The data is based on Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index data collected in 2012. Each night, Gallup asked U.S. adults in the 50 most populous metropolitan areas if they "feel safe walking alone at night in the city or area where you live?" They weighted each sample to make sure it was demographically representative of that area.
Minneapolis is followed closely by Denver; Raleigh, N.C., Boston; Salt Lake City and Austin, Texas.
The average level of perceived safety among those living in the largest metropolitan areas is 71 percent. The national average is slightly higher, at 72 percent, Gallup says.
Memphis-area residents are the least likely to say they feel safe walking alone at night, at 55 percent, followed by New Orleans, Riverside, Calif., Houston and Jacksonville, Fla.
Although crime statistics are not available for all metropolitan areas, there is a strong negative correlation between the FBI's 2010 violent crime rate for an area and the percentage of its residents who report feeling safe in their neighborhood. For example, Memphis had by far the highest violent crime rate among the 50 largest metropolitan areas for which data were available. The FBI did not estimate a violent crime rate for Minneapolis.
The telephone interviews, conducted as part of Gallup Daily tracking, was conducted Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2012. The survey has a margin of error of no greater than 4 percentage points, with most metropolitan areas at 3 percentage points.
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