I must confess that I had to do a double-take when I first saw this. It's a new study ranking the most dangerous cities in Iowa. I can confirm that they list Waterloo as being more dangerous than Cedar Rapids.

I want to be clear that this is not my opinion or my study. Nope. You can blame this one on Roadsnacks. It's their 2021 Most Dangerous Cities in Iowa list. At first glance, you won't even notice Waterloo or Cedar Rapids as there aren't many parts of our area in Iowa that make the top 10. However, if you look at the full list, you'll notice something staggering. Waterloo is listed as the 13th most dangerous city in Iowa while Cedar Rapids lands at #20.

So, what gives? Here's the methodology used by Roadsnacks for this study in their own words:

How we determined the most dangerous cities in Iowa for 2021?
Every year the FBI release two crime datasets, a preliminary dataset limited to the biggest cities in the country, followed by a more detailed release at the end of the year.

It's worth noting that the most recent FBI crime data came out in 2019 while the new data is reportedly gonna be available in September of 2021. There are also two key words to pay attention to in their criteria. I've made it bold to make it easier on your eyes:

  • Violent Crimes Per Capita
  • Property Crimes Per Capita

You can translate that to mean that any crime in Waterloo is gonna affect the rankings more than it would in Cedar Rapids since (breaking news) there's more population there. Duh.

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I don't share this study to insinuate that Waterloo is now a mafia hub. Not at all. It's just another reminder that you need to ask the question of how a study came up with its conclusion before you come to your own.

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