10 Safest Cities in North Dakota

Updated On October 10, 2023
North Dakota

Between North and South Dakota there is nothing but a line.

However, for those who have never visited the Midwestern states, this territory is far from the norm.

North Dakota is one of the least populated states in the nation, bordering Canada’s wilderness, and it is most famous for its oil mining operations.

As the second-largest oil-producing state in the US, North Dakota has boomed and boomed again with cities emerging for the sake of striking it oil-rich.

See what this means for those who live and travel through North Dakota, as you learn about the 10 safest cities in this state.

10 Safest Cities in North Dakota 

Hazen, North Dakota
Hazen, North Dakota

Hazen, North Dakota

The small town of Hazen repeatedly wins the award for being the safest city in North Dakota.

The crime rate here in Hazen is so low the residents don’t even lock their doors.

There is a minimal violent crime and gun violence in Hazen, and the biggest threat is property crime.

Package theft is the most concerning crime, thanks to the influx of mail shipping services delivering even to the remote wilds of North Dakota.

It might be the small population size of fewer than 3,000 residents that keeps crime under control or the scenic charms. 

Beulah, North Dakota
Beulah, North Dakota

Beulah, North Dakota

According to Safe Wise, Beulah is one of the safest cities in North Dakota.

The city has a low number of violent and property crimes, with a rate of 0 violent crimes and 6.7 property crimes per 1,000 in 2022.

The median income in Beulah, North Dakota is $99,125 and that is higher than the median income in Hazen ($82,121).

This may be why there is more crime in Beulah compared to Hazen.

Yet the increased wages add to the personal wealth of residents in Beulah, which helps make this more of an attractive place to live. 

Scranton, North Dakota
Scranton, North Dakota

Scranton, North Dakota

Scranton, North Dakota–not to be confused with its New Jersey soundalike–is one of the safest cities in this Midwestern state.

Scranton has a crime rate of only 2.40 violent crimes per 1,000 residents.

Also, there are more crimes in the western part of the city, in comparison to the eastern neighborhoods of Scranton.

As for murders, there is a rate of 0.02 murders per 1,000 residents annually. 

Bismarck, North Dakota
Bismarck, North Dakota

Bismarck, North Dakota

As the second most populated metro area of North Dakota, Bismarck is about average for crime rates when compared to the rest of the nation.

However, there is only a one in 283 chance that you will be a victim of a violent crime in Bismarck.

The property crime rates are somewhat higher with a chance of being a victim at one in 30 people.

If you are staying in Bismarck, North Dakota, stick to the northwestern part of the city where there are fewer crimes.

Marmarth, North Dakota
Marmarth, North Dakota

Marmarth, North Dakota

The city of Marmarth, North Dakota has a very low crime rate of only 2.02 violent crimes per 1,000 people in a single year.

The southeast neighborhoods are generally the safest for residents and visitors alike.

There is also minimal if any drug-related crime in Marmath, ND, which is a shocker when compared to other cities in the US.

Drug-related crimes might still take place in Marmath, but as for getting booked and cited, there are not any cases of such criminal activity. 

Surrey, North Dakota
Surrey, North Dakota

Surrey, North Dakota

Located in Ward County, Surrey, it is the best place to live in North Dakota based on property crime rates.

Surrey, North Dakota also has a low violent crime rate.

There are one in 1,453 victims of violent crimes in Surrey, which is 97 percent lower than the national average.

The crime rate for general crimes is only 11.65 out of 1,000 residents annually.

If you are in the northern neighborhoods of Surrey, the chance that you will be a victim of a crime increases most to one in 25, so stick to the central area of the city for safety.

Stanley, North Dakota
Stanley, North Dakota

Stanley, North Dakota

In Stanley, ND, which is in Mountrail County, there is a low percentage of property crime.

This is partly to do with the fact that there are only 1,458 people living in this rural town.

Keep note that this is the 19th most populated city in North Dakota, which again shows how few people really do live here.

That is most likely what keeps Stanley safe from the property and violent crime.

Carrington, North Dakota
Carrington, North Dakota

Carrington, North Dakota

The city of Carrington, North Dakota has some of the lowest crime rates in the state.

The crime rate is only 1.76 per 1,000 residents for violent crimes in a twelve-month period.

Additionally, there is a one in 116 chance of being a victim of a crime in Carrington, ND.

As an added bonus, for anyone wanting to move here, the town has a seven percent lower cost of living than other North Dakota cities.

Lisbon, North Dakota
Lisbon, North Dakota

Lisbon, North Dakota

Lisbon, North Dakota has a crime rate of 118, which is 2.3 less than the national average crime rate.

The rates of violent crime and property crime have also been decreasing over the last five years.

This is interesting given the COVID-19 pandemic and how it transformed communities. 

New Town, North Dakota
New Town, North Dakota

New Town, North Dakota

In New Town, North Dakota, the crime rate is only 34, and this is 8.1 times below the crime rate of the US at large.

In fact, crime in New Town, ND dropped by a whopping 50 percent from 2018 to 2022.

Violent crime has been on the drop, while property crime, including mail thefts, has been increasing.

5 Safety Tips for Traveling to North Dakota 

1. Be Winter Ready All Year Long

North Dakota is infamous for its long, cold highways that will shut down completely in inclement weather.

You do not want to get stuck outdoors with the winds and blizzard conditions that can hit this northernmost state at any time.

Take food and beverages, including hand warmers, to prevent frozen goods.

Have winter boots and gloves for icy conditions, and keep your vehicle in optimal condition before heading out on North Dakota highways and byways.

Also, have a map and understand the road system and your directions before you leave.

The internet and cell phone service are sparse in many cities and towns in this rural state.

You do not want to get stuck without connectivity and be unable to communicate–and get lost in a blizzard. 

2. Prepare for Long, Lonely Roads

The Dakotas, in general, do not have a lot of towns or cities. Some towns do not even have a single stoplight, and may not have a population of over 12 permanent residents.

As a result, you are not going to have a lot to look at or places to stop at when driving across North Dakota.

Pack audiobooks and have a plan and include plenty of snacks and things for comfort.

This includes a spare pillow so you can stretch back and rest in a rest area when you need a driving break. 

3. Look for Golf Courses and Breweries

These are the two most popular things to do in North Dakota– playing golf and drinking beer.

Depending on the season, you can enjoy one or both of these activities.

However, there is not a lot more to do here, as the state is landlocked and has 774,008 total residents.

Consider that most cities in other states have 1 million or more people, and you start to see how sparsely lived North Dakota is.

Another fun activity that locals enjoy and that harkens on tourists is hunting season.

If you love the color orange and have a penchant for pheasants, consider North Dakota your next hunting ground.

Just wear plenty of that orange for safety purposes, and try to avoid shooting other hunters.

4. Avoid Thinking of Fargo as “Fargo”

And you will be a lot better off.

If you watched the television series on streaming networks titled “Fargo” which led you to believe “true events really happened,” and maybe they did not, well, you are not alone.

Just do not think that everything you see in “Fargo” is really Fargo, North Dakota.

If you do, you are likely to get gunshy before you even make it to Main Street, and that would be a shame because Fargo is the quintessential North Dakota, and the largest and most populated city in the state.

5. Road Trips in North Dakota 

It is not for the faint of heart.

There is desert terrain and the Badlands here that are known for being harsh and dry, not to mention hot.

If you run out of water and have no services available, you are as good as gone!

Take a road trip to North Dakota only if you have planned as you are going to Antarctica.

Seriously, it is that much of a culture shock, comparable at best to Death Valley in the Southeast US.

North Dakota Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: North Dakota Safety Review

Safety Index:
North Dakota

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the deadliest month to visit North Dakota?

January is the coldest month in North Dakota when there is the least amount of sunlight and the most ice on the roadways.

Blizzards are more common here this time of the year.

As a result, you are most likely to freeze or be stuck unprepared with winter gear.

This also puts you at a greater risk of getting robbed or raped as a result of being alone in this wild western state.

What are the most dangerous jobs to do in North Dakota?

North Dakota is most famous for its oil fields and oil mining operations in the Bakken oil fields.

The influx of oil mining operations over the last two decades has sprung up entire towns and cities throughout the state.

If you are planning to move to North Dakota for this wealth of work, consider that oil mining jobs are the most dangerous jobs to do here.

What is the most dangerous city to visit in North Dakota?

In North Dakota, Williston is a boomtown that comes from the oil fields and the workers who arrive daily to find employment.

The FBI reports that Williston is the most dangerous city in this state.

Williston, ND has a crime rate of 142 violent crimes, 600 thefts, and 775 incidents of property theft out of 1,000 residents in a single year.

Devil’s Lake, which has the largest body of water in the state, is the place with the most property crime.

1 Comment on 10 Safest Cities in North Dakota

  1. North Dakota may not be the most exciting or well-known state, but it offers a unique and rugged beauty for those who are willing to venture off the beaten path.

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