Bethesda, Md., is the most secure large metropolitan area in the country, according to the latest annual ranking of cities for safety and security by the Farmers Insurance Group of Cos.
The study, conducted by researchers at Sperling's BestPlaces, considered a variety of criteria, including economic stability, crime rate, extreme weather, natural disaster risk, housing depreciation, foreclosures, air quality, environmental hazards, life expectancy, car accident deaths and employment numbers.
The other metro areas in the top 10, in descending order are:
- Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Mich.
- Pittsburgh, Penn.
- Austin-Round Rock, Texas
- Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, Mass.
- Omaha, Neb.,-Council Bluffs, Iowa
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.
- San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif.
- Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas
Bethesda has made the top 10 each year since 2007, largely due to its low unemployment and crime rates as well as residents' long life expectancy rate.
Grand Rapids made the Farmers top 20 for the first time, while this is the sixth consecutive year that Pittsburgh has appeared in the rankings. It is the fifth straight year for the Austin-Round Rock, Texas, area, which rose to fourth place this year, up from No. 10 the previous year.
"Although each metropolitan area is different, they all possess a desirable combination of factors ... that make these some of the best places to live in the United States," Bert Sperling, president of Sperling's BestPlaces, said in a press release.