Happy Valley is also safe valley

State College, home to Pennsylvania State University, has been tagged with a pleasant distinction: The fourth most secure small city in the nation, according to Farmers Insurance, a large U.S. multi-line insurer based in Los Angeles.

The study included a number of criteria, including economic stability, crime statistics, weather, risk of natural disasters, housing depreciation, foreclosures, air quality, environmental hazards, life expectancy, motor vehicle fatalities and employment, according to the group. Small cities were defined as those with populations smaller than 150,000.

The statistics reviewed were for 2012, so the child sex abuse scandal involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, now in prison, was not a factor.

Cities that ranked higher than State College were: Corvallis, OR, in first place, Midland, TX, in second and Bismarck, ND, in third. Williamsport was 12th.

Of mid-sized cities, with populations between 150,000 and 500,000, Erie ranked 10th. Topping the list in that category were: 1. Holland-Grand Haven, MI, Green Bay, WI, and Appleton, WI.

And of large cities, with populations over 500,000, Pittsburgh came in third. Bethesda-Gaithersburg-Frederick, MD, was first and Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI was second.