I am about to stake my claim in a likely very unpopular opinion. I have no doubt you've heard St. Louis included in many articles about "murder capitals" and "most dangerous places", but are they really true? I think I can prove that many of these are wildly unfair and try to paint the Gateway City with far too broad a brush.

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I'll give you an example of what I'm talking about. 24/7 Wall St ranked St. Louis as the worst city you can live in around the state of Missouri. The facts they share are true such as there are "1,927 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in St. Louis in 2019, more than five times the national violent crime rate".

Facty adds that in St. Louis 1 out of every 50 people are likely to "become victims of murder, rape, robbery, or assault". That's horrifying, but is the impression true? The short answer is yes. The long answer is it paints an unfair picture of the city of St. Louis as a whole.

Let's take a look at Neighborhood Scout's crime map of St. Louis. The dark areas of blue mean more crime. Notice how relatively crime free the entire western half of the city are.

Infographic, Neighborhood Scout
Infographic, Neighborhood Scout

This topic has come up again today as Niche just released their 2023 version of Best Places to Live in Missouri. The vast majority are St. Louis suburbs. How can that be if the city is completely a danger capital? The answer is it shows there are many sides to this story.

I've taken my family to the St. Louis Zoo dozens of times and have been in the seats of Busch Stadium for many a baseball game. I've also spent plenty of time walking downtown and not once have I felt the "danger" that many national sites want to apply to the city.

Let's qualify my experiences though. I don't go into the downtown area at night and understand where the problem areas are. I'm not in denial about the rampant property and violent crime either. My point is that every single metro I've visited has areas like this. St. Louis is no different and there's more to a city than statistics.

I have many friends who live in many different parts of St. Louis. One works in real estate and handles properties all over the city and seems to love his work. I have another guy I went to school with in Hannibal who used to work for the St. Louis police. Saw him once when I went to a Blues game and he said life is good. Yes, these are anecdotal stories, but my point is that St. Louis has plenty of great areas and people. Yes, the lawless live there, too and have done some horrific things. Just don't believe the broad-brush "murder over every shoulder" articles that make it out to be something out of an old Kurt Russell movie.

In my (admittedly somewhat sanitized) experiences, St. Louis isn't nearly as bad as some make it out to be. Let's hope the forces of good can keep up the fight with the real violent crime to lessen the number of innocent victims so these awful labels can go away for good.

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