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NeighborhoodScout ranks 9 most dangerous cities in Michigan

Detroit street.
NeighborhoodScout listed Detroit at number five on its 2019 "most dangerous cities" list.

NeighborhoodScout, an online database of hyperlocal real estate information, released its annual research on the top 100 "most dangerous" cities in the United States. Bessemer, Alabama, found itself at the top of the list, with nine Michigan cities appearing throughout. 

The list is restricted to cities with 25,000 or more people, and NeighborhoodScout based its findings on the number of violent crimes per 1,000 people. It considered homicide, rape, armed robbery, and aggravated assaults as violent crimes. The group calculated rates with the reported number of crimes against the city’s population. The crime data came from the FBI, while the U.S. Census Bureau provided population information. 

All but three of the Michigan cities featured on the list improved on their 2018 rankings. Notably, Pontiac moved 24 spots from its 36th ranking in 2018 to 60th in 2019. Saginaw fell eight spots, and Flint five. Detroit remained in its 5th place ranking. 

It’s worth noting that the FBI advises against rankings of this nature, pointing out that they tend to gloss over a variety of factors such as climate and population density. The FBI emphasized that unsupported conclusions can lead to stereotypes of cities and its residents.

“These incomplete analyses have often created misleading perceptions which adversely affect geographic entities and their residents,” the agency said. “For this reason, the FBI has a long-standing policy against ranking participating law enforcement agencies on the basis of crime data alone.”

Location, Inc., NeigborhoodScout’s parent company, defended its neighborhood list in 2013, stating that the public has the right to know the overall safety of certain areas.

NeighborhoodScout also uses similar data to rank the top 25 most dangerous neighborhoods across the country, which they have done since 2013. In its first year, six Michigan neighborhoods found themselves on the list. However, in its 2018 list, no Michigan neighborhoods were named. 

Here are the Michigan cities included in NeighborhoodScout's 2019 list of the country's "most dangerous" cities:

5) Detroit
Crime Rate: 20.6

9) Flint
Crime Rate: 19.7

17) Saginaw
Crime Rate: 16.2

40) Kalamazoo
Crime Rate: 12.3

43) Jackson
Crime Rate: 11.8

51) Lansing
Crime Rate: 11.4

60) Pontiac
Crime Rate: 10.9

71) Battle Creek
Crime Rate: 10.0

94) Port Huron
Crime Rate: 9.2

Nisa Khan joins Michigan Radio as the station’s first full-time data reporter. In that capacity, she will be reporting on data-driven news stories as well as working with other news staff to acquire and analyze data in support of their journalism.
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