America, we congratulate you on yet another increase in poverty rates and violent crimes from East to West Coast. If relocating, the safer of the two coasts would be the East. Reason being, New York and the Carolinas seem to be A-okay. So which cities should you veer away from when deciding between out-of-state colleges or career moves? Here’s the list. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
5. Memphis, Tennessee
- Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,750.0
- Population: 657,436
- 2012 murders: 133
- Poverty rate: 27.2%
- Percentage of adults with high school degree: 83.4%
Oh, Tennessee. Shame on you for letting down country music fans everywhere. As if the south doesn’t get grilled enough for being uneducated and judgmental, now they must worry about whether or not their cars will be stolen in the middle of the night or they’ll be mugged walking down the sidewalk. Then again, mugged isn’t even the worst of it since murders have increased from 2011. Hopefully this realization will be a wake-up call for the “Volunteer State.”
4. St. Louis, Missouri
- Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,776.5
- Population: 318,667
- 2012 murders: 113
- Poverty rate: 27.0%
- Percentage of adults with high school degree: 83.9%
Okay, okay. So their crime rate isn’t as high as it was last year, but St. Louis will always be a city that could use more improvement. There were 80 less violent crimes per 100,000 people from 2011 to 2012. They’ve shown more improvement in this area than any other city on the list. Officials believe this is due to an increase in police presence in high-crime neighborhoods. So will the “Show-Me State” continue to show us safer roads and neighborhoods? Let’s see how the 2013 census looks come next year.
3. Oakland, California
- Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,993.1
- Population: 399,487
- 2012 murders: 126
- Poverty rate: 21.0%
- Percentage of adults with high school degree: 79.9%
Let’s be honest here, are we really that surprised to see Oakland on the list? From reality cop shows to filling up national news reports, this struggling city seems to have a pattern of the worst crimes nationwide. From 2011, just about every crime has increased. But who can really blame Oakland? In desperate times, the city came up with the bright idea to lay off a significant amount of their police department with a $30.5 million deficit. This here’s “Golden State” doesn’t seem to be so golden. Maybe the drastic increase is just what California needed to reorganize their priorities. Only time will tell.
2. Detroit, Michigan
- Violent crimes per 100,000: 2,122.6
- Population: 707,096
- 2012 murders: 386
- Poverty rate: 40.9%
- Percentage of adults with high school degree: 77.4%
I wish I could say Detroit has seen much improvement over the years, but with the overwhelming increase in poverty and unemployment, residents are currently at a median household income of $25,193. Fortunately for the creative mind, the city is coming in strong with a unique music and arts community. But with the lack of jobs and violence climbing the charts, many are beginning to realize Detroit’s economy is continuously plummeting. Better luck next year for Motor City.
1. Flint, Michigan
- Violent crimes per 100,000: 2,729.5
- Population: 101,632
- 2012 murders: 63
- Poverty rate: 40.6%
- Percentage of adults with high school degree: 82.9%
I don’t know about you, but growing up in the state of Ohio, I never would have thought the birthplace for General Motors (GM) would be number one on the list of most dangerous, crime-filled cities in America. Then again, ever since the state’s economy became non-existent, residents are trying to survive by any means necessary. Sadly, Flints carries a drastic 2,729.5 violent crimes per 100,000 people. If that doesn’t scare you, the city, with a population just over 101,000, brought in 63 total murders and 1,930 aggravated assaults. Between Detroit’s increase in unemployment and Flint’s assault record, the “Great Lakes State” could desperately use a change.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 24/7 Wall St.