Rio Grande Valley cities rank among state’s safest

HARLINGEN — Come for the weather, stay for the safety.

A new study ranking the nation’s cities using FBI crime statistics and crime types and trends puts six Valley cities as being among the top 60 safest places to live in Texas. is an association promoting and rating home security systems. It released its rankings recently of all the safest cities in the United States with populations above 50,000.

Here in the Valley, Mission was the safest at No. 23, Pharr was next at 25, followed by McAllen (34), Harlingen (37), Brownsville (54) and Edinburg (60).

The safest cities in Texas were Flower Mound (10th nationally), Allen, Georgetown, Mansfield and Pflugerville.

“Of the 65 safest cities in Texas, 24 of them have a Safety Score of at least 80,” the study read. “Some of the larger cities also made it to the list but have a lower score naturally because of denser populations. Flower Mound is Texas’ safest city according to our list, with an impressive score of 90.42.

“In 2010, the population of Flower Mound was almost 65,000 which is a relatively good amount in relation to its safety score. Just northwest is Dallas, one of the state’s biggest cities with well over 1 million people as of 2014. Dallas is the 45th safest city in Texas according to our list, with a score of 70.85. Again, not too bad considering its large population. The State Capitol, Austin, is another large city with a good safety score of 70.3.”


Valley’s safest cities

>> City/ranking Safety score

23. Mission 80.21

25. Pharr 79.76

34. McAllen 75.15

37. Harlingen 73.09

54. Brownsville 68.15

60. Edinburg 63.60


Safest Texas cities

>> City/ranking Safety score

1. Flower Mound 90.42

2. Allen 88.02

3. Georgetown 86.49

4. Mansfield 85.47

5. Pflugerville 85.28

Safest cities nationally

>> City/ranking Safety score

1. Greenwich CT 92.71

2. Parsippany NJ 92.24

3. Weston FL 91.42

4. Ramapo NY 91.25

5. Middletown Twp. NJ 91.1

Compiling the rankings

We look at several different factors when assigning a Safety Score to a city. First and foremost is the FBI’s latest report (2015 numbers) of how many and what types of crimes occurred in each city over a single year. The city’s crime trends are also considered; in other words, cities where crime is on the decline are given a higher Safety Score and vice-versa. We also look at the number of law enforcement officers compared to the population.

Finally, demographic metrics that are correlated to crime have a small impact on Safety Score. These include metrics such as population density, population trends, unemployment rate, median income, education level, etc.