Texas Border Business
McAllen once again received recognition for something many in the community already know, ranking third on its list of Top 10 Safest Cities in the United States by SmartAsset.com. The financial website analyzed a core set of common safety factors to identify and rank the safest cities in America, looking at data from 200 of the largest cities across the following five metrics: violent crime, property crime, vehicular mortality rate, drug poisoning mortality rate and the percentage of the population engaging in excessive drinking to determine the 2023 ranking. Since the last study, crime in the U.S. has continued its upward trend. As McAllen’s crime rate continues to decrease, the city moved up three spots from 2022, when it was ranked #6.
“This ranking only highlights what those of us in our community have always known: McAllen is a safe city. This is because of our law-abiding community and brave, hardworking McAllen Police Officers who, not only protect and serve our community, its residents and countless visitors on a daily basis, but also, have kept our crime rate dropping each year to the lowest it has ever been in the past 38 years,” said McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos.
Safety is one of the top concerns for many families when picking a place to live. Many Americans have usually looked for low crime and other low-risk factors in order to determine whether a new neighborhood, or even a new community or city, is safe for them.
“McAllen’s continued ranking as a safe city and continuous decline in its crime rate for the past 38 years is in sharp contrast to rhetoric that tends to paint all border cities as unsafe communities,” concluded Mayor Villalobos.
To find the safest cities, SmartAsset compared 200 of the largest U.S. cities across the following metrics:
· Violent crime rate. The number of violent crimes per 100,000 residents. Data comes from the FBI’s 2021 Uniform Crime Reporting Database.
· Property crime rate. The number of property crimes per 100,000 residents. Data comes from the FBI’s 2021Uniform Crime Reporting Database.
· Vehicular mortality rate. The number of deaths due to traffic accidents per 100,000 residents. Data comes from countyhealthrankings.org and is for 2022.
· Drug poisoning mortality rate. The number of drug poisoning deaths per 100,000 residents. Data comes from countyhealthrankings.org and is for 2022.
· Percentage of the population engaging in excessive drinking. The percentage of adults who consumed more than four drinks of alcohol for women or five drinks of alcohol for men on a single occasion over a 30-day period, or who engage in heavy drinking, which is defined as drinking more than one drink per day for women or two drinks a day for men on average. Data comes from countyhealthrankings.org and is for 2022.
The vehicular mortality rate, drug poisoning mortality rate and percentage of the population engaging in excessive drinking are all measured at the county level. Both violent and property crime rates are at the city level.
To find the final rankings, SmartAsset.com first ranked each city in each metric. Then, they found the average ranking for every city, giving each metric an equal weight. The metro area with the best average ranking places first in our study while the area with the lowest average ranking places last.
According to SmartAsset.com,McAllen, with a population of nearly 144,000 people and the surrounding Hidalgo County, have the second-lowest drug poisoning mortality rate (five deaths for every 100,000 residents) in the study and the seventh-lowest percentage of people engaging in excessive drinking (15.27%). The city records 179 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents, which is the 18th-lowest violent crime rate.
“McAllen is a great place to live, work and play because of the investment in our McAllen police officers and our quality of life initiatives and amenities,” said McAllen City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez, P.E. “This leads to a dynamic, vibrant city and community who take ownership in keeping their community safe, as well.
McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez credits the low crime rate to the unwavering support of the McAllen community; its elected officials, and the dedicated work of all McAllen Police Officers and Support Personnel.
“Our community strives to prevent crime, to promote public safety and to participate in the investigation of crime when it does occur. At the end of 2022, the City of McAllen recorded its 13th consecutive annual crime reduction and its lowest crime rate in 38 years. To this end, the McAllen Police Department expresses sincere appreciation to all members of our community and to the McAllen City Commission for their diligence and dedication to making public safety the top priority. The McAllen Police Department administration expresses special thanks to the men and women of the McAllen Police Department for their hard work and successful outcomes,” concluded Chief Rodriguez.
One key finding from the study is that cities in the Lone Star State rank safest. Texas is home to several of the nation’s safest cities according to their metrics. Four out of the top five cities with the highest safety ratings are located in Texas. All four have violent crime rates lower than 90% of the cities across the study.
Joining McAllen on the list are Texas cities of Frisco at #1; McKinney at #2; Plano at #5; Laredo at #7 and El Paso at #12.
As part of this study, SmartAsset also set out to determine which of the safest cities are most affordable. To do this, they ranked the 35 safest cities according to a home affordability metric: median annual housing costs as a percentage of median household income. Among the safest cities in America, McAllen was ranked #6 overall for affordability this year.