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You're More Likely to Die a Violent Death in Rural America Than in a City

Yes, homicide-related death rates are higher in urban areas, but you're twice as likely to die in a car crash outside a city.
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In one popular explanation for the mass exodus from urban America over the last several decades, people left the city because the city wasn't safe. In suburban and rural America, by contrast, the cars drive slower down cul-de-sacs, random crime is less common, and gunfire is scarce. You've probably heard this before.

Here, however, is the data: Yes, homicide-related death rates are significantly higher in urban parts of the country. But that risk is far outweighed by the fact that you're about twice as likely to die in a car crash in rural America than you are in the most urban counties. Nationwide, the rate of "unintentional-injury death" car crashes, drownings, falls, machinery accidents and the like is about 15 times the rate of homicide death. Add together all the ways in which you might die prematurely by intentional or unintentional injury (as opposed to illness), and your risk of death is actually about 22 percent higher in the most rural counties in America than in the most urban ones.