Is Fontana considered a "safe" city?
A new study compared 182 United States cities using 41 key indicators of safety, and Fontana was listed in the middle of the group at No. 89.
Columbia, MD was ranked No. 1 on the "2019’s Safest Cities in America" list, which was compiled by WalletHub, a personal finance website.
Irvine (in Orange County) was described as the safest city in California and ranked No. 29 in the nation, followed by Fremont (in Northern California) at No. 30.
Among Inland Empire cities, Rancho Cucamonga was listed as the safest at No. 49. Ontario was No. 79 and Moreno Valley was No. 88. Riverside was ranked No. 116 and San Bernardino was almost at the bottom at No. 180, ahead of only Fort Lauderdale, FL and last-place St. Louis, MO.
Unlike some other national studies that have focused only on crime statistics, the WalletHub rankings were determined using three major categories -- "Home and Community Safety," "Natural-Disaster Risk," and "Financial Safety."
• In the "Home and Safety" category, Fontana was No. 47 in the nation, according to WalletHub. This category took into consideration the number of incidents such as terrorist attacks, mass shootings, murders, manslaughters, forcible rapes, assaults, thefts, hate crimes, drug poisoning deaths, traffic fatalities, and pedestrian fatalities. Also examined in this category were the number of law enforcement employees, active firefighters, EMTs and paramedics per capita.
• In the "Natural-Disaster Risk" category, Fontana was No. 163. The study deemed Fontana and other Southern California cities especially at risk because of the possibility of earthquakes. Also evaluated were the perceived risks from floods, hailstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires, according to the study's authors, Jennifer A. Horney and Randy Kearns.
• In the "Financial Safety" category, Fontana was No. 121. This category included the unemployment rate, underemployment rate, share of uninsured population, share of uninsured drivers, foreclosure rate, median credit score, debt-to-income ratio, poverty rate, and other factors.
"People encounter hazards every day, some serious, others rare and innocuous. But we fear certain kinds more than others," the authors said. "According to Gallup, nearly half of Americans fear being a victim of a mass shooting or a terrorist attack. Many also worry about falling victim to hate crimes or sexual assault. The list goes on, and these sentiments often are expressed in response to recent headlines.
"But people can feel unsafe in other ways, too. Besides the types of hazards that can cause bodily injury or other physical harm, taking out an unaffordable second mortgage, forgoing health insurance or even visiting unsecured websites are also ways people run into danger."
The authors said that at the top of the list of worries is the availability of affordable healthcare, which 80 percent of Americans worry about either a “great deal” or a “fair amount.”
"No one can avoid all danger, however, and we take on a certain level of risk based on where we choose to live. Some cities are simply better at protecting their residents from harm," the authors said.
The entire WalletHub report can be viewed at:
----- PARTLY BECAUSE the WalletHub study evaluated many different factors to determine the safety levels of cities, the results were different than other "safe city" rankings that have been released in recent years.
In 2013, a report by Business Insider said that Fontana ranked as the 15th safest large city in the U.S. and the fourth safest large city in the state.