Twin Citians feel safer than residents of any other metro

Enjoy solo late-night strolls? You've come to the right city.
Enjoy solo late-night strolls? You've come to the right city.

A new Gallup Wellbeing study finds that Twin Cities residents feel safer walking alone at night than residents of any other large metro.

SEE ALSO: Whatever happened to the downtown Minneapolis mobs that beat people senselessly?

Throughout 2012, Gallup called residents of the nation's 50 largest metros and asked them whether they "feel safe walking alone at night in the city or area where you live?" Eighty percent of MSPers said they do feel safe. The second most safe-feeling city was Denver, with 78 percent of folks they aren't worried about anything going amiss when out and on foot at night.

After Minneapolis and Denver, the next four safest-feeling metros were Raleigh, Boston, Salt Lake City, and Austin, respectively. The least safe-feeling metros were Memphis, New Orleans, Riverside, Houston, and Jacksonville, respectively.

Gallup notes that in general, cities where people report feeling the saftest have relatively low crime rates. Unfortunately, the FBI didn't estimate a a violent crime rate for Minneapolis last year (partly due to the quirky way Minneapolis officials define certain categories of violent crime), but the metro where residents reported feeling the least safe (Memphis, at 55 percent) had "by far the highest violent crime rate among the 50 largest MSAs for which data were available."

Though the percentage of Twin Cities residents reporting they feel safe walking alone at night slightly increased last year in comparison with 2011 (that year, with 79 percent of residents saying they feel safe, we tied with Boston for the top spot), violent crime in Minneapolis actually ticked up slightly in 2012. Of course, as Gallup notes, "Metropolitan Statistical Areas include both a central city and suburban areas, and certainly residents in parts of lower-ranked metro areas may feel very safe, while those in certain parts of other highly ranked metro areas may feel very unsafe."

In other words, you should probably still think twice before popping in those earbuds for a solo midnight stroll through Stevens Square.

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