To compile our list of America’s most dangerous cities, we used the FBI’s uniform crime report for 2010, which tallies crime data for each of the country’s metropolitan statistical areas, regions that usually consist of a large city and its suburbs or clusters of closely linked smaller cities, and metropolitan divisions, which are core areas within some of the larger MSAs. Because small fluctuations in crime numbers can produce outsize jumps in rates in smaller metropolitan areas, we looked at MSAs with a population of 200,000 or more. We used the FBI’s numbers for four categories of violent crimes: murder and non-negligent manslaughter; forcible rape; robbery; and aggravated assault.
It’s commonly expected that crime will rise as economic conditions worsen, but that hasn’t been the case in the U.S. – violent crime has fallen for the past four years. In 2010, murder was down 4%, rape fell 5%, robbery dropped 10%, and aggravated assault fell 4%, according to the FBI. “There’s a complex series of forces at work behind these rates,” says Tom Blomberg, dean of the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State Univeristy. “The state of the economy, demographics, the number of young males at any given time, the rate of imprisonment and the number of police all factor in.” More From Forbes: America’s Most Stressful Cities 20 Ways to Lose Your Nest Egg America’s Most Transformed Neighboroods The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.