Special Report

Most Dangerous States in America

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45. Idaho
> Violent crime rate: 226 per 100,000
> Total 2017 murders: 32 (8th fewest)
> Imprisonment rate: 900 adults per 100,000 (13th highest)
> Poverty rate: 12.8% (25th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Garden City

Idaho is one of the safest states in the country. There were 226 violent crimes for every 100,000 state residents in 2017, well below the national violent crime rate of 394 per 100,000.

Idaho’s 2017 violent crime rate represents a slight improvement from the previous year — partially due to a falling murder rate. The number of murders fell by a near nation leading 35%, from 49 in 2016 to 32 in 2017, which is even more impressive considering the population grew in 2017.

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44. Connecticut
> Violent crime rate: 228 per 100,000
> Total 2017 murders: 102 (16th fewest)
> Imprisonment rate: 530 adults per 100,000 (11th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 9.6% (5th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Hartford

Connecticut’s violent crime rate increased very slightly from 2016 to 2017. This was due in part to the state’s spiking murder rate, which rose from 2.2 murders per 100,000 people to 2.8 per 100,000, a 27.3% increase. Still, Connecticut’s violent crime rate of 228 per 100,000 is well below the U.S. rate of 394 per 100,000.

Hartford is by far the most dangerous city in Connecticut. The city’s violent crime rate of 1,093 incidents per 100,000 residents is more than four times higher than Connecticut’s violent crime rate as a whole.

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43. New Jersey
> Violent crime rate: 229 per 100,000
> Total 2017 murders: 324 (20th most)
> Imprisonment rate: 460 adults per 100,000 (7th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 10.0% (7th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Camden

New Jersey is one of several states in the Northeast where violent crime is far less prevalent than it is across the country as a whole. There were just 229 incidents of violent crime per 100,000 state residents in 2017, well below the national violent crime rate of 394 per 100,000.

Not all parts of the state are safe, however. In cities like Asbury Park, Trenton, Atlantic City and Bridgeton, the violent crime rate exceeds 1,000 incidents per 100,000 people. In Camden, the violent crime rate falls just shy of 2,000 incidents per 100,000 people.

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42. Rhode Island
> Violent crime rate: 232 per 100,000
> Total 2017 murders: 20 (5th fewest)
> Imprisonment rate: 370 adults per 100,000 (3rd lowest)
> Poverty rate: 11.6% (20th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Providence

As one of the least populous states, Rhode Island has fewer total violent crimes than almost any state, and any drop can result in a large percentage point decline. From 2016 to 2017, the number of murders in the state dropped from 29 to 20, a 31% decline.

Rhode Island’s low violent crime rate of 232 incidents per 100,000 people may be one factor contributing to the state’s low incarceration rate. Just 370 in every 100,000 adults in Rhode Island are incarcerated, the third lowest incarceration rate of all states and well below the national incarceration rate of 850 per 100,000.

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41. Wyoming
> Violent crime rate: 238 per 100,000
> Total 2017 murders: 15 (4th fewest)
> Imprisonment rate: 870 adults per 100,000 (19th highest)
> Poverty rate: 11.3% (19th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Rock Springs

There were 1,376 violent crimes in Wyoming in 2017, the fewest of any state after only Vermont. Adjusted for the population, Wyoming’s violent crime rate of 238 incidents per 100,000 is the 10th lowest of any state.

Densely populated urban areas often report higher crime rates. Of the Wyoming cities home to at least 10,000 people, Rock Springs is the only one with a higher than average violent crime rate. There were 465 violent crimes per 100,000 people in Rock Springs in 2017, compared to the national violent crime rate of 394 per 100,000.

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