St. Louis, Missouri, has been deemed “the most dangerous city in America” by CQ Press. St. Louis had been near the top of the list for a while and finally broke through to number one, according to NPR.
The mayors of many cities disagree with the findings and criteria of CQ, which based the rankings on a ratio of murders and other violent crimes perpetrated in each municipality. Of course, there are great things to living in the most dangerous cities in the world, as there are diverse populations, big-time sports, and lots of cultural experiences.
Having grown up in and around St. Louis for many years, I can sympathize with both ends of the spectrum. The city has gotten more and more reports of crime over the years, yet the quality of life has also risen.
St. Louis Crimes
One thing to take into account is the criteria for the survey. The measure of the most dangerous city in America list is to explain which cities have the highest ratio above the national average for crime rates. St. Louis tops the list not because of cumulative amounts of crime, but because the rates of crime are much higher than the average.
St. Louis has lost population over the years to the suburbs, so there are fewer people living in an urban setting. The chances of being a victim of a crime are greater in the big city with the urban poor trying to get by.
When my family would go to St. Louis from the suburbs some 20 to 25 years ago, we never gave a second thought to how dangerous a big city might be. We always stayed together as a family, and we were a larger group.
With so many people out during the day, I find it hard to believe St. Louis is any more dangerous than other, larger cities. I think the statistics have more to do with your overall chances of being a victim rather than what will happen to you if you live in or visit St. Louis.
Downtown has been revitalized, St. Louis has a great public transit system and there is nothing wrong with visiting the city. My wife and kids go back there all the time to visit my parents. During the summer, we walk through downtown, and, if we’re brave, we will take in the Fourth of July celebrations.
My point is St. Louis is still a vibrant city, even though the population has moved to the outlying suburbs. It can’t be all that bad since O’Fallon, Missouri, is one of the safest cities in the state and it’s just down the Interstate from St. Louis, west of St. Charles.
Crime is a matter of perspective–if you don’t want to be the victim of crime, then don’t take unnecessary chances. Don’t be out alone at night, keep your car locked and protect your valuables and your person.
CQ Press, “Most Dangerous Cities in America 2010-2011.”
Sutherland, J.J., “The Annual List Of Most Dangerous Cities Is Out, Does It Mean Anything?”, NPR.org.