The 10 US cities where crime costs the most: study

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(NEXSTAR) – What’s the impact of crime in your city? A team of researchers has put together a formula that calculates the economic cost of criminal activity.

MoneyGeek published the study in December 2021. They analyzed FBI crime statistics in 297 cities around the country to calculate the cost of crime in each area. Nationwide, MoneyGeek found the total cost of crime in the U.S. topped $200 billion in 2020.

The cost of crime includes impacts to victims, like the loss of stolen property and medical bills, MoneyGeek explained, as well as the cost to the justice system. Violent crimes typically result in a higher cost than nonviolent crimes, MoneyGeek said.

How much of that weight falls on your community depends on where you live and the types of crime that occur there.

The study found the most dangerous cities, ranked by the highest cost of crime per capita to be:

  1. St. Louis ($11,574 per capita)
  2. Jackson, Mississippi ($9,138 per capita)
  3. Detroit ($7,292 per capita)
  4. New Orleans ($7,214 per capita)
  5. Baltimore ($7,091 per capita)
  6. Memphis, Tennessee ($6,884 per capita)
  7. Cleveland ($6,423 per capita)
  8. Baton Rouge, Louisiana ($6,150 per capita)
  9. Kansas City, Missouri ($5,382 per capita)
  10. Shreveport, Louisiana ($5,153 per capita)

The study found the safest cities, ranked by cost of crime per capita, to be:

  1. Naperville, Illinois
  2. Cary, North Carolina
  3. Murrieta, California
  4. Carmel, Indiana
  5. Frisco, Texas
  6. Amherst Town, New York
  7. Cape Coral, Florida
  8. Irvine, California
  9. Thousand Oaks, California
  10. McKinney, Texas

The calculated cost of crime for the top 10 cities ranged from $187 per person in Naperville to $276 in McKinney.

No large cities, which MoneyGeek defines as a place with more than 300,000 people, made the study’s top-10 list. Of large cities, MoneyGeek found the safest ones to be:

  1. Virginia Beach, Virginia
  2. Honolulu
  3. Henderson, Nevada
  4. El Paso, Texas
  5. Mesa, Arizona

Even in Virginia Beach, the safest of the large cities, crime cost the city $611 per capita in 2020.

MoneyGeek looked at crime data from 297 cities with more than 100,000 people to put together the lists. You can see the full dataset here.


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