Monday, Nov. 22, 2010 | 11:41 a.m.
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Las Vegas received a mixed bag of news with the release of a national study Sunday ranking the country's most dangerous cities and metropolitan areas.
The good news: Las Vegas ranks 76th — down nine spots from last year — out of 400 U.S. cities with a population of at least 75,000 that reported data.
The study by CQ Press analyzed crime rates per 100,000 people in 2009 across six categories: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and motor vehicle theft.
St. Louis took the top spot this year as the most dangerous city, pushing Camden, N.J., to No. 2., according to the study.
Detroit, Flint, Mich., and Oakland, Calif., rounded out the top five. For the second straight year, the safest city with more than 75,000 residents was Colonie, N.Y.
Other Nevada cities on the list included North Las Vegas at No. 148, Reno at No. 188, Sparks at No. 207 and Henderson at No. 317.
As a metro area, however, Las Vegas-Paradise didn't fare as well: The area ranked as the No. 8 most dangerous, according to the study. Last year, Las Vegas-Paradise ranked seventh among metro areas.
The Las Vegas-Paradise metro area includes Clark County, according to the study.
The five most dangerous metro areas, as reported by the study, in order are: Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich.; Pine Bluff, Ark.; Memphis, Tenn.; Lake Charles, La.; and Lawton, Okla.
The annual rankings are based on population figures and crime data compiled by the FBI. Some criminologists question the findings, saying the methodology is unfair.
Greg Scarbro, unit chief of the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program, said the FBI also discourages using data for these types of rankings.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.