Aug 28, 2023 - News

Philadelphia ranks near bottom of safety poll

Share who say they consider a place safe to live or visit, by select U.S. city
Data: Gallup; Note: Each city rated by half of the sample; Chart: Axios Visuals

Fewer than half of Americans see Philadelphia as a safe city, per a new Gallup poll.

Why it matters: The perception tracks with a wave of gun violence that has swept Philadelphia, which has topped 500 homicides each of the past two years.

Yes, but: Overall violent crime was down in the first half of 2023, possibly signaling it has peaked.

  • Law enforcement officials say the decline coincides with a boost in officer presence in four of the city's most violent police districts that account for about 40% of the city's crime.

By the numbers: Philadelphia was among nearly a half-dozen of 16 big cities where fewer than half of Americans viewed the city as safe, per the Gallup poll conducted in July.

  • Dallas and Boston topped the list of safe cities while Chicago and Detroit were at the bottom of the pack.

Zoom in: Philadelphia's reputation has declined since 2006, when 53% of Americans agreed it was safe to live in and visit, per the poll.

  • Chicago and San Francisco also saw stark decreases of 20% and 18%, respectively. In 2006, 70% of Americans viewed San Francisco as safe.

Unsurprisingly, there's a large partisan divide in how Philadelphia is viewed by the political parties.

  • 65% of Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents believe Philly is safe while less than a third from across the aisle agree.

What they're saying: That's a marker of the times, as the pollsters said partisanship didn't influence how cities were viewed in 2006.

  • High-profile incidents such as the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and a heavy focus on crime in Chicago also contributes to how those cities are viewed.
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