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Most Dangerous Cities in America

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By Jason Beahm on November 22, 2010 11:15 AM

The most dangerous cities in America list is out and people are anxiously waiting to get their hands on the list to see if their city made the cut. Of course the people in the most dangerous cities are too afraid to leave their own residences to go get the list, so fortunately it is available through the magic power of the internet. The CQ Press annual list is quite long, so we'll just give you the top 10:

  1. St. Louis, MO
  2. Camden, NJ
  3. Detroit, MI
  4. Flint, MI
  5. Oakland, CA
  6. Richmond, CA
  7. Cleveland, OH
  8. Compton, CA
  9. Gary, IN
  10. Birmingham, AL

You can download the full list of most dangerous cities in America here.

The annual CQ Press report ranks cities after analyzing rates of murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and motor vehicle theft. The full list includes 400 cities. New York fared well in the report, but that drew suspicion from a writer at NPR who pointed out that New York City was ranked as less dangerous than Portland, OR or Santa Monica, CA. That seems hard to believe.

To say that the mayors of several cities on the list are upset would be an understatement. Even the FBI warns that relying on such data is rather pointless: "[S]ome entities use reported figures to compile rankings of cities and counties. These rough rankings provide no insight into the numerous variables that mold crime in a particular town, city, county, state, or region. Consequently, they lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting communities and their residents."

Ouch. That was a smackdown. But, really, they have a point. What is a person supposed to do with a list like this? In addition, it takes focus away from the fact that nationwide, crime has continued to trend downward for several years. I guess if a person's city is high on the list they might decide to move, but it's not practical or reasonable for most people. Plus, with dubious results like Santa Monica being more dangerous than New York, is the list really worth fussing about?

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