Barely half of Yakima-area residents feel safe walking alone at night, according to a new survey -- the 51.3 percent who reported feeling secure in 2012-13 was the second-lowest percentage among 189 metro areas that Gallup and Healthways surveyed.

Least Safe Metro Areas

Safest Metro Areas

McAllen-Edinburg-Mission in Texas was the only community where less than half of residents felt safe walking alone at night.

Nationally, an average 70.5 percent of Americans in 2012-13 felt safe walking alone in their communities. This measure gives a sense of Americans' personal security in the area they live, which is most likely linked to local crime rates. This measure also may also be related to the age, gender, and demographic and economic composition of the metro areas, as well as security factors such as law enforcement presence and street lighting.

The results are from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index interviews with at least 300 adults aged 18 and older in each of the 189 metro areas over a two-year span, from January 2012 through December 2013. Each metro area sample was weighted to match the demographic characteristics of that area. Gallup categorizes metro areas according to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget's definitions for Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs).

Nationally, 89.5 percent of Americans, on average, said they had no trouble paying housing costs over the past year. Among the 10 communities where residents felt least safe walking alone, all but one community fell below the national average for residents being able to afford housing in the past year.

10 Least Safe Communities: Percentage of Residents With Enough Money for Adequate Shelter

Interviews were conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellphones, with interviews conducted in Spanish for respondents who are primarily Spanish-speaking. Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50 percent cellphone respondents and 50 percent landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.

For more details on Gallup's polling methodology, visit