Map shows the 15 least safe towns in the US
The least safe towns in the US have been revealed – and they’re largely concentrated in three regions of the country.
Pulling crime statistics from the FBI, MoneyGeek recently ranked American cities and towns from the safest to the most unsafe, bottoming out at number 660.
MoneyGeek utilized standardized crime statistics reported to the FBI from 2021 and calculated crime rates per 100,000 residents using population data from the federal agency. It took into consideration data on violent crimes including murder, rape and aggravated assault, and property crimes like car theft and burglaries.
The study focused on cities with populations between 30,000 and 100,000.
‘Many people assume that small cities and towns are safer than big cities,’ states the study from May, noting it found ‘small cities and towns tend to be safer than large cities’.
But that should be taken with a grain of salt, as the study found that ‘small and large cities may have the same per capita cost of crime’. The data showed that many unsafe towns had crime levels comparable to big cities.
The study determined that ‘the least safe towns are more distributed, with Pine Bluff, Arkansas, at the top of the list’. Meanwhile, most of the safest small towns are in the Northeast, with three of the top 10 safest cities in New York or New Jersey and three in Massachusetts.
The per capita cost of crime in the least safe small and large cities was comparable.
‘In Pine Bluff, Arkansas, the least safe small city, the per capita cost of crime is $9,071, even higher than St Louis, Missouri – the most dangerous city on our large city list – where the per capita cost of crime is $8,457,’ states the study.
The second least safe small town, Monroe, Louisiana, has a per capita cost of crime of $7,764, while it is $7,740 for third least safe, Houma, Louisiana. The fourth least safe town is Alexandria, also in Louisiana. Among the 15 least safe towns nearby are Texarkana, Texas, ranked sixth, and North Little Rock, Arkansas, ranked 14th.
Another region with a small cluster of the least safe cities is the Midwest, with the eighth, ninth and 10th least safe – Saginaw, Michigan; Youngstown, Ohio; and Flint, Michigan, respectively.
The last region with a group of the least safe cities is the Mid-Atlantic. It has Wilmington, Delaware ranked fifth least safe; Petersburg, Virginia ranked seventh; Salisbury, North Carolina ranked 11th; Portsmouth, Virginia ranked 12th; Aiken, South Carolina ranked 13th; and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina ranked 15th.
‘Please note that 2021 data was not available for small cities in Alaska, Hawaii and Nevada,’ states the study.
At least one expert questioned the study’s methodology.
‘The first thing to note about this analysis is that it relies on 2021 FBI data,’ University of Nebraska associate professor Justin Nix told Newsweek on Thursday.
‘This was the first year that the FBI had fully transitioned to NIBRS (National Incident-Based Reporting System), and it resulted in lower quality national data due to a larger share of local agencies not participating.’
Asked by researchers behind the study why some smaller towns are less safe, CrimeInAmerica.net owner Leonard Sipes Jr said that ‘smaller areas are seeing an influx of criminals fleeing more heavily policed urban jurisdictions to sell a wide variety of illegal drugs’.
‘They quietly integrate themselves into criminal conspiracies with locals to control regional drug markets,’ he stated. ‘Drug markets are traditionally associated with violence.’
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