creek 413
2Grovetown 437
3Flowery Branch 461
4Milton 489
5Tyrone 553
6Peachtree City 627
7Braselton 701
8Holly Springs 870
9Auburn 894
10Folkston 898
11Jefferson 900
12Kennesaw 913
13Loganville 1,004
14Port Wentworth 1,054
15Commerce 1,054
16Alpharetta 1,064
17Duluth 1,090
18McRae 1,098
19Canton 1,161
20Roswell 1,164
21Suwanee 1,241
22Woodstock 1,246
23Bremen 1,412
24Fayetteville 1,463
25Dallas 1,482
26Acworth 1,537
27Pooler 1,558
28Decatur 1,581
29Sandy Springs 1,672
30Camilla 1,783
31Kingsland 1,816
32Snellville 1,837
33Brookhaven 1,896
34Smyrna 1,905
35Cairo 1,939
36McDonough 1,987
37Adel 2,040
38Statesboro 2,089
39Dalton 2,166
40Milledgeville 2,174
41Winder 2,178
42Fairburn 2,201
43Athens-Clarke County 2,209
44Newnan 2,209
45Lafayette 2,240
46Calhoun 2,344
47Dunwoody 2,362
48Gainesville 2,554
49Thomaston 2,602
50Villa Rica 2,626
51Norcross 2,686
52Centerville 2,717
53Eatonton 2,718
54Hinesville 2,726
55Swainsboro 2,741
56Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan 2,774
57Cumming 2,782
58Lilburn 2,784
59Locust Grove 2,851
60Carrollton 2,860
61Toccoa 2,937
62Sandersville 2,942
63Marietta 3,095
64Riverdale 3,211
65Fitzgerald 3,232
66Dublin 3,252
67LaGrange 3,314
68Valdosta 3,366
69Forest Park 3,415
70Powder Springs 3,436
71Conyers 3,466
72Thomasville 3,498
73Cordele 3,499
74Fort Valley 3,550
75Covington 3,617
76Waynesboro 3,653
77Moultrie 3,656
78Waycross 3,729
79Warner Robins 3,868
80Douglasville 3,928
81Vidalia 3,991
82Tifton 4,058
83Fort Oglethorpe 4,109
84Hapeville 4,207
85Jesup 4,238
86Eastman 4,442
87Columbus 4,572
88Chamblee 4,658
89Albany 4,694
90Griffin 4,877
91Morrow 4,984
92Garden City 5,061
93Douglas 5,258
94Americus 5,340
95Brunswick 5,551
96Union City 5,830
97Atlanta 6,029
98East Point 7,115
99College Park 8,227
Year-over-year Change

There was a great deal of consistency from 2015 to 2016. Four of the five safest places this year were in the top five for 2015. Johns Creek moved up from number two last year to claim the top spot for 2016. Milton and Flowery Branch switched spots while Tyrone held steady as the fifth-safest place in both years.

Grovetown, which broke into the top five this year, was the safest mid-sized city for two years in a row. Its presence meant that every size category had one representative in the top five. Seven of the ten safest mid-sized cities from 2015 made it into the top ten for 2016.

Johns Creek was the safest large city for two years in a row. In fact, the exact same big cities comprised the top five for 2015 and 2016. The large cities category had the most consistency with nine out of ten cities from the 2015 list repeating in 2016.

Methodology

To rank these places, we collected data from the 2014 FBI crime statistics by city, which provides the most recent crime data available. Not every town participates in this report and we also excluded towns with fewer than 5,000 residents because towns with small populations are more sensitive to crime score fluctuations for fewer crimes committed. The raw data report included property crimes (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson), and violent crimes (murder/manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) from all law enforcement agencies that chose to partake in the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program.

We standardized the data to reflect violent and property crimes per 100,000, to account for population. Then, we aggregated a “crime score” by weighting violent crime at 80% and property crime at 20%. Though property crime is more prevalent, we figured that violent crime is more concerning to town residents. Then we adjusted the crime score for population size, giving more slack to larger cities. Finally, we ranked the cities based on their crime scores.

Here is an alphabetical table of all cities included with their ranks, making it easier to compare different cities. See where your city lies!

RankCityPopulationViolent
Crime per 100K
Property
Crime per 100K
Crime Score
26Acworth 21,727 184 2,808 1,537
37Adel 5,313 358 4,047 2,040
89Albany 75,858 1,022 5,531 4,694
16Alpharetta 63,478 60 1,975 1,064
94Americus 16,200 1,173 7,994 5,340
43Athens-Clarke County 121,511 306 3,121 2,209
97Atlanta 454,363 1,227 5,747 6,029
9Auburn 7,202 222 1,430 894
7Braselton 8,142 111 1,351 701
23Bremen 6,294 270 2,637 1,412
33Brookhaven 50,942 345 2,646 1,896
95Brunswick 15,912 1,414 7,554 5,551
35Cairo 9,845 274 3,758 1,939
46Calhoun 15,956 226 4,675 2,344
30Camilla 5,070 256 3,787 1,783
19Canton 24,449 143 2,074 1,161
60Carrollton 25,315 435 4,756 2,860
52Centerville 7,663 248 6,003 2,717
88Chamblee 16,053 1,071 6,790 4,658
99College Park 14,780 2,152 11,123 8,227
87Columbus 206,714 533 6,472 4,572
15Commerce 6,553 244 1,785 1,054
71Conyers 15,713 675 5,562 3,466
73Cordele 11,202 634 6,106 3,499
75Covington 13,535 473 6,864 3,617
57Cumming 5,652 106 6,989 2,782
25Dallas 12,621 190 2,852 1,482
39Dalton 33,464 269 3,711 2,166
28Decatur 20,241 148 3,078 1,581
93Douglas 11,924 906 9,275 5,258
80Douglasville 32,112 579 6,399 3,928
66Dublin 16,423 542 5,547 3,252
17Duluth 28,849 94 2,069 1,090
47Dunwoody 47,915 121 4,562 2,362
98East Point 35,929 1,291 10,454 7,115
86Eastman 5,384 929 8,191 4,442
53Eatonton 6,542 810 3,883 2,718
42Fairburn 13,851 375 3,812 2,201
24Fayetteville 16,424 164 2,813 1,463
65Fitzgerald 9,073 496 6,183 3,232
3Flowery Branch 6,259 - 1,214 461
10Folkston 5,641 319 1,117 898
69Forest Park 18,855 615 5,526 3,415
83Fort Oglethorpe 9,573 470 8,440 4,109
74Fort Valley 8,925 1,221 4,101 3,550
48Gainesville 35,967 364 4,148 2,554
92Garden City 8,931 1,736 5,867 5,061
90Griffin 23,279 1,125 6,667 4,877
2Grovetown 12,676 32 939 437
84Hapeville 6,755 903 7,372 4,207
54Hinesville 34,525 469 4,130 2,726
8Holly Springs 9,925 101 1,773 870
11Jefferson 9,802 153 1,643 900
85Jesup 10,323 746 7,575 4,238
1Johns Creek 84,256 33 705 413
12Kennesaw 32,429 114 1,566 913
31Kingsland 16,309 331 2,986 1,816
45Lafayette 7,062 198 5,027 2,240
67LaGrange 30,679 404 5,769 3,314
58Lilburn 12,610 317 5,519 2,784
59Locust Grove 5,704 316 6,329 2,851
13Loganville 10,898 64 2,230 1,004
63Marietta 59,663 508 4,448 3,095
36McDonough 23,001 235 3,617 1,987
18McRae 6,141 391 1,335 1,098
40Milledgeville 19,519 333 3,735 2,174
4Milton 36,702 19 994 489
91Morrow 6,745 400 11,416 4,984
77Moultrie 14,691 497 6,786 3,656
44Newnan 35,232 483 2,929 2,209
51Norcross 16,363 587 4,027 2,686
6Peachtree City 34,989 29 1,266 627
27Pooler 21,707 184 2,856 1,558
14Port Wentworth 6,840 292 1,579 1,054
70Powder Springs 14,524 971 4,372 3,436
64Riverdale 15,607 442 5,888 3,211
20Roswell 95,387 115 1,876 1,164
62Sandersville 5,822 653 5,204 2,942
29Sandy Springs 101,184 157 2,713 1,672
56Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan 236,682 392 3,594 2,774
34Smyrna 53,965 287 2,876 1,905
32Snellville 19,480 175 3,583 1,837
38Statesboro 30,298 271 3,578 2,089
21Suwanee 18,313 93 2,539 1,241
55Swainsboro 7,634 511 5,017 2,741
49Thomaston 9,066 441 4,809 2,602
72Thomasville 18,752 389 6,629 3,498
82Tifton 16,414 792 6,458 4,058
61Toccoa 8,346 503 5,476 2,937
5Tyrone 7,107 28 1,323 553
96Union City 20,691 1,271 8,424 5,830
68Valdosta 56,862 324 5,784 3,366
81Vidalia 10,724 774 6,807 3,991
50Villa Rica 14,570 343 4,935 2,626
79Warner Robins 73,418 447 6,162 3,868
78Waycross 14,149 466 7,117 3,729
76Waynesboro 5,789 985 5,770 3,653
41Winder 14,799 277 4,115 2,178
22Woodstock 27,665 116 2,342

This article originally appeared in valuepenguin