ST. LOUIS (Reuters Life!) - St. Louis has replaced Camden, New Jersey as the most dangerous U.S. city, according to a study based on FBI crime data and released Monday.
St. Louis had 2,070 violent crimes per 100,000 residents last year, well over the national average of 429, according to the report issued by social science publisher CQ Press.
Camden ranked second this year, with Detroit, Michigan; Flint, Michigan; and Oakland, California rounding out the top five most crime-ridden cities, according to the report.
No reason was given for St. Louis moving to the top of the crime list.
The safest city, statistically speaking, was seen as Colonie, N.Y., a suburb of Albany.
The CQ report was drawn from FBI crime data that includes murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and motor vehicle theft.
The FBI, however, was critical of the city rankings and said in a notice on its website linked to its crime data that such rankings are flawed.
“They lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting communities and their residents,” the FBI said. “Valid assessments are possible only with careful study and analysis of the range of unique conditions affecting each local law enforcement jurisdiction.”
CQ Press acknowledged the FBI’s concern, but defended its report as a “starting point” for further research.
“It’s not the end all, be all or the final word on anything. It is one way to look at it,” said CQ Press spokesman Ben Krasney. “We encourage people to look into the data in their local communities.”
CQ Press is a unit of Sage Publications.
Reporting by Carey Gillam, editing by Greg McCune