The 20 Safest Cities in America, Mapped

iStock.com/finwal
iStock.com/finwal

If safety is a top concern for you when choosing where to live, there are several factors you need to take into account. Personal safety may come to mind immediately, but financial risks and natural disasters are also worth considering, too. Fortunately, as Thrillist reports, WalletHub has weighed all of these factors in its latest analysis of the safest cities in America, which you can explore in the map below.

To crown the country's safest city, WalletHub considered 39 different factors in three different categories. In the home and community safety category, the number of mass shootings, sex offenders, law-enforcement employees, and traffic fatalities per capita were factored into the score, among other information. The financial safety score, on the other hand, accounted for the unemployment rate, number of identity theft complaints, job security, and retirement plan access and participation rates. The natural-disaster risk score was based on the likelihood of earthquakes, floods, hurricane storm surges, hail, tornados, and wildfires.

Source: WalletHub

Out of the 182 U.S. cities included in WalletHub’s analysis, Columbia, Maryland ranked the highest for overall safety, earning 86 points out of 100 overall. The city appeared fourth in the home and community safety category, 34th in the financial safety category, and 63rd in the natural-disaster safety category.

Below are the 20 safest cities in the country, according to WalletHub.

The 20 Safest Cities

1. Columbia, Maryland
2. South Burlington, Vermont
3. Plano, Texas
4. Virginia Beach, Virginia
5. Warwick, Rhode Island
6. Gilbert, Arizona
7. Yonkers, New York
8. Bismarck, North Dakota
9. Nashua, New Hampshire
10. Boise, Idaho
11. Brownsville, Texas
12. Chandler, Arizona
13. Aurora, Illinois
14. Chesapeake, Virginia
15. Scottsdale, Arizona
16. Burlington, Vermont
17. Lewiston, Maine
18. Fargo, North Dakota
19. Salem, Oregon
20. Worcester, Massachusetts

The round-up also gives you an idea of the least safe cities in America, if you’re hoping to avoid locales with a less-than-stellar track record. This analysis identifies St. Louis, Missouri as the least safe city in the country. Baton Rouge, Louisiana, ranks lowest in home and community safety. Here are some of the others that made the least-safe list:

The 20 Least-Safe cities

1. St. Louis, Missouri
2. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
3. San Bernardino, California
4. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
5. Little Rock, Arkansas
6. Detroit, Michigan
7. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
8. Wichita, Kansas
9. Los Angeles, California
10. Jackson, Mississippi
11. Memphis, Tennessee
12. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
13. New Orleans, Louisiana
14. Cleveland, Ohio
15. Las Vegas, Nevada
16. St. Petersburg, Florida
17. Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky
18. Kansas City, Missouri
19. Orlando, Florida
20. Knoxville, Tennessee

Want to know more? Head to WalletHub to read more about the data and methodology involved.

[h/t Thrillist]

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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How Coronavirus and 31 Other Infectious Diseases and Viruses Got Their Names

Rotavirus—from the Latin rota, for "wheel"—is named for the wheel-like appearance of its particles.
Rotavirus—from the Latin rota, for "wheel"—is named for the wheel-like appearance of its particles.
Dr_Microbe/iStock via Getty Images

As you may already know, the corona in coronavirus has no relation to a certain refreshing beer often served with a slice of lime. Corōna means “crown” in Latin—and Spanish and Italian, too—and virologists chose it in 1968 to describe the group of viruses characterized by crown-like spikes that protrude from their surfaces.

So how do other viruses and diseases get their names? Based on the infographic below, created by Adam Aleksic for his website, The Etymology Nerd, there isn’t just one way. Some, like the coronavirus, are named for how they look under a microscope. The rota in rotavirus, for example, which means “wheel” in Latin, reflects the virus’s wheel-like appearance when viewed beneath an electron microscope.

Others are named after the locations where they were discovered or studied. In 1947, scientists named a newly identified mosquito-borne virus after Uganda’s Zika Forest. In 1977, Yale researchers investigating a string of pediatric arthritis cases in the town of Lyme, Connecticut, started referring to the illness as “Lyme arthritis.” Later, the name was modified to “Lyme disease” when scientists realized patients were exhibiting other symptoms, too.

Still others are characterized by the symptoms they cause. People with tetanus—from the Greek tetanos, for “tension”—usually experience muscle stiffness, and the skin of yellow fever sufferers often takes on a yellow tint due to jaundice.

Find out the origins of malaria, measles, and more below. And follow The Etymology Nerd on Instagram for more fascinating etymological explanations.

Unsurprisingly, there's a lot of Latin in this infographic.The Etymology Nerd