Detroit’s been getting a lot of press this morning for surpassing St. Louis as the country’s most dangerous city in the 14th edition of City Crime Rankings: Crime in Metropolitan America, but I wanted to see how Atlanta stacked up against other cities (with populations of 75,000+) across the country. Unfortunately, there’s no data for the whole metropolitan region’s population of 5 million due to a lack of burglary data, so the only ranking available is for the city’s 500,000 person population.
How were the rankings determined? According to the AP…”The report looked at 378 cities with at least 75,000 people based on per-capita rates for homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and auto theft. Each crime category was considered separately and weighted based on its seriousness, CQ Press said.” The cities were then ranked based on a composite “score”.
As the title of this post proclaims, the city of Atlanta didn’t fair that well, ranking 22nd “Most Dangerous” out of 378 eligible cities. However, that was a slight improvement from last year, when the city ranked 17th. Other major cities with known crime problems like Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Miami, ranked with in a couple places of Atlanta. Our neighbor to the west, Birmingham, AL fared even worse the Georgia’s capital, ranking 6th nationally. Click here for the full list of “Most Dangerous Cities” in PDF.
Conversely, Roswell, GA ranked as the 30th SAFEST city in the country. Mission Viejo, CA, Clarkstown, NY, and Brick Township, NJ ranked 1, 2, and 3 nationwide. Click here to view a PDF of the safest cities.
It should be noted that these rankings have been highly criticized. Not surprisingly by the cities that rank “Most Dangerous”, but also by the FBI. A statement on the FBI’s website reads “These rough rankings provide no insight into the numerous variables that mold crime in a particular town, city, county, state, or region,” the FBI said. “Consequently, they lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting communities and their residents.”
So, take this data with a grain of salt. At best it may give a very general idea of which cities have the most severe cases of the problems listed above, but beyond that its mostly a headache for city officials that have to combat negative PR for months to come.