10 Cities Where People Feel the Most Unsafe at Night

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Unsafe cities: walking alone at night

Imagine never feeling safe walking the streets of your own town after dark. In these 10 cities, that's exactly how residents feel. According to a recent Gallup poll, 72 percent of Americans say that they feel safe walking home at night, a slight uptick from the 71 percent who said the same in 2011. But there remain some areas where high crime rates -- or at least the perception of increased crime -- have people feeling unsafe all the time.

To determine the 10 cities where people feel most unsafe walking alone at night, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed figures from the Gallup-Healthways Well Being Index for 2012, FBI crime stats from its 2011 Uniform Crime Report, and local unemployment figures. Click through the gallery below to see the cities where residents feel the most unsafe.

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10 Cities Where People Don't Feel Safe
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10 Cities Where People Feel the Most Unsafe at Night

Pct. feel safe at night: 58.4%
Violent crime rate: 545.9 per 100,000 people (46th highest)
Poverty rate: 17.6% (135th highest)
Pct. who always had money for food: 79.7% (51st lowest)
Population: 378,477

According to Gallup, Beaumont-area residents had one of the nation’s lowest scores for overall well-being in 2012, ranking behind only three other metropolitan areas. Residents also were among the least likely to be satisfied with where they lived, with nearly 25% stating they were unhappy with the area. Additionally, not only were they among the least likely to feel safe walking alone at night, 12.7% also felt they lacked easy access to a safe place to exercise, one of the highest rates in the nation.

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Photo: Reagan Rothenberger/Wikimedia Commons

Pct. feel safe at night: 58.0%
Violent crime rate: 434.1 per 100,000 people (105th highest)
Poverty rate: 25.7% (13th highest)
Pct. who always had money for food: 73.3% (5th lowest)
Population: 429,668

Residents of the Visalia area have been among the nation’s poorest in recent years. In 2011, 25.7% of the population lived below the poverty line, almost 10 percentage points higher than the United States overall. Among other issues facing the area, Visalia had a 15.1% unemployment rate at the end of 2012, the fifth highest in the nation. Many area residents also are not easily employable; just 69.3% of adults older than 25 had a high school diploma in 2011. Visalia had 8.9 incidents of murder and negligent manslaughter per 100,000 residents, higher than the vast majority of metro areas measured by the FBI.

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Photo: Capricorn90/Wikimedia Commons

Pct. feel safe at night: 55.9%
Violent crime rate: 477.2 per 100,000 people (86th highest)
Poverty rate: 23.8% (23rd highest)
Pct. who always had money for food: 69.1% (the lowest)
Population: 510,385

In Modesto, 23.8% of the population lived below the poverty line as of 2011, lower than most metropolitan areas in the country. Many residents lacked the full-time work necessary to afford basic needs; 14.9% of all workers were unemployed at the end of 2012, one of the highest percentages in the nation. Just 46.2% of all residents felt their city was improving, compared to the more than 59% of people who felt that way nationwide. In 2011, there were 6.5 incidents of murder and negligent manslaughter and nearly 135 robberies per 100,000 residents, versus just 4.7 and 113.7 incidents per 100,000 people, respectively, nationwide.

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Photo: Foolishfish/Wikimedia Commons

Pct. feel safe at night: 55.5%
Violent crime rate: 483.8 per 100,000 people (84th highest)
Poverty rate: 18.6% (107th highest)
Pct. who always had money for food: 80.5% (61st lowest)
Population: 360,355

Although Fayetteville’s violent crime rate was far from the highest in the United States, it was considerably higher than the national rate. There were 483.3 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents, compared to 386.3 violent crimes per 100,000 across the country. There were 182.2 robberies for every 100,000 people, compared to 113.7 nationwide. Just over 77% of residents said they were satisfied with where they lived, one of the lowest rates of any metro area.

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Photo: KMayner78/Wikimedia Commons

Pct. feel safe at night: 55.1%
Violent crime rate: 980.4 per 100,000 people (the highest)
Poverty rate: 19.3% (87th highest)
Pct. who always had money for food: 79.8% (52nd lowest)
Population: 1,304,926

The Memphis metro area had the highest crime rate in the nation in 2011, with more than 980 violent crimes per 100,000 people. The city also had some of the nation’s highest rates for murder and voluntary manslaughter, robbery and aggravated assault. Not only were violent crimes common, but Memphis also had one of the nation’s highest property crime rates. In addition to the nearly 45% of respondents who did not feel safe walking alone at night -- the worst percentage of any of the nation’s 50 largest metro areas -- 12% noted that they lacked access to a safe place to exercise.

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Photo: Leonard23/Wikimedia Commons

Pct. feel safe at night: 54.3%
Violent crime rate: 706.5 per 100,000 people (11th highest)
Poverty rate: 18.2% (118th highest)
Pct. who always had money for food: 79.4% (42nd lowest)
Population: 353,722

Just 70.2% of Rockford residents were satisfied with where they live, one of the lowest rates in the country and below the 85.5% across the United States. The fact that Rockford residents do not feel safe may be justified. In 2012, there were 706.5 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents, compared to 386.3 nationwide. This was among the highest violent crime rates in the country. The state’s robbery rate was 179.8 per 100,000 residents, among the top 20 across the country. The Rockford area has struggled economically due to a multidecade decline in manufacturing. In December 2012, the unemployment rate was 11.1%, among the highest of all metropolitan areas.

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Photo: Ben Jacobson/Wikimedia Commons

Pct. feel safe at night: 51.3%
Violent crime rate: 608.2 per 100,000 people (29th highest)
Poverty rate: 19.4% (84th highest)
Pct. who always had money for food: 71.4% (3rd lowest)
Population: 411,721

There were 11.3 murders and voluntary manslaughters per 100,000 residents in Mobile in 2011, among the highest homicide rates in the country and considerably higher than the 4.7 homicides per 100,000 across the country. In addition, there were 215.4 robberies per 100,000 people, nearly double the robbery rate across the nation. Mobile also had one of the worst property crime rates. There were 4,807 property crimes per 100,000 residents in the metropolitan area, compared to approximately 2,909 across the United States. Mobile received the third lowest score for overall well-being from Gallup.

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Photo: Altairisfar/Wikimedia Commons

Pct. feel safe at night: 51.0%
Violent crime rate: 326.7 per 100,000 people (146th lowest)
Poverty rate: 22.9% (29th highest)
Pct. who always had money for food: 83.7% (64th highest)
Population: 243,231

Just over 78% of people in Yakima were satisfied with the city, lower than the 85.5% national rate. Like many cities where violent crime is high, Yakima had among the lowest high-school graduation rates in the country at 71.7% and a high poverty rate of 22.9%. Yet surprisingly, the crime rate in the metropolitan area was lower than the country as a whole. There were 326.7 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in the Yakima area, compared to 386.3 violent crimes across the United States. However, there were 6.5 cases of murder and negligent manslaughter and more than 4,200 incidents of property crime per 100,000 residents in 2011, both well in excess of national rates. The city also had the 10th highest crime rate for cities with populations of less than 100,000 people.

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Photo: A. Balet/Wikimedia Commons

Pct. feel safe at night: 50.0%
Violent crime rate: 295.4 per 100,000 people (119th lowest)
Poverty rate: 37.7% (the highest)
Pct. who always had money for food: 70.7% (2nd lowest)
Population: 741,152

In 2011, there were 295.4 violent crimes per 100,000 residents of the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area, lower than the 386.3 across the United States. Residents feel so unsafe in part because it is considered one of the most dangerous border areas in the country. McAllen lies across the border from Reynosa, Mexico, which has become a battleground for drug cartels. It is also the poorest metropolitan area in the country, with a median income in 2011 of only $31,077. Nearly 38% of residents live below the poverty line, the highest rate in the nation.

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Photo: Rgv17_956/Wikimedia Commons

Pct. feel safe at night: 48.9%
Violent crime rate: 821.2 per 100,000 people (3rd highest)
Poverty rate: 18.1% (121st highest)
Pct. who always had money for food: 79.3% (40th lowest)
Population: 674,860

Residents of Stockton felt more unsafe than residents of any other metropolitan area. Inhabitants were not optimistic about the future of the city, either. Less than 35% felt Stockton was getting better, the lowest percentage of any metro area. In 2011, there were 540 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents, close to double the national rate and the ninth highest rate among metropolitan areas. The area had 12.5 cases of murder and negligent manslaughter per 100,000 people that year, the fifth highest rate in the nation. Stockton also had an unemployment rate of 14.1%, among the highest in the country.

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Photo: Montyofarabia/Wikimedia Commons

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