Several cities on the east coast ranked as the safest cities in America while the most dangerous place to live was set firmly in the Midwest.
Each year, credit service Wallethub rates the best places in America to live and this year, out of the 182 U.S. cities that were rated, the two best placed to live were Columbia, Maryland, and South Burlington, Vermont. On the other end of that scale, the two worst places were Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and in last place St. Louis, Missouri.
For its 2018 study, WalletHub compared the 182 cities not just on crime, but on the criteria of home and community safety, natural disaster risk and financial safety. Wallethub included America’s 150 most populated cities along with at least two of the most populated cities per state.
In preface for its study, Wallethub noted:
People encounter hazards every day, some serious, others rare and innocuous. But we fear certain kinds more than others. According to Gallup, four in 10 Americans “fear being a victim of a mass shooting,” while 24 percent of U.S. adults are concerned about terrorism. Many also worry about falling victim to hate crimes or sexual assault. The list goes on, and these sentiments often are expressed in response to recent headlines.
The authors of the study also noted that common crime statistics are not the only ways people feel unsafe. For instance, 71 percent of Americans now fear cybercrime which happens no matter where you live.
Wallethub included shootings, theft, assault, rape and your normal crime stats, but also included the risk of earthquake, flooding, wildfires, and other things like employment outlook, poverty rates, and debt-to-income ratios.
For instance, Wallethub found that Irvine, California, has fewer aggravated assaults with less than 24 assaults per 100,000 residents. That is nearly 64 times less than Detroit’s aggravated assault rate. Irvine also has the fewest law enforcement employees per 100,000 residents.
Interestingly, Yonkers, New York, has the fewest thefts per 100,000 residents while Midwestern Springfield, Missouri, has eight times that rate.
In other statistics, Fort Lauderdale has a glut of traffic pedestrian deaths per 100,000 residents while Lincoln, Nebraska has the fewest.
But the worst of the worst is Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore is the most dangerous city in the country with the highest per capita murder rate for 2017, according to the FBI’s crime data.
According to Wallethub’s list:
The Top Five Best Cities
1). Columbia, Maryland
2). South Burlington, Vermont
3). Plano, Texas
4). Virginia Beach, Virginia
5). Warwick, Rhode Island
The Bottom Five Worst Cities
178). Little Rock, Arkansas
179). Baton Rouge, Louisiana
180). San Bernardino, California
181). Fort Lauderdale, Florida
182). St. Louis, Missouri
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.