With so many news stories out there about crime, it’s easy to feel like the area around you is incredibly dangerous. However, the truth of the matter may be more complicated than you might assume. If you’re wondering about the United States’ crime rates and your own safety in association, here are some important facts to keep in mind.
1. Crime Is on the Downturn
Even though you’re probably seeing more news about crimes in recent years, that doesn’t necessarily mean that crime is going up. Instead, it’s likely a reflection of the ease with which people can access information. According to the FBI, the national crime rate per 100,000 has been steadily declining since 2010:
Even when you narrow down the crime to exclusively violent crimes, the trend is still downward. There are more peaks, but overall, violent crime also appears to be trending downward.
Violent crime is nearly at its lowest point in three decades. Certain violent crimes also indicate this even more dramatically – the homicide rate in 2018, for example, was only half the homicide rate in 1991.
2. Socioeconomic Status Is Crucial
When you look at cities with higher rates of crime versus cities with lower rates of crime, one thing you notice is that socioeconomic status is a huge indication of safety. Consider, for example, the five safest cities in the United States in terms of violent crime per 100,000.
Hopkinton, Massachusetts: Nearly 0
Bridgefield, Connecticut: Nearly 0
Madison, Connecticut: Nearly 0
Harrison Town, New York: 3.5
Bernards Township, New Jersey: 3.7
While these cities may all share a very low violent crime rate, they also share another important feature: the cities have a median area income over $100,000 per year. On the other hand, the ten most dangerous cities in the United States have a poverty rate over 20%, nearly twice the national average.
3. Looking at Your Neighbors Is Most Important
One of the important things to remember is that you can’t just count on your state’s violent crime rate or even the city’s crime rate. You need to know what’s going on in your immediate area, not just what’s going on in the general vicinity.
This is why many people have started turning to public record search engines, which allows many individuals to search up their address and see more information on criminal problems in the area. If you’re interested in staying safe, your neighborhood should be the first thing you check.
When it comes to staying safe, you need to look at specific data, not just a general “feeling” of safety or danger. It’s also important to remember that the wealthier the area you live in, the safer you’re likely to be. For actual information, make sure you look at your neighbors, not just the nearby cities.
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