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July 22, 2006

Those Dangerous Suburbs

I live up in the heart of Harlem. Just in the last year, there was one murder on my block and another about a block away. So if I plan to raise kids in such a dangerous environment, would I be an irresponsible parent?

But if you look at the statistics, the really reckless parents are those raising their kids in the suburbs.

Despite media hype, if you look at this graph of causes of death for 5-14 year olds, "unintential injuries" (accidents) dwarf other causes of death by a large margin:

Diseases of various kinds when aggregated are a significant second place. But murder is responsible for a comparably small number of childhood deaths (and most are by family members, not street crime).

On the other hand, in the overwhelming "unintentional injuries" category, the majoriy are due to automobile crashes. So when you break down the numbers, it's not urban crime but suburban SUVs that kill off far more children.

Thank god for New York mass transit. It makes me rest easier that I'm not intending to subject children to those scary, dangerous suburbs.

Posted by Nathan at July 22, 2006 10:03 AM