I Needed to Get Out of That Place

I saw a map the other day the Animal’s famous hit, written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, popped into my head. This was the map:
Infographic: The 20 Most Violent Cities Worldwide | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista

As you can see, two of the world’s most violent cities are in the United States – and I used to live in one of them. As it happens, Baltimore only broke into the top twenty this year. A year ago, it was ranked 40th. Today, it is 19th. Now, since this is ranking rather than rate, a city could find itself moving higher without getting more unsafe if the rest of the world got safer. Unfortunately, that is not the case. In 2015, Baltimore experienced its highest per capita murder rate in its history. This is very sad.

Strangely, Business Insider chose to illustrate  its 2014 list with a photograph from Howard County, a normally safe area that is definitely not Baltimore. It is a suburban area about a half and hour to an hour’s drive away. I guess they couldn’t get a suitably scary looking photograph of Baltimore. As it happens, nothing bad happened to me in Baltimore, but I’ve been mugged twice in the significantly safer New York, although that was years ago when New York wasn’t as safe as it is today. Still, that goes to show that there is a certain amount of randomness and chance involved with crime.

Saint Louis, although within the top twenty two years in a row, has moved from nineteenth to fifteenth.

While we’re looking at this map, I would like to draw everyone’s attention to the big, empty space that is most of Africa. It is probably due to being lulled by a sense of familiarity, but I know more than a few Americans who wouldn’t think twice about going to Latin America but are afraid of Africa. (Admittedly, most Americans are afraid of Baltimore, St. Louis and Detroit.) One of my mother’s friends’ daughters recently got married and wanted to go to Africa for her honeymoon. They chose South Africa because it was “safe.” Obviously, she was functioning with serious misinformation. Although, it is worth noting that despite South Africa being statistically one of the less safe places in Africa, nothing bad happened to her and I hear they had a lovely time. I mention it, not to knock South Africa, but simply to point out the misunderstanding people seem to have.

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3 comments
  1. I think there is a lot of misinformation about Africa.

    • fojap said:

      That is definitely the impression I have.

      • At least you are one person I know who at least does a fact check on the things you write about

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