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July 31, 2015

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Forbes ranks Henderson No. 2 on safest cities list

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Leila Navidi

A view of Water Street in downtown Henderson in this 2008 file photo. Forbes ranked Henderson as No. 2 on a list of the nation’s safest cities.

A new ranking of the safest cities in the nation places Henderson at No. 2 behind the Dallas suburb of Plano, Texas.

Forbes produced the rankings based on such factors as median income, poverty rate, violent crime and traffic fatality statistics.

Henderson was cited for having a relatively high median income of $61,861, a low poverty rate — 7 percent — and higher median home prices than Las Vegas.

While pointing out that the Las Vegas metro area ranked No. 9 this year on Forbes’ list of America’s Most Dangerous Cities, Forbes quoted UNLV criminology professor Tamara Madensen as saying that “casinos in Henderson cater mainly to local residents, which reduces traffic and the number of tourists moving about in the city.”

The relatively low amount of tourist traffic helps Henderson, Forbes reported, because crime rates are based on Census population and violent crimes involving tourists inflate the numbers.

“The number of people who visit the Strip and downtown Las Vegas each year” — more than 35 million — “make it difficult to estimate the real ‘risk’ of crime for individuals living in Las Vegas. Tourist numbers are rarely factored into risk analyses,” Madensen said in the report.

Plano’s strengths included a median household income of $79,234, a high percentage of college graduates on the police force and a strong community watch program.

Rounding out Forbes’ Top 10 list were: Honolulu, Santa Ana, Calif., Lincoln, Neb., San Jose, Calif., Mesa, Ariz., Colorado Springs, Colo., Aurora, Colo., and New York City.

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