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Is Anchorage the 5th most dangerous U.S. metro area?

Alaska Dispatch

The pejorative term "Los Anchorage" might have to start including the Mat-Su.

According to Forbes, the Municipality of Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough combine to rank as the fifth "most dangerous" metropolitan area in the U.S., slightly less dangerous than fourth-place Flint, Mich., and slightly more dangerous than Lubbock, Tex. Another Michigan metro area, Detroit, was ranked most dangerous in the nation.

The rankings resulted from four categories of violent crime in U.S. metros with populations greater than 200,000. The key categories included murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

Data came from the FBI's 2010 uniform crime report.

According to the greater Anchorage area's specific ranking slide, there were 813 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2010, just slightly higher than cities of comparable size in the rest of the country, but actually double the rate of Alaska at large. The rate of forcible rape and property crime in the area are also double Alaska's statewide rate.

Added to all that is a recent survey by the University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center indicating more than half of all Anchorage women during their lifetimes have been victims of domestic or sexual assault.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Alaska. For a list of resources and ways to help, click here to visit Alaska Women's Aid in Crisis.