Grace Carr, DCNF
East Coast cities won first and second place rankings as the safest cities in America, according to a Monday WalletHub study.
Columbia, Maryland, and South Burlington, Vermont, rank as America’s two safest cities, respectively, according to the study. Plano, Texas, and Virginia Beach, Virginia, followed as the third and fourth safest cities in the U.S., respectively, according to the study.
St. Louis ranked as the least safe city, followed by Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and San Bernardino, California, as the most unsafe cities, respectively, according to WalletHub.
The WalletHub authors conducted their study by comparing 182 cities across factors of home and community safety, natural disaster risk and financial safety. The cities selected for the study include America’s 150 most populated cities along with at least two of the most populated cities in each state, according to WalletHub.
The number of mass shootings and terrorist attacks, as well as the number of murders, rapes, assaults and thefts per capita, factored into a city’s safety rating. The number of law enforcement employees and firefighters per capita was also factored into a city’s safety score.
Cities were compared across traffic fatalities, pedestrian fatalities and drug poisoning deaths per capita.
Risk of earthquakes, flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes and wildfires were factored into cities’ ratings. Study authors also included measures of financial safety, like unemployment and underemployment rate as well as poverty rate and debt-to-income rate.
Irvine, California, has the fewest aggravated assault incidents at less than 24 assaults per 100,000 residents. That rate is nearly 64 times less than Detroit’s aggravated assault rate, according to WalletHub. Irvine also has the fewest law enforcement employees per 100,000 residents.
Almost 60 percent of violent crimes and 80 percent of rapes and sexual assaults were not reported to the police in 2016, according to a December 2017 report from the Justice Department. Aggravated assaults accounted for over 64 percent of all violent crimes in 2016, according to the report.
Yonkers, New York, has the fewest thefts per 1,000 residents while Springfield, Missouri, has a rate eight times that.
Fort Lauderdale has the most traffic pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 residents. Lincoln, Nebraska, has the fewest pedestrian deaths, according to WalletHub.
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