Thank goodness for Farmers Insurance Group. It has found the most "secure" places to live in this country, based on criteria like extreme weather, natural disasters, housing depreciation and foreclosures, air quality, terrorist threats, environmental hazards, life expectancy, job loss and, of course, crime. The data was compiled by www.bestplaces.net
According to Farmers, which is owned by Zurich, the best large metro area is the Austin-Round Rock area in central Texas. It's not all that surprising, given that this locale includes both the state's capital and the main campus of the University of Texas, both resistant to recession. Technology companies like Dell Inc. and other Fortune 500 firms such as Whole Foods Market are also here. Nearby Round Rock hasn't seen much in the way of crime since legendary outlaw Sam Bass tried to rob the place and was shot to death by Texas Rangers.
Farmers' survey also ranked mid-sized cities - population less than half a million - and rural areas - less than 150,000 people - that were safe and secure. However, they weren't places to which people would normally flock. The Fargo, North Dakota area is the safest mid-sized city, but you wouldn't know it from the Coen brothers' movie of the same name. As for rural areas, the Farmers survey cites Lewiston, Idaho as the best.
Other big city areas considered safe by Farmers also happen to be located in the Midwest, with Des Moines, Iowa as the second safest and Madison, Wisconsin as the third. Best of all, you get to root for great football teams. On Wisconsin! Hook 'em Horns!