What comes to mind when you picture America's most violent neighborhood? A high-rise tenement building, a Cabrini-Green-style slum rife with drug dealers and thugs? A new study by NeighborhoodScout.com shows that's not the case at all.
In 2013, the country's most violent neighborhoods generally contain single-family homes or small apartment units. Many buildings are abandoned. The residents are poor, and often in single-parent households.
It was a pattern that came up repeatedly when NeighborhoodScout, a real-estate neighborhood search website, decided to survey the 25 most dangerous neighborhoods in America. Using dozens of computer models, the team behind NeighborhoodScout analyzed FBI data from 17,000 local law enforcement agencies to find the specific neighborhoods in America with the highest predicted rates of violent crime.
They say all real estate is local, and NeighborhoodScout drilled down deep into cities and towns to find the specific census tract areas -- sometimes just a scattering of blocks -- that had the highest rates of homicide, forcible rape, armed robbery and aggravated assault.
The results will surprise you. And they can be important to follow, because your home is an investment -- perhaps the biggest one your family will ever make. A crime surge, even a few miles away across town, could hurt the value of that nest egg you've so carefully tended to.
Curiously, New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and other large cities are missing from NeighorhoodScout's list. In fact, the entire western half of the country doesn't show up at all. But neighborhoods in seemingly benign Tulsa, Okla., and Spartanburg, S.C., make an appearance.
The lesson here is not to stereotype a whole city, says Andrew Schiller of NeighborhoodScout. "There is more variation in crime within most cities than between cities," he tells. "The picture of the most violent neighborhoods in America is a changing one."
No. 25: Chicago, Ill.