Study Ranks America’s 15 Unsafest Cities For 2023

Although data shows violent crime rates in U.S. cities fell last year, crime is still a growing concern among many Americans — whose fears are fueled by events such as recent mass shootings. can increase due to

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For the third year in a row, MoneyGeek, a personal financial technology company, has released its list of the most dangerous cities in the United States and the safest cities in America. This is a useful report to review whether you are traveling in the US or just a concerned citizen.

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“The report allows us to see what factors can link safe and unsafe cities together. Readers can also learn what to expect when visiting or living in different cities,” said Doug Milnes, Head of Data Analytics at MoneyGeek. “Knowing the facts rather than the reputations of different cities is the most important thing before a big move or vacation.”

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MoneyGeek compiled this year’s list by analyzing FBI crime statistics for 2021 (the most recent year for which data is available), including violent crimes like murder, rape and aggravated assault, as well as property crimes like burglary and auto theft. . The company looked at 263 cities with a population of more than 100,000.

MoneyGeek combined these statistics with academic research on the social costs of various types of crime to determine the cost of crime for each city. According to MoneyGeek, the cost of crime per capita in U.S. cities was $1,836 — a 6 percent increase from 2020.

The economic impact of crime

So why should people care about the cost of crime?

“The per capita cost of crime is not only an indication of how much crime is occurring in a given population, but also the severity of the crime that is occurring,” says Milnes. “For example, homicides and high-profile assaults have higher costs than burglaries or simple thefts. “By aggregating each crime by population into easy-to-read statistics, we can make broad comparisons of which cities across the country are the most dangerous.”

Depending on each local area’s overall budget, Milnes said understanding the cost of crime is critical to how well each state or municipality manages its crime-stopping efforts.

Another finding: “In addition to the risk of crime, people living in high-crime areas see depressed home values ​​and pay higher prices for essential needs like home insurance, renters insurance, and auto insurance. Deb Gordon of MoneyGeek says.

Economic impact also provides a more accurate picture of the risks in a particular location than looking at crime rates, which suffer from the clustering problem, because overall crime rates treat property and violent crimes the same way. “The cost of crime methodology we use is based on the cost of each crime type, so when we report a single number (the cost of crime) per capita, it gives a weight that is validated by academic research across different types of crime.”, – explains Milnes.

In other words, if MoneyGeek had simply used crime rates, they would have come up with different results because of differences in weights between crime rates that the methodology addresses. For example, an academic study cited by MoneyGeek puts murder at around $9 million, while robbery at around $3,500. “People can disagree about the exact value of a life, but the important part here is to understand the proportionality of this study: murder is 2,571 times worse than robbery,” says Milnes.

The most dangerous cities in the USA

Last year, St. Louis, Missouri was named the most dangerous city in America. This year, it was named the most dangerous city again, with the highest crime rate on the list at $8,457 per capita.

“St. Louis ranks above the national average for violent crime and local property crime rates,” says Milnes. “While there are no 100% sure ways to avoid risk on the travel side, others “There are safer areas than the others. As we have seen from local experts, the northern part of the city has more problem areas than others.”

In the list of the most dangerous cities in America, the second place was taken by the city of Mobile, Alabama, and the third place was taken by the city of Birmingham, Alabama. “Mobile is consistently recognized as one of the most dangerous cities in the country,” says Milnes. “Property crime and violent crime rates are among the highest in the country, second only to St. Louis as the most dangerous (because Mobile has fewer high-value crimes like murder). Mobile and Birmingham have above-average crime rates and relatively low standards of living.”

MoneyGeek also looked at mass shootings in its report. As of January 30, 2023, there have been 49 mass shootings, up from 34 during the same period in 2022, according to the Gun Violence Archive. is a tumor. “Mass shootings are a particular disaster for American life,” Gordon said. “The emotional impact of mass shootings is immeasurable, traumatizing families and entire communities.”

Mass shootings also have an economic impact. MoneyGeek estimates the total cost of mass shootings in 2021 to be $8 billion — a 33 percent increase in spending from 2020. According to MoneyGeek, Boulder, Colorado was the worst city in the U.S. for mass shootings, followed by San Jose, California and Indianapolis, Indiana.

According to Milnes, the biggest surprise was the absence of large cities on the list of dangerous places. “It’s surprising that, from everything you hear about big coastal cities being very dangerous, cities like New York and Boston don’t have the reputation of being as dangerous as you might think,” he says.

The safest cities in the USA

MoneyGeek also ranked America’s safest large cities with populations over 300,000. This year, Honolulu was named the safest large city, with a per capita crime rate of $528.

“In general, Hawaii is very safe compared to other states with large metro areas,” says Milnes. “A number of factors can make any city safe or unsafe, and while we haven’t looked at exactly how or why each city is the way it is, Honolulu is uniquely situated because of its isolation from other major cities. can be located, and among them are the states with the strictest gun laws in the country.

Another thing that Honolulu has in common with other safest cities is the high cost and standard of living. “Cities with higher costs and higher standards of living tend to have lower rates of violent crime,” says Milnes. “In general, what we’re seeing is that cities with a higher cost of living and a more suburban feel tend to be safer than our core metro areas. It’s probably even more so for certain neighborhoods or sections of cities. that’s right.”

Cities with higher costs and higher standards of living tend to have lower rates of violent crime. In general, what we’re seeing is that cities with a higher cost of living and a more suburban feel are generally safer than our major metro areas. This is perhaps even more true for certain neighborhoods or sections of cities.

MoneyGeek also ranked America’s safest cities with populations over 100,000. The safest city on this list was Naperville, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. The total cost of crime per capita in this city is $156. Sunnyvale, California was next on the list, followed by West Covina, California.

Overall, California had six places on the list of safest cities and three places on the list of safest cities with a population of more than 300,000.

Read our list of the most dangerous and safest cities in America.

15 Most Dangerous Cities in the US (#1 – Highest Cost of Crime)

  1. St. Louis, Missouri
  2. Mobile, Alabama
  3. Birmingham, Alabama
  4. Baltimore, Maryland
  5. Memphis, Tennessee
  6. Detroit, Michigan
  7. Cleveland, Ohio
  8. New Orleans, Louisiana
  9. Shreveport, Louisiana
  10. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  11. Little Rock, Arkansas
  12. Oakland, California
  13. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  14. Kansas City, Missouri
  15. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The 5 worst cities in the US for mass shootings

  1. Boulder, Colorado
  2. San Jose, California
  3. Indianapolis, Indiana
  4. Atlanta, Georgia
  5. Colorado Springs, Colorado

15 Safest Big Cities in the US (Populations Over 300,000)

  1. Honolulu, Hawaii
  2. Virginia Beach, Virginia
  3. Henderson, Nevada
  4. El Paso, Texas
  5. New York City
  6. San Diego, California
  7. Mesa, Arizona
  8. Charlotte, North Carolina
  9. San Jose, California
  10. Boston, Massachusetts
  11. Raleigh, North Carolina
  12. Arlington, Texas
  13. Santa Ana, California
  14. Omaha, Nebraska
  15. Austin, Texas

15 Safest US Cities (Populations Over 100,000)

  1. Naperville, Illinois;
  2. Sunnyvale, California
  3. West Covina, California
  4. Carmel, Indiana
  5. Glendale, Arizona
  6. Meridian, Idaho
  7. Provo, Utah
  8. Joliet, Illinois
  9. Jurupa Valley, California
  10. Sugar Land, Texas
  11. McAllen, Texas
  12. El Monte, California
  13. Rancho Cucamonga, California
  14. Glendale, California
  15. Pearland, Texas


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