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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New Orleans had the highest crime rate of any U.S. city last year, with 209 murders and more than 19,000 reported criminal incidents, CQ Press reported on Monday in an annual ranking.
Other high-crime cities, in declining order, were Camden, New Jersey; Detroit, Michigan; St. Louis, Missouri; and Oakland, California.
New Orleans, where population declined dramatically after 2005's Hurricane Katrina, showed a jump in the murder rate, which rose from 162 in 2006 to 209 in 2007, the report found.
CQ Press, which compiled the rankings from FBI crime statistics, said the most crime-free U.S. city in 2007 was Ramapo, New York, followed by Mission Viejo, California, which had the lowest ranking last year; Lake Forest, Chino Hills and Thousand Oaks, California; and Newton, Massachusetts.
The crime rate rankings were calculated using six crime categories: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and motor vehicle theft.
The categories have been used since 1999 to rate crime in all U.S. cities with at least 75,000 residents that reported crime data to the FBI, according to CQ Press.
When looking just at the 33 biggest U.S. cities, with populations of 500,000 or more, Detroit, Michigan, had the highest crime rate and Honolulu, Hawaii, had the lowest.
New York City had the second-lowest big-city crime rate after Honolulu, and Seattle, Los Angeles and Fort Worth, Texas also made the top 10.
Detroit, Michigan had the worst crime rate among big cities, according to the report, followed by Baltimore, Maryland; Memphis, Tennessee; Washington D.C. and Philadelphia.
More information is available online at http:/www.cqpress.com/pages/citycrime2008.
CQ Press is a division of SAGE, which publishes journals, books, and electronic media for academic, educational and professional markets.
Editing by Cynthia Osterman