Chicago has long been seen as a city on the brink of ruin. It was recently named the number one most dangerous city in America, and it was recently revealed that the city’s crime rates have decreased by more than 15%. So why is this city so often portrayed as a disaster? It’s not just Chicago – many other cities are facing similar challenges. In fact, when you look at the numbers, it’s hard to find any major metropolitan area that isn’t facing some form of decline. But don’t believe the hype. These problems are overblown and there is still plenty of opportunity in these cities. The following article explores how to see the realities of these cities and still make a success of your business.
What is the Chicago Crime Rate?
According to the FBI, the crime rate in Chicago was 4,318 per 100,000 people in 2016. This is below the national average of 5,371 and is the lowest since 1966. Violent crime rates have also decreased in Chicago over the past few years. However, property crime rates are still high which may be contributing to the city’s perception as being unsafe.
Are Chicago’s Neighborhoods Really Bad?
The vast majority of Chicagoans live in neighborhoods that are safe and productive. But there are a few troubled areas, and the media has used exaggeration to create a negative perception of the city. In reality, Chicago’s neighborhoods have their problems, but they are not as bad as many people believe.
Chicagoans themselves know which neighborhoods are trouble spots. They avoid them at all costs, and outsiders often view them with alarm. But these areas only make up a small percentage of the city. Most residents live in neighborhoods where crime is low, schools are good, and there is plenty of opportunity for social networking and recreation.
The media puts too much emphasis on crime rates and other indicators that may be out of sync with the rest of the city. For example, while shootings do occur occasionally in some poor neighborhoods, it’s important to keep in mind that they make up just 2 percent of all crimes in Chicago. And while some streets may look dangerous because of high levels of violent crime, this isn’t representative of the city as a whole. Overall crime is down by more than 20 percent over the past decade in Chicago neighborhoods compared to suburbs outside of the city limits.
In addition to focusing on isolated incidents, reporters also tend to overstate the severity of problems in certain Chicago neighborhoods without having all the facts straight. This leads to sensational headlines about “the end of civilization” or “a war zone.” But even if every neighborhood had issues like
Are Chicago Schools Really Bad?
Chicago’s schools have been the subject of scrutiny in recent years and there is a lot of talk about how bad they are. But is this really the case? In this article, we will examine some of the statistics to see if Chicago’s schools are as bad as people say.
First, let’s look at graduation rates. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2014, the graduation rate for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) was 88.3%. This is higher than the state average of 84.9% but lower than both the national average of 94.1% and CPS’ own target rate of 95%. So overall, CPS has done a good job graduating students from high school.
Another metric that has been used to critique Chicago’s schools is test scores. However, when looking at standardized tests taken by students in grades 3-8 (the testing period most commonly used to measure student achievement), CPS performs relatively well when compared to other cities with similar populations and incomes. For example, according to data compiled by The New York Times, in 2013 Chicagoans aged 8 scored an average 490 on math exams while Californians aged 8 scored an average 518. Similarly, according to data compiled by The Washington Post, during the 2012-2013 school year suburban students in Illinois scored an average 496 on math exams while suburban students in Maryland scored an average 514. So while Chicago may not be doing well on standardized tests compared to other wealthy cities,
Is Chicago a Dangerous City?
Yes, Chicago is a dangerous city. However, this does not mean that it is the most dangerous city in America. In fact, according to Forbes’ 2018 list of the “Most Dangerous Cities in America”, Chicago barely makes the top 10.
Forbes bases their rankings on crime rates and the number of violent crimes per 100,000 residents. Chicago came in at #8 on their list with a violent crime rate of 1,526 per 100,000 residents. Next to Chicago was Detroit with a rate of 2,143 and then St. Louis with a rate of 1,866.
So while Chicago may be considered a dangerous city by some measures, it certainly isn’t the most dangerous city in America.
Chicago may have endured some tough times in the past year, but that does not mean that the city is doomed. In fact, Chicago has a lot of potential and there are many reasons to be optimistic about its future. Yes, there are areas of the city that need redevelopment and improvement, but this is common for all cities – especially those that have been through as much tumult as Chicago has in recent years. Overall, I believe that 2019 will be a good year for Chicago and I am excited to see what new trends and developments take hold in the city this year.