‘Most Secure Places to Live’ Are In Ore., Calif. and Wash.

December 11, 2007

Health, prosperity, safety and security are all desirable aspects when it comes to seeking a place to live, work or raise a family. According to the fourth annual Most Secure U.S. Places to Live rankings from Farmers Insurance Group of Companies, the city that best meets those qualifications is Corvallis, Ore.

The rankings took into consideration crime statistics, extreme weather, risk of natural disasters, environmental hazards, terrorism threats, air quality, life expectancy and job loss numbers in 379 U.S. municipalities. The study divided the communities into three groups: large metropolitan areas, mid-size cities and small towns.

Corvallis is the fourth different city in four years to earn top honors in the Farmers study. The leading communities in the three previous studies were: the Provo-Orem, Utah, area in 2004; the Richland-Kennewick-Pasco area of southeast Washington in 2005; and St. George, Utah, in 2006.

The San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara area in northern California’s Silicon Valley tops all large metropolitan areas (population of 500,000 or greater), scoring particularly well in the extreme weather and terrorist threats categories. The area is considered one of the leading research and development centers of the world; in 2005, San Jose and Sunnyvale ranked first and second in the number of utility patents filed in the U.S.

Olympia, Wash., is the most secure mid-size city (population between 150,000 and 500,000). The state capital has become a hub for artists and musicians. The extremely clean air and the long life expectancy of Olympia’s residents aided its lofty ranking.

Top-ranked Corvallis, whose population of 81,105 places it among the small towns, is nestled in the heart of Oregon’s Willamette Valley and is home to Oregon State University. In 2006, Corvallis was honored as only the third U.S. city at that time to meet the EPA’s challenge to become a Green Power Community. Corvallis’ low crime rate and negligible threats of extreme weather, environmental hazards and terrorist threats led to its No. 1 ranking in the 2007 Farmers study.

“The Farmers Most Secure Places to Live survey tells a lot about families and local government today,” says Ron Coble, senior vice president of Legislation, Regulation and Media Relations for Farmers Insurance Group.

Here are the Farmers Insurance Group’s Most Secure U.S. Places to Live for 2007:

Most Secure Places to Live – Large Metro Areas (500,000 or more residents)
1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.
2. Boise City-Nampa, Idaho
3. Bethesda-Gaithersburg-Frederick, Md.
4. San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif.
5. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks- Ventura, Calif.
6. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.
7. Nassau County-Suffolk County, N.Y.
8. New Haven-Milford, Conn.
9. Lake County, Ill./Kenosha County, Wis.
10. Honolulu, Hawaii
11. Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, Maine
12. Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, Mass.
13. Edison, N.J.
14. Portland-Beaverton, Ore./Vancouver, Wash.
15. Santa Ana-Anaheim, Calif.
16. Madison, Wis.
17. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash.
18. Rochester, N.Y.
19. Syracuse, N.Y.
20. Essex County, Mass.

Most Secure Places to Live – Mid-Size Cities (150,000 – 500,000 residents)
1. Olympia, Wash.
2. Rockingham County-Strafford County, N.H.
3. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, Calif.
4. Sioux Falls, S.D.
5. Bellingham, Wash.
6. Fargo, N.D.
7. Naples-Marco Island, Fla.
8. Las Cruces, N.M.
9. Lancaster, Pa.
10. Bremerton-Silverdale, Wash.
11. Binghamton, N.Y.
12. Lynchburg, Va.
13. Burlington-South Burlington, Vt.
14. Rochester, Minn.
15. Santa Barbara-Santa Maria, Calif.
16. Charlottesville, Va.
17. Santa Rosa-Petaluma, Calif.
18. Salinas, Calif.
19. St. Cloud, Minn.
20. Medford, Ore.

Most Secure Places to Live – Small Towns (Fewer than 150,000 residents)
1. Corvallis, Ore.
2. Harrisonburg, Va.
3. Ithaca, N.Y.
4. State College, Pa.
5. Logan, Utah
6. Lewiston, Idaho
7. Bismarck, N.D.
8. St. George, Utah
9. Napa, Calif.
10. Bend, Ore.
11. Wenatchee, Wash.
12. Mount Vernon-Anacortes, Wash.
13. Ames, Iowa
14. Morgantown, W. Va.
15. Wausau, Wis.
16. Iowa City, Iowa
17. Winchester, Va.
18. Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
19. Glens Falls, N.Y.
20. Grand Forks, N.D.

The rankings were compiled for Farmers by www.bestplaces.net.

Farmers Group Inc.

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