In this year’s large city category of the “Most Secure Places to Live in the U.S.” study, Farmers Insurance Group has rated Bethesda, Md., Grand Rapids, Mich., and Pittsburgh, Pa., as the most secure large metropolitan areas (population of 500,000 or greater).
Farmers annually ranks hundreds of U.S. communities based on safety and security. The study of large metropolitan areas, compiled by researchers at Sperling’s BestPlaces, took into consideration a number of criteria, including 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.
“Our most secure large metropolitan areas are islands of security in our challenging times,” said Bert Sperling, president of Sperling’s BestPlaces. “Some have a stable economy due to their local colleges and seats of government, and some may be fortunate that their locale is not prone to hurricanes, tornadoes or earthquakes. Although each metropolitan area is different, they all possess a desirable combination of factors (jobs, low crime rates, housing, climate, health, reduced levels of natural disasters) that make these some of the best places to live in the United States.”
This is the seventh consecutive year that the Bethesda area has earned the top 20 rating among large metropolitan areas in the annual study, and it has actually been among the top 10 each year since 2007. Some of the key factors that helped the historical Maryland area earn its No. 1 spot in the 2012 study included its low unemployment and low personal crime rates, while its long life expectancy rate contributed to its top rating.
Grand Rapids made the Farmers Insurance top 20 for the first time, while this is the sixth consecutive year that Pittsburgh has appeared in the annual Farmers rankings.
It is the fifth straight year for the Austin–Round Rock, Texas, area, which came in fourth this year, up from No. 10 in 2011. Grand Rapids and Austin are two cities in which Farmers Insurance has a significant employee presence.
Here are the Farmers Insurance Group’s top 20 most secure large metropolitan areas for 2012:
Large Metro Areas (500,000 or more residents)
|2.||Grand Rapids–Wyoming, Mich.|
|4.||Austin–Round Rock, Texas|
|6.||Omaha, Neb.–Council Bluffs, Iowa|
|7.||San Jose–Sunnyvale–Santa Clara, Calif.|
|8.||San Francisco–San Mateo–Redwood City, Calif.|
|9.||Portland–Beaverton, Ore.–Vancouver, Wash.|
|11.||Boise City–Nampa, Idaho|
|13.||Minneapolis–St. Paul–Bloomington, Minn.|
|15.||Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine|
|16.||Essex County, Mass.|
|17.||El Paso, Texas|
|19.||Santa Ana–Anaheim–Irvine, Calif.|
|20.||Des Moines–West Des Moines, Iowa|
Source: Farmers Insurance Group of Companies
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