Special Report

The Safest States in America

7. Idaho
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 204.7
> Population: 1,612,136
> Total 2013 murders: 27 (9th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 15.6% (25th highest)
> Pct. of adults with high school diploma: 89.4% (tied-21st highest)

The violent crime rate fell by more than 2% between 2012 and 2013 to roughly 205 per 100,000 residents, the seventh lowest rate in the country. While rape and aggravated assault rates were among the lowest in the country, these crimes accounted for the majority of the violent crimes reported. A typical household in Idaho earned $46,783 in 2013, below the national median household income of $52,250. After accounting for the state’s relatively low cost of living, however, Idaho residents’ low incomes may not be as low as they seem.

6. New Hampshire
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 199.6
> Population: 1,323,459
> Total 2013 murders: 22 (tied-6th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 8.7% (the lowest)
> Pct. of adults with high school diploma: 92.8% (2nd highest)

Nearly 93% of New Hampshire residents aged 25 and older had at least a high school diploma in 2013, the second highest rate in the country. Additionally, more than 34% of adults had at least a bachelor’s degree, giving the state one of the best educated labor forces in the country. New Hampshire also had the lowest poverty rate in the country in 2013, at 8.7%. The state’s vibrant socioeconomic climate likely contributed to the fewer than 200 violent crimes reported per 100,000 residents in 2013, a more than 7% decline from the previous year.

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5. Kentucky
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 198.8
> Population: 4,395,295
> Total 2013 murders: 167 (24th highest)
> Poverty rate: 18.8% (6th highest)
> Pct. of adults with high school diploma: 84.1% (5th lowest)

Less than 85% of Kentucky adults had at least a high school diploma as of 2013, and 22.6% had completed at least a bachelor’s degree, both among the lowest rates nationwide. A typical family made just $43,399, also one of the lowest median incomes in the country. In addition, nearly 19% of state residents lived in poverty, more than 3 percentage points above the national rate. Unlike in many other states with similarly poor socioeconomic conditions, the conditions do not seem to exacerbate criminal activity. Kentucky had among the lowest crime rates last year, at fewer than 200 incidents per 100,000 people. The state’s violent crime rate also fell 11.6% in 2013 from the year before, the fourth largest reduction nationwide.

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