With a property crime rate 43% higher than the national average, Gary, Ind. tops Money magazine's 1997 list of America's most dangerous cities. Amherst, N.Y., which boasts a property crime rate 44% below average, is the nation's safest city for the second year in a row, the magazine's December issue reports.
The most dangerous cities in the nation, in descending order: No. 1 Gary, Ind.; No. 2 Newark; No. 3 Atlanta; No. 4 New Orleans; No. 5 Detroit; No. 6 Washington, D.C.; No. 7 Baltimore; No. 8 St. Louis; No. 9 Miami; and No. 10 Memphis.
The safest cities, according to Money and its partner, Morgan Quitno, a statistical research firm in Lawrence, Kans.: No. 1 Amherst, N.Y.; No. 2 Simi Valley, Calif.; No. 3 Sterling Heights, Mich.; No. 4 Thousand Oaks, Calif.; No. 5 Sunnyvale, Calif.; No. 6 Irvine, Calif.; No. 7 Livonia, Mich.; No. 8 Santa Clarita, Calif.; No. 9 Mesquite, Texas; No. 10 Plano, Texas.
Money's list reflects the magazine's finding that theft is the crime Americans fear the most, even more than assault, rape or murder. This year 62% of 500 respondents to Money's second annual "crime concerns" poll again ranked burglary as their top concern, with car theft (55%) jumping ahead of robbery (54%) as their second biggest worry.
To come up with the list, Money used FBI statistics on crime, released in October. The magazine asked Morgan Quitno to weight the FBI figures according to the crimes Americans fear the most and then apply them to 207 cities with populations of at least 100,000.
Gary, Ind. is a small, gritty city 29 miles southeast of Chicago. In addition to high burglary and car-theft rates, Gary has the worst murder rate in Money's survey-- fully 89.6 killings per 100,000 people, vs. a national average of 7.4 per 100,000. By contrast, safest city Amherst, a pastoral suburb of Buffalo, had no murders in 1996 and the fewest burglaries of all 207 places ranked.
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