Lists using an analysis of FBI crime data have not been kind to Rockford, and the latest list of the Midwest’s most dangerous cities by LawStreet.com ranks the Forest City high when it comes to danger from violent crime. But this analysis comes with an interesting twist:
Using 2014 crime data, LawStreet ranks Springfield as more dangerous than Rockford. In fact, Springfield is listed as the most dangerous in the Midwest, while Rockford comes in second.
How is that possible?
It’s because LawStreet decided to use metropolitan areas rather than actual cities, so Rockford’s violent crime problem is diluted by the lack of crime in surrounding communities in Winnebago and Boone Counties. You can see their full analysis here.
The inclusion of the entire metro area also drops Rockford’s overall crime rate down to 19th nationally, still very high, but not nearly as high as it would have been had LawStreet’s analysis only focused on the city of Rockford itself.
Surprisingly, Danville, IL also made the top 10.