Out of the Top 25: St. Louis Not on Most Dangerous Neighborhoods List

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At least by one measure, St. Louis is not home to any of the 25 most dangerous neighborhoods in the nation. Then again, by just about any measure, ranking the top 25 most dangerous neighborhoods is an inaccurate, dishonest and wasteful exercise. See last year's "Neighborhood Crime Ranking: True, Factual, Standardized Statistics Can't Lie, Can They?" for why.

Where can the most dangerous neighborhoods be found? There are four in Atlanta, three is Las Vegas, two each in Memphis, Chicago and Cleveland with the rest in places like Charlotte, Louisville, Fort Worth, Kansas City, Cincinnati, Orlando and Philadelphia.

Neighborhoodscout.com makes money by compiling crime statistics, school ratings and housing price trends, connecting you to a realtor and charging everyone a small fee. The site advertises its ability to help you "find your perfect neighborhood." The site implores you to not "use someone else's opinion" and instead purports to use "government agency data for quality of education" to find the right school for your child. For a fee you can download a "Scout labs report" for a neighborhood, but you can get a glimpse for fee.

So what does the site tell me about my neighborhood, The Grove? "My chances of becoming a victim" of violent crime is approximately 1 in 20. The number is 1 in 6 for property crime and there are approximately 600 crimes per square mile in The Grove as compared to a national median of 49.6. The quick report also says the neighborhood is "suburban (based on population density)", has a higher than average percentage of college educated residents, and is "mostly artsy/funky." The peak preview states that The Grove is "more hip & trendy than 91% of U.S. neighborhoods" and that the schools are "better than 3.66% of all U.S. school districts."

In your opinion, does the site offer a reasonable service? Does it inform? Or does it do more harm than good? If you would not use a website such as this, how would you find your next neighborhood?

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