Special Report

Most Dangerous States in America

30. Wisconsin
> Violent crime rate: 295.4 per 100,000 people
> Total 2018 murders: 176 (24th lowest)
> Imprisonment rate: 501 adults per 100,000 (22nd highest)
> Poverty rate: 11.0% (16th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Milwaukee

Wisconsin has a violent crime rate of 295.4 incidents for every 100,000 people, lower than in most states and well below the 380.6 per 100,000 national rate. Many of the violent crimes committed in Wisconsin in 2018 were concentrated in Milwaukee, the largest city in the state. Of the 17,176 reported robberies, rapes, murders, and aggravated assaults in Wisconsin in 2018, nearly half were committed in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee ranks among the most dangerous cities in the country. Its violent crime rate of 1,413.0 incidents per 100,000 people is more than triple the national rate of 380.6 per 100,000.

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Source: Jeff Swensen / Getty Images

29. Pennsylvania
> Violent crime rate: 306.0 per 100,000 people
> Total 2018 murders: 784 (5th highest)
> Imprisonment rate: 473 adults per 100,000 (25th highest)
> Poverty rate: 12.2% (23rd lowest)
> Most dangerous city: McKeesport

There were 39,192 violent crimes committed in Pennsylvania in 2018, or 306.0 for every 100,000 people. Despite having a lower violent crime rate than most states, Pennsylvania has a relatively high incarceration rate. There are 784 adults in Pennsylvania state and federal prisons for every 100,000 state residents 18 and older, the fifth highest imprisonment rate of any state.

Crime in Pennsylvania is often heavily concentrated in cities. In McKeesport, for example, there were 1,530.0 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in 2018, four times the national rate.

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28. Washington
> Violent crime rate: 311.5 per 100,000 people
> Total 2018 murders: 236 (22nd highest)
> Imprisonment rate: 336 adults per 100,000 (12th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 10.3% (9th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Tacoma

There were 23,472 reported cases of rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and murder in Washington state in 2018 — or 311.5 violent crimes for every 100,000 people. As is typically the case, aggravated assault was the most commonly reported form of violence, accounting for over half of all violent crimes in the state.

While the U.S. as a whole reported a 3.0% decline in violent crime between 2017 and 2018, Washington reported a 4.4% increase. Still, the state’s violent crime rate remains well below the national rate of 380.6 per 100,000 people.

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Source: Erik S. Lesser / Getty Images

27. Georgia
> Violent crime rate: 326.6 per 100,000 people
> Total 2018 murders: 642 (6th highest)
> Imprisonment rate: 666 adults per 100,000 (9th highest)
> Poverty rate: 14.3% (12th highest)
> Most dangerous city: East Point

Despite a 1.0% population increase between 2017 and 2018, the number of violent crimes committed in Georgia fell by 7.4% over the same period, more than double the 3.0% national decline. As it stands, Georgia’s violent crime rate of 326.6 incidents per 100,000 people is well below the 380.6 per 100,000 national rate. The rate of rape in Georgia, at 25.2 reported incidents per 100,000 people is the fourth lowest of any state.

As is often the case, crime in Georgia tends to be concentrated in some major cities. In East Point, there were 441 violent crimes in 2018, or 1,242.7 for every 100,000 people.

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Source: Mario Tama / Getty Images

26. Massachusetts
> Violent crime rate: 338.1 per 100,000 people
> Total 2018 murders: 136 (21st lowest)
> Imprisonment rate: 150 adults per 100,000 (the lowest)
> Poverty rate: 10.0% (8th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Fall River

Massachusetts’ violent crime rate of 338.1 incidents per 100,000 people is by far the highest of any state in New England. Still, the state is safer than the U.S. as a whole, as there were 380.6 violent crimes per 100,000 people nationwide in 2018.

Crime rates tend to be lower in areas with greater financial security and economic opportunity. In Massachusetts, 10% of the population lives below the poverty line compared to 13.1% of Americans nationwide. Additionally, just 3.3% of the state’s labor force was out of work in 2018, well below the 3.9% national unemployment rate.

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