6 Cities Where You Can’t Let Your Guard Down

A Gallup study has just ranked the six safest and least safe cities in the U.S. Based on data gathered from the 50 most populous metropolitan areas in the country, 6 standout as being particularly unsafe in the eyes of its residents. Respondents were asked, “Do you feel safe walking alone at night in the city or area where you live?"

Some of the cities that were the safest among the polling include that of Twin Cities, Denver, and Boston. However, here are the six areas where you may want to make sure your doors are locked.

1. Las Vegas, Nev.

Out of roughly 1,500 participants, 65% feel free to roam around Sin City at all times, leaving 34% feeling unsafe, and 2% with no opinion. While there is a great disparity between sentiments on safety, the percentage of those feeling unsafe is nothing to boast. In February 2013 alone, three separate random acts of violence occurred in close proximity to the Vegas strip.

2. Jacksonville, Fla.

The feeling of safety also prevailed over the feeling of danger among Floridians, with 63%-36%. One of the top priorities from the city’s mayor in 2012 was to invest the budget into expenditures to improve Jacksonville’s downtown area. Included in this plan was the construction of a park to attract more visitors. Those plans have yet to be brought to complete fruition however.

3. Greater Houston, Texas

The percentages are tied to that of Jacksonville with 63%-36% feeling safe and unsafe. However the sample size is over four times that of Florida’s with 4,789 participants. The polling also included the Sugar Land and Baytown areas.

4. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.

These southern California cities found 61% of respondents feeling safe and 38% unsafe. San Bernardino became one of the cities to fall victim to bankruptcy in 2012, causing a spike in violent crimes. One such rate included an over 50% increase in homicides for the city. Gang violence has also been a prevalent issue in the history of the region.

5. New Orleans, La.

Only 59% of participants agree that walking alone at night is a good idea, leaving 41% feeling the contrary. The city has had an extensive history in poverty rates, however 2005’s Hurricane Katrina has since displaced the masses, and an estimated 4,900 residents remain homeless in the city. Even 8 years later, the city still holds the title of being one of the most dangerous in the nation.

6. Memphis, Tenn.

A small majority of participants feel safe to walk around the streets of Memphis at night, with 55%-43%. The study also included Mississippi and Arkansas residents. With financial struggles resulting from the current and ongoing national economic deficit, poverty rates have risen, particularly with the black community. With unemployment and home foreclosures on the rise, this city’s safety is rapidly on the decline. The 2010 Census named Memphis as the poorest metropolis in the nation.