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Old 03-01-2008, 08:17 AM
Status: "Happy Halloween!" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
69,122 posts, read 58,222,176 times
Reputation: 19671
As far as minding your own business to avoid crime, I'm not so sure. Just about everyone I knew when I lived there had had a bicycle stolen (including me, from the garagae of my apt building). I also had a car broken into in an attempt to steal the radio, and believe me, it wasn't much. There were a lot of apt. break-ins. I have seen the crime statistics, and they were higher than average. Not a deal-breaker, but something to keep in mind. You have to be careful, lock everything up (though my bike was locked), have insurance.
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Old 03-01-2008, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Liberty, IL (moving to Shelbyville, IL)
64 posts, read 257,126 times
Reputation: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover
I wonder how many of those listed "in poverty" are simply students with little to no income to report and therefore end up in the "poverty" statistics. There is a "ghetto" portion of Champaign, but it's not huge or particularly dangerous. As for the high violent crime rate, that's fairly easy to explain too: It's not despite being a large university town, it's because of being a large university town; i.e., students getting drunk and getting into brawls. Rape is also higher than average, again owing to the college. But for people minding their own business and staying away from alcohol-fueled after-bar parties on campus, it's as safe a city as any its size.
You say that Champaign has a high crime rate because it's a big university town. If that's the case, then why did 5 other big university towns I researched have low crime rates? They were Bloomington IN (home to Indiana University), Columbia MO (home to the University of Missouri), Iowa City IA (home to the University of Iowa), Lexington KY (home to the University of Kentucky), and Madison WI (home to the University of Wisconsin). However, only Lexington and Madison had low poverty rates. I believe you about the poverty rates being somewhat distorted by students who have no income to report, but I know for a fact that most "big university towns" are known for very low crime rates. Madison is especially known for its heavy partying and even it has a low crime rate.

I also compared Champaign (which had 936.1 violent crimes per 100,000 residents) to other mid-sized cities in Illinois using official Illinois State Police statistics, and found that it was even more dangerous than Decatur (826.1 violent crimes per 100,000 residents) or even Peoria (918.4 violent crimes per 100,000 residents). I also found that Champaign was the third most dangerous mid-sized city in Illinois (Springfield was most dangerous and Rockford was second).
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Old 03-01-2008, 03:11 PM
 
Location: Chicago
36,058 posts, read 55,947,661 times
Reputation: 24726
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clint_Noname View Post
You say that Champaign has a high crime rate because it's a big university town. If that's the case, then why did 5 other big university towns I researched have low crime rates? They were Bloomington IN (home to Indiana University), Columbia MO (home to the University of Missouri), Iowa City IA (home to the University of Iowa), Lexington KY (home to the University of Kentucky), and Madison WI (home to the University of Wisconsin). However, only Lexington and Madison had low poverty rates. I believe you about the poverty rates being somewhat distorted by students who have no income to report, but I know for a fact that most "big university towns" are known for very low crime rates. Madison is especially known for its heavy partying and even it has a low crime rate.
Chambana also has one thing these places don't: a bar-entry age of 19.

Madison also has a much smaller student-to-general population ratio than Chambana does. So does Lexington and Columbia. I used to live in Madison and the number of rapes on or near campus that made it into the police blotter was nothing short of dismaying. It got so bad that the university (or was it MPD? I don't remember) actually advised female students not to walk alone through Greek Row at night. And let's not forget the periodic riots that happen on State Street or nearby, one of which I walked right into the middle of just by virtue of walking out of the bar at the wrong time.

I also spent plenty of weekends on the U of I campus (several high school friends and my brother attended there) and I swear there was barely a weekend that went by where there wasn't a bunch of drunken a-holes involved in a flat-out brawl. I managed to get involved in one without even trying. Needless to say, when I go to visit friends and family in Chambana these days, I stay clear of the university area at night. In fact the only reason I go near the campus area at all any more is to patronize the Flat Top Grill.

Some university towns have a relatively low crime rate. Some don't. There are certain crimes that are more likely to occur on a college campus. Depending on how large the student population is compared to the background population, those statistics can skew the crime stats upward.

Last edited by Drover; 03-01-2008 at 03:19 PM..
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Old 03-01-2008, 03:57 PM
 
357 posts, read 717,304 times
Reputation: 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clint_Noname View Post
You say that Champaign has a high crime rate because it's a big university town. If that's the case, then why did 5 other big university towns I researched have low crime rates? They were Bloomington IN (home to Indiana University), Columbia MO (home to the University of Missouri), Iowa City IA (home to the University of Iowa), Lexington KY (home to the University of Kentucky), and Madison WI (home to the University of Wisconsin).

...

I also compared Champaign (which had 936.1 violent crimes per 100,000 residents) to other mid-sized cities in Illinois using official Illinois State Police statistics, and found that it was even more dangerous than Decatur (826.1 violent crimes per 100,000 residents) or even Peoria (918.4 violent crimes per 100,000 residents). I also found that Champaign was the third most dangerous mid-sized city in Illinois (Springfield was most dangerous and Rockford was second).
Clint,

I probably don't have to tell you that your methodology in the first paragraph is not responsible, statistically. Why were those the five college towns you researched? I have no doubt that there are some Midwestern towns (of various sizes) that have Universities (of various sizes), having crime rates lower than Champaign-Urbana. Just as I can easily identify several people wealthier than Michael Jordan; but that doesn't make him hopelessly poor. The point is to see how the C-U compares to other cities with some charateristics the same, and to understand what characteristics it has that could "explain" a certain crime rate.

What made you pick those five cities? If I for example was studying the racial makeup of the USA and questioned the first 100 people I could think of about their race, I would probably conclude that the USA is 80% white and 20% Asian. This tells you a lot about me, but nothing about the USA.

Your second comparison to other mid-sized Illinois cities is much more interesting. We could have a long discussion about that. First, the populations of the cities you mentioned are all mid-sized but there is still quite a range: 370,000 for Peoria down to 109,000 for Decatur, IL (the C-U sits at 216,000). Another factor to consider is that I believe the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's total student population is twice that of any other downstate University; i.e. exclude Chicago and STL metro areas. I think the student population must be considered in addition to the civilian population. Many questions are on the table now. Are there any correlations between crime rate and city and University size? And would a 12% lower incidence of violent crime be reason enough for someone to put up with living in Decatur?

Finally, where did you find the numbers on violent crimes per 100,000 people per metro area? I just have no idea where to locate such data, and it would be very interesting to look at those numbers myself! Thanks!
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Old 03-01-2008, 04:07 PM
Status: "Happy Halloween!" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
69,122 posts, read 58,222,176 times
Reputation: 19671
Quote:
(the C-U sits at 216,000).
Where did you get that number? When I add the pops of Champaign and Urbana I get ~104,000, not much higher than when I lived there many years ago. Champaign County in its entirety is only ~185,000 per City-Data.
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Old 03-01-2008, 10:37 PM
 
357 posts, read 717,304 times
Reputation: 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Where did you get that number? When I add the pops of Champaign and Urbana I get ~104,000, not much higher than when I lived there many years ago. Champaign County in its entirety is only ~185,000 per City-Data.
The 2006 US Census Bureau population estimate of the Champaign-Urbana metropolitan statistical area as defined by the US Office of Management and Budget. Wikipedia has a nice summary:
Table of United States Metropolitan Statistical Areas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (sorry, the link got broken when I posted it. I hope you can deipher it.)

I think it includes outlying areas like your Mahomets, Rantouls, Monticellos, etc. Which realistically wouldn't exist as more than farming outposts if it weren't for the C-U.

-meatpuff
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Old 03-01-2008, 10:56 PM
Status: "Happy Halloween!" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
69,122 posts, read 58,222,176 times
Reputation: 19671
^^^ I'll try to decipher when I'm more alert. Seriously, 200,000 must take in some area in other counties. Oh, well.
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Old 03-02-2008, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Liberty, IL (moving to Shelbyville, IL)
64 posts, read 257,126 times
Reputation: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by meatpuff
Clint,

I probably don't have to tell you that your methodology in the first paragraph is not responsible, statistically. Why were those the five college towns you researched? I have no doubt that there are some Midwestern towns (of various sizes) that have Universities (of various sizes), having crime rates lower than Champaign-Urbana. Just as I can easily identify several people wealthier than Michael Jordan; but that doesn't make him hopelessly poor. The point is to see how the C-U compares to other cities with some charateristics the same, and to understand what characteristics it has that could "explain" a certain crime rate.

What made you pick those five cities? If I for example was studying the racial makeup of the USA and questioned the first 100 people I could think of about their race, I would probably conclude that the USA is 80% white and 20% Asian. This tells you a lot about me, but nothing about the USA.

Your second comparison to other mid-sized Illinois cities is much more interesting. We could have a long discussion about that. First, the populations of the cities you mentioned are all mid-sized but there is still quite a range: 370,000 for Peoria down to 109,000 for Decatur, IL (the C-U sits at 216,000). Another factor to consider is that I believe the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's total student population is twice that of any other downstate University; i.e. exclude Chicago and STL metro areas. I think the student population must be considered in addition to the civilian population. Many questions are on the table now. Are there any correlations between crime rate and city and University size? And would a 12% lower incidence of violent crime be reason enough for someone to put up with living in Decatur?

Finally, where did you find the numbers on violent crimes per 100,000 people per metro area? I just have no idea where to locate such data, and it would be very interesting to look at those numbers myself! Thanks!
The university towns I chose were in states surrounding Illinois, and were home to the main public university of each state. I didn't say that Champaign has a high crime rate just because these other university towns had lower crime rates than Champaign. I'm saying that Champaign has a high crime rate because the violent crime rate is well above what many would consider to be high (which would be 700 violent crimes per 100,000 residents). I didn't say that in my original post, so there was probably a little bit of a misunderstanding.

The crime statistics are for the actual cities, not the metro areas. I got the per-capita numbers from this site and confirmed they were correct by looking at the Illinois State Police statistics. The ISP statistics don't actually have the per-capita numbers, but if you put 100,000 divided by the population of the city times the actual number of violent crimes (murders, non-negligent manslaughters, criminal sexual assaults, robberies, aggravated assaults, and attempts to commit those crimes) into a calculator, you get the number of violent crimes committed per 100,000 residents. To see the ISP statistics, go to the ISP webpage, click on "Crime in Illinois 2006", then click on "Section II". You'll need Adobe Reader to view the file containing the statistics.
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Old 03-07-2008, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Midwest
1,903 posts, read 5,645,434 times
Reputation: 414
Ann Arbor doesn't have riots and the campus/downtown are great on weekend nights. However, as I lived right there, I tried to get away on Saturdays (especially those crazy Fall football games). Madison seemed a little loud/obnoxious. I don't know about Bloomington or West Lafayette. The students in East Lansing and Columbus are rowdy, moreso those in Champaign-Urbana.

There is no good reason to be near the (****ty, dirty) campus on a weekend night. In fact, this is posted posthumously, as I died in a corner booth waiting for my food in a chain restaurant near Market Place Mall. I still haven't received my transfer acceptance to the UChicago, but hope it gets stapled to my casket.
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Old 03-18-2008, 09:15 AM
 
13 posts, read 34,663 times
Reputation: 14
Default crime

Anybody who's lived in CU can say *without Any doubt* that most of the violent crime (and petty theft) reflected in the statistics happens on/around campus. "My bike and all my friend's bikes got stolen". Yep .. It's virtually guaranteed to happen in some student-filled neighborhoods/apartment buildings. "I got beat up 15 times in 3 years!" Did you happen to get drunk and bounce around party to party every weekend?

Even the worst areas of CU (i.e. the "ghetto") are not really that bad. There's no area I wouldn't feel completely safe driving thru. There are a few places where I'd keep my head down if I was walking thru, but in general, if you have Common Sense, CU is Safe. Don't live in the "poverty stricken" student districts, and stay away from the undergrad party scene and you've got Nothing to worry about.
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