Criminologists who adjusted homicide data to paint a more accurate comparative picture of major U.S. cities say they erred last week in concluding that Las Vegas has the worst record in the nation. The experts now say that San Francisco is in first place. The initial study identifying Las Vegas was reported last week in Crime & Justice News. The study adjusted homicide numbers reported by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports to take into account demographic and other factors in cities.
The study was revised after Las Vegas officials and journalists pointed out that the study had erroneously compared a murder total that included deaths in unincorporated Clark County, Nv., including “The Strip,” to the population of the city of Las Vegas. When the data were calculated correctly, Las Vegas’s ranking plummeted to number 19 among major cities, between Riverside, Ca., and Santa Ana, Ca.
The new adjusted rankings show San Francisco in first place, Washington, D.C., second, and Oakland, Ca., third. Other cities in the top ten are Kansas City, New Orleans, Baltimore, Charlotte, Indianapolis, Albuquerque, and Minneapolis.
If only raw homicide totals were used, New Orleans would rank number 1, followed by Washington, D.C., Detroit, Baltimore, Atlanta, St. Louis, Oakland, Newark, Memphis, and Chicago.