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Secure Places to Live 2011

Secure Places to Live 2011



Pittsburgh rated country’s most secure large metropolitan area

LOS ANGELES — Farmers Insurance Group of Companies® annually ranks nearly 400 U.S. communities based on safety and security. In its Eighth Annual Most Secure Places to Live in the U.S. study, Farmers has rated Pittsburgh, Pa., as the most secure U.S. community among large metropolitan areas (population of 500,000 or greater).

The Kennewick–Richland–Pasco, Wash., area is the most secure mid-size U.S. city (population between 150,000 and 500,000), while Ithaca, N.Y., ranks as the most secure small town (population less than 150,000).

The rankings, compiled by Best Places expert Bert Sperling (www.bestplaces.net) took into consideration crime statistics, extreme weather, risk of natural disasters, housing depreciation, foreclosures, air quality, terrorist threats, environmental hazards, life expectancy, mortality rates from cancer and motor vehicle accidents, and job loss numbers in 379 U.S. municipalities. The study divided the communities into three groups: large metropolitan areas, mid-size cities and small towns.

“Farmers congratulates all of the communities represented in the Farmers Secure Places to Live Survey,” stated Jeff Dailey, President and Chief Operating Officer of Farmers Insurance Group.

“Since its founding in 1928, Farmers has been committed to improving the

communities in which customers, agents and employees live and work. We are committed to improving safety, expanding educational opportunities, enhancing health and human services, encouraging civic participation and supporting the arts and culture, all part of the criteria that makes up the Farmers Secure Places to Live survey,” Dailey said.

Pittsburgh moved up 10 spots from a year ago to rank No. 1 among large metropolitan areas in the 2011 Farmers study. This is Pittsburgh’s fifth appearance in the Top 20, with its previous best ranking ninth in the 2005 study. Its low housing depreciation, personal crime rate and motor vehicle deaths, along with a high stability rate contributed to its top rating.

The Kennewick–Richland–Pasco area reclaimed its spot as the top mid-size city it previously held in 2005, and it marks the sixth time the area has been ranked in the study’s Top 20. Its lofty ranking is largely due to a high job growth rate and low housing depreciation and unemployment rate.

Ithaca earned the top rating among small towns in the annual Farmers study for the first time. It has four previous Top 5 rankings, including third place in both 2007 and 2010. Ithaca earned its elite spot thanks to low rates of unemployment, violent crimes, motor vehicle deaths and housing depreciation.

Here are the Farmers Insurance Group’s Most Secure U.S. Places to Live for 2011:

Large Metro Areas (500,000 or more residents)

  1.       Pittsburgh, Pa.

  2.       Rochester, N.Y.

  3.       El Paso, Texas                                                           

  4.       Syracuse, N.Y.

  5.       Bethesda–Gaithersburg–Frederick, Md.

  6.       Buffalo–Niagara Falls, N.Y.

  7.       Wichita, Kan.

  8.       Omaha, Neb.–Council Bluffs, Iowa

  9.       Denver–Aurora, Colo.

10.       Austin–Round Rock, Texas

11.       Bridgeport–Stamford–Norwalk, Conn.

12.       Albany–Schenectady–Troy, N.Y.

13.       McAllen–Edinburg–Mission, Texas

14.       Nassau–Suffolk counties, N.Y.

15.       Honolulu, Hawaii

16.       Madison, Wis.

17.       Colorado Springs, Colo.

18.       Oklahoma City, Okla.

19.       Des Moines–West Des Moines, Iowa

20.       Minneapolis–St. Paul–Bloomington, Minn.



Mid-Size Cities (150,000–500,000 residents)

  1.       Kennewick–Richland–Pasco, Wash.

  2.       Boulder, Colo.

  3.       Fargo, N.D.–Moorhead, Minn.

  4.       Olympia, Wash.

  5.       Binghamton, N.Y.

  6.       Sioux Falls, S.D.

  7.       Bellingham, Wash.

  8.       Lincoln, Neb.

  9.       Fort Collins–Loveland, Colo.

10.       Rochester, Minn.

11.       Duluth, Minn.–Superior, Wis.

12.       Utica–Rome, N.Y.

13.       Bremerton–Silverdale, Wash.

14.       Yakima, Wash.

15.       Anchorage, Alaska

16.       Burlington–South Burlington, Vt.

17.       Las Cruces, N.M.

18.       Green Bay, Wis.

19.       Houma–Bayou Cane–Thibodaux, La.

20.       Spokane, Wash.


Small Towns (Fewer than 150,000 residents)

  1.       Ithaca, N.Y.

  2.       State College, Pa.

  3.       Bismarck, N.D.

  4.       Elmira, N.Y.

  5.       Corvallis, Ore.

  6.       Logan, Utah

  7.       Midland, Texas

  8.       La Crosse, Wis.–Winona, Minn.

  9.       Grand Forks, N.D.–Crookston, Minn.

10.       Lewiston, Idaho–Clarkston, Wash.

11.       Altoona, Pa.

12.       Morgantown, W.Va.

13.       Rapid City, S.D.

14.       Wenatchee, Wash.

15.       Eau Claire, Wis.

16.       Johnstown, Pa.

17.       San Angelo, Texas

18.       Fond du Lac, Wis.

19.       Iowa City, Iowa

20.       Sioux City, Iowa


About Farmers

Farmers Insurance Group of Companies is the country’s 3rd largest insurer of both personal lines passenger automobile and homeowners insurance, and also provides a wide range of other insurance and financial services products. Farmers Insurance is proud to serve more than 10 million households with more than 20 million individual policies across all 50 states through the efforts of over 50,000 exclusive and independent agents and nearly 24,000 employees.


About Sperling’s BestPlaces

Bert Sperling has been helping people find their own "Best Place" to live, work and retire for more than 20 years. His firm, Sperling's BestPlaces, puts facts in the hands of the public so they can make better decisions about best places to live, work, retire, play, or relocate. His bestselling books, Cities Ranked and Rated and Best Places to Raise Your Family, are published by John Wiley & Sons.  More information about Bert and his work is available at www.bestplaces.net and www.bertsperling.com.