It was previously mentioned that Washington DC has a crime problem and that Georgetown residents lobbied hard to keep the Metro out of their neighborhood. There are three primary problems. First, there is a wide economic disparity between the have and have-nots. Secondly, the underprivileged are at risk of becoming a permanant underclass, because the extremely poorly rated municipal secondary school offers few advancement opportunities. Third, the affluent and impoverished areas are in close proximity, sometimes only separated by only a city street.
In looking at the relative statistics, one can see that the nation's most populous urban, New York City, is also one of the safest in the USA. Comparatively, Detroit and Washington DC appear to be very violent with three times the number of murders as its closest competitor, Miami. In addition to having a potentially fatal experience, Washington DC residents are three times as likely as New York City denizens to be assaulted or robbed with a weapon.
What is also very interesting is that two coldest cities in this survey, Minneapolis and Detroit, have the highest incident of rape. The survey size is not large enough to draw city-to-city comparisons in this way. However, I would be interested to know if this is a trend and if there is some explanation.