At Absolute People Search, we compile large amounts of public record data and want to make statistics available for the general public to view. Our City Explore makes it easy to move through different cities and states to view information about that area, along with suggestions on how to obtain public records directly from government agencies in those areas.

What are the sources of data?
Statistical data is only based on authoritative sources, such as the US Census Bureau, IRS income reporting, and FBI uniform crime reporting.  We don't collect individual data points for area statistics, nor do we make any guarantee of the accuracy of the data presented.
What are the percentages and differences from the national average?
Most data categories have 2 main numbers. 1) the percentages of the local population which an attribute applies to. And 2) how that percentage is different from the national average.

Example: if a city has a poverty rate of 15% and the national average is 10% then that city would have a poverty rate that is 50% higher than the national average. Formula: 15 - 10 = 5 and 5 = 50% of 10. The difference from the national average can be positive or negative. This creates an easy way to understand whether any particular number should be considered relatively high or low when compared to the average.

What's the per capita crime rate?
The per capita rate is how many times a crime is reported per 100,000 residents of any area. It can generally be thought of as how crime is occuring as a percentage of the population. The absolute count of a crime generally correlates with population size, as a result the count doesn't tell you whether it is occuring as a high or low frequency relative to the size of the population but the per capita rate does.

We show a per capita rate which is based on the 4 or 5 year average. The reason for this is because an area with a small population may experience an isolated spike of incidents which may skew the rate upward. But this may not be predictive or representative of the general environment or safety of any area. But the longer term average will better represent the general rate of occurrence which can be expected at a higher likelihood. But we also included the long term count and the count from the most recent year. We also show the clearance rate, which typically means how often a crime is solved based on an arrest being made.

Limitations of crime reporting?
We would caution against using these stats to assume intrinsic attributes of a population or the quality of law enforcement. Even in areas with very high crime rates, it is still a very small percentage of the population who are committing crimes. As a result these stats would be insufficient to assume that any given member of a population is likely to be involved in the commission of crime. Furthermore, a city can often be divided into high and low crime areas - the average for the entire city may not tell you whether a particular area in the city has safety concerns or not. Other factors can skew the rates as well, for example: a downtown area may have a small population which commits little crime, but during the day a large influx of individuals may move into that area. This can create a high crime count relative to the population size, which produces a higher per capita rate. 

In regards to law enforcement agencies, the crime rates in a city may do little to represent the quality of these agencies or indicate their practices. Some cities seem to continually experience high or low rates of crime regardless of the size, resources, dedication or practices of agencies in the area. Determining the underlying cause of crime is difficult to do at a sociological level, it's often fraught with difficulties in separating out causation from correlation, along with bidirectional relationships. For example, there is a general consensus that increased poverty can lead to higher crime, but it can also be shown that higher crime can lead to more poverty. To further complicate things, there are areas with high poverty but low rates of crime, which calls into question the predictive value of any one measure. The field of criminology still has much debate around statistical models and ideological frameworks which assess the origin of crime. 

What are the demographic percentages?
The demographics are based on the US Census responses, they show both responses for race and ethnicity. The category of Hispanic is considered an ethnicity and not a race by the US Census Bureau, those who identify as Hispanic can also be any other race. These methodologies and definitions have changed over recent decades and may change in the future. Click here for a more in depth explanation on how these are compiled by the US Census Bureau.

General limitation of statistics?
Any statistical measure may vary drastically from an individual's experience. Also geographical or demographical subsets of an area or population may also deviate from the statistical (average, median, or rate) of the encompassing measure.  As a result Absolute People Search does not make any claims, opinions, or assessments which should be used for decision making or understanding risks or potential outcomes.

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