Most Dangerous States in America

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50. Maine
> Violent crime rate: 121 per 100,000
> Total 2017 murders: 23 (6th fewest)
> Imprisonment rate: 380 adults per 100,000 (5th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 11.1% (16th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Biddeford

Maine is the safest state in the country. There were 121 violent crimes for every 100,000 state residents in 2017, less than a third of the national violent crime rate of 394 per 100,000. As it is across the United States as a whole, aggravated assault is by far the most common type of violent crime in Maine. Still, the state’s aggravated assault rate of 65 incidents per 100,000 people is a fraction of the national rate of 249 per 100,000.

Crime is often concentrated in more densely populated urban areas. Even in Biddeford, the most dangerous city in Maine, violent crime is less common than it is nationwide.

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49. Vermont
> Violent crime rate: 166 per 100,000
> Total 2017 murders: 14 (3rd fewest)
> Imprisonment rate: 340 adults per 100,000 (the lowest)
> Poverty rate: 11.3% (19th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Rutland

Vermont’s violent crime rate jumped 21.5%, from 137 incidents per 100,000 people in 2016 to 166 per 100,000 in 2017, the largest increase of any state. Despite the increase, Vermont remains one of the safest states in the country, second only to nearby Maine.

Safer parts of the countries tend to have healthier job markets. In Vermont, just 2.8% of workers are unemployed, well below the 3.7% national unemployment rate.

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48. New Hampshire
> Violent crime rate: 199 per 100,000
> Total 2017 murders: 14 (3rd fewest)
> Imprisonment rate: 410 adults per 100,000 (6th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 7.7% (the lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Manchester

In New Hampshire, there were 2,668 violent crimes reported in 2017, effectively unchanged from 2016. As the population increased over the same period, however, the violent crime rate declined from 200 incidents per 100,000 residents to 199 per 100,000, a decrease of 0.6%.

New Hampshire has the lowest murder rate, by far, of any U.S. state, and it continues to decline. There was just 1.0 murder per 100,000 state residents in 2017, down 28.6% from 1.4 per 100,000 the year before — one of the largest declines of any state.

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47. Virginia
> Violent crime rate: 208 per 100,000
> Total 2017 murders: 453 (15th most)
> Imprisonment rate: 880 adults per 100,000 (16th highest)
> Poverty rate: 10.6% (11th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Petersburg

Virginia’s violent crime rate declined 5.4% from 2016 to 2017. The rates of murder, robbery, and aggravated assault were all lower in 2017, and in many cases the declines were some of the largest of all states.

Though Virginia is one of the safest states in the country, the state’s murder rate of 5.3 homicides per 100,000 residents is in line with the national rate. The murder rate in two Virginia cities, Petersburg and Danville, is greater than 30 per 100,000 residents.

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46. Kentucky
> Violent crime rate: 226 per 100,000
> Total 2017 murders: 263 (22nd most)
> Imprisonment rate: 1,010 adults per 100,000 (9th highest)
> Poverty rate: 17.2% (5th highest)
> Most dangerous city: Louisville

Though the number of aggravated assaults per capita inched up slightly in Kentucky from 2016 to 2017, the incidence of rape, robbery, and murder declined slightly. As a result, the overall violent crime rate fell from 236 incidents per 100,000 residents in 2016 to 226 per 100,000 in 2017.

Even in relatively safe states like Kentucky, crime can be common in densely populated urban areas. In Louisville, a city home to over half a million people, there were 647 violent crimes for every 100,000 people — well above the national violent crime rate of 394 per 100,000.