The most sinful city in America is also the deadliest.
Making the rounds this week is yet another negative ranking that has St. Louis occupying the No. 1 spot. The Conservative Post has named St. Louis the "most deadly" place to live in America in its latest top ten list, beating out Memphis, Houston, Seattle, New Orleans, New York, Newark, Miami, Oakland and Los Angeles.
Why? Crime stats! But also...natural disasters!
As we've chronicled many times -- most notably with a Washington University crime rap -- officials in St. Louis argue that crime rankings comparing American cities are inherently flawed and unfairly place us at the top. That's because, St. Louis city is counted separately from the county but is generally compared alongside larger metro areas that include larger surrounding suburban areas.
In fact, most recently, there have been renewed calls from city and county police officials to encourage the feds to merge the stats, so St. Louis is compared fairly -- and ideally removed from the top spots on these ranking.
Here's a recent tweet/map from the blog nextSTL.com that offers a bit of a visual representation of this stat problem:
Here's a murder map for 2013 via the Post-Dispatch on Google Maps:
So with that huuuge caveat aside, the Conservative Post says, "St. Louis has the highest rate of violent crime of any large US city. We're talking murder, rape, and assault." For what it's worth, last month, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson reported that crime in the city is down this year.
"Popular Science," the article says, "adds that St. Louis has a higher-than-normal chance of natural disasters."
Here are the the top five other non-crime reasons that St. Louis is the deadliest:
5. Fault line
"A fault line sits nearby that could cause earthquakes and flooding."
"A 500-year flood along the Mississippi would give a repeat performance of Katrina in New Orleans."
Continue for more reasons why St. Louis is the deadliest.
"In 1956 Missouri saw 42 tornadoes, killing 56 people. The last 20 years in Missouri averaged 30 tornadoes a year. Almost a billion dollars in damage."
2. Oil and gas pipelines
"Now put that together with the major oil and gas pipelines in the city and you got problems."
"Add 22 million pounds of toxins spewing in the air in 2009 alone."
And here's the full top ten list from the Conservative Post, which says it relied on information from Newsmax, ABC, Popular Science and CNN:
7. New Orleans
6. New York
2. Los Angeles
1. St. Louis
Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.