Detroit's Safe? Really Forbes?
That's what Forbes would have you think. The magazine just awarded New York no. 8 in its America's Safest Cities list. But that's not the only surprising outcome, Detroit (left) also made the list (no. 12) as did the notoriously dangerous Washington, D.C. (no. 20), Philadelphia (no. 21) and Baltimore (no. 26). So how exactly did they come up with that list and who else is on it? Lets take a closer look.
First, the Criteria
We're not the only ones finding fault with Forbes' list. Just a half-year ago, Forbes ranked Detroit no. 1 most dangerous city because the Motor City had the most violent crimes reported to the FBI. So what gives? Did it take just six months to turn-around crime rates in a city with 17.3% unemployment - the highest of any major city - and a slew of foreclosures as a result? Not quite.
What happened was Forbes changed its criteria. For it's current Safest Cities list, Forbes took into account not just crime rate statistics, but also numbers of workplace fatalities, traffic-related deaths and natural disaster risk. Workplace fatalities seems like an odd category to include, because if you're like most Americans you're behind a computer all day, so that would only serve to penalize industrial towns. But ironically, Detroit's high unemployment rate helped it's ranking in this area and helped hoist it to no. 12.
The highest rate of natural disasters is what caused Miami to end up in the bottom spot at no. 40. Portland, Ore., has the lowest crime rate which helped it land the no. 3 spot. Boston and Seattle tied for 4th place in part because of their user-friendly public transportation systems which kept their traffic-fatality rates low. And the midwest was the clear winner holding the first and second winners because of low workplace death rate (Minneapolis) and low-natural-disaster rate (Milwaukee), which seems like odd reasons to win if you ask us.
The Top 30
1. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
2. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI
3. Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA
4. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH (tie)
4. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA (tie)
6. Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA
7. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
8. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA
9. Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN
10. Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH (tie)
10. Denver-Aurora, CO (tie)
12. Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI
13. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA
14. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ
15. Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI (tie)
15. Austin-Round Rock, TX (tie)
15. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX (tie)
18. Pittsburgh, PA
19. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA
20. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
21. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD
22. San Antonio, TX
23. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA
24. Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, CA
25. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA
26. Baltimore-Towson, MD
27. Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC
28. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
29. Las Vegas-Paradise, NV (tie)
29. Columbus, OH (tie)
Click here for the complete list.