Most Dangerous States in America

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20. Florida
> Violent crime rate: 408 per 100,000
> Total 2017 murders: 1,057 (3rd most)
> Imprisonment rate: 900 adults per 100,000 (13th highest)
> Poverty rate: 14.0% (17th highest)
> Most dangerous city: Florida City

Florida has lower rates of rape, murder, and robbery than the United States as a whole. Yet its violent crime rate of 408 incidents per 100,000 people is one of the higher rates among states. What drives Florida’s violent crime rate is the state’s relatively high rate of aggravated assault. There were 277 reported incidents for every 100,000 Florida residents in 2017, more than the national aggravated assault rate of 249 per 100,000 Americans.

Located approximately 25 miles south of downtown Miami, Florida City is the most dangerous city in Florida and one of the most dangerous cities in the nation. There were 2,276 violent crimes reported per 100,000 Florida City residents in 2017, the sixth most of any U.S. city with at least 10,000 residents.

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19. Kansas
> Violent crime rate: 413 per 100,000
> Total 2017 murders: 160 (21st fewest)
> Imprisonment rate: 780 adults per 100,000 (25th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 11.9% (21st lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Wichita

There were 413 violent crimes in Kansas for every 100,000 people in 2017, a higher violent crime rate than in most states and the United States as a whole.

Kansas reported a 21.2% surge in homicide in 2017, one of the largest increases of any state. There were 5.5 murders for every 100,000 people in the state in 2017, compared to 5.3 per 100,000 nationwide. In 2016, the state’s murder rate was 4.5 per 100,000, well below the national murder rate that year of 5.4 per 100,000.

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18. South Dakota
> Violent crime rate: 434 per 100,000
> Total 2017 murders: 25 (7th fewest)
> Imprisonment rate: 880 adults per 100,000 (16th highest)
> Poverty rate: 13.0% (24th highest)
> Most dangerous city: Rapid City

There were 434 violent crimes in South Dakota in 2017, a higher rate than the national violent crime rate of 394 per 100,000 and considerably more than the rate in North Dakota of 281 incidents per 100,000 residents. One-third of the 3,771 violent crimes in the state in 2017 were reported in either Rapid City or Sioux Falls, South Dakota’s two largest cities. In Rapid City there were a total of 640 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, the most of any city in South Dakota with a population of at least 10,000.

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17. Illinois
> Violent crime rate: 439 per 100,000
> Total 2017 murders: 997 (4th most)
> Imprisonment rate: 620 adults per 100,000 (17th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 12.6% (24th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: East St. Louis

Illinois had 997 murders in 2017, the fourth most of any state. Nearly two-thirds of those murders were committed in Chicago, the largest city in the state. Overall, the state’s murder rate was ninth highest, at 7.8 homicides for every 100,000 state residents of the state.

Though Chicago’s murder rate is often in the news, another Illinois city, East St. Louis, has the highest murder rate in the country. There were 111 murders for every 100,000 East St. Louis residents in 2017. The next highest murder rate is in Chester, Pennsylvania, with 85 per 100,000.

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16. Texas
> Violent crime rate: 439 per 100,000
> Total 2017 murders: 1,412 (2nd most)
> Imprisonment rate: 1,050 adults per 100,000 (6th highest)
> Poverty rate: 14.7% (13th highest)
> Most dangerous city: Bellmead

There were 439 violent crimes reported per 100,000 Texas residents in 2017, far more than the national rate of 394 incidents per 100,000 Americans. While the Lone Star States surpassed the U.S. in rates of rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, Texas has a lower homicide rate than the country as a whole. There were 5.0 murders reported per 100,000 Texas residents in 2017, compared to the national rate of 5.3 murders per 100,000 Americans.

Texas is home to one of the most dangerous cities in the country. In Bellmead, a city several miles northeast of Waco, there were 2,305 violent crimes reported per 100,000 people in 2017 — the most of any city with a population of at least 10,000 in Texas and the fifth most of any city nationwide.