Monday, November 22, 2010

Don’t Believe the Hype

There are dozens of reasons why the FBI, the American Society of Criminology and the Criminal Justice Journalists caution against attempts to use statistics to “rank” cities in terms of crimes. For starters, there is no standard definition of a city for one thing. Where the boundary lines are drawn can make a significant impact. For example, the City of St. Louis is 62 square miles. The City of Detroit on the other hand, is 138 square miles. The City of Phoenix is 515 square miles. When looking at just those numbers, it’s ludicrous to compare a city with 62 square miles to one with 515 square miles. The larger the geographic boundary, the more economically diverse a city tends to be. If you want to see our complete response to these bogus rankings, click here.