Portland, Salt Lake City Rank No. 1 and No. 2 As Safest Places To Live

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The Editors's picture
Portland, Salt Lake City rank No. 1 and No. 2 as safest places to live

Portland and Salt Lake City rank No. 1 and No. 2 as the safest places to live in the U.S. to avoid natural disasters, and Seattle comes in at No. 5, according to a new report.

The Top 10 Safest Places to avoid natural disasters were analyzed and used eight risk factors from the data to determine the list, according to Sperling's BestPlaces. They looked at the 50 largest metro areas for the report.

The risk factors were weighted by severity and frequency of the threat with the top threats at the top, such as tornados and hurricanes, then flooding and earthquakes, and drought, hail, wind and wildfires which were considered less impactful.

"We created this list to help the many people who are worried or fed up with the danger and recovery after natural disaster," Bert Sperling, Founder of BestPlaces.net, said in a release.  "Even just the threat of an event can be very disruptive, which can happen several times annually."

This data is based on 30 years of hazardous weather trends. Bestplaces.net also compiles other pertinent location data including cost of living, crime, schools, and anything else needed to make a sound decision on where to live.

Some might find it surprising that several California places rank in the top ten, given the earthquake risk on the West Coast.  Sperling explains, "We considered the risk from a major earthquake to be less than that from hurricanes or tornados.  It's entirely possible that one could spend a lifetime in California and never be impacted by an earthquake, while hurricanes and tornados can occur regularly."

Top 10 safest places to live:

  1. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA
  2. Salt Lake City, UT
  3. Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA
  4. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
  5. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
  6. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
  7. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
  8. Richmond, VA
  9. Providence-Warwick, RI-MA
  10. Columbus, OH

And the top 10 riskiest places for natural disasters are:

  1. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL
  2. Austin-Round Rock, TX
  3. Oklahoma City, OK
  4. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
  5. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
  6. Birmingham-Hoover, AL
  7. Memphis, TN-MS-AR
  8. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
  9. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ
  10. New Orleans-Metairie, LA

Where Portland ranks in other Best Places list categories:

No. 1 - Best Cities for Seniors 2005

No. 2 - America’s Best Cities for Foodies

No. 2 - Fiscally Fit Cities Report

No. 4 - Cities on the Edge of Greatness

No. 4 - America's Best Cities for a Healthy Retirement

Where Salt Lake City ranks in other Best Places categories:

No. 1 - Fiscally Fit Cities Report

No. 2 - Most Romantic Cities for Boomers

No. 5 - Healthiest Cities

No. 5 - Drought-Riskiest Cities

No. 5- Failure To Lunch


The BestPlaces rankings are based on the frequency and severity of hazardous weather events over the last 30+ years, analyzing the tracks and locations of serious storms which caused injury and damage.  Governmental agencies providing the raw data include NOAA, USGS, and NCDC Storm Events Database.

About BestPlaces.net

For more than thirty years Bert Sperling has been analyzing data about people and places, and rating them for major publications. BestPlaces.net provides accurate and up-to-date information in a useful and entertaining format to over 2 million users monthly.

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