Nation's most dangerous cities: Minneapolis beats Houston by a long shot

A crime study released yesterday by Morgan Quitno Press reveals that Minneapolis is the nation's 34th most-dangerous city, landing just below Philadelphia on the publisher's danger list. Houston, with a population of more than 2 million, is the 54th most-dangerous city; Newton, Mass., which falls last on the list of 369 cities surveyed, is considered to be the safest U.S. city.

The study looked at cities' crime rates in 2004 per 100,000 residents and measured the findings against national averages. In Minneapolis, 4,709 violent crimes were reported in a population of 376,255 last year: Among them were 45 murders/manslaughters, 384 forcible rapes, 2,246 robberies, and 2,026 aggravated assaults, according to the FBI. Philadelphia, with a little over 1.4 million residents, reported 20,902 violent crimes in 2004.

However, when researchers combined Minneapolis and St. Paul (which is 97th most dangerous) with the metro region, the Twin Cities fall to 195 most-dangerous, just above a town you've never heard of, Warner Robins, Georgia. And there's more good news in all of this: At least we're not Camden, New Jersey. The Number One most-violent city, whose population is 80,600, saw 1,824 violent crimes in 2004. Incidentally, Wisconsin metro areas of Fond du Lac, Appleton, Sheboygan, LaCrosse, and Oshkosh are among the top-ten safest places in the country.

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