Site ranks Chandler 23rd safest city in the U.S. SanTan Sun News

Site ranks Chandler 23rd safest city in the U.S.

October 14th, 2021 SanTan Sun News
Site ranks Chandler 23rd safest city in the U.S.
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SANTAN SUN NEWS STAFF

Chandler is the 23rd safest city in the country but not the safest in Arizona, according to a survey of 182 American cities conducted by the financial website wallethub.com.

That statewide honor belongs to Gilbert, which also ranked 12th nationally in the survey.

Wallethub based its findings on an analysis of “44 key indicators” that ranged from COVID-19 deaths in the week of Sept. 26 per capita to assaults per capita to the unemployment rate and road quality.

If you’re wondering if the survey was simply reflecting the work of police, you’re wrong.

“People can feel unsafe in other ways, too,” wallethub noted. “Aside from the types of hazards that can cause bodily injury or other physical harm, taking out an unaffordable second mortgage, forgoing health insurance or even visiting unsecured websites are also ways people run into danger. One of the biggest worries for many people is the availability of affordable healthcare. In fact, half of all U.S. adults are worried a major health event could lead to bankruptcy.

“No one can avoid all danger, however, and we take on a certain level of risk based on where we choose to live. Some cities are simply better at protecting their residents from harm.”

Indeed, when wallethub looked at “home and community safety,” Gilbert fell to 32 – the highest in Arizona – while Chandler slid to 52nd place.

Data included in that category included a slew of crimes per capita, but also included factors like COVID deaths and vaccinated people, sheltered people experiencing homelessness, fatal drug overdoses, traffic deaths and even the “perception of safety” that was based on what people have told the numbeo.com website over the past three years.

On the other hand, Chandler is ranked the safest of any Arizona city when it comes to natural disasters, scoring eighth nationally as well. In that category, Gilbert fell to 14th nationally and was only third among Arizona cities, with Tempe sandwiched between the town and Chandler.

And when it came to feeling financially safe, Scottsdale took the brass ring among municipalities in Arizona even though its national ranking was only 30.

When it came to financial safety, Chandler ranked second in the state with a national ranking of 37. Gilbert pulled third place in the state and 43rd nationally.

Financial safety also included a number of factors that wallethub took into account, such as debt-to-income ratio, uninsured drivers, poverty rate, job security and a number of others.

In all, data from more than two dozen sources were pulled for wallethub’s analysis. They ranged from the FBI and U.S. Census to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and even the New York Times.

To gain some perspective on the numbers, wallethub talked to four experts: David McEntire, professor, Emergency Services Department at Utah Valley University; Katharine Kravetz of the School of Education at American University; Brian Bossak of the faculty at the College of Charleston and assistant law professor Christopher L. Atkinson of the University of West Florida.

The website’s question on safety from crime, however, dealt only with how police departments can improve trust in the community and the importance of diversity in a community’s police force.

Asked what people can do to increase their financial safety, Kravetz said, “I believe in teaching financial literacy from a very young age, provided in a way that is relevant to the people receiving it.

“For example, financial literacy programs for new homeowners have shown success in keeping people in their homes. It does seem, however, that the financial sector is willing to tolerate and even encourage a lot of risks that may make teaching financial literacy insufficient.”

Bossak amplified on that by stating, “We need a wholesale rethink of the topical structure within the overall educational system in this country. Although I am strongly in favor of requiring financial literacy or personal finance courses in college, I recognize that college is not a choice for everyone and in some cases, not even a desire.

“I think financial literacy education needs to be embedded in the educational system, in a formal sense, beginning with elementary education.”

The full survey is at wallethub.com/edu/safest-cities-in-America.

 

How they ranked

Here is how Arizona municipalities ranked in the survey, with the number reflecting their place among the 182 municipalities that were studied. Only nine Arizona municipalities are included in the survey.

Safest overall

Gilbert 12

Chandler 23

Scottsdale 24

Peoria 32

Mesa 35

Tempe 38

Glendale 66

Phoenix 109

Tucson 161

Home/community safety

Gilbert 32

Scottsdale 50

Chandler 52

Mesa 56

Peoria 58

Tempe 70

Glendale 95

Phoenix 131

Tucson 167

Financial safety

Scottsdale 30

Chandler 37

Gilbert 43

Tempe 47

Mesa 67

Peoria 68

Phoenix 89

Glendale 98

Tucson 127

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