With crime rates rising, many Americans are wondering: what are the safest and most dangerous cities in the US?WalletHubrecently compared more than 42 key safety indicators to rank 180 cities across America. It's a useful list whether you're traveling somewhere or looking for a new place to stay.
Author's Note: For the latest list of the most dangerous and safest cities in the US, go toThe report lists America's 15 safest (and most dangerous) cities for 2023
"WalletHub is a finance site, and traveling or making housing decisions are both, to some extent, financially motivated decisions," said WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez. "Safety is obviously a key factor when choosing where to travel or where to stay."
WalletHub has compiled its annual list of America's Safest and Most Dangerous Cities by evaluating data points such as the percentage of hate crimes and assaults per capita, but also other safety indicators, from weather disasters to unemployment and road quality to the percentage of residents who are fully vaccinated. TheData used to create the reportcame from multiple sources, such as the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, FBI, and TransUnion.
America's Safest Cities
At the top of the list of America's safest cities is Columbia, Maryland. Columbia, a planned community, lies between Washington D.C. and Baltimore and is a sister of The Woodlands in Texas which was namedthe best place to live in Americain a recent report.
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In addition to its safety record, Columbia is known for its natural beauty (including the 27-acre Lake Kittamagundi) and an increasingly cool food and arts scene. Andy Shallal is an artist, activist and restaurateur who foundedBusboys and Poets, a restaurant, bar, bookstore and community meeting place headquartered in Washington D.C. He chose Columbia as the backdrop for the latest location of his cutting-edge cultural outpost. “The region's history of inclusion, safety, and progressiveness—along with its rich artistic heritage—played a significant role in our decision to build our largest location in the Merriweather District of downtown Columbia, and I believe this is a big one Contributes to why the region consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in the country,” says Shallal.
Columbia is also emerging as a creative hub for companies focused on technology and innovation. "The values on which the visionary city of Columbia was founded more than 55 years ago - safety, inclusion and an exceptional quality of life - are alive today under the thoughtful leadership of Howard Hughes Corporation and are among the key attributes that drew us to downtown Columbia" , said Rick Kohr, CEO of Evergreen Advisors, an investment bank and management consulting firm that recentlyscrapped a plan to move to Baltimoreand instead set up its headquarters in Colombia.
Ranked number two as the second safest city in America: Nashua, New Hampshire, a historic and natural place on the banks of the Nashua and Merrimack Rivers. "Nashua is the second safest city due to lack of terrorist attacks, lack of recorded homicides, and low rate of assaults, thefts, and fatal pedestrian deaths per capita," Gonzalez says. "The city is also protected from natural disasters and ranks at a very high level in terms of financial security."
America's Most Dangerous Cities
WalletHub also looked at the most dangerous cities in the USA in its analysis. “Some cities have definitely been hit harder than others by the pandemic, as well as protests and riots,” Gonzalez says. “We are currently still seeing an increase in the crime rate that started in 2020.The murder ratein particular are on the rise, with cities like Kansas City, Detroit and St. Louis seeing the biggest increases.”
At the bottom of the list came St. Louis, Missouri, that wasNamed America's Most Dangerous Cityon a number of similar lists. "The high crime rate is definitely a good reason for travelers not to visit the city," says Gonzalez.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. "St. Louis is the least safe city due to the large number of homicides, assaults, thefts, sex offenders, and drug overdose deaths per capita, as well as high traffic and pedestrian fatality rates,” says Gonzalez.
According to WalletHub, St. Louis ranked 178th on the homicides and non-negligent homicides list (at 88.13 per capita), 173rd on the list for assault (at 1433.54 per capita), 174th for theft (at 62.47 per person). ), 177 for sex offenders (at 834.57 per capita), 178 for drug overdose deaths (at 85.12 per capita) and number 173 for road traffic fatalities (at 26.58 per capita) to name just a few statistics.
Another thing against St. Louis: "In terms of financial security, St. Louis has one of the highest rates of personal bankruptcy filings per capita and a large proportion of seriously waterlogged mortgages, nearly 18%," says Gonzalez.
Surprisingly, one of the country's most popular vacation spots fared poorly on the list: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which was named America's second most dangerous city. “Fort Lauderdale has a high pedestrian fatality rate, but the lack of safety primarily affects the financial sector. For example, the city has a large proportion of homeowners who spend more than 35% of their household income on housing,” says Gonzalez. "There are also a large number of complaints about fraud and identity theft."
According to WalletHub, Fort Lauderdale ranks poorly in a number of crime areas - number 149 on the list for homicides and non-negligent homicides (at 20.07 per capita), 142 for theft (at 43.30 per capita), 145 for sex offenders (at 339 .35 per capita), 171 in pedestrian fatalities (at 6.05 per capita) and number 167 in traffic fatalities (at 18.70 per capita). However, it performed worst on fraud (ranked 170th with 1497 per capita) and identity theft complaints (ranked 170th with 839 per capita).
Safest Places in the US: Surprising Findings
According to Gonzalez, WalletHub has made some minor updates to its methodology this year, resulting in some surprising differences in ranking. "Some of the most notable include South Burlington, Vermont, which dropped to 15th from second place last year, or Laredo, which jumped to third place from 19th last year," says Gonzalez.
South Burlington popped up on the list due to lower levels of home and community safety and a significant increase in hate crimes and traffic fatalities per capita.
Laredo, Texas, on the other hand, saw improvements in both home and community safety and financial security. "The city managed to vaccinate all of its residents against Covid-19, it had fewer hate crimes and a lower traffic fatality rate," says Gonzalez. "Financially, compared to last year, it has a lower poverty rate, fewer identity theft complaints, better job security and job growth, and fewer personal bankruptcy filings and underwater mortgages."
Read on for lists of America's safest and most dangerous cities. You can also seeFull report from WalletHub, which lists 180 cities across the country and includes breakout lists such as the places with the highest and lowest road deaths per capita, highest and lowest unemployment rates, highest and lowest natural disaster risks, and more.
The 10 safest cities in the USA
- Columbia, Maryland
- Nashua, New Hampshire
- Laredo, Texas
- Portland, Maine
- Warwick, Rhode Island
- Yonkers, New York
- Gilbert, Arizona
- Burlington, Vermont
- Raleigh, North Carolina
- Lewiston, Maine
10 Most Dangerous Cities in the USA
- St. Louis, Missouri
- Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- San Bernardino, California
- Detroit, Michigan
- Baton Rouge, Louisiana
- Memphis, Tennessee
- Oklahoma City
- Oakland, California
- Jackson, Mississippi
- Chattanooga, Tennessee
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