2 of North Carolina’s safest cities in the country: U.S. ranking

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Raleigh ranked # 8 on a list of America's Safest Cities.

Raleigh ranked # 8 on a list of America’s Safest Cities.

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Two of America’s safest cities are here in North Carolina, according to a new report.

Raleigh ranks No.8 and Winston-Salem is No.10 on a list of places offering the lowest risks of crime, natural disasters and financial insecurity, according to results released this month by WalletHub.

To establish the ranking, the personal finance website said it looked at “America’s 150 most populous cities, as well as at least two of the most populous cities in each state.” Using data from the federal government and other sources, analysts classified 182 cities into three categories: “home and community safety,” the likelihood of natural disasters, and economic security.

Raleigh ranked first among cities in North Carolina after ranking # 6 in the economic security category, which is a measure of jobs, debt, poverty, and other related factors money affecting residents.

But Raleigh didn’t do as well in other categories, ranking 55th in natural disaster risk. It was also ranked 19th for “home and community safety,” which weighed in on road deaths, COVID-19 measures, first responders per capita and 2020 crime rates.

The figures were released as data shows gun violence has increased in Raleigh this year. As of September 22, the city had 600 gun crimes, up from 491 on the same date in 2020, The News & Observer reported. While experts were unable to determine why Raleigh appeared to be avoiding an increase in gun violence last year, the coronavirus has created health and economic challenges in recent months.

“When a pandemic strikes, it puts a lot of people out of work and disrupts lives in so many ways,” said Ronald Wright, professor at the law school at Wake Forest University, according to the N&O. “It wouldn’t be shocking to learn that it also produced a lot of stress and the kinds of things that lead to assaults and homicides.”

Also on WalletHub’s list, Winston-Salem made it to the top 10 after receiving strong scores in all three categories.

So how have other cities in North Carolina fared? Durham was # 13, Charlotte # 29, Greensboro # 63 and Fayetteville # 88, according to the results.

Overall, the safest named city in the country was Columbia, Maryland, outside of Washington, DC. The lowest rated city was St. Louis, Missouri.

This story was originally published 13 October 2021 3.20 pm.

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Simone Jasper is a reporter covering breaking news for The News & Observer and real-time news in the Carolinas.

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