15 Safest Places To Live In North Dakota – 2016

Learn more about the safest places to live in North Dakota, the 17th safest place to live in the U.S.

About the State of North Dakota

Dominated by the Great Plains and known for its rugged land and unspoiled countryside once traversed by Lewis and Clark, the state of North Dakota has spawned such national treasures as famed Roughrider and American President, Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt.

Bordered by the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba to the north, the Peace Garden state is considered one of the most expansive states in the country and also one of the least populous (4th) making it one of the least densely populated states in the country. With its wide open spaces and limited population, North Dakota ranks as the 17th Safest Place to Live in the United States.

We wanted to explore the state in more depth, so we took a look at the different towns and communities in North Dakota to see how they contributed make it such a wonderful place to live.

How We Pick the Safest Places to Live

To find the safest places to live in North Dakota, we used the latest crime statistics available in the Uniform Crime Report from the Federal Bureau of Investigations.  Using the data compiled, we compared the number of violent crime (murder, aggravated assault, robbery and forcible rape) as well as the amount for property crimes (burglary, motor vehicle theft, arson and larceny) reported to the FBI. We calculated the rate of each type of crime per 1,000 residents and determined the overall crime rate to ascertain the relative safety of each place and rank them accordingly.

We limited our comparisons to cities and towns with a minimum population of 2,500 residents with completed data reported. It is possible that your town may be one of the safest places to live, but without complete and accurate data, we may have had to exclude it from this year’s list.

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North Dakota’s Safest Cities

Beulah, North Dakota’s Safest City

Located in Mercer County in toward the center of the state, the small town of Beulah has just over 3,000 residents which makes I the sixteenth largest city in the state. It is also known for the Dakota Gasification Company which has its headquarters there.

Population: 3,352
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 0.6
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 2.1


Located in Burleigh County, Lincoln North Dakota is a suburb of Bismarck and part of the Bismarck-Mandan Metropolitan Statistical Area and is considered the fifteenth largest city in North Dakota. It’s also one of the youngest having been founded only a few decades ago in 1977.

Population: 3,288
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 0.9
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 8.5


The county seat of Pierce County, Rugby is the seventeenth largest city in the state of North Dakota and was founded at the junction of the Great Northern Railway. The town was originally plated as Rugby Junction owing its name to the town of the same located in Warwickshire, England.

Population: 2,954
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 1.1
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 13.2

West Fargo

West Fargo, located in Cass County on the eastern side of the state is the fifth largest city in the state and the fastest growing. It was founded in 1926 and is part of the Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Statistical Area

Population: 30,970
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000):  1.8
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 17.5


Wahpeton was founded in 1869 and is located in the southeast corner of the state. It is best known for its land and the quality of its soil, being considered one of the most fertile valleys in the world. Wahpeton is located in Richland County and is its county seat.

Population: 7,877
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 2.0
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 19.0

Valley City

Valley City is located in, and the county seat of, Barnes County, North Dakota. It is considered the thirteenth largest city in the state and is best known for the many bridges over the Sheyenne River which have earned Valley City the nickname, “City of Bridges”

Population: 6,720
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 2.8
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 19.2


Bismarck is the county seat of Burleigh County and is the state capital for North Dakota. Founded in 1872, it has been the state’s capital since the state was established from the Dakota Territory and admitted into the Union in 1889.

Population: 68,492
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 2.7
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 24.9


The county seat of Ward County in the north-central region of the state, the town of Minot is most known for the large Air Force base located just 15 miles north. It is the fourth largest city in the state and a major trading center for northern North Dakota and the nearby Canadian provinces.

Population: 47,682
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 3.2
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 25.3


Containing over 15% of the overall population for the state, Fargo is the largest city in North Dakota and is the county seat for Cass County. Founded in 1871 and located on the Red River it is a cultural, educational and industrial center for North Dakota and Northwestern Minnesota.

Population: 115,686
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 3.5
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 26.3

Grand Forks

The third largest city in the state, just behind Fargo and Bismarck, Grand Forks is located on the western side of the Red River of the North in the Red River Valley, which puts it at risk for flooding. It was founded in 1870 by Alexander Griggs, a steamboat captain.

Population: 55,438
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 2.3
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 27.9


Located in the northeast corner of the state, Grafton is the county seat of Walsh County and is the fourteenth largest city in North Dakota. The town was founded in 1881 when the railroad was built through the territory.

Population: 4,337
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 2.5
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 27.9


Located in Stutsman County, Jamestown is the county seat and is considered the ninth largest city in the state. It was founded in 1872 after a Northern Pacific Railroad crew setup camp near where the railroad would eventually cross the James River.

Population: 15,440
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 2.6
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 28.7


The county seat of Stark County, Dickinson has enjoyed being one of the fastest growing cities in the country thanks to the North Dakota Oil Boom. It is the principal city in the Dickinson Micropolitan Statistical Area and was founded in 1881.

Population: 21,614
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 2.3
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 29.9


The eighth largest city in the state, Mandan is found in Morton County where it is also the county seat. It was founded in 1879 and is located just across the Missouri River from Bismarck. It was named after the Mandan Indian tribe and in 2013 had the distinct honor of being named a finalist in the Rand McNally Most Patriotic City competition.

Population: 20,253
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 2.6
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 30.1

Watford City

Watford is the county seat for McKenzie County and is considered the twelfth largest city in the state. Founded in 1914, the city experienced a burst in population thanks to the North Dakota oil boom. Frontier Energy Group, First International Bank and the McKenzie Electric Cooperative all operate offices in the area.

Population: 3,858
Violent Crime Rates (per 1,000): 6.0
Property Crime Rates (per 1,000): 30.8

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Don’t See Your City?

Your city or town may not have been included in our top thirty rankings of the safest places to live in New Hampshire or in our list below because the population may not have met our minimum requirement or we were unable to locate complete data in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report.

1. Beulah
2. Lincoln
3. Rugby
4. West Fargo
5. Wahpeton
6. Valley City
7. Bismarck
8. Minot
9. Fargo
10. Grand Forks
11. Grafton
12. Jamestown
13. Dickinson
14. Mandan
15. Watford City
16. Devils Lake
17. Williston
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