McAllen, Texas, is a border town near the US-Mexico border. The city was at the center of the humanitarian crisis at the Mexico border in 2018. But it’s much more than a border city. So, you’re looking for a place to live in Texas, you might ask, is it safe to live in McAllen, Texas?
McAllen is a safe city in all respects. It has been in the top ten safest cities for years, and Niche rates it a B+ for safety. Despite being near the border, the violent crime rate here is 78% below the national average. However, you should still follow tips to protect yourself and your property.
If you’re thinking of a city to live in, Texas, McAllen is one of the places to consider. The city is growing and has a livability of 81%. Here, we discuss whether McAllen is safe for residents.
How Safe is McAllen
McAllen is a very safe city. In fact, one of the safest in the country. It has been ranked as one of the safest cities by Smartasset.com on multiple occasions. In 2019, it ranked tenth and was ninth in 2020 and sixth in 2022. The ranking is based on violent crimes, property crimes, drug poisoning deaths, the percentage of the population abusing alcohol, and vehicular mortality rate. In 2020, it had only 3.5 deaths per 100,000 due to drug poisoning, and the vehicular mortality rate was 10.6 for every 100,000.
Contrary to some people who think McAllen and other similar border towns are crime-ridden and chaotic, the city is very safe. The supposed ill effects of immigration are mostly absent here. The city is the safest in Texas and one of the safest in the country. Not only that, the crime rate has been reducing over time. Criminal activity has fallen by 67% in the city since 1995.
The city’s overall crime rate is 14% below the national average, according to AreaVibes. While property crime is only 1% below the national average, the violent crime rate is 78% lower than the national average. That makes it. The chance of being a crime victim in the city is only 1 in 50. That makes it safer than 54% of cities in the US. Year on year, crime has also reduced by 22%.
Within the period, the rate of murder per 100,000 people in McAllen was 2.1 compared to the Texas average of 6.6 and a national average of 6.5. Since Texas has a higher crime rate than the national average, McAllen is a very safe city within it.
However, a poll in 2014 discovered that only 48.5% of those living in the McAllen metropolitan area felt safe walking at night. This is due to the violence along the borders. McAllen is next to Reynosa, Mexico, where drug violence is a major issue. The poverty rate in the city is also high, which is another factor that affects residents’ perception of the city.
On Niche, the city is ranked B+ for safety. Most of the residents consider it safe. 55% believe there’s a crime, but they’re not affected by it. 31% claim it’s very sage with no crime to speak of, and only 12% claim there’s no noticeable crime, and they’re sometimes unsafe. Most residents also rate the law enforcement in the city to be reliable.
Should You Move to McAllen?
McAllen is a developing city with a low cost of living. The city, with over 140,000 people, has the Texas A&M University branch campus, encouraging several young people to move to the city. McAllen is an amazing city in many respects. It has a rich cultural heritage and provides great access to nature. It is known for the birding and butterfly area. The Gulf of Mexico is only 80 miles away. Many residents here spend their day at the beach.
This is a good place to consider if you’re looking for an affordable city where the weather is mostly warm throughout the year. However, the economic conditions aren’t that excellent. But it has a livability rating of 81%.
Safety Tips for living in McAllen
Even though McAllen is mostly safe, there’s still a need to be cautious. There are still safety tips for residents to follow.
1. Protect Your Residence
Property crimes are high in McAllen compared to others. The burglary rate here is 96.1 per 100,000 people. So, it’s one of the most prevalent crimes. This means you need to take extra care to protect your home. You can do this in various ways. Most times, burglars will only enter a house when they believe no one is there.
You want to make sure they don’t know that. If you’re going out briefly, especially in the evening, you can turn on the television or radio and leave your lights on. This gives the appearance that there’s someone at home.
If you’re traveling and no one will be home, get an automatic light timer so your lights will be coming in every evening. You can ask a neighbor you trust to watch your house for you. They could even park their car in your driveway and let them pick up your newspaper and mail. Also, make sure you lock the garage door. Installing a security system isn’t a bad idea as well.
2. Personal Safety
It’s also important to protect yourself. Doing this requires caution. Due to the proximity of McAllen to the border towns of Mexico, where violence is high, it’s advisable not to walk about at night. Even during day time, avoid going to remote areas. Every city has its bad neighborhoods, and McAllen isn’t any different.
So, you need to avoid the areas with clearly bad reputations. When shopping, always do it before dark and park only in well-lit spots. You should also be cautious around your car. Look around to see if someone is hiding inside, under, or around it before you enter. Finally, always lock all doors, whether in homes or offices.
3. Auto Protection
Vehicle theft is also high in the city, at a rate of 33.7 per 100,000 people. To protect your car, ensure you never leave your keys in the vehicle or leave it running no matter how briefly you’ll be gone. Also, ensure you lock the car and never leave extra keys in the car. Park in public spaces where everyone can see your car and roll up the window when parking. Also, ensure you don’t keep valuables in plain sight in the car.
Many people only know McAllen for its immigration processing center. But this city of over 140,000 is amazing in many respects. It’s safe, and the cost of living is low. It’s one of the safest cities in the whole country.