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Is Chicagoland safe? It’s complicated.

by Kerrie Kennedy

Is Chicagoland safe? It’s complicated.

Ever wonder what Columbia, Maryland, Yonkers, New York, and Plano, Texas, have in common? According a recent study conducted by WalletHub, they are all very safe places to live, ranking No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 respectively as the safest cities in the U.S.

Overall, Chicago ranked No. 130 out of 180. A city’s crime rate has always been a factor that ultimately affects home values, as many potential homebuyers aren’t interested in living someplace where they may fall victim to a crime. Although Chicago has repeatedly been criticized by President Donald Trump for its crime rate, numbers from the Chicago Police Department show a significant drop in murders and shootings during the month of October, the lowest of any October since 2015. Chicago also tied for 1st (along with St. Louis, Newark, New York, and Washington, D.C.) for having the most law enforcement employees per capita.

The WalletHub study referenced a recent Gallup poll which showed nearly half of Americans fear falling victim to a mass shooting or terrorist attack. It’s not an illogical fear: since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, there have been more than 2,000 mass shootings in the U.S. with more than 2,500 people killed and more than 9,500 wounded.

But the WalletHub study, which compared 180 cities across the country, looked at more than just crime and community safety – it also considered hazards like natural disasters, drug poisoning deaths, traffic fatalities and financial safety. To measure the financial safety of a particular city, the study looked at such factors as unemployment rates, poverty rates, savings rates, foreclosure rates, and – referencing another Gallup poll, which found that 55 percent of Americans worry a “great deal” about healthcare – availability of affordable health care.

Here are the 20 safest cities in the country, according to WalletHub:

  1. Columbia, Maryland
  2. South Burlington, Vermont
  3. Plano, Texas
  4. Virginia Beach, Virginia
  5. Warwick, Rhode Island
  6. Gilbert, Arizona
  7. Yonkers, New York
  8. Bismarck, North Dakota
  9. Nashua, New Hampshire
  10. Boise, Idaho
  11. Brownsville, Texas
  12. Chandler, Arizona
  13. Aurora, Illinois
  14. Chesapeake, Virginia
  15. Scottsdale, Arizona
  16. Burlington, Vermont
  17. Lewiston, Maine
  18. Fargo, North Dakota
  19. Salem, Oregon
  20. Worcester, Massachusetts

Here are the 20 cities that made the least-safe list:

  1. St. Louis, Missouri
  2. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  3. San Bernardino, California
  4. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  5. Little Rock, Arkansas
  6. Detroit, Michigan
  7. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  8. Wichita, Kansas
  9. Los Angeles, California
  10. Jackson, Mississippi
  11. Memphis, Tennessee
  12. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  13. New Orleans, Louisiana
  14. Cleveland, Ohio
  15. Las Vegas, Nevada
  16. St. Petersburg, Florida
  17. Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky
  18. Kansas City, Missouri
  19. Orlando, Florida
  20. Knoxville, Tennessee

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