Economic Development, Government, and Human Resources

Grand Rapids ranks as second-most 'secure' metro in U.S.

October 23, 2013
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Grand Rapids ranks as second-most 'secure' metro in U.S.
An eagle overlooks downtown Grand Rapids. Photo via fb.com

From the lakeshore to Grand Rapids, West Michigan is a secure place to live.

Farmers Insurance, one of the nation’s largest multi-line insurers, has evaluated hundreds of cities across the country and released its national rankings of the most-secure towns in three categories: metro, mid-size city and small city.

Los Angeles-based Farmers Insurance has given its thumbs-up approval to both Grand Rapids — which ranks No. 2 among metros with populations above 500,000 — and Holland — which ranks No. 1 among mid-size cities with populations between 150,000 and 500,000.

Ann Arbor also ranks No. 14 in the mid-size city ranking.

What's a secure city?

Cities across the country were judged on a number of criteria: economic stability, crime statistics, extreme weather, risk of natural disasters, housing depreciation, foreclosures, air quality, environmental hazards, life expectancy, motor vehicle fatalities and employment numbers.

The rankings were compiled by Bert Sperling, a quality of life specialist and president of Best Places.

"Our most secure metropolitan areas are islands of security in our challenging times," Sperling said. "They have been able to maintain stable economies and many are fortunate that their locale is not prone to hurricanes, tornadoes or earthquakes."

The most-secure cities have “dedicated” leaders in government, education and public safety, said Chuck Browning, Farmers Insurance head of sponsorships.

Top 5 most-secure metros (pop. 500,000+)

1. Bethesda–Gaithersburg–Frederick, Md.

2. Grand Rapids–Wyoming

3. Pittsburgh

4. Austin–Round Rock, Texas

5. Cambridge–Newton–Framingham, Mass.

Top 5 most-secure mid-size cities (pop. 150,000-500,000)

1. Holland-Grand Haven

2. Green Bay, Wisc.

3. Appleton, Wisc.

4. St. Cloud, Minn.

5. Boulder, Colo.

Top 5 most-secure small cities (pop. less than 150,000)

1. Corvallis, Ore.

2. Midland, Texas

3. Bismarck, N.D.

4. State College, Pa.

5. La Crosse, Wisc., Minn.

Source: Farmers Insurance, 2013

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