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Study Identifies U.S. Cities and Towns with Highest Crime Rates

Violent crime increases again

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While overall violent crime rates have returned to pre-pandemic levels across the United States, a recent announcement from the FBI reveals that the changes were not uniform nationwide. A comprehensive analysis by personal finance site MoneyGeek delved into crime data from 302 large cities and 1,010 small towns, shedding light on the divergent trends in crime rates.

Varied Crime Rates

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MoneyGeek examined both violent and property crime rates, utilizing research from the University of Miami and the University of Colorado Denver to calculate the cost of crime in each area. The findings highlight the disparities in crime rates among different cities and towns nationwide.

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Birmingham’s Distinction

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Among the large cities, Birmingham, Alabama, emerged with the highest cost of crime per capita. The city’s violent crime rate stood at 1,682 per 100,000 residents, while the property crime rate reached 4,173 per 100,000 residents, positioning it atop the list.

Violent Crime Leaders

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Although Birmingham led in cost, Memphis, Tennessee; Detroit, Michigan; and Little Rock, Arkansas, experienced higher per capita rates of violent crimes, including murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.

Property Crime Leaders

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Memphis, along with Tacoma, Washington, and St. Louis, Missouri, claimed the highest rates of property crime among large cities. It emphasized the multifaceted nature of crime trends.

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The Top Culprits

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The large cities with the highest cost of crime per capita include Birmingham, New Orleans, St. Louis, Detroit, Memphis, Baltimore, Little Rock, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Pueblo, Oakland, San Bernardino, Philadelphia, and Atlanta.

Small Town Struggles

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Small towns and cities, with populations ranging from 30,000 to 100,000, often grapple with fewer crime-fighting resources. While these areas may experience fewer crimes, the cost of crime can disproportionately burden their communities.

Crime Burden in Smaller Settings

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Highlighting the challenges faced by smaller communities, MoneyGeek identified the small towns and cities with the highest cost of crime per capita, including Monroe, Petersburg, Saginaw, Florence, Alexandria, Pine Bluff, Portsmouth, Houma, Rocky Mount, North Little Rock, Fairbanks, York, Atlantic City, Riviera Beach, and Flint Township.

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Seeking Safety

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For those seeking safer locales, MoneyGeek also compiled a list of cities with the lowest cost of crime per capita. Thousand Oaks, California, secured the top spot, followed by Fishers, Indiana; Pembroke Pines, Florida; Pearland, Texas; and Gilbert, Arizona.

Safe Havens

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In addition to highlighting cities with low crime costs, the safest small town in every state was also identifified. They offered options for those prioritizing safety in their choice of residence.

Factors at Play

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The analysis underscores the importance of considering factors beyond crime rates when evaluating a community’s overall safety and desirability. Diverse elements contribute to the complex crime landscape and associated costs, necessitating a comprehensive approach to understanding and addressing community safety.

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Moving Forward

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As communities grapple with varying crime challenges, policymakers, law enforcement, and residents must collaborate to address the root causes of crime and work towards fostering safer environments for everyone. The nuanced nature of crime trends calls for tailored strategies to ensure the well-being of large cities and small towns nationwide.

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