A study released this week by the personal finance website WalletHub ranks Chattanooga as the 10th most dangerous city in the United States, landing at number 173 out of 182.
The report detailing “2020’s Safest Cities in America” highlighted three categories, “Home and Community Safety,” “Natural Disaster Risk” and “Financial Security”–in which Chattanooga metro scored (out of 182) 177, 109 and 124 respectively.
In order to determine where Americans can feel most protected against life’s hazards, WalletHub compared 182 cities, including the 150 most populated U.S. cities, plus at least two of the most populated cities in each state.
“While COVID-19 has dominated the news this year, Americans still have other dangers to worry about, from mass shootings to riots to traffic accidents,” the study reads.
“People can feel unsafe in other ways, too. Aside from the types of hazards that can cause bodily injury or other physical harm, taking out an unaffordable second mortgage, forgoing health insurance or even visiting unsecured websites are also ways people run into danger.”
The study notes that safety is one of the most important factors families look at when choosing a city or town in which to live.
“No one can avoid all danger, however, and we take on a certain level of risk based on where we choose to live,” the assessment points out. “Some cities are simply better at protecting their residents from harm. To determine where Americans can feel most secure–in more than one sense–WalletHub compared more than 180 cities across 42 key indicators of safety. Our data set ranges from COVID-19 cases in the past seven days per 100,000 residents and assaults per capita to the unemployment rate and road quality.”
Some other metrics of safety used to determine ranking include: murders and non-negligent manslaughters, number of law enforcement employees, traffic and pedestrian fatalities, natural disaster risk (flood, hail, tornado, wildfire), poverty rate, fraud complaints, share of sheltered homeless, foreclosure rate and employment growth.
WalletHub’s top 10 worst cities:
1. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
2. St. Louis, Missouri
3. San Bernardino, California
4. Birmingham, Alabama
5. Detroit, Michigan
6. Jackson, Mississippi
7. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
8. Memphis, Tennessee
9. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
10. Chattanooga, Tennessee
The five safest cities, in order, were Columbia, Maryland; South Burlington, Vermont; Plano, Texas; Nashua, New Hamphshire and Lewiston, Maine.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., WalletHub was launched in August 2013.