The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the eighth annual Safest Cities report.
Iowa’s 20 Safest Cities of 2022
Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Iowa for 2022
See if your city made the full list.
Iowa’s crime rates remain lower than national and regional averages for the third year in a row. Violent crime increased in The Hawkeye State year over year while property crime decreased. Iowans are generally less concerned about crime than other Americans, which makes sense with its lower crime rates overall.
In this report
2022 Iowa crime rates
Violent crime and property crime rates in The Hawkeye State are lower than the national average and the lowest in the West North Central region. Violent crime increased in Iowa year over year while property crime decreased.
Level of concern and experience with crime in Iowa
Iowans are among those most likely to believe that crime is decreasing (13%), topped only by Georgians and Virginians at 15%. Our State of Safety survey aligns with this sentiment—Iowans reported a decrease in crime experiences.
Iowans are most concerned about package theft (38%) and property crime (34%) but at levels lower than the national averages (45% and 42%, respectively).
28% of Iowa residents report being concerned about violent crime, which is the fourth-lowest percentage in the US. 28% also feel concerned about gun violence, which is the sixth-lowest percentage in the nation.
64% of Iowans feel safe in their state, which is nine percentage points higher than the national sentiment and the tenth-highest percentage nationwide.
Image: SafeWise. Past 12 months=12 months prior to survey.
Crime concerns in Iowa
We asked Iowa residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if Iowans are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.
View the complete 2022 State of Safety report.
Violent crime in Iowa: Fear vs. reality
Violent crime in The Hawkeye State increased by 6% year over year, but only 28% of Iowa residents reported feeling concerned about violent crime on our latest State of Safety survey.
A lower-than-average percentage of Iowans reported having experienced violent crime in the 12 months prior to the survey: 7%. That also represents a decrease compared to the previous survey’s results.
- Iowa’s violent crime rate of 3.0 is the ninth-lowest in the nation.
- Iowa is 1 of 17 states where more rapes were reported than robberies.
- 22 people were injured and 1 was killed in 5 mass shooting events in Iowa during the 2022 reporting year.
- The number of mass shooting events in Iowa increased by 25% year over year (from 4 to 5).
- 26% of Iowans use some form of personal protection (US 34%).
- Of the Iowans who use personal protection, most preferred pepper spray (14%).
- 38% of Iowa residents say their personal safety has been affected by the pandemic, lower than the national average of 44%.
Property crime in Iowa: Fear vs. reality
Property crime has decreased by 8% in Iowa year over year. This aligns with data from our latest State of Safety survey. 16% of Iowans claimed to have personally experienced property crime in the 12 months prior to the survey, which is six percentage points lower than the previous year’s survey results and two percentage points lower than the national average.
Package theft is the most concerning crime among Iowa residents, but they worry about it at the seventh-lowest percentage in the nation at 38%. According to our survey, 16% of Iowans claim to have experienced package theft in the last 12 months (US 20%).
- Burglary accounts for 22% of all property crime in Iowa, which is above the national average of 16% and the second-highest percentage in the nation.
- 48% of Iowans use some form of property protection, which is 12 percentage points lower than the national average.
- Firearms represent the top home protection method among Iowans (22%).
- 32% of Iowa residents say the security of their property has been affected by the pandemic (US 29%).
A closer look at the safest cities in Iowa
For the purposes of this report, the terms “dangerous” and “safest” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.
- 53 Iowa cities met the criteria for ranking this year, and 7 cities made it to the top 20 for the first time.
- Sioux Center tops the list for the second year in a row.
- Denison rose 7 spots to land in sixth place this year. Clive took the largest nose dive, falling 11 positions and landing at 14.
- 8 cities experienced a decrease in violent crime year over year and 7 cities saw a decrease in property crime. Only Decorah, Denison, Johnston, Carroll, and North Liberty saw declines in both categories.
- The most populous city on this year’s list—Ankeny—accounts for 22% of all violent crime and 17% of all property crime among Iowa’s 20 safest cities.
- Sioux Center and Decorah reported 0 burglaries, and 55% of this year’s safest cities reported 10 or fewer motor vehicle thefts.
- The top 4 cities reported a combined total of 12 violent crimes this reporting year.
How we determined the safest cities
Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.
How to make a safe home anywhere
Whether your city made our list or not, we encourage everyone to be proactive about home security. One of the best ways to stop a burglary before it happens is to add a home security system.
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Didn't find your city in the top 20?
We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, based on the state’s median population as calculated using FBI data. To request a report of the remaining cities in your state, sign up for our email newsletter (we make it easy in a quick form below!) or email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Safest Cities Full Report.
NOTE: If you don’t see your city on the list, it means that it was below the population threshold or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI in 2020.
Find the safest cities in each state
Click on the state image or dropdown menu below to check out the safest cities for each state.
Related articles on SafeWise
FBI: Crime Data Explorer, Accessed March 8, 2022.
US Census Bureau, "Data Explorer," Accessed January 24, 2022.
Best Places, “Find a Place Search Tool,” Accessed January 24, 2022.
SafeWise, “2021 State of Safety survey,” Accessed March 8, 2022.
Gun Violence Archive, “Past Summary Ledgers,” Accessed January 24, 2022.
Gun Violence Archive, “General Methodology,” Accessed March 8, 2022.
Melody Hicks, Ben Stickle, Joshua Harms, American Journal of Criminal Justice, “Assessing the Fear of Package Theft,” January 04, 2021. Accessed March 8, 2022.
For definitions and more on data sources, see our methodology page.