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America's Most Dangerous Neighborhoods

Travel Safety
by Hal Amen Aug 27, 2009
Twenty-five neighborhoods in the U.S. have been judged the country’s “most dangerous.” Which ones may surprise you.

A few weeks ago, Matador Trips editor Carlo Alcos posted a healthy reminder for us to keep our common sense about us when on the road.

It’s an important message aimed at travelers worldwide. But Americans might require an additional precaution — for times when they’re not on the road.

Common knowledge has it that many American urban areas are dangerous places, virtual no-gos to anyone who doesn’t have the misfortune of living there. And most frequently when talking about urban crime, we toss around city names: New Orleans, Detroit, St. Louis, Oakland.

But cities are big places. They have their stereotypical dicey areas of pawnshops and abandoned warehouses, but also their Whole Foods yuppie zones, with maybe even a country club thrown in somewhere.

Which is why a list posted on is so interesting. It ranks individual neighborhoods by “predicted rates of violent crime.” Here are the top 10:

1. Central Pky./Liberty St., Cincinnati, OH (45210, 45214)
2. State St./Garfield Blvd., Chicago, IL (60609)
3. 7th Ave./North River Dr., Miami, FL (33128, 33130, 33136)
4. Beaver St./Broad St., Jacksonville, FL (32202)
5. North Ave./Belair Rd., Baltimore, MD (21213)
6. Bales Ave./30th St., Kansas City, MO (64127)
7. Warford St./Mount Olive Rd., Memphis, TN (38108)
8. Forest Ave./41st St., Kansas City, MO (64110)
9. Route 352/Scyene Rd., Dallas, TX (75210)
10. Church Hill, Richmond, VA (23223)

You can read about the methodology used in the ranking process here.

Comparing the results to a 2008 list of America’s most dangerous cities brings up a lot of questions.

It seems the country’s most violent neighborhood is located in Cincinnati (in an area known as the “Brewery District”). But Cincinnati doesn’t even show up in the top 20 city rankings.

At the same time, New Orleans, 2008’s most dangerous city, is nowhere to be found on the neighborhood list. And the first mention of Detroit — that favorite whipping child — comes at 23rd.

Which do you think is a more accurate method for measuring location-based danger? And beyond that, do you think lists like this are helpful and informative or nonconstructive and fear mongering? Share your opinion in the comments.

Community Connection

Interested in taking this research one step further? Connect with Matador community members from different parts of the U.S. and see what they’re saying about their home neighborhoods.You can browse a list of locations here.

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