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The scores given in this and last year's rankings were calculated using the same methodology and are comparable. The population threshold is also the same at 75,000. However, a city's ranking is not necessarily comparable because 20 cities are in this year's survey that were not considered last year. In addition, five cities that reported data last year did not this year and thus were not considered. This change in the universe of cities makes a direct comparison of rankings inaccurate.
Shown below is a table showing the ten cities with the biggest improvements in their scores and the ten cities with the biggest drops in their scores. Remember, cities with a score of zero have crime that averages out to the national average. Cities with scores below zero (i.e. a negative number) have crime below the national average. Cities with scores above zero have crime higher than the national average.
|Most Improved Cities||Cities With Largest Declines|
|This Year||Last Year||Change||
|This Year||Last Year||Change|
|1||Lafayette, LA*||53.93||165.56||111.63||1||Flint, MI||283.12||176.98||(106.14)|
|2||Evansville, IN||(23.95)||46.42||70.37||2||Pompano Beach, FL||99.06||12.80||(86.26)|
|3||Hartford, CT||187.70||254.82||67.12||3||St. Louis, MO||332.16||277.54||(54.62)|
|4||Palm Bay, FL||(21.35)||41.53||62.88||4||Greeley, CO||30.25||(6.40)||(36.65)|
|5||North Charleston, SC||150.13||203.26||53.13||5||Tallahassee, FL||101.15||64.93||(36.22)|
|6||Atlanta, GA||246.86||299.46||52.60||6||Columbia, SC||132.26||99.86||(32.40)|
|7||Washington, DC||210.59||262.43||51.84||7||Camden, NJ||407.49||375.84||(31.65)|
|8||Tampa, FL||163.13||211.97||48.84||8||Wichita, KS||56.71||26.92||(29.79)|
|9||Gary, IN||233.48||275.88||42.40||9||West Palm Beach, FL||210.26||183.67||(26.59)|
|10||Inglewood, CA||98.86||140.82||41.96||10||Denver, CO||110.33||83.82||(26.51)|
*Lafayette, Louisiana was listed last year as the city with the largest drop, going from a score of 47.95 to 165.56. This year Lafayette has the biggest improvement going from the 165.56 score back down to 53.93. This swing is explained by a computer glitch in Lafayette’s reporting for 2003 found after we had issued our report. The police reported 325 rapes rather than the 96 that actually occurred. This year the number of rapes was reported as 86.
This is the twelfth year that Morgan Quitno has issued the Safest City and Safest Metropolitan Area rankings. The first year, we only ranked the nation’s 100 largest cities. The second year, we looked at cities of more than 100,000 but used a different method to determine the rankings. The third and fourth years, the universe of cities remained the same (100,000+ population), but the study was done in partnership with Money Magazine using a slightly different methodology. In 1998, we lowered the population threshold for cities to 75,000 or more and adopted the current methodology. Therefore, this most recent survey is only comparable with surveys conducted since 1998.
Because of interest in the previous years' rankings we have left those pages on our website. Click below to go to those pages. To return to this year's ranking you will need to return to our home page and click there on the connection to our new press release. The rankings from the first two years are not available on our website. Please call us at 785-841-3534 if you need those rankings.
November 22, 2004 Press Release
November 25, 2003 Press Release
November 26, 2002 Press Release
December 21, 2001 Press Release
December 22, 2000 Press Release
November 22, 1999 Press Release
December 30, 1998 Press Release
November 6, 1997 Press Release
November 26, 1996 Press Release