Study Names Tukwila, Washington, As ‘Most Dangerous City In America’

Research of FBI crime statistics now say that Tukwila, Washington, is no longer the second-most dangerous city in America, but has now claimed the number one spot, according to a study released on Friday.

Tukwila now tops the list of most dangerous cities in the United States, surpassing former champion Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The report by SafeWise analyzed FBI crime report statistics for 2014 for all cities with a population of more than 10,000. Using this data, they tallied the total number of violent crimes, which they define as including murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, and property crimes, such as burglary, arson, motor vehicle theft, and larceny-theft.

SafeWise then reviewed population data and calculated the odds of each crime happening out of 1,000 people and published the figures of the top 30 most dangerous cities in the U.S., according to Komo News.

“Tukwila scored relatively low compared to the other top cities on the list in violent crimes at 8.18 per 1,000 — which is actually a drop from 8.29 last year, but topped the list at property crimes at 165.75 per 1,000 (also a drop from last year’s 167.42). Spokane also made this dubious list at No. 22, climbing four spots from No. 26 in 2015.”

More high-profile cities known to struggle with high crime rates, such as Detroit, Memphis, Oakland, and St. Louis were disqualified from the list due to the city’s respective law enforcement agency not reporting complete crime data to the FBI. These cities notably appear on other high-profile crime rate lists.

In happier news, the SafeWise report notes that crime has decreased overall, even in America’s top 30 most violent cities. Even while a Gallup poll indicates that most Americans think crime is increasing, incidents of violent crimes and property crimes have decreased by 40 percent since 1995.

“While just one criminal offense is too many, we’re encouraged that crime has decreased even among America’s 30 most dangerous cities. Comparing the most recent data with last year’s report, we discovered the average violent crime rate of these cities dropped by about one incident per 1,000 people, and the average property crime rate went down by nearly 11 incidents per 1,000 people.”

The number of reported crimes also dropped four percent from 2013 to 2014, with robberies and burglaries decreasing the most. The average violent crime rate of the top 30 cities dropped by about one incident per 1,000 people, and the average property crime rate fell by nearly 11 incidents per 1,000 people.

Still, the report cautions that the average number of crimes reported in the 30 cities on the list is 109 per 1,000 people, compared to the national U.S. average of 29 per 1,000 people, meaning SafeWise’s top 30 most dangerous cities have almost four times as many reported crimes on average.

Rachel Bianchi, a Tukwila city spokesperson, criticized the report as giving an incomplete picture of Tukwila.

“This is based on comparing crime statistics to solely the number of people who are actual residents to the City — in our case, that is 19,000. However, we have anywhere between 150,000 and 200,000 people in Tukwila every day due to the presence of Westfield Southcenter, the largest mall in the Pacific Northwest, as well as the other retail and employment areas in the City,” she said to Komo News. “Making per capita comparisons such as this just doesn’t make sense when you look at the unique nature of our city. For instance, if you look at the amount of sales receipts in Tukwila (in excess of $2 billion in 2015) on a per capita basis you’d think Tukwila residents do an amazing amount of shopping — to the tune of over $105,000 per person!”

The FBI’s website cautions against taking reported crime statistics as complete analyses, or “ranking” cities on the basis of reported crime data alone.

[Photo by David Calvert/Getty Images]