When it comes to finding a new city to call home, few considerations are more important than safety — whether it’s from crime, dangerous weather or even a shaky economy.
To find the most and least safe places in the United States, a new study by WalletHub scored 182 cities (including at least two of the largest in each state) across three categories of metrics. The “home and community safety” category examined crime statistics, police and rescue workers per capita, traffic and pedestrian safety, among other data. “Financial safety” scored each city on employment, job security, credit ratings, savings rates and the like. And the “natural disaster” category considered the risk of floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hail, hurricanes and wildfires.
Drilling down to some individual metrics helps paint a clearer picture. In the home and community safety category, Irvine, Calif., was found to have the fewest assaults per capita, though its heightened risk of natural disasters dropped it to 33rd overall. On the other end of the list, Little Rock, Ark., St. Louis, Detroit, Birmingham, Ala., Kansas City, Mo., and Memphis tied for the most assaults per capita — 86 times higher than in Irvine.
For natural disasters, the capital city of Dover, Del. — near the coast but tucked inland — had the lowest risk, but poor scores in home and financial safety sank it to 81st overall. Two cities in “Tornado Alley,” Oklahoma City and Wichita, Kan., had the highest risks for natural disasters, followed by six cities in California. The good news for Wichita is that its residents were found to have the highest rate of emergency savings.
As for New York City, it finished 137th overall, thanks mostly to its comparative dearth of natural disasters. This week’s chart shows some of the winners and losers, along with the categories that helped or hurt them.
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