Most Dangerous States in America

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25. Massachusetts
> Violent crime rate: 358 per 100,000
> Total 2017 murders: 173 (22nd fewest)
> Imprisonment rate: 360 adults per 100,000 (2nd lowest)
> Poverty rate: 10.5% (10th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: North Adams

Massachusetts is the most dangerous state in the Northeast. Still, the state’s violent crime rate was lower than the nationwide rate in 2017, at 358 violent crimes for every 100,000 Massachusetts residents compared to 394 per 100,000 nationwide. Despite a growing population, there were about 1,400 fewer violent crimes in Massachusetts in 2017, 5.4% fewer than the year before.

North Adams and Holyoke are the only two cities with populations of at least 10,000 in the state with violent crime rates exceeding 1,000 incidents per 100,000 people.

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24. North Carolina
> Violent crime rate: 364 per 100,000
> Total 2017 murders: 591 (9th most)
> Imprisonment rate: 680 adults per 100,000 (20th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 14.7% (13th highest)
> Most dangerous city: Kinston

Though North Carolina’s violent crime rate of 364 per 100,000 is higher than that of most U.S. states, it is below the nationwide violent crime rate of 394 per 100,000. With the exception of robbery, the incidence of every type of violent crime fell more in North Carolina than it did nationwide from 2016 to 2017, resulting in a 2.2% drop in the state’s overall violent crime rate.

Kinston and Henderson are the only two cities in the state with a population of 10,000 or more where the violent crime rate exceeds 1,000 incidents per 100,000 people.

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23. Colorado
> Violent crime rate: 368 per 100,000
> Total 2017 murders: 221 (24th fewest)
> Imprisonment rate: 740 adults per 100,000 (24th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 10.3% (9th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Pueblo

Home to 23.8% of the U.S. population, but accounting for 25.5% of all violent crime, the Western U.S. is slightly more dangerous than other parts of the country. Still, Colorado’s violent crime rate of 368 incidents per 100,000 people is below the national violent crime rate of 394 per 100,000.

One of the fastest growing states in the country, Colorado also has a rapidly climbing violent crime rate. The state’s violent crime rate is 7% higher than it was in 2016, when there were 344 incidents per 100,000 people.

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22. Montana
> Violent crime rate: 377 per 100,000
> Total 2017 murders: 41 (10th fewest)
> Imprisonment rate: 700 adults per 100,000 (22nd lowest)
> Poverty rate: 12.5% (23rd lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Helena

Montana’s violent crime rate of 377 reported incidents per 100,000 residents is just slightly below the U.S. violent crime rate of 394 per 100,000. Like nearly every other state, most violent crimes committed in Montana are aggravated assaults. The state’s aggravated assault rate of 287 per 100,000 people is higher than the nationwide rate.

However, Montana also has a very low rate of robbery. There were 28 robberies reported per 100,000 state residents in 2017, the seventh lowest rate of any state. For context, the U.S. robbery rate is 98 robberies per 100,000 residents.

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21. Indiana
> Violent crime rate: 399 per 100,000
> Total 2017 murders: 397 (18th most)
> Imprisonment rate: 850 adults per 100,000 (20th highest)
> Poverty rate: 13.5% (20th highest)
> Most dangerous city: Indianapolis

Though violent crime is slightly less common in the Midwest than it is across the country as a whole, Indiana is an exception. Due in no small part to high crime rates in cities like Indianapolis and South Bend, Indiana’s violent crime rate of 399 incidents per 100,000 people is slightly higher than the national violent crime rate of 394 per 100,000. Nearly 40% of the 397 murders in the state in 2017 were committed in Indianapolis.