Is your hometown on the list of America’s 10 most surveilled cities?

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Outside of airports, government buildings, and other high-security areas, you can never be sure when you’re under surveillance. You can look up and sometimes spot the cameras, but they’re not always in plain sight.

The level of government surveillance depends on where you live. Here are the top 10 cities with the most cameras relative to population.

Here is the backstory

According to cybersecurity research firm Comparitech, the average US city has about six cameras per 1,000 residents. The company studied the 50 most populated and most monitored cities based on the number of cameras compared to the number of inhabitants.

Comparitech reviewed a variety of camera types:

  • Fixed CCTV cameras.
  • Cameras accessed through real-time crime centers.
  • Private cameras within the police network.
  • Cameras on public transport.
  • Traffic cameras.
  • Public lighting cameras.

The study even looked at which police departments access private data from Ring doorbells installed in people’s homes, though those numbers weren’t included in the final results. Did you know that the police can access your Ring images without your permission? Tap or click here to stop law enforcement from asking you for videos.

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Using data from, here’s what the study found:

  • 44.2 million people are monitored by 270,000 cameras.
  • Atlanta was the city with the most surveillance, with a ratio of 48.93 cameras per 1,000 inhabitants.
  • Chicago had the most cameras with 32,000.
  • 28 of the police departments have access to Ring doorbell technology and submitted a total of 728 image access requests during the third quarter of 2020.

RELATED: Do this or anyone can see what your security camera sees

The 10 most surveilled cities in the United States.

Based on the number of cameras per 1,000 people, here are the top 10 most surveilled cities in the United States:

  1. Atlanta, Georgia – 24,800 cameras for 506,811 people = 48.93 cameras for 1,000 people.
  2. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – 28,064 cameras for 1,584,064 people = 17.72 cameras for 1,000 people.
  3. Denver, Colorado – 12,273 cameras for 727,211 people = 16.88 cameras for 1,000 people.
  4. Washington, District of Columbia – 11,441 cameras for 705,749 people = 16.21 cameras for 1,000 people.
  5. San Francisco, California – 14,266 cameras for 881,549 people = 16.18 cameras for 1,000 people.
  6. Las Vegas, Nevada – 10,208 cameras for 651,319 people = 15.67 cameras for 1,000 people.
  7. Detroit, Michigan – 8,836 cameras for 670,031 people = 13.19 cameras for 1,000 people.
  8. Chicago, Ill. – 32,000 cameras for 2,693,976 people = 11.88 cameras for 1,000 people.
  9. Portland, OR – 6,411 cameras for 654,741 people = 9.79 cameras for 1,000 people.
  10. Fresno, California – 4,706 cameras for 531,576 people = 8.85 cameras for 1,000 people.

While US cities are under heavy surveillance, China beats us globally with 372.8 cameras per 1,000 people.

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