Special Report

Most Dangerous States in America

50. Maine
> Violent crime rate: 112.1 per 100,000 people
> Total 2018 murders: 24 (7th lowest)
> Imprisonment rate: 165 adults per 100,000 (2nd lowest)
> Poverty rate: 11.6% (19th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Augusta

Between 2017 and 2018, the number of violent crimes — a designation comprised of aggravated assault, robbery, rape, and murder — in Maine fell by 6.8%. There were 112 reported violent crimes in the state in 2018 for every 100,000 people, the least of any state in the country.

Maine’s capital, Augusta, had the highest violent crime rate of any city in the state at 323.9 incidents per 100,000 people. But even Maine’s most dangerous city had less violence than the U.S. as a whole. There were 380.6 violent crimes for every 100,000 people nationwide in 2018.

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Source: Joe Raedle / Getty Images

49. Vermont
> Violent crime rate: 172.0 per 100,000 people
> Total 2018 murders: 10 (the lowest)
> Imprisonment rate: 222 adults per 100,000 (4th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 11.0% (16th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Rutland

Vermont is one of only three states — all of which are in the New England region — to report fewer than 200 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in 2018. Vermont had the lowest robbery rate in the country in 2018 with 11.2 reported incidents per 100,000 people and the fourth lowest aggravated assault rate of 113.4 incidents per 100,000 — less than half the comparable national rate of 246.8 per 100,000.

Like most states with lower violent crime rates, Vermont has a relatively small population living below the poverty line. Just 11.0% of state residents live on poverty level income compared to 13.1% nationwide.

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48. New Hampshire
> Violent crime rate: 173.2 per 100,000 people
> Total 2018 murders: 21 (6th lowest)
> Imprisonment rate: 253 adults per 100,000 (6th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 7.6% (the lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Manchester

Along with Maine and Vermont, New Hampshire is one of only three states to report fewer than 200 violent crimes in 2018. There were 173.2 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in the state, an 11.1% decline from the previous year, which was nearly the largest improvement of any state.

While violent crime is relatively uncommon across New Hampshire as a whole, not all parts of the state are especially safe. For example, in Manchester there were 593.2 violent crimes for every 100,000 people and in Claremont there were 448.6 per 100,00 — each far higher than the 380.6 per 100,000 national average.

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Source: Nyttend / Wikimedia Commons

47. Virginia
> Violent crime rate: 200.0 per 100,000 people
> Total 2018 murders: 391 (17th highest)
> Imprisonment rate: 560 adults per 100,000 (16th highest)
> Poverty rate: 10.7% (12th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Portsmouth

Virginia is the only state outside of the New England to rank among the five safest in the country. There were 200 violent crimes in Virginia for every 100,000 people in 2018 compared to 380.6 per 100,000 nationwide. As is typically the case, aggravated assault was the most common type of violent crime reported in Virginia in 2018, followed by robbery.

Unlike most other states with relatively low rates of violent crime, Virginia has a relatively large prison population. There are 560 adults for every 100,000 incarcerated in Virginia state and federal prisons, a larger share than in most other states.

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Source: John Moore / Getty Images

46. Connecticut
> Violent crime rate: 207.4 per 100,000 people
> Total 2018 murders: 83 (18th lowest)
> Imprisonment rate: 338 adults per 100,000 (13th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 10.4% (10th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Hartford

Like several other nearby states in the New England region, Connecticut ranks among the safest places in the country. There were 207.4 violent crimes reported for every 100,000 state residents in 2018, the fifth least among states. As is often the case in areas with low violent crime, other types of crime are also relatively uncommon in Connecticut. There were 1,68.0 property crimes, such as motor vehicle theft and burglary, in the state for every 100,000 people in 2018 — well below the national rate of 2,199.5 per 100,000.

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