Midwest cities dominated Forbes' top 10 list of America's Most Dangerous Cities. Detroit, MI came out on top with Springfield, IL and Flint, Mi not far behind.
To create the list, Forbes used the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) uniform crime report of 2010. This report tallies the number of crimes based on several categories for metropolitan areas around the United States. Forbes only looked at metropolitan areas with a population of 200,000 or more and created their list using four of the categories that the FBI monitors: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.
This methodology differs from many other lists that typically include New Orleans, St. Louis, and Baltimore.
Some might expect that the worsening economic conditions would have caused crime rates to go up, but surprisingly it's had the opposite effect. In 2010 robbery was down 10% and rape dropped 5%.
Tom Blomberg, dean of the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University, believes there is no simple reason for the drop, rather many factors converging.
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, Blomberg told Forbes.
The four Midwest cities on the list were in Michigan and Illinois. Michigan was represented by Flint and Detroit - no big surprise. Illinois danger zones included Springfield and Rockford.
For Detroit, a constant on any crime rate list, many blame the danger on the dwindling population and the increasingly gloomy fate of American carmakers in the city. There is a stunning 1,111 violent crimes per 100,000 people in Detroit.
Like Detroit, Flint, Michigan has suffered along with the car industry with a combination of a crummy economy and high unemployment.
People don't have jobs, they don't have money for food, so they become a lot more desperate, and these trends take a long time to reverse, Megan Wolfram, an intelligence analyst at the risk assessment firm iJET, told Forbes.
In Springfield, factors that may have lead to the high crime rate are a young population and specific neighborhoods with high poverty rates. Finding itself third on the list, Springfield had 855 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2010.
Springfield's partner in crime, Rockford, almost escaped the wrath of the list, sliding in at number 10. Large highways often play a role in crime cities, as they are often routes for drug carriers. Rockford's Interstate 39 may have fallen prey to such routes as drugs make their way up to Wisconsin. Other factors in crime may be a result of the relatively close distance to Chicago.
Here's a look at the complete list of America's Most Dangerous Cities:
1. Detroit, MI
2. Memphis, TN
3. Springfield, IL
4. Flint, MI
5. Anchorage, AL
6. Lubbock, TX
7. Stockton, CA
8. Tallahassee, FL
9. Las Vegas, NV
10. Rockford, IL