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Columbia, MD: The safest city in the U.S.?

To determine where U.S. cities can feel most protected against life’s hazards,42 metrics were examined.

Image by Preservation Maryland - Columbia Town Center, landscape, CC BY-SA 2.0
Image by Preservation Maryland - Columbia Town Center, landscape, CC BY-SA 2.0

With the U.S. experiencing over 500 mass shootings this year and the COVID-19 pandemic persisting, the personal-finance website WalletHub has undertaken a review of leading metrics and produced a report titled “2022’s Safest Cities in America”.

To determine where U.S. cities can feel most protected against life’s hazards, including non-physical forms of danger, WalletHub compared more than 180 U.S. cities across 42 key metrics.

The data set ranged from the percentage of residents who are fully vaccinated and assaults per capita to the unemployment rate and road quality.

The outcome is that the following cities came out as the top ten safest in the U.S.:

1. Columbia, MD

2. Nashua, NH

3. Laredo, TX

4. Portland, ME

5. Warwick, RI

6. Yonkers, NY

7. Gilbert, AZ

8. Burlington, VT

9. Raleigh, NC

10. Lewiston, ME

Coming in at the top, Columbia (Maryland) is a relatively new city, opening in 1967. Columbia began with the idea that a city could enhance its residents’ quality of life. Developed by James W. Rouse, the intention was to create a new community in terms of human values, rather than merely economics and engineering.

In contrast, the least safe cities were assessed as:

173. Chattanooga, TN

174. Jackson, MS

175. Oakland, CA

176. Oklahoma City, OK

177. Memphis, TN

178. Baton Rouge, LA

179. Detroit, MI

180. San Bernardino, CA

181. Fort Lauderdale, FL

182. St. Louis, MO

Coming in at the bottom, St. Louis has recorded, since 2014, the highest murder rate, per capita, in the United States, with 188 homicides in 2015 (59.3 homicides per 100,000).

Within these lists are some interesting metrics. For example, Irvine, California, has the fewest aggravated assault incidents (per 100,000 residents) at 22.22. This is 86.3 times fewer than in Memphis, Tennessee, the city with the most at 1,917.08.

Taking loss of property next, Port St. Lucie, Florida, has the fewest thefts (per 1,000 residents), 8.26, which is 9.2 times fewer than in Salt Lake City, the city with the most at 75.93.

In terms of police officers, Washington has the most law-enforcement employees (per 100,000 residents), 624, which is 6.8 times more than in Chula Vista, California, the city with the fewest at 92.

Moving to road safety, the survey finds that Gilbert, Arizona, has among the fewest pedestrian fatalities (per 100,000 residents), 0.40, which is 25.3 times fewer than in Little Rock, Arkansas, the city with the most at 10.10.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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