Back in the late nineties I travelled between Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, on official business. Even though I’d attended college only 86 miles away in Champaign, I had never visited the state capital before. While I was very impressed by that area of Springfield where the various government buildings are located, I remember driving past some shady areas of town too. So I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised when I read the following tonight by John Giuffo of Forbes.com about the second most populated city in the state outside the Chicago metropolitan area:
Here are America’s five most dangerous cities, according to government statistics…
#3 Springfield, IL
The capital city of Illinois, Springfield ranks third on our list because it had 855 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2010. The city also confounds analysts who try to interpret its relatively high crime rate. The unemployment rate was lower than the national average at 7% as of July, so the economy wouldn’t seem to play a major role in crime. And although meth usage saw a small spike in the mid-2000s, a law passed a few years ago making the necessary pharmaceutical ingredients harder to buy seems to have cut down on abuse. There are also poorer neighborhoods – literally on the other side of the railroad tracks – that tend to have higher rates of poverty and the higher rates of crime that accompany that, which contributes to the city’s overall higher rate of crime. Another factor could be Springfield’s relatively young population – 66% of the city is under the age of 44 – and relatively younger populations are historically correlated with higher rates of crime.
(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)
My state’s capital. Not good. Not good at all.
I actually feel sorry for them in that they now have this dubious distinction.
Beating out Springfield? Memphis was number two, and Detroit took the top spot for 2010.
Giuffo, John. “America’s Most Dangerous Cities, 2011.” Forbes. 4 Oct. 2011. (http://realestate.yahoo.com/promo/americas-most-dangerous-cities-2011.html). 4 Oct. 2011.
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