Special Report

Most Dangerous States in America

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40. Minnesota
> Violent crime rate: 238 per 100,000
> Total 2017 murders: 113 (19th fewest)
> Imprisonment rate: 380 adults per 100,000 (5th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 9.5% (4th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Minneapolis

The Minnesota violent crime rate fell by 1.5% from 2016 to 2017, slightly outpacing the U.S. decline in violent crime rate of 0.9% over the same time period. The drop was largely due to declines in the two most common violent crimes — robbery and aggravated assault. The robbery rate dropped by 3.9% and the aggravated assault rate fell 1.1%.

However, Minnesota had one of the larger murder rate increases during that time, with an 11.1% jump from the year before. Still, Minnesota’s murder rate of 2.0 per 100,000 residents is the sixth lowest of any state.

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39. Utah
> Violent crime rate: 239 per 100,000
> Total 2017 murders: 73 (14th fewest)
> Imprisonment rate: 540 adults per 100,000 (13th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 9.7% (6th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: South Salt Lake

One of the safest states in the country, Utah is also safer now than it was a year ago. There were 239 violent crimes in Utah for every 100,000 people in 2017, a 1.8% improvement from the state’s 2016 violent crime rate of 243 incidents per 100,000.

Violence in Utah is largely concentrated in major cities. In South Salt Lake and Salt Lake proper, there were 947 and 879 violent crimes per 100,000 people, respectively, the highest violent crime rates of any city with at least 10,000 residents in the state.

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Source: Eric Tessmer / Wikimedia Commons

38. Hawaii
> Violent crime rate: 251 per 100,000
> Total 2017 murders: 39 (9th fewest)
> Imprisonment rate: 500 adults per 100,000 (9th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 9.5% (4th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Honolulu

Though Hawaii does not rank among the 10 safest states, its violent crime rate of 251 incidents per 100,000 is well below the national violent crime rate of 394 per 100,000.

Nationwide, the violent crime rate dipped by 0.9% from 2016 to 2017. Hawaii represents a break from the national trend as the incidence of violent crime ticked up 3.7% over the same period, one of the largest increases of any state. Climbing robbery and aggravated assault rates largely drove the increase.

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37. North Dakota
> Violent crime rate: 281 per 100,000
> Total 2017 murders: 10 (the fewest)
> Imprisonment rate: 540 adults per 100,000 (13th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 10.3% (9th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Fargo

North Dakota has the second lowest murder rate of U.S. states, at 1.3 homicides per 100,000 residents. There were only 10 murders in North Dakota in 2017, down 37.5% from 16 the year before, the largest decline of any state.

However, the state’s overall violent crime rate increased by 11.6%. Only two other states had a greater overall increase in violent crimes. This is largely due to a spike in aggravated assault. While still a relatively low rate, North Dakota’s aggravated assault rate of 203 per 100,000 residents in 2017 represents a 13.4% increase from 2016.

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36. Oregon
> Violent crime rate: 282 per 100,000
> Total 2017 murders: 104 (18th fewest)
> Imprisonment rate: 640 adults per 100,000 (18th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 13.2% (23rd highest)
> Most dangerous city: Portland

Oregon is the safest state along the Pacific coast. There were 282 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents in the state in 2017 — compared to over 300 per 100,000 in Washington state and over 440 per 100,000 in California.

Crime appears to be on the rise in Oregon, however. Last year, the number of robberies, rapes, aggravated assaults all increased. In total, the rise in violent crimes outpaced population growth, resulting in a 4.8% increase in the violent crime rate from 2016 to 2017.

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