FBI statistics indicate that crime in the United States has risen slowly recently, with one primary exception. Murder rates rose sharply last year. Even without a sharp rise in crime overall, Americans are anxious about their safety. Gun sales have surged for the past two years.
People almost certainly feel safer in some cities than in others. Crime rates are very high in some cities. These are dominated by the large industrial cities, like Detroit, that have fallen on tough times economically in the past several decades. The troubles in the cities are often made worse because they cannot afford police forces large enough to curb significant numbers of crimes.
The recent Safest Cities in America study by personal finance website MoneyGeek looked at the total and per capita cost of crime in 297 cities with populations over 100,000. Information was gathered from the Gun Violence Archive, the FBI and the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Among the types of crime examined were “murder, rape and aggravated assault and property crimes such as home burglary and motor vehicle theft.”
Commenting on the figures, Jesse Bruhn, Annenberg assistant professor of education and economics at Brown University, said, “Behind all these averages that people like to cite about the crime rates in different communities are individual people and their decisions about how they choose to engage in their community.”
The overall index the authors created included crime cost per capita, the violent crime rate, the property crime rate the cost of crime per $100,000, and the population of each city.
The city with the best index was Naperville, Illinois. Its crime cost per capita was low, as was the rate of violent crimes.
There was no geographic pattern among the safest cities. Most, however, had populations of under 200,000.
These are the 20 safest cities in America:
|City||Crime Cost per Capita||Population|
|Amherst Town, N.Y.||$227||121,304|
|Cape Coral, Fla.||$233||199,503|
|Thousand Oaks, Calif.||$252||126,823|
|Lee’s Summit, Mo.||$295||100,268|
|Coral Springs, Fla.||$301||135,027|
|Woodbridge Township, N.J.||$311||100,119|
|Santa Clarita, Calif.||$319||221,932|
|Daly City, Calif.||$326||106,855|
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