Sunday, July 28, 2013

Life Is More Dangerous Where?!?

Life is more dangerous out in the country. Cook County (which is, essentially, Chicago), for example, is safer than, say, Alaska, Nevada, or Maine, which are predominantly rural.

Why would this be? In spite of the perception that inner cities are much more dangerous than rural areas -- the good ole country -- due to gun violence, it's just not so:
That's from a new study out of the University of Pennsylvania in Annals of Emergency Medicine: "Safety in Numbers: Are Major Cities the Safest Places in the United States?" If by "safety" you mean "not dying from an injury," the answer is yes (the authors didn't evaluate nonfatal injury).
And the nominal reasons are pretty straightforward:
The overall injury death rate was 56.2 per 100,000 persons in the population. The overall death rate for unintentional injury was 37.5 per 100,000, and the overall death rate for intentional injury (homicide and suicide) was 17.0 per 100,000. The most common mechanisms for injury death across all subjects were motor vehicle related, which occurred at a rate of 14.9 per 100,000, and firearm related, which occurred at a rate of 10.4 per 100,000.
So driving is still the most likely thing to kill you. And you're much more likely to in or from a motor vehicle in rural areas than in urban areas:
Motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of injury death across the population, and the number of motor vehicle crash injury deaths increased sharply with increasing rurality (27.61/100,000 in most rural, 10.58/100,000 in most urban...).
Another way of putting it is:

These people don't present as big a danger to you in the city... driving in the country.

Go figure. And if you want to factor in the random gun violence, check out the weekly GunFAIL feature by David Walden at Daily Kos. Yep, not a whole lotta NYC, DC, Oakland, Chicago, or Philly listed there.

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