Forbes: Birmingham is the 6th most dangerous major city in U.S.
By Scott Buttram
Forbes magazine released its list of America’s most dangerous cities based on FBI crime statistics, and Birmingham has again found itself ranked in the top 10.
This comes despite a steep drop in violent crimes across the country in the last decade. According to Forbes, “national crime statistics have fallen dramatically since the early 1990s – murder and violent crime rates are both down more than 50%.”
Critics of the FBI statistics say the formula is skewed toward urban cores because they do not factor in the entire metropolitan statistical area. However, as the Forbes article points out in relation to Detroit, the overwhelming number violent acts are taking place within the Birmingham city proper, while only a handful occur in the MSA.
In 2012, Birmingham accounted for roughly 25 percent of all murders in Alabama, while the city’s population accounted for only four percent of the state’s total population.
The list is compiled using the FBI violent crime statistics and compares only the major cities with a population minimum of 200,000. Detroit was No. 1 in the rankings for the fifth straight year despite a rapidly declining population. Only Memphis ranked higher in the south than Birmingham, coming in at No. 3.
Of Birmingham, Forbes writes, “Downtown Birmingham has come a long way from the fire hoses and police dogs city leaders turned on civil-rights marchers in the 1960s, but crime remains a stubborn problem. Violent crime rate: 1,518 per 100,000 residents.”
In June, 24/7 WallSt.com had ranked Birmingham as America’s Seventh Most Dangerous City, citing similar statistics. That article also pointed out Birmingham’s poverty rate, which is twice as high as the national average at 32 percent.