In reality, small cities are surprisingly similar to all the others, meaning that there are good ones and bad.

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If you're hoping to escape from big city crime, look elsewhere, Movoto says. These places actually defy the stereotype of smaller cities being safer.

When you see small towns on TV and in movies, they're almost always idyllic places where the American dream is thriving and neighbors all know each other. That, and unless you're watching a whodunnit, no one's ever the victim of a crime.

In reality, small cities are surprisingly similar to all the others, meaning that there are good ones and bad. While the Movoto Real Estate Blog has been writing lately about America's safest places, they switched gears and looked the small cities where crime is a real concern.

After studying more than 200 small cities, they concluded that Wilmington, Delaware is the most dangerous in terms of crime. It's joined in this dubious honor by nine other places to comprise our 10 most dangerous small cities in America.

Canton, Ohio came is second.

Ohio is known for lots of things, and thankfully being crime-ridden isn't one of them. Like most states, though, it has its rough spots, and Canton is one of them. A little more than 50 miles outside of Cleveland, Canton made No. 2 on our list with a couple of second-place crime rankings: property crimes and total crimes.

In terms of the former, there were 6,550 property crimes per 100,000 residents there in 2012, and for the latter Canton had 7,562 total crimes per 100,000. Thefts led the list of property crimes, with 2,671 reported that year. Elsewhere in our rankings, Canton placed eighth for murder with 10 in all and eighth for violent crime in general with 1,011 per 100,000 people.

After Canton came 3. Jackson, TN; 4. Rocky Mount, NC; 5. North Little Rock, AR; 6. Pensacola, FL; 7. Daytona Beach, FL; 8. Homestead, FL; 8. Lauderhill, FL; and 10. Warner Robins, GA.

See all Top 10 ratings for cities

To produce this ranking, Movoto first decided on a list of small cities between 50,000 and 75,000 residents in size. After eliminating those without available crime data, they were left with a list of 234 places to study.

Using data from the FBI's 2012 uniform crime report, the latest available, they measured seven distinct crimes using the total reported incidents of each:

  • Burglary
  • Theft
  • Motor vehicle theft
  • Murder
  • Rape
  • RobberyAssault

They separated these crimes into four groups: murders, violent crimes (murder, rape, robbery, and assault), property crimes (burglary, theft, and motor vehicle theft), and total crimes. The cities were then ranked on the incidents of each group per 100,000 residents per year, from 1 to 234, with a higher score being more dangerous. They calculated the number of crimes per 100,000 residents for 2012 in order to have a level playing field on which to compare cities with varying population sizes.

The individual rankings (murders, violent crimes, property crimes and total crimes) were then weighted to create a final overall score. Murders, violent crimes, and property crimes each comprised 30 percent of the total, while total crimes made up 10 percent. The higher this combined score, the more dangerous the city.

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