Americans Say These Are the Safest Big Cities in the U.S.

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Food trucks in Dallas, Texas
Trong Nguyen /

If you want to travel to or live in a big city that keeps you out of harm’s way, set your sights on either Boston or Dallas. Those two metropolises are the safest big cities in America, according to a recent Gallup poll.

Gallup asked Americans whether 16 particular large U.S. cities are safe to live in and visit, based on what the respondents know of these cities from experience or what they have read about them.

Here are the cities with the percentage of poll respondents who viewed them as safe:

  • Dallas: 74%
  • Boston: 72%
  • Seattle: 63%
  • Las Vegas: 61%
  • Miami: 59%
  • Minneapolis: 58%
  • Houston: 57%
  • New Orleans: 55%
  • Atlanta: 54%
  • San Francisco: 52%
  • Washington, D.C.: 52%
  • Philadelphia: 47%
  • New York: 41%
  • Los Angeles: 41%
  • Chicago: 27%
  • Detroit: 26%

Gallup notes that politics plays a role in how people perceive the safety of cities, with Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents “substantially more likely” than Republicans to view big cities as safe.

The only exceptions are Miami and Dallas, which people are roughly equally likely to view as safe regardless of their political views.

The last time Americans were polled on the safety of these 16 cities was in 2006. Since then, four cities — New Orleans, Miami, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. — have become much more likely to be viewed as safe.

By contrast, four cities — Chicago, San Francisco, Minneapolis and Seattle — are significantly less likely to be viewed as safe.

According to Gallup:

“Views of cities’ safety also reflect recent trends in crime statistics. High-profile public situations — such as the 2020 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the creation of the autonomous zone in Seattle and a heavy focus on gun violence in Chicago — most likely have affected views of crime in those cities.”

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