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We can safely say this survey is stupid …


It’s no secret that I think most of these city-ranking lists have as much credibility as T-Pain’s singing career — but I think we’ve found the best example yet that they are total b.s., which is some Web site owned by AOL, recently put out its “America’s Safest City Neighborhoods” list. Basically, they took the top 50 cities in the country (we’re No. 36 on that list, btw) and then did some number-crunching to determine the safest neighborhood in that city. They explain:

Using exclusive neighborhood crime data developed by Dr. Schiller at, and based on FBI data from all 17,000 local law enforcement agencies, we found incredibly safe neighborhoods in every major American city. Some big cities offer neighborhoods that are among the safest of any place in the nation. Here we reveal for the first time the safest neighborhood in each of America’s 50 biggest cities

By now, you’re probably wondering — what did they pick for Fresno? Champlain & Perrin? The Tower District? Nope and nope. This survey’s result is far more absurd …


Yes, folks, this silly survey put together by some people who have probably never even been here, decided that the safest neighborhood in Fresno is another city a half hour away.

Genius, right? Remember this the next time you wanna get all huffy and puffy about a rank-the-cities list that calls us dumb or drunk.

Responses to "We can safely say this survey is stupid …"

Bryan Harley says:

My dog was shot and killed in Raisin City.

Robert says:

You guys giving this stupid list press is just as bad!

bradley says:

the raisins are coming the raisins are coming!

chris says:

I agree that Raisin City is safer than any part of Fresno. I grew up there until I was 17yrs old and moved to Fresno.
Wikipedia says, “As of the census of 2000, there were 165 people” Compare that to Fresno….no wonder it’s safer than Fresno, a fraction of the number of people in the area.

Comon Beehive…dont feed the trolls.

Mike Oz says:

Uhh, Chris, the point is more that Raisin City is NOT a neighborhood in Fresno. It’s not like the survey said the safest part of Oakland was Los Altos.

The point of my post was to say that these surveys are put together by someone gathering a few data points, crunching numbers and publishing — often with little regard for logic.

Raisin City though is not actually a city…its a CDP and it’s only 13 miles or so from Fresno… But I get what you mean Mike!

Mike Oz says:

True … but let’s think about it this way:

If you asked me to name off “the neighborhoods in Fresno,” I wouldn’t say Raisin City. I don’t think a lot of people who live here would either.

Which gets to my point about these surveys using only measured data that doesn’t necessarily reflect a community accurately.

I agree! Haha I had never even heard of Raisin City before!! I would have expected the answer to be “Anywhere North of Herndon!”

lame says:

I thought the safest part of Oakland was Beverley Hills.

Jeffresno says:

Obviously, the safest neighborhood in Fresno is Willow and Friant.

Mike B says:

Just to be complete, you need to add the Brookings Institute ranking Fresno number #1 in Poverty to the Dumb and Drunkest List. By the way, any idea who does the surveys on national teenage pregnancy rates? Just trying to trouble shoot here.

Mike Oz says:

I see what you’re trying to do … and nice try.

It’s all about what sources you trust. Do I trust the Brookings Institute to put out a useful study more than I trust Men’s Health? Yes. I doubt their poverty was like “places with the most flea markets.”

Likewise, if Cosmo was doing “the 25 cities where you’re most likely to get knocked up,” I wouldn’t give that as much cred as something from a more serious organization.

As it stands, the examples I used are from Men’s Health, The Daily Beast and some AOL site I’d never heard of.

josh says:

how culd they choose Raisin City over Calwa?

Dani Bergstrom says:

As a regular data-cruncher (aka grad student), I have a few comments to point out for further critique of any lists, surveys, or rankings that Fresno may be a part of.

1) Don’t necessarily blame the data. These studies, when their results are bogus (like this one) are more likely to have strange methods that don’t make sense. Studies like this usually use census tracts as a proxy for neighborhoods (that’s how Brookings, etc. measures concentrated poverty). So they probably looked at all census tracts in the Fresno Metropolitan Statistical Area (Census definition for the Fresno metro area), which includes all of Fresno and Madera Counties. They could have easily filtered out places like Raisin City–but like I said–bogus methods.

2) Census data is pretty reliable. And easy to get and play with if you feel at all comfortable with Excel. So if you don’t trust the study, figure it out for yourself and get the data at

3) Of course, none of these studies define our fair city. The more accurate ones do, however, provide a good, objective view on certain indicators of our city’s health. So don’t read them so personally–like the “smartest cities” study–because they are aggregate data. Meaning that they say nothing about anyone as individuals, but many things about how we’re doing as a community. We’re not dangerous people, we’re not stupid people, and we’re not all poor (but almost 1 in 4 in Fresno is!). But our educational system needs serious help, a large part of our economy relies on underpaid workers, and people who make less money and feel politically disengaged tend to commit more crimes.

4) But–because the numbers can only tell so much….keep telling the real story of Fresno! As a Fresno expatriate living in New York, I rely on the blogs and Twitter to keep me up to date on what’s really happening on the ground. So, thanks everyone!

Mike B says:

“Cheap, Stupid and Drunk” is much funnier than “Fresyes” or “All American City”