NPR For The Four States
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Research behind Top 50 lists can deceptive says MSU Data Analyst

Gerd Altmann

Top 50 lists are popular in social media feeds. But a data analytics expert at Missouri State in Springfield (Missouri) says their methodology is questionable. KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro tells us more.

Earlier this year, the tech review website safewise.com published the survey, The 50 Safest College Towns in America for 2022. The website also shared the top 50 dangerous college towns in the US in the same article. The top six are located in the southern portion of the US in states such as Louisiana, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Springfield, Missouri, at number 4.

The survey cited Springfield’s high rates of violent and property crime. Missouri State Professor and data analytics expert Dr. Todd Daniel took exception to the findings.

“If we’re going to look at crime statistics and compare them on the MSU campus, one of the things we’re going to ask is, how many of those high crimes overlap with the MSU campus? And the answer is very few. We do not have as much crime on campus, and you might be led to believe by reading an article like this.”

Dr. Daneil was a guest of the Missouri State Journal. The Safewise survey also found that in-state tuition at universities located in the safest college towns averaged about $25,000 annually. While the rate to attend in towns with the highest crime rates averaged around $9,000. For 89 9 KRPS, I’m Fred Fletcher-Fierro