Most Dangerous Cities in America? Give Us a Break!

Suzanne Murray

police carEveryone wants to live in a safe place, especially when you're raising kids. So today's annual report on the most dangerous cities in America from the CQ Press (an independent book publisher) has the residents of a lot of places in a tizzy -- and others breathing a collective sigh of relief.

The report uses data from the FBI to rank the dangerousness of 400 cities by analyzing how much crime takes place there -- murder, rape, aggravated assault, burglary, and car theft.

But does the report really matter?

Not according to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which denounced the rankings as "a premeditated statistical mugging of America's cities." Nor to the FBI, which says that the report is misleading.

Let's take a look at the top 10 most crime-ridden cities:

st louis

1. St. Louis, Missouri

camden new jersey


2. Camden, New Jersey

detroit  michigan
3. Detroit, Michigan


flint michigan


4. Flint, Michigan

oakland california


5. Oakland, California


richmond california


6. Richmond, California


cleveland ohio


7. Cleveland, Ohio


compton california


8. Compton, California


gary indiana


9. Gary, Indiana


birmingham alabama

10. Birmingham, Alabama


Those places don't look so bad to me. Maybe everyone is hiding inside their homes?

According to the FBI:

Each year when Crime in the United States is published, many entities -- news media, tourism agencies, and other groups with an interest in crime in our Nation -- use reported figures to compile rankings of cities and counties. These rankings, however, are merely a quick choice made by the data user; they provide no insight into the many variables that mold the crime in a particular town, city, county, state, region, or other jurisdiction. Consequently, these rankings lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting cities and counties, along with their residents.

The top 5 safest cities were in this order: Colonie, New York; O'Fallon, Missouri; Ramapo, New York; Mission Viejo, California; Clarkstown, New York.

To take a look at all 400 cities that were analyzed and where they rank, check out CQ Press's City Crime Rankings 2010 - 2011.


Do you live in one of the most dangerous cities in America? Does the report worry you?


Images via davidsonscott15/Flickr; happysteve/Flickr; Mulad/Flickr; paul (dex)/Flickr; Flint Broadside/Flickr; hortulus/Flickr; City of Richmond; cliff1066/Flickr; City of Compton; Payton Chung/Flickr; Max Wolfe/Flickr

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