Everyone loves a ranking! In an annual ranking by the CQ Press (pdf), Oakland now stands as the fifth most dangerous city in the country for 2009, just below St. Louis (#1), Camden, New Jersey (#2), and Detroit / Flint, Michigan (#3 & #4). Oakland is down on this list, however, from being the third most dangerous in 2008. This ranking reflects the number of violent crimes per 100,000 people, and with a national average of 429, Oakland St. Louis has 2,070 violent crimes per 100,000 residents -- wait, what? That means every Oakland resident, on average, gets killed or assaulted twice a year?

"These rankings represent a gross misuse of FBI data," says Houston Mayor Annise D. Parker, chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Criminal and Social Justice Committee. Houston probably shouldn't be complaining, at #45, but whatever. She calls the rankings "bogus and damaging" to cities, and says they're meaningless.

San Francisco ranks at #130, well below Sacramento and Berkeley, while Richmond comes in a close 6th, just below Oakland. Also, New York is ranked as the third safest city in the country now, and that's just a bunch of bullshit. Update: From New York, Gawker says the top 25 most dangerous places are "mostly nice places," Oakland included.