10. Beaumont-Port Arthur, Tex.
> Pct. feel safe at night: 58.4%
> Violent crime rate: 545.9 per 100,000 people (46th highest)
> Poverty rate: 17.6% (135th highest)
> Pct. who always had money for food: 79.7% (51st lowest)
> Population: 378,477
According to Gallup, Beaumont area residents had one of the nation’s lowest scores for overall well-being in 2012, ranking behind only three other metropolitan areas. Residents also were among the least likely to be satisfied with where they lived, with nearly 25% stating they were unhappy with the area. Additionally, not only were they among the least likely to feel safe walking alone at night, 12.7% also felt they lacked easy access to a safe place to exercise, one of the highest rates in the nation.
9. Visalia-Porterville, Calif.
> Pct. feel safe at night: 58.0%
> Violent crime rate: 434.1 per 100,000 people (105th highest)
> Poverty rate: 25.7% (13th highest)
> Pct. who always had money for food: 73.3% (5th lowest)
> Population: 429,668
Residents of the Visalia area have been among the nation’s poorest in recent years. In 2011, 25.7% of the population lived below the poverty line, almost 10 percentage points higher than the United States overall. Among other issues facing the area, Visalia had a 15.1% unemployment rate at the end of 2012, the fifth highest in the nation. Many area residents also are not easily employable; just 69.3% of adults older than 25 had a high- school diploma in 2011. Visalia had 8.9 incidents of murder and negligent manslaughter per 100,000 residents, higher than the vast majority of metro areas measured by the FBI.
8. Modesto, Calif.
> Pct. feel safe at night: 55.9%
> Violent crime rate: 477.2 per 100,000 people (86th highest)
> Poverty rate: 23.8% (23rd highest)
> Pct. who always had money for food: 69.1% (the lowest)
> Population: 510,385
In Modesto, 23.8% of the population lived below the poverty line as of 2011, lower than most metropolitan areas in the country. Many residents lacked the full-time work necessary to afford basic needs; 14.9% of all workers were unemployed at the end of 2012, one of the highest percentages in the nation. Just 46.2% of all residents felt their city was improving, compared to the more than 59% of people who felt that way nationwide. In 2011, there were 6.5 incidents of murder and negligent manslaughter and nearly 135 robberies per 100,000 residents, versus just 4.7 and 113.7 incidents per 100,000 people, respectively, nationwide.
7. Fayetteville, N.C.
> Pct. feel safe at night: 55.5%
> Violent crime rate: 483.8 per 100,000 people (84th highest)
> Poverty rate: 18.6% (107th highest)
> Pct. who always had money for food: 80.5% (61st lowest)
> Population: 360,355
Although Fayetteville’s violent crime rate was far from the highest in the United States, it was considerably higher than the national rate. There were 483.3 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents, compared to 386.3 violent crimes per 100,000 across the country. There were 182.2 robberies for every 100,000 people, compared to 113.7 nationwide. Just over 77% of residents said they were satisfied with where they lived, one of the lowest rates of any metro area.
6. Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark.
> Pct. feel safe at night: 55.1%
> Violent crime rate: 980.4 per 100,000 people (the highest)
> Poverty rate: 19.3% (87th highest)
> Pct. who always had money for food: 79.8% (52nd lowest)
> Population: 1,304,926
The Memphis metro area had the highest crime rate in the nation in 2011, with more than 980 violent crimes per 100,000 people. The city also had some of the nation’s highest rates for murder and voluntary manslaughter, robbery and aggravated assault. Not only were violent crimes common, but Memphis also had one of the nation’s highest property crime rates. In addition to the nearly 45% of respondents who did not feel safe walking alone at night — the worst percentage of any of the nation’s 50 largest metro areas — 12% noted that they lacked access to a safe place to exercise.
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