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  America's most dangerous cities
Kent and Alexander  
The number of violent crimes across the United States is estimated to have dropped by 4.4% in 2013 from the year before, according to data recently released by the FBI in its 2013 Uniform Crime Report. In all, the number of such crimes declined by nearly 15% in the last 10 years.
Putting this drop into context, John Roman, senior fellow at the Urban Institute, told 24/7 Wall St.: "A 4.4% reduction in violent crime is astonishing. If you saw a similar increase in GDP, or a similar decrease in unemployment, it would be huge national news."
Despite the nation’s improving crime rates, a number of large U.S. cities are still especially dangerous. Nationwide, 368 violent crimes were reported for every 100,000 people in 2013. Such crimes include murder, rape, aggravated assault, and robbery. In America’s 10 most dangerous cities, there were more than 1,300 violent crimes per 100,000 residents.
In many of these cities, high murder rates are especially problematic. Three of these cities -- Detroit, St. Louis, and Baltimore -- had nation-leading murder rates of 45, 38, and 37 per 100,000 people, respectively, in 2013. In all, eight of the 10 cities with the highest violent crime rates were also among the 25 cities with the highest murder rates.
In addition to high violent crime rates, these cities are characterized by remarkably high levels of property crime. There were 2,731 documented cases of property crime for every 100,000 Americans last year. Meanwhile, in six of America’s most dangerous large cities, there were well over 5,000 property crimes reported per 100,000 residents. Such crimes include motor vehicle theft and burglary.
Last year, in four of America’s most dangerous cities, there were more than 1,000 motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 people. By contrast, there were roughly 220 motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 people nationwide.
The problem in dangerous cities, according to Roman, is about “economic policy, it’s not about crime policy.” Roman noted a number of economic policies that, he said, have contributed to lower crime rates. The cities that “have been successful have promoted immigration, they’ve reduced economic segregation, and they’ve encouraged gentrification,” Roman said. “I think all three of those things are controversial. But I think the data suggests the results are overwhelming.”
The economies of a majority of the nation’s most dangerous cities have been struggling for some time. Median household income in eight of America’s most dangerous cities was more than $10,000 below the national median of $52,250 in 2013.
In addition to low incomes, these cities' residents suffered from high poverty rates. More than one in five residents in all but two of the most dangerous cities lived in poverty last year, well above the national average. The poverty rates in Cleveland and Detroit were particularly high, at 36.9% and 40.7%, respectively, both nearly the highest among all cities reviewed.
Education is another factor related to crime rates. Less than 85% of adults had completed at least a high school diploma in all but one of these cities, versus the national rate of 86.6%. In Cleveland, just 78.2% of adults had completed at least high school. However, reducing poverty and improving education to help fight crime can be challenging in many cities. There are “structural disadvantages in that crime is such a cultural norm that it’s hard to fix,” Roman said.
The FBI has attempted to discourage direct comparisons of crime rates between cities because local factors cause reporting to vary considerably between cities. Despite this characterization, Roman suggested that some comparison can be useful. “To me it's analogous to saying we shouldn’t rank how well schools are doing. How are you ever supposed to help the lowest-performing schools if you don’t tell them they’re the lowest-performing school?”
To identify the most dangerous cities in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed violent crime rates among the nation’s cities with populations of 100,000 or more from the FBI’s 2013 Uniform Crime Report. Property crime rates also came from the FBI’s report. The data were broken into eight types of crime. Violent crime was comprised of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault; and, property crime was was made up of burglary, arson, larceny, and motor vehicle theft. In addition to crime data, we also reviewed median household income, poverty rates, and educational attainment rates from the 2013 Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.
Below are the five most dangerous cities in America. To see the rest of the worst 10, visit 247WallSt.com.

A Cleveland police officer walks past the house where Ariel Castro held three women captive for about a decade. The house has since been torn down. (2013 photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
A Cleveland police officer walks past the house where Ariel Castro held three women captive for about a decade. …
5. Cleveland, Ohio
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,478
> Population: 389,181
> 2013 murders: 55
> Poverty rate: 36.9%
> Pct. of adults with high school degree: 78.2%
Low educational attainment and poverty rates among Cleveland residents may explain, in part, the area’s high violent crime rate. Just 78.2% of area adults had completed high school and 16.5% had at least a bachelor’s degree as of last year, both among the lower figures nationwide. Also, Cleveland's median household income of $26,096 was lower than that of every other large U.S. city except for Detroit. Robberies accounted for the bulk of Cleveland’s violent crime rate, with 897 reported per 100,000 last year, second only to Oakland. The burglary rate was even higher. More than 2,100 burglaries -- thefts occurring without the victim present -- were documented per 100,000 area residents last year, the second highest rate in the country and more than three times the national rate of 610.

Police in riot gear confront protesters in St. Louis in October 2014. The demonstrators were protesting the killings of 18-year-olds Michael Brown by a policeman in nearby Ferguson, Missouri, and Vonderrit Myers Jr. by an off-duty St. Louis police officer. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Police in riot gear confront protesters in St. Louis in October 2014. The demonstrators were protesting the killings …
4. St. Louis, Mo.
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,594
> Population: 318,563
> 2013 murders: 120
> Poverty rate: 26.6%
> Pct. of adults with high school degree: 83.3%
More than 5,000 violent crime were reported in St. Louis last year, or nearly 1,600 per 100,000 people. Still, much like the rest of the nation, violent crime in St. Louis has dropped in recent years. In 2010, more than 6,200 violent incidents were reported in the city, or 1,747 per 100,000 residents. Despite this improvement, St. Louis still struggles with tragic levels of certain serious crimes. A total of 120 murders were reported in St. Louis last year, or 38 per 100,000 people, among the worst rates for any large U.S. city. Additionally, according to local news reports, there were considerably more murders this year through October than during the same period in 2013.

A police squad car patrols Memphis with a license-plate reading camera that has infrared capability. (Photo by …
3. Memphis, Tenn.
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,656
> Population: 657,691
> 2013 murders: 124
> Poverty rate: 27.7%
> Pct. of adults with high school degree: 82.5%
There were 7,200 aggravated assaults reported in Memphis last year. This was one of the largest figures among U.S. cities and a major contributor to Memphis’ high violent crime rate of 1,656 per 100,000 residents. In addition to a high violent crime rate, Memphis also suffers from high levels of property crimes, which totalled nearly 40,000. There were 366 arsons in 2013, for example, more than in all but five other large U.S. cities. Like residents in a majority of the country’s most dangerous cities, Memphis residents are far more likely to live in poverty than most Americans. The area's poverty rate of nearly 28% in 2013 was among the highest rates nationwide.

Security officer Steven Long with VMA Security Group patrols the Sequoyah Hills neighborhood of Oakland in October 2013. Several  neighborhoods have formed security councils to supplement police; 50 to 100 homes sign up for the security patrols, which start at about $15 per month per household. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Security officer Steven Long with VMA Security Group patrols the Sequoyah Hills neighborhood of Oakland in October …
2. Oakland, Calif.
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,977
> Population: 403,887
> 2013 murders: 90
> Poverty rate: 19.5%
> Pct. of adults with high school degree: 80.9%
Oakland has historically suffered from high crime, and last year was no exception. Oakland reported nearly 2,000 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2013. Moreover, the city reported 1,219 robberies per 100,000 residents, the most of any large American city. In addition to violent crime, property crime was also quite high in the city, at over 6,200 such incidents per 100,000 residents last year. By comparison, the national rate was 2,731 per 100,000 residents. However, despite its high levels of crime, Oakland is rapidly gentrifying. Gentrification may contribute to lower violent crime rates in the long run, according to the Urban Institute’s John Roman.

Detroit police investigate the scene outside a barber shop where 10 people were shot in November 2013. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
Detroit police investigate the scene outside a barber shop where 10 people were shot in November 2013. (Photo by …
1. Detroit, Mich.
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 2,072
> Population: 699,889
> 2013 murders: 316
> Poverty rate: 40.7%
> Pct. of adults with high school degree: 78.6%
Detroit’s violent crime rate of 2,072 per 100,000 residents was the highest in the nation last year. This is despite the fact that the violent crime rate fell from 2,123 incidents per 100,000 people in 2012. Further, there were a total of more than 300 murders in Detroit last year, also among the worst figures nationwide. Like many other dangerous cities, Detroit residents are quite poor. A typical household earned less than $25,000 in 2013, and nearly 41% of people lived in poverty, both the worst figures among large U.S. cities. The region’s history of high crime rates may have encouraged residents over the years to take their protection into their own hands. Like in several other Michigan counties, residents of Wayne County, where Detroit is located, are more likely to have concealed gun permits than residents in the vast majority of populous areas. The number of applications for permits has risen dramatically in recent years.
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America’s safest cities

The number of violent crimes across the United States is estimated to have dropped by 4.4% in 2013 from the year before, according to data recently released by the FBI. In all, the number of such crimes declined by nearly 15% in the last 10 years.
Putting this drop into context, John Roman, senior fellow at the Urban Institute, told 24/7 Wall St., "A 4.4% reduction in violent crime is astonishing. If you saw a similar increase in GDP, or a similar decrease in unemployment, it would be huge national news."
Even as the nation becomes increasingly safe, a number of large U.S. cities still stood out for their low crime rate. Across the country, 368 violent crimes were reported for every 100,000 people last year. Such crimes include murder, rape, aggravated assault, and robbery. In America’s 10 safest cities, there were fewer than 100 such crimes for every 100,000 people. Based on violent crime data published by the FBI’s 2013 Uniform Crime Report, these are America’s safest cities.
In many of the safest cities, murder counts were extremely low. Nationwide, the FBI recorded 14,196 murders in 2013, or 4.5 murders for every 100,000 people. By comparison, each of America’s 10 safest cities reported less than five murders overall last year. Naperville, Illinois and Frisco, Texas did not report a single murder in 2013.
In addition to a low violent crime rate, the nation’s safest cities largely had extremely low property crime rates as well. As of last year, eight of these large cities were among the 25 cities with the lowest property crime rates. Nationwide, there were 2,731 such crimes for every 100,000 people. By comparison, in three of the safest cities -- Naperville, Illinois; Irvine, California; and Cary, North Carolina -- there were fewer than 1,400 property crimes per 100,000 residents.
According to the Urban Institute's Roman, reducing crime “is about economic policy, it’s not about crime policy.” He added, “The idea is that if you make a city more economically vibrant, you attract people to that city who bring with them resources to try and make that city better. And those resources benefit all of the people who are already there.”
The especially high household incomes in area with low crime rates, and the generally low incomes in areas with higher crime rates, appear to support Roman’s statement. In fact, Frisco and Naperville had the highest median incomes among large U.S. cities. In all, eight of the nation’s safest cities had median household incomes of more than $70,000 last year. By comparison, the median household income across the U.S. was $52,250 in 2013.
Education is another factor related to crime rates. More than 92% of adults 25 and older had completed at least a high school diploma in eight of the nation’s safest cities, well above the national rate of 86.6%.
However, higher incomes and an educated population alone may not explain all differences in local crime rates. Roman noted that, in some areas where crime is especially problematic, there are “structural disadvantages in that crime is such a cultural norm that it’s hard to fix.”
The FBI has attempted to discourage direct comparisons of crime rates between cities because local factors cause reporting to vary considerably between cities. Despite this characterization, Roman suggested that some comparison can be useful. “To me it's analogous to saying we shouldn’t rank how well schools are doing. How are you ever supposed to help the lowest-performing schools if you don’t tell them they’re the lowest-performing school?”
To identify the safest cities in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed violent crime rates among the nation’s cities with populations of 100,000 or more from the FBI’s 2013 Uniform Crime Report. Property crime rates also came from the FBI’s report. The data were broken into eight types of crime. Violent crime was comprised of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault; and property crime was comprised of burglary, arson, larceny, and motor vehicle theft. In addition to crime data, we also reviewed median household income, poverty rates, and educational attainment rates from the 2013 Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.
These are the safest cities in America.
10. Sunnyvale, California
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 97
> Population: 148,160
> 2013 murders: 4 (87th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 7.3% (14th lowest)
> Pct. of adults with high school degree: 92.1% (51st highest)
There were just 97 violent crimes committed per 100,000 people in Sunnyvale, the 10th lowest rate among large U.S. cities, and considerably lower than the national rate of 368 per 100,000 people. Robberies and aggravated assaults accounted for the bulk of the city’s violent crimes, and there were just four documented murder cases last year. Like in other large cities, safety is often accompanied by financial well-being. A typical household in Sunnyvale earned nearly $99,000 last year, more than in all but four other large cities. Sunnyvale residents were also among the least likely to live in poverty, with a poverty rate of just 7.3%. As is common among wealthier populations, Sunnyvale adults are well-educated. Nearly 60% of adults 25 and older had at least a bachelor’s degree as of last year, one of the highest attainment rates nationwide.
9. Glendale, California
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 93
> Population: 195,366
> 2013 murders: 1 (tied-19th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 17.8% (120th lowest)
> Pct. of adults with high school degree: 83.8% (102nd lowest)
Glendale is a suburb of Los Angeles and one of the safest cities in both California and the nation. Last year, just one murder was recorded in the city. Additionally, there were just 97 incidents of aggravated assault, or about 50 per 100,000 residents, which was one of the lowest rates in the United States. By comparison, nationwide there were more than four times the number of assaults for every 100,000 people. Also impressive, Glendale has been able to keep crime rates low despite lacking as wealthy residents as in many other extremely safe cities. The median household income in Glendale last year was $50,172, lower than the national median of $52,250.
8. Amherst, New York
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 90
> Population: 118,296
> 2013 murders: 1 (tied-9th lowest)
> Poverty rate: N/A
> Pct. of adults with high school degree: N/A
After falling between 2010 and 2012, the violent crime rate in Amherst increased in 2013 -- from 75 reported incidents per 100,000 residents in 2012 to 90 per 100,000 residents last year. This was the exception among the safest U.S. cities, all of which reported declining crime rates in 2013. Despite the increase, the city, located just outside of Buffalo, is still quite safe. There was only one murder recorded in Amherst last year, and property crimes were also very rare. There were 27 motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 people in Amherst last year, lower than in every city except for Naperville, Illinois. Burglary was also extremely uncommon in the area. Just 172 burglaries were reported per 100,000 residents last year, the fourth lowest rate among large U.S. cities and substantially lower than the national rate of 610 burglaries per 100,000 Americans.
7. Gilbert, Arizona
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 86
> Population: 225,232
> 2013 murders: 1 (tied-19th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 5.9% (5th lowest)
> Pct. of adults with high school degree: 94.1% (22nd highest)
Less than 6% of Gilbert residents lived in poverty last year, nearly the lowest rate in the nation, and likely a major factor in the region’s low crime rate. There was just one murder reported in Gilbert last year, and only 21 robberies per 100,000 residents, a fraction of the national robbery rate of 109 per 100,000 people. Gilbert’s stellar crime record may be a relatively isolated phenomenon, as surrounding areas reported far higher levels of violent crime. Nearby Phoenix, for example, reported a violent crime rate well above the national rate.
6.Temecula, California
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 85
> Population: 106,680
> 2013 murders: 3 (67th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 7.6% (15th lowest)
> Pct. of adults with high school degree: 92.3% (48th highest)
Temecula is situated between Los Angeles and San Diego in the southwestern corner of Riverside County. In 2013, the city of nearly 107,000 residents had just 91 violent crimes in total. Temecula also recorded just 38 aggravated assaults last year, or 36 reported assaults per 100,000 residents. This was lower than in all but two cities. Property crime in Temecula, however, was comparatively more common. Last year, Temecula reported 2,670 such crimes for every 100,000 people, not much lower than the national property crime rate of 2,731 per 100,000.
5. Frisco, Texas
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 76
> Population: 131,769
> 2013 murders: 0 (tied-the least)
> Poverty rate: 4.5% (2nd lowest)
> Pct. of adults with high school degree: 94.0% (23rd highest)
Frisco reported a total of just 100 violent crimes in 2013, fewer than almost any other city. Few large cities had less incidents of robbery and aggravated assault. Also, the city did not record a single murder last year.High incomes may contribute to the area’s low crime rates. Interrelated factors such as family wealth, and well-funded schools, may help discourage crime. Frisco had the highest median household income of any large U.S. city last year, at almost $110,000. Additionally, Frisco was one of just two large cities with a poverty rate of less than 5% last year.
4. Naperville, Illinois
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 73
> Population: 144,221
> 2013 murders: 0 (tied-the least)
> Poverty rate: 4.4% (the lowest)
> Pct. of adults with high school degree: 97.8% (the highest)
Naperville is one of the wealthiest cities in the United States, with a median household income of more than $105,000 last year. Naperville also had the lowest poverty rate of any large U.S. city, at just 4.4%. A lower poverty rate may help explain the city’s extremely low levels of violent crime. There were no reported murders in Naperville in 2013, while few cities reported less cases of rape per 100,000 residents. Adult residents are also exceptionally educated. Nearly 98% of people 25 and older had at least a high school diploma, the highest rate nationally, while more than 63% had at least a bachelor’s degree, also among the highest rates.
3. Cary, North Carolina
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 69
> Population: 148,905
> 2013 murders: 1 (tied-9th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 5.5% (4th lowest)
> Pct. of adults with high school degree: 95.0% (10th highest)
Cary's median household income of $89,405 in 2013 was one of the highest among large U.S. cities. High incomes and the area’s remarkably low poverty rate of just 5.5% likely contributed to Cary’s low crime rates. There were just 69 violent crimes per 100,000 people in 2013, down from 82 per 100,000 the year before. Most violent crimes in Cary were aggravated assaults. Still, Cary had one of the lowest assault rates in the nation, at 55 per 100,000 people. Economic growth often leads to declining crime rates, according to the Urban Institute’s Roman. The Raleigh-Cary metro area was identified by IHS Global Insights as among the fastest growing metro areas in the country in 2013.
2. Murrieta, California
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 65
> Population: 107,768
> 2013 murders: 1 (tied-19th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 8.4% (22nd lowest)
> Pct. of adults with high school degree: 92.9% (36th highest)
Murrieta reported 38 aggravated assaults per 100,000 people last year, the lowest in the nation. While Murrieta had a higher violent crime rate than Irvine in 2013, the city reported a total of just 70 violent crimes last year, the lowest nominal figure among all large cities. Property crimes were also relatively uncommon, with 1,522 reported per 100,000 people last year, versus a national rate of 2,731 per 100,000 people. Larceny accounted for the bulk of property crimes in Murrieta, with 1,066 incidents reported per 100,000 people. This was still among the lower rates compared with other large U.S. cities. Residents were quite well-off financially. A typical household earned $72,385 in 2013, among the higher incomes among cities reviewed.
1. Irvine, California
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 48
> Population: 235,830
> 2013 murders: 2 (44th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 12.1% (53rd lowest)
> Pct. of adults with high school degree: 95.3% (7th highest)
Just 113 violent crimes were reported in Irvine last year, a city with more than 235,000 residents. As a result, the city's violent crime rate was just 48 per 100,000 people, the lowest among large U.S. cities. This is the 10th straight year in which Irvine has had the nation’s lowest violent crime rate among large cities. Irvine’s property crime rate was also extremely low, ranked ninth lowest in the nation. The city’s consistently low crime rates are likely due, at least in part, to its high-earning and well-educated population. Last year, the median household income in Irvine was $87,830, and more than 61% of adults had at least a bachelor’s degree, both among the highest figures in the nation. - source Yahoo.com

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