Residents of Texas Border City ‘Least Likely to Feel Safe’ Walking at Night

By Michael W. Chapman | April 16, 2014 | 4:12pm EDT

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( – Residents of McAllen, Texas, which is on the Mexican border, are the least likely in the United States to feel safe walking alone at night, according to new Gallup poll. Less than half, 48.5%, of McAllen residents told Gallup they would "feel safe."

In addition, the survey shows that five of the 12 cities where people were least likely to feel safe walking alone at night are in California.

In its survey, Gallup asked, “Do you feel safe walking alone at night in the city or area where you live?” For the residents of McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas, only 48.5% said yes.

Among all the communities, McAllen was the only one “where less than half of residents said they felt safe walking alone at night,” reported Gallup.

The No. 2  city where people did not feel very safe walking around at night in was Yakima, Wash. – only 51.3% felt safe.

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Least safe metro area No. 3 was Stockton, Calif., at 52.2% “feel safe.” Modesto, Calif., was No. 4 at 54.2% “feel safe,” and Columbus, Ga.-Ala. was No. 5 with 54.2%.   Fresno, Calif., was ranked No. 9 at 57.2% “feel safe.”

Coming in at No. 10 and No. 11 “least safe metro areas” were Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif. (57.6% feel safe walking alone at night)  and Visalia-Porterville, Calif. (57.8%).  Number 12 was Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas.

“Nationally, an average 70.5% of Americans in 2012-2013 felt safe walking alone in communities they live in,” said Gallup. “This measure gives a sense of Americans’ personal security in the area they live, which is most likely linked to local crime rates.”

“This measure also may be related to the age, gender, and demographic and economic composition of the metro areas, as well as security factors such as law enforcement presence and street lighting,” said the survey group.

On the other side of the issue, surveyors also ranked those metro areas where people said they felt safest.  The poll asked the same question: “Do you feel safe walking alone at night in the city or area where you live?” For Holland-Grand Haven, Mich., which is on the western coast of the state on Lake Michigan, 85.7% of the residents said they “feel safe walking alone at night.”

The No. 2 safest metro area in the poll was Fort Collins-Loveland, Colo., at 84.9% “feel safe.” No. 3 was Provo-Orem, Utah, at 84.7%; No. 4 was Honolulu, Hawaii, at 83.7%; and No. 5, Sioux Falls, S.D., at 83.1% “feel safe.”

The poll was part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey conducted Jan. 2-Dec. 20, 2012, and Jan. 2-Dec. 30, 2013, “with a random sample of 531,630 adults, aged 18 and older, living in metropolitan areas in the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia,” said Gallup.

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