There were more people killed by gun violence in Chicago than American soldiers killed in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2012. Just a reminder, we were at war with Afghanistan for every single one of those years. In case you're wondering, the Windy City's total was around 5,000, while the war claimed closer to 2,000 lives during the same time.
So, the Midwest "has that going for it" when it comes to crime, so to speak. It's also worth adding to that argument that frequent "Murder Capital of the United States" contenders like St. Louis, Missouri; East St. Louis, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; and Gary, Indiana are all located in the central time zone as well.
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People are lining up to buy ($1,000) homes in Detroit!
Well, Detroit isn't, but it's still in the Midwest, so shut the fuck up, comments section. Anyway, with almost no exception, the kind of crime that causes murder rates like the ones those cities frequently experience is also the kind of crime that's pretty easy to avoid. A lot of it is gang-related violence that's contained to particular sections of the city. Once you hit those sleepy, rural areas where buildings and people are few and far between, things get a lot less terrifying, right?
Wrong. In fact, depending on where you are, it could actually be far worse. Like so many of life's other major calamities, the problem is oil.
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Watford City, North Dakota, is the new West Baltimore.
As it turns out, there's a ton of it in North Dakota. The Parshall Oil Field was discovered there in 2006 and immediately produced a glut of readily available, relatively high-paying jobs.
In a lot of ways, it's been a great thing. North Dakota currently boasts the lowest unemployment rate in the nation at a mind-blowing 2.6 percent, and its GDP is 29 percent higher than the national average. Fiscally speaking, things are good (to the tune of a $1 billion budget surplus), but in a lot of other ways, the state is falling apart.