Aug 23, 2023 - Business

Boston ranked one of America's safest cities

Data: Gallup; Note: Each city rated by half of the sample; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans consider Boston one of the country's safest cities, according to a poll measuring the reputations of 16 large U.S. municipalities.

Why it matters: Much of Massachusetts' economy relies on tourists and college students coming to the area. If the city's reputation for safety falters, it would reverberate financially.

  • Boston's reputation for safety is in line with recent declines in the reported crime rate.

Driving the news: 72% of respondents to a new Gallup poll thought of Boston as safe.

  • Only Dallas scored higher, at 74%.

Details: Gallup asked respondents to judge if cities are safe to visit or live in, regardless of if they've been there, and to base their response on "what you know and have read."

  • Detroit scored the lowest with 26%.
  • Chicago (27%), Philadelphia (47%), New York (41%) and Los Angeles (41%) were also perceived as unsafe.

Zoom in: Crime dropped 1.5% between 2021 and 2022, according to Boston Police, with shootings falling 12.6%.

Yes, but: In the first half of this year, crime was up 7% in tourist-heavy neighborhoods like downtown, the North End and Beacon Hill, which could damage visitors' view of the city.

The intrigue: Gallup found that partisanship played a big role in how people view cities. Democrats and those leaning Democratic were 29 percentage points more likely to judge a city as safe than Republicans and GOP-leaners.

  • That gap was only two points in 2006.

In this year's poll, 82% of Democrats and D-leaners thought of Boston as safe.

  • 61% of Republicans and R-leaners agreed.

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