Boston crime rate is less bad than other cities
Feb 2011 21

Statistics collected from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) show Boston to be lagging other major US cities in crime rate and homicides.

The data is from the FBI’s Crime in the United States 2009 report.

Separately, but inclusive of the same data, US News & World Report released its annual crime rate index values, which shows St. Louis, Mo. is the most dangerous city in the U.S.

Other cities and their rankings, from worst to less worse:

1. St. Louis – 530
2. Atlanta – 484
3. Birmingham (tie) – 380
3. Orlando (tie) – 380
5. Detroit – 369
6. Memphis – 361
7. Miami – 346
8. Baltimore – 339
9. Kansas City – 337
10. Minneapolis (tie) – 331
10. Cleveland (tie) – 331

Boston had a crime ranking of 211 in 2009, according to separate data collected by the same source (OnBoard Informatics) and released by According to, Portland had a total crime risk of 262, San Francisco had a total crime risk of 149, and Washington DC of 175.

San Francisco, with approximately 160,000 more residents, had 45 homicides in 2009 (just about half 2008′s number, which increased slightly in 2010 to about 50 deaths). Portland, with about 60,000 fewer residents, had just 21 murders (rising to 29 in 2010). Boston suffered 50 deaths (rising to 72 homicides in 2010).

Each city is distinct and separate, so comparing one city to another, while interesting in perspective, may not accurately reflect how “safe” one might feel.

Overall, I think most residents in Boston believe our city is “safe”, and compares favorably to others.

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