Cities Too Dangerous for Kids? Maybe Not

Cities are commonly thought of as dangerous places for kids to grow up. But a new study challenges that perception.

This post from Grist looks at the study from the University of Virginia, and discusses some of the reasons cities aren't as dangerous as they might seem.

"The study found that the most dangerous regions of nine metropolitan areas (Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh) are the outer suburbs. (Inner-ring suburbs were the safest, with central cities coming in second.) People, especially children, are most likely to be hurt or killed in an automobile crash, and, not surprisingly, automobile crashes are more prevalent in areas that require cars to get around. (Outer suburbs also tend to be dominated by two-lane roads, which are responsible for roughly 77 percent of automobile fatalities.) Even though the risk of homicide by a stranger (incidentally, a small percentage of all homicides) is slightly higher in central cities, the difference is not enough to overcome the significantly elevated risk in outer suburbs of a fatal car crash."

Full Story: Want a safe place to raise kids? Look to the cities



Irvin Dawid's picture

... a safe place to raise kids? Look to.. INNER SUBURBS!

Great summary above, so why does Grist point to the city when they themselves note that the inner suburb is 'safest'?
Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

To answer your question,

To answer your question, Irvin, the article is pointing out that cities are not as dangerous for kids, vs. suburbs, as one might think. The article's 'inner suburb' quote you reference is this:

"The study found that the most dangerous regions of nine metropolitan areas...are the outer suburbs. Inner-ring suburbs were the safest, with central cities coming in second."

In order of safety, central cities come in at #2, in front of outer suburbs. This goes against conventional wisdom that outer suburbs are the safer place to raise kids when compared to central cities.

Yes, definitely congratulate the inner suburbs for coming in at #1. But don't miss the point that cities are safer for kids than you might think when compared to outer suburbs.

Michael Lewyn's picture

What is an "inner suburb"?

One caveat: because Lucy measures by county, his "inner suburbs" are whole counties, most of which include quite a few suburbs that are pretty far out. For example, Atlanta's Fulton County includes Alpharetta (20 miles out, very much an "outer suburb") as well as suburbs like Sandy Springs and East Point that actually border the city of Atlanta. So a more fine-grained analysis (that is, one that compared municipalities rather than whole counties) would tell us much more.

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