Special Report

America's Most Violent and Peaceful States

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45. New Hampshire
> Violent crime rate: 198.7 per 100,000 residents (3rd lowest)
> Murder rate: 1.0 per 100,000 residents (the lowest)
> Incarceration rate: 204 per 100,000 residents (6th lowest)
> 2018 unemployment: 2.5% (3rd lowest)

New Hampshire is one of only three states with fewer than 200 violent crimes per 100,000 residents. Non-violent crimes are also uncommon in New Hampshire. There were 1,381.8 property crimes — a broad category that includes burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft — for every 100,000 people in the state in 2017, the lowest property crime rate in the country.

Higher-income areas typically report lower levels of violence. In New Hampshire, the typical household earns $73,381 annually, enough to rank among the richest states in America.

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44. Maine
> Violent crime rate: 121.0 per 100,000 residents (the lowest)
> Murder rate: 1.7 per 100,000 residents (3rd lowest)
> Incarceration rate: 134 per 100,000 residents (2nd lowest)
> 2018 unemployment: 3.4% (20th lowest)

Maine’s violent crime rate of 121 incidents per 100,000 people is the lowest of any state. Aggravated assault, the most common type of violent crime nationwide is particularly rare in Maine. There were 65.3 aggravated assaults for every 100,000 people in the state in 2017, less than a third of the national aggravated assault rate of 249 per 100,000.

Maine is a largely rural state, and unlike the U.S. as a whole, violence is not concentrated in Maine’s cities. Just over a quarter of violent crimes reported in the state in 2017 were committed in a metro area. For reference, 59.4% of Maine’s population lives in a metropolitan area. Even in Maine’s most dangerous city, violent crime is less common than it is nationwide.

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43. New York
> Violent crime rate: 356.7 per 100,000 residents (24th lowest)
> Murder rate: 2.8 per 100,000 residents (14th lowest)
> Incarceration rate: 249 per 100,000 residents (11th lowest)
> 2018 unemployment: 4.1% (15th highest)

New York’s violent crime rate of 356.7 incidents per 100,000 people is higher than the comparable rate in most of the more peaceful state. Still, it is considerably lower than the national violent crime rate of 382.9 incidents per 100,000 people.

New York’s rank as the seventh most peaceful state is largely attributable to the low rates of gun violence in the state. There were 2.1 suicides by firearm for every 100,000 people in the state over the last five years, less than a third of the comparable national rate of 6.6 per 100,000. None of the 10 U.S. cities with the most gun violence are in New York state.

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42. Minnesota
> Violent crime rate: 238.3 per 100,000 residents (11th lowest)
> Murder rate: 2.0 per 100,000 residents (6th lowest)
> Incarceration rate: 191 per 100,000 residents (5th lowest)
> 2018 unemployment: 2.9% (8th lowest)

Minnesota has one of the lowest murder rates of any state. There were 2.0 murders for every 100,000 states residents in 2017, less than half the national murder rate of 5.3 per 100,000. Minnesota also has the fifth lowest state incarceration rate, locking up about 191 people for every 100,000 state residents, or 10,700 people in total.

Minnesota is the only state in the Midwest to rank among the 10 most peaceful states. The majority of the most peaceful states are located in the Northeast.

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41. Vermont
> Violent crime rate: 165.8 per 100,000 residents (2nd lowest)
> Murder rate: 2.2 per 100,000 residents (8th lowest)
> Incarceration rate: 180 per 100,000 residents (4th lowest)
> 2018 unemployment: 2.7% (5th lowest)

There were 165.8 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in Vermont in 2017, the second lowest rate in the country, trailing only nearby Maine. Vermont also has the fourth lowest state incarceration rate in the country, locking up just 180 people for every 100,000 residents.

Although it has relatively loose firearm restrictions relative to most of the other 10 least violent states, gun violence is slightly less common in Vermont than it is nationwide. There were 10.3 firearm-involved fatalities for every 100,000 in Vermont over the last five years, compared to 10.9 per 100,000 nationwide.

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