The people of Detroit do have some things to cheer about right now.
The Tigers upset the Yankees last night to win the American League Divisional Series. In the NFL, the 4-0 Lions enter the weekend tied for the best record in the NFL. Car sales have been rebounding, and urban artists have been moving into foreclosed homes, sparking some hope in distressed and abandoned parts of town.
Here’s one league Motor City rooters would just as soon not be leading, however: In the nation’s violent crime standings, compiled annually by Forbes magazine, Detroit is again No. 1. According to stats from the FBI’s uniform crime report for 2010, Detroit is America’s most dangerous city.
With 1,111 violent crimes per 100,000 people — nearly one-third of them homicides — the Detroit metropolitan area topped Memphis; Springfield, Illinois; Flint, Michigan; and Anchorage, Alaska in the top five.
In the U.S. as a whole, the FBI reports, violent crime has been falling for the past four years, despite worsening economic conditions. This flies in the face of some long-held assumptions about the link between poverty and crime. However, experts note crime statistics are not straightforward indicators of any single factor.
“There’s a complex series of forces at work behind these rates,” Tom Blomberg, dean of the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University, told Forbes. “The state of the economy, demographics, the number of young males at any given time, the rate of imprisonment and the number of police all factor in.”
(Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)