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Deadliest US Cities


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CBS News put together a list of the 60 deadliest cities in the United States. The stats don't look good for the Derby City or the Queen City. I was surprised to see them so close per capita to Chicago. And as much as the news makes Chicago out to be nothing but a virtual gangland, it's only about a third of the murder the rate per capita that St. Louis is!

 

Top 20:

20 - Atlanta, GA 16.7 murders per 100,000 residents

19 - Washington DC 17.0 murders per 100,000 residents

18 - Oakland, CA 17.1 murders per 100,000 residents

17 - Louisville, KY 17.5 murders per 100,000 residents

16 - Indianapolis, IN 17.7 murders per 100,000 residents

15 - Pittsburgh, PA 18.4 murders per 100,000 residents

14 - Tulsa, OK 18.6 murders per 100,000 residents

13 - Milwaukee, WI 20 murders per 100,000 residents

12 - Philadelphia, PA 20.0 murders per 100,000 residents

11 - Cincinnati, OH 23.8 murders per 100,000 residents

10 - Chicago, IL 24.0 murders per 100,000 residents

9 - Newark, NJ 25.6 murders per 100,000 residents

8 - Memphis, TN 27.1 murders per 100,000 residents

7 - Kansas City, MO 31.2 murders per 100,000 residents

6 - Las Vegas, NV 31.4 murders per 100,000 residents

5 - Cleveland, OH 33.7 murders per 100,000 residents

4 - Detroit, MI 39.7 murders per 100,000 residents

3 - New Orleans, LA 40.6 murders per 100,000 residents

2 - Baltimore, MD 51.1 murders per 100,000 residents

1 - St. Louis, MO 64.9 murders per 100,000 residents

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If you look at those statistics even closer, they're massively centered in a few neighborhoods in each of those cities. I would bet that I could name three neighborhoods in Louisville and Cincinnati and hit on the location of 95% of these homicides.

 

Those neighborhoods are exactly what you'd imagine. Low-income, heavy on renters instead of owners, devoid of the things that keep neighborhoods together like small businesses, grocery stores, and civic institutions of residents.

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If you look at those statistics even closer, they're massively centered in a few neighborhoods in each of those cities. I would bet that I could name three neighborhoods in Louisville and Cincinnati and hit on the location of 95% of these homicides.

 

Those neighborhoods are exactly what you'd imagine. Low-income, heavy on renters instead of owners, devoid of the things that keep neighborhoods together like small businesses, grocery stores, and civic institutions of residents.

 

Yep. Beecher Terrace, California Park, Russel or Newburg.

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Surprises on the list? Here are some that surprised me.

 

1. Chicago being #10. I would have guessed top 2 or 3.

 

2. New York City is not on the list.

 

3. Los Angeles is not on the list either.

 

4. Las Vegas at #6.

 

They are on the list in the link, just farther down. But I agree, much lower than I expected them to be.

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I read an article the other day that listed these three as the most dangerous:

1. Detroit

2. St. Louis

3. Memphis

For as long as I can remember these cities have been in the running for the top spot of this infamous designation.
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I wonder what the population cutoff was for this. I ask because during the year this data is for, 2017, Evansville, IN saw a record 20 homicides. It dropped back to 11 or 12 last year, but 20 homicides was enough that Evansville would be No. 20 on this list, at 16.8 per 100,000 residents.

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Surprises on the list? Here are some that surprised me.

 

1. Chicago being #10. I would have guessed top 2 or 3.

 

2. New York City is not on the list.

 

3. Los Angeles is not on the list either.

 

4. Las Vegas at #6.

 

The Vegas figure included the numbers from the 2017 Mandalay Bay shooting during the Jason Aldrean concert. All of the figures from the CBS list were based on most recently compiled totals, which are usually a year or two behind.

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The Vegas figure included the numbers from the 2017 Mandalay Bay shooting during the Jason Aldrean concert. All of the figures from the CBS list were based on most recently compiled totals, which are usually a year or two behind.

 

Yeah single-year numbers in something like this aren't particularly helpful. It can really skew things.

 

For example, there was a murder-suicide in Warsaw, KY last year. That single homicide would make Warsaw's homicide rate approximately 59.2 per 100,000, which would be No. 2 on this list, but that's not particularly helpful, both because there are only about 1,600-1,700 people in Warsaw and because in most years there are no murders in Warsaw at all.

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Is this study using city limits for population purposes, or market? Cincinnati's city limits have 301,000, but it is a very small area around downtown, which also is where the largest concentration of murders occur (the neighborhoods alluded to by GetSlow). If you took the entire area, 2.1 million people, your number of murders wouldn't go up all that much from the 70 or so they used for their study, but the divisor would change greatly. Stuff like this can be very misleading.

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