Special Report

Most Dangerous States in America

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The U.S. has gotten safer in the past few decades. The violent crime rate — which tracks aggravated assaults, robberies, rapes, and murders/nonnegligent manslaughters — has steadily declined, from nearly 750 incidents for every 100,000 Americans in 1993 to 366.7 incidents per 100,000 in 2019.

Yet not every part of the country can be considered safe. While in some states the violent crime rate is less than half of the national rate, in others, it is more than double. 

To determine the most dangerous states in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the number of violent crimes in 2019 per 100,000 residents for all 50 states with data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program. City-level crime data for Alabama and Hawaii were insufficient and we listed no cities for these states.

There is a well-established link between poverty and crime, as America’s poorest states tend to be its most violent. For instance, New England states tend to have relatively high incomes and low poverty rates — and every state in the region ranks as one of the safest in the U.S. Most of the nation’s most dangerous states are located in the South, where incomes are typically among the lowest and poverty rates among the highest. These are America’s richest and poorest states.

Violent crime occurs most frequently in U.S. urban areas. Even in many of the safest states, there are cities with very high violent crime rates. Similarly, it is no coincidence that many of the states with the highest rates of violent crimes are also home to some of America’s most dangerous cities. In some cases, a single city can account for over one-quarter of all violent crime in an entire state. Here is a look at the most dangerous cities in the country.

Click here to see the most dangerous states in America.
Click here to see our methodology.

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50. Maine
> Violent crime rate: 115.2 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 20 (4th fewest)
> Incarceration rate: 146 adults per 100,000 (2nd lowest)
> Poverty rate: 10.9% (19th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Biddeford

Maine ranks as the least dangerous state in the U.S. The state reported 115.2 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2019, less than a third of the U.S. violent crime that year, of 366.7 per 100,000. The Northeastern state had the lowest rate of murder and aggravated assault in the country at 1.5 murders per 100,000 residents and 61.3 aggravated assaults per 100,000 residents.

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

49. New Hampshire
> Violent crime rate: 152.5 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 33 (8th fewest)
> Incarceration rate: 197 adults per 100,000 (6th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 7.3% (the lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Manchester

New Hampshire is one of just three states in which the violent crime rate is lower than 200 incidents per 100,000 residents. Authorities reported 152.5 murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults per every 100,000 state residents in 2019.

Because of this relatively low crime rate, New Hampshire also had one of the lowest incarceration rates in the country. Just 197 out of every 100,000 New Hampshire residents were convicted, sentenced, and under the jurisdiction of state or federal correctional authorities in 2019. Nationwide, the incarceration rate is 419 per 100,000 Americans.

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

48. Connecticut
> Violent crime rate: 183.6 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 104 (17th fewest)
> Incarceration rate: 245 adults per 100,000 (13th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 10.0% (12th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: New Haven

Connecticut has the third lowest violent crime rate of all states, at 183.6 incidents per 100,000 people — about half of the U.S. violent crime rate of 366.7 incidents per 100,000. There is a correlation between poverty and crime, and Connecticut has the 12th lowest poverty rate of any state, at 10.0%, well below the national 12.3% poverty rate.

Connecticut is one of the wealthiest states as well. The state’s median annual household income of $78,833 is the third highest among states and $13,000 higher than the U.S. median.

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

47. Vermont
> Violent crime rate: 202.2 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 11 (the fewest)
> Incarceration rate: 182 adults per 100,000 (5th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 10.2% (15th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Rutland

Just 11 murders were reported in Vermont in 2019, the lowest total of any state. Accounting for population, the state’s murder rate is 1.8 per 100,000 residents — the second lowest of all states and less than half the U.S. murder rate of 5.0 homicides per 100,000 people. The state also had among the 10 lowest rates of robbery and aggravated assault.

However, despite having one of lowest violent crime rates in the country, at 202.2 incidents per 100,000 people in 2019, Vermont had a slightly higher incidence of rape than the national rate. In 2019, there were 44.6 reported rapes per 100,000 state residents, just above the U.S. rate of 42.6 incidents per 100,000.

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

46. New Jersey
> Violent crime rate: 206.9 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 262 (22nd most)
> Incarceration rate: 210 adults per 100,000 (8th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 9.2% (5th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Camden

New Jersey has the fifth lowest violent crime rate of any state, at just under 207 incidents per 100,000 people. The state reported lower rates of all four violent crimes — murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assualt — than the national rates.

In spite of its low crime rate, New Jersey has the highest share of full-time law enforcement employees, with 549 such employees per 100,000 state residents — well above the national rate of 306 per 100,000.

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

45. Virginia
> Violent crime rate: 208.0 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 426 (16th most)
> Incarceration rate: 422 adults per 100,000 (16th highest)
> Poverty rate: 9.9% (11th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Portsmouth

Virginia has the sixth lowest violent crime rate among all states, and the lowest among Southern states, at 208.0 incidents per 100,000 people, compared to 366.7 per 100,000 nationwide. Aggravated assault and robbery are the most common violent crimes nationwide. In Virginia, these crimes are about half as common as they are across the U.S., at 41.3 incidents per 100,000 and 128.7 incidents per 100,000, respectively.

Poverty and crime are inextricably linked, and Virginia is one of just 11 states in which fewer than 10% of residents live below the poverty line.

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44. Kentucky
> Violent crime rate: 217.1 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 221 (24th most)
> Incarceration rate: 516 adults per 100,000 (7th highest)
> Poverty rate: 16.3% (4th highest)
> Most dangerous city: Louisville

Kentucky has one of the nation’s lowest violent crime rates, at 217.1 reported incidents per 100,000 people, compared to 366.7 per 100,000 nationwide. Though Kentucky is one of the least violent states, its murder rate of 4.9 incidents per 100,000 residents is higher than most states, and roughly in line with the U.S. murder rate of 5.0 per 100,000.

The state also has one of the 10 highest incarceration rates, as 516 per 100,000 Kentucky adults are under the control of corrections authorities.

Source: Cliff / Wikimedia Commons

43. Wyoming
> Violent crime rate: 217.4 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 13 (2nd fewest)
> Incarceration rate: 428 adults per 100,000 (14th highest)
> Poverty rate: 10.1% (14th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Riverton

Wyoming reported the fewest violent crimes of any state in 2019, at 1,258, and the state had the eighth lowest violent crime rate at 217.4 crimes per 100,000 people. Wyoming was the only state in which no city has a violent crime rate higher than the 2019 U.S. rate. The state’s most dangerous city, Riverton, has a violent crime rate of 345.3 incidents per 100,000 residents, slightly below the national 366.7 incident per 100,000 violent crime rate.

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42. Rhode Island
> Violent crime rate: 221.1 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 25 (6th fewest)
> Incarceration rate: 156 adults per 100,000 (3rd lowest)
> Poverty rate: 10.8% (18th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Woonsocket

One of the 10 safest states, Rhode Island reported just 221.1 violent crimes per 100,000 people in 2019, well below the U.S.’s 366.7 per 100,000 violent crime rate. Rhode Island’s murder rate of 2.4 homicides per 100,000 people is less than half the 5.0 per 100,000 murder rate nationwide.

With relatively few violent crimes committed in Rhode Island, also few residents are incarcerated. The state has the third lowest incarceration rate, at 156 adults imprisoned per 100,000 residents.

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41. Idaho
> Violent crime rate: 223.8 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 35 (9th fewest)
> Incarceration rate: 475 adults per 100,000 (9th highest)
> Poverty rate: 11.2% (21st lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Garden City

Idaho has the 10th lowest violent crime rate in the country, at 223.8 incidents per 100,000 people in 2019. The state also has the absolute lowest robbery rate, at 8.7 per 100,000 — a fraction of the U.S. robbery rate of 81.6 robberies per 100,000 residents.

Property crimes, like burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft, are also relatively uncommon in Idaho. The state’s property crime rate of 1,219.5 incidents per 100,000 is the third lowest in the country and well below the U.S. property crime rate of 2,109.9 per 100,000.

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40. Utah
> Violent crime rate: 235.6 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 72 (15th fewest)
> Incarceration rate: 206 adults per 100,000 (7th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 8.9% (2nd lowest)
> Most dangerous city: South Salt Lake

Utah reported a violent crime rate of 235.6 incidents per 100,000 people in 2019, lower than all but 10 other states. Utah has relatively low rates of murder, robbery, and aggravated assault. Yet it has the 12th highest rate of rape, at 56.8 reported rapes per 100,000 people. For context, the U.S rape rate is 42.6 per 100,000.

There is a strong link between poverty and crime, and Utah has the second lowest poverty rate in the nation. An estimated 8.9% of state residents live below the poverty line, compared to 12.3% of Americans overall.

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39. Minnesota
> Violent crime rate: 236.4 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 117 (20th fewest)
> Incarceration rate: 176 adults per 100,000 (4th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 9.0% (3rd lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Minneapolis

Minnesota in 2019 reported the 12th lowest violent crime rate of any U.S. state, and the lowest of Midwestern states, at 236.4 incidents per 100,000 residents. With relatively few violent crimes, the state has one of the lowest incarceration rates in the nation. The state’s incarceration rate of 176 people in the correctional system per 100,000is less than half of the U.S. rate of 419 per 100,000.

Like many other states with low violent crime rates, a relatively low share of Minnesota residents live in poverty. The state’s 9.0% poverty rate is the third lowest in the nation and well below the U.S. poverty rate of 12.3%.

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38. Iowa
> Violent crime rate: 266.6 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 60 (13th fewest)
> Incarceration rate: 293 adults per 100,000 (16th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 11.2% (20th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Council Bluffs

Iowa is one of the safer states in America, with rates of each of the four types of violent crime — murder, rape, robberies, and aggravated assault — below the respective national rates. The state’s murder rate of 1.9 homicides or non-negligent homicides per 100,000 residents in 2019 was the fourth lowest among states and less than half the U.S. murder rate of 5.0 per 100,000.

States with positive economic indicators tend to have lower violent crime rates. Iowa had an annual unemployment rate of 2.7% for 2019, a full percentage point below the national jobless rate. The state’s poverty rate of 11.2% is also relatively low.

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37. Mississippi
> Violent crime rate: 277.9 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 332 (20th most)
> Incarceration rate: 636 adults per 100,000 (3rd highest)
> Poverty rate: 19.6% (the highest)
> Most dangerous city: Laurel

Though Mississippi has a relatively low violent crime rate, it differs in several key measures from other states with similarly low crime rates. For one, the state has the second highest murder rate of any state, at 11.2 homicides or non-negligent mansaughters per 100,000 residents — more than double the U.S. murder rate of 5.0 per 100,000 people. Despite the high murder rate, Mississippi has relatively low rape, robbery, and aggravated assault rates.

Most other states with below average violent crime rates typically have low poverty rates and high incomes. But Mississippi is the poorest state in the country, with a median annual household income of $45,792 — nearly $20,000 lower than the U.S. median. The state also has the highest poverty rate in the nation, at 19.6%.

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36. Oregon
> Violent crime rate: 284.4 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 116 (19th fewest)
> Incarceration rate: 353 adults per 100,000 (24th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 11.4% (24th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Astoria

Oregon has the 15th lowest violent crime rate, with 284.4 violent crimes reported in 2019 per 100,000 state residents. The state’s murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault rates are all below national levels.

Though Oregon reported relatively few violent crimes, the state has one of the top 10 highest property crime rates, at 2,730.6 incidents per 100,000 residents. Oregon’s more than 2,000 larcenies per 100,000 and 360 motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 both rank fifth among states.

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35. North Dakota
> Violent crime rate: 284.6 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 24 (5th fewest)
> Incarceration rate: 231 adults per 100,000 (11th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 10.6% (17th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Williston

North Dakota has a relatively low violent crime rate, at 284.6 incidents per 100,000 people. The state has one of the 10 lowest rates of robbery, at just 23.5 reported robberies per 100,000 state residents, less than a third of the U.S. robbery rate of 81.6 per 100,000. However, North Dakota does have the 10th highest rate of rape in the country, at 57.3 reported rapes per 100,000 residents.

Source: Eric Tessmer / Wikimedia Commons

34. Hawaii
> Violent crime rate: 285.5 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 48 (12th fewest)
> Incarceration rate: 215 adults per 100,000 (9th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 9.3% (6th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: .

Hawaii has one of the lower violent crime rates in the country, in large part because aggravated assaults are less common in the Aloha State. Aggravated assault was by far the most common violent crime nationwide in 2019, accounting for over 820,000 of the 1.2 million violent crimes reported.

The aggravated assault rate in Hawaii was 148.2 incidents per 100,000 people — well below the national rate of 250.2 aggravated assaults per 100,000. However, Hawaii had the 14th highest rate of rape and the 15th highest rate of robbery.

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33. Ohio
> Violent crime rate: 293.2 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 538 (13th most)
> Incarceration rate: 430 adults per 100,000 (12th highest)
> Poverty rate: 13.1% (15th highest)
> Most dangerous city: Cleveland

Ohio is one of 20 American states that had a violent crime rate lower than 300 incidents per 100,000 residents in 2019. Unlike most of these states, Ohio is not economically prosperous. The state’s 13.1% poverty rate is the 15th highest in the country, and the median household income of $58,642 is more than $7,000 below the U.S. median.

Ohio’s most dangerous city is Cleveland, which reported 1,516.6 violent crimes per 100,000 residents — making it one of just 25 cities with over 10,000 people in which the violent crime rate is over 1,500 per 100,000

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

32. Wisconsin (tied)
> Violent crime rate: 293.2 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 175 (23rd fewest)
> Incarceration rate: 378 adults per 100,000 (24th highest)
> Poverty rate: 10.4% (16th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Milwaukee

Wisconsin reported 293.2 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2019, below the U.S. violent crime rate of 366.7 per 100,000 that year. The state also had a lower rate of each violent crime type — murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault — than the U.S. overall.

Wisconsin also had one of the 10 lowest property crime rates in the nation, as burglary, larceny, and car theft were all much less common in the state than they were in the country overall in 2019.

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31. Washington
> Violent crime rate: 293.9 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 198 (25th fewest)
> Incarceration rate: 250 adults per 100,000 (14th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 9.8% (9th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Tacoma

Washington had 293.9 reported incidents of violent crime per 100,000 people in 2019. The state is also one of just 15 states to report fewer than 180 aggravated assaults per 100,000.

Generally, states with low violent crime rates also have lower property crime rates, but this is not the case in Washington. The state has the ninth highest property crime rate, at 2,681.9 incidents per 100,000 people — well above the U.S. property crime rate of 2,109.9 per 100,000.

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30. Nebraska
> Violent crime rate: 300.9 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 45 (10th fewest)
> Incarceration rate: 289 adults per 100,000 (15th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 9.9% (10th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Omaha

Nebraska is one of 30 states with a violent crime rate over 300 incidents per 100,000 residents in 2019. The Midwestern state had relatively low rates of robbery, aggravated assault, and murder. In fact, Nebraska’s murder rate of 2.3 homicides and non-negligent manslaughters per 100,000 residents that year was less than half the U.S. murder rate.

However, Nebraska has the seventh highest rate of rape of any state. In 2019, authorities reported 64.8 rapes per 100,000 Nebraska residents — well above the U.S. rate of 42.6 rapes per 100,000 people.

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29. Pennsylvania
> Violent crime rate: 306.4 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 669 (5th most)
> Incarceration rate: 355 adults per 100,000 (25th highest)
> Poverty rate: 12.0% (22nd highest)
> Most dangerous city: Scranton

Pennsylvania is relatively safe in many respects — its 2019 violent crime rate is lower than that of most other states and the U.S. violent crime rate of 366.7 incidents per 100,000 people that year. The state’s 2019 rates of rape, robbery, and aggravated assault were lower than the respective national rates. Yet Pennsylvania reported 5.2 murders per 100,000 people that year, slightly above the U.S. murder rate of 5.0 per 100,000.

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28. West Virginia
> Violent crime rate: 316.6 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 78 (16th fewest)
> Incarceration rate: 381 adults per 100,000 (22nd highest)
> Poverty rate: 16.0% (6th highest)
> Most dangerous city: Huntington

In West Virginia, the four types of violent crime — murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault — were all less common in 2019 than they were nationwide. While murder, aggravated assault, and rape were only slightly less common in the state than they were nationwide, robberies were significantly less common. West Virginia reported one of the lowest robbery rates in the country, at 21.1 robberies per 100,000 in 2019 — roughly a quarter of the U.S. robbery rate that year.

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27. Massachusetts
> Violent crime rate: 327.6 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 152 (22nd fewest)
> Incarceration rate: 133 adults per 100,000 (the lowest)
> Poverty rate: 9.4% (8th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Springfield

All four types of violent crimes — murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault — are less common in Massachusetts than they are in the U.S. as a whole. Though its violent crime rate of 327.6 incidents per 100,000 people ranked towards the middle of all states in 2019, Massachusetts’ property crime rate was the absolute lowest in the country that year.

The state reported a combined 1,179.8 burglaries, thefts, and motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents in 2019 — the only state with fewer than 1,200 property crimes per 100,000 people. Though violent crimes are less common in Massachusetts than they are in the U.S. overall, the state still ranks as the most dangerous in New England.

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26. Georgia
> Violent crime rate: 340.7 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 654 (6th most)
> Incarceration rate: 507 adults per 100,000 (8th highest)
> Poverty rate: 13.3% (14th highest)
> Most dangerous city: College Park

In 2019, Georgia reported 75.0 robberies per 100,000 residents and 232.0 aggravated assaults per 100,000 residents. Both figures were slightly below the U.S. rates of 81.6 per 100,000 and 250.2 per 100,000, respectively. The state did have the 13th highest murder rate in the country, at 6.2 per 100,000.

Though Georgia’s violent crime rate was lower than the U.S. rate in 2019, it had a relatively high incarceration rate. The state was one of just eight states with an incarceration rate of over 500 people per 100,000 in 2019.

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25. New York
> Violent crime rate: 358.6 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 558 (9th most)
> Incarceration rate: 224 adults per 100,000 (10th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 13.0% (17th highest)
> Most dangerous city: Newburgh

New York’s 2019 violent crime rate of 358.6 incidents per 100,000 people was just slightly below the U.S. rate of 366.7 incidents per 100,000 people. The state had the 10th lowest rate of rape, and a murder rate of 2.9 incidents per 100,000 people, compared to the national murder rate of 5.0 per 100,000.

In fact, robbery was the only violent crime more common in New York than in the U.S. as a whole. There were 92.9 robberies per 100,000 people in the Empire State in 2019, the eighth highest rate among states and well above the U.S. robbery rate of 81.6 per 100,000.

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24. Indiana
> Violent crime rate: 370.8 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 377 (17th most)
> Incarceration rate: 399 adults per 100,000 (19th highest)
> Poverty rate: 11.9% (24th highest)
> Most dangerous city: South Bend

The violent crime rate in Indiana was nearly in line with the U.S. rate in 2019, yet the state still ranks among the 24 states in which violent crime was more common than in the U.S. overall. Indiana reported more murders, robberies, and aggravated assaults per capita than did most states.

There are just 118.4 full-time police officers in the state per 100,000 residents — the fourth lowest concentration of any state, and well below the national rate of 212.4 full-time police officers per 100,000.

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

23. North Carolina
> Violent crime rate: 371.8 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 632 (7th most)
> Incarceration rate: 313 adults per 100,000 (20th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 13.6% (12th highest)
> Most dangerous city: Henderson

Like every other state, the majority of violent crimes in North Carolina were aggravated assaults in 2019, accounting for 262.4 out of the 371.8 violent crimes per 100,000 people reported in 2019. Only 18 other states reported a higher rate of aggravated assaults per capita that year.

North Carolina was also one of just 16 states in which there were at least 6 murders per 100,000 residents. Yet the state did have the fifth lowest rate of rape, with 31.0 incidents per 100,000, compared to 42.6 rapes per 100,000 people nationwide.

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

22. Florida
> Violent crime rate: 378.4 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 1,122 (3rd most)
> Incarceration rate: 444 adults per 100,000 (10th highest)
> Poverty rate: 12.7% (19th highest)
> Most dangerous city: Florida City

Florida’s murder and aggravated assault rates both are slightly higher than the national rates. Florida is home to one of just two cities with at least 10,000 residents with a violent crime rate of more than 2,500 incidents per 100,000 residents.

Florida City, about 25 minutes south of Miami near the southern tip of the state, reported 2,619.0 violent crimes per 100,000 people, including a murder rate more than six times higher than the U.S. murder rate.

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21. Colorado
> Violent crime rate: 381.0 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 218 (25th most)
> Incarceration rate: 341 adults per 100,000 (22nd lowest)
> Poverty rate: 9.3% (7th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Sterling

Colorado had a slightly higher violent crime rate than the national rate in 2019. The state reported 381.0 violent crimes per 100,000 people, compared to the U.S. violent crime rate of 366.7 incidents per 100,000. Though murder, robbery, and aggravated assault are less common in Colorado than they are nationwide, the state has the sixth highest rate of rape among all states, with 67.2 reported rapes per 100,000 residents — significantly higher than the U.S. rate of rape of 42.6 per 100,000.

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20. South Dakota
> Violent crime rate: 399.0 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 17 (3rd fewest)
> Incarceration rate: 428 adults per 100,000 (13th highest)
> Poverty rate: 11.9% (23rd highest)
> Most dangerous city: Rapid City

South Dakota had the fourth lowest murder rate in the country in 2019, at 1.9 homicides and non-negligent manslaughters per 100,000 residents — less than half the 5.0 per 100,000 U.S. murder rate. The state also had the seventh lowest robbery rate, at 22.0 robberies per 100,000 people — a fraction of the U.S. rate.

However, the state had the third highest rate of rape, with 72.6 incidents per 100,000 residents. South Dakota was also one of just 16 states to report more than 300 aggravated assaults per 100,000 residents, accounting for the vast majority of its 399.0 violent crimes per 100,000 people.

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19. Montana
> Violent crime rate: 404.9 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 27 (7th fewest)
> Incarceration rate: 440 adults per 100,000 (11th highest)
> Poverty rate: 12.6% (20th highest)
> Most dangerous city: Helena

Montana is one of 19 states that reported more than 400 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2019. In some respects, the state is relatively safe. Montana had the fifth lowest rate of robbery, at 19.2 incidents per 100,000, and its murder rate of 2.5 incidents per 100,000 was half the U.S. murder rate. Yet Montana also had among the 10 highest rates of rape and aggravated assault of all states.

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18. Illinois
> Violent crime rate: 406.9 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 832 (4th most)
> Incarceration rate: 302 adults per 100,000 (17th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 11.5% (25th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Sauk Village

Illinois reported 406.9 violent crimes per 100,000 people in 2019. All four types of violent crime — murder, rape, aggravated assault, and robbery — were more common in the state compared to U.S. levels. Illinois reported 51,561 violent crimes in 2019, nearly half of which in the city of Chicago. The city of 2.7 million had a violent crime rate of 943.2 incidents per 100,000 residents.

The state is home to nine other cities of over 10,000 with violent crime rates exceeding 1,000 incidents per 100,000, including Sauk Village. There were 5,485.0 violent crimes per 100,000 Sauk Village residents in 2019 — by far the highest violent crime rate of any U.S. city. No other city of this size had even 3,000 violent crimes per 100,000 in 2019.,

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17. Kansas
> Violent crime rate: 410.8 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 105 (18th fewest)
> Incarceration rate: 342 adults per 100,000 (23rd lowest)
> Poverty rate: 11.4% (23rd lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Wichita

Murder and robbery were less common in Kansas in 2019 than they were nationwide. Yet the state still ranks as one of the more dangerous states in the country as its aggravated assaults rate was 10th in the country, at 314.2 aggravated assaults per 100,000 residents. Nationwide, there were 250.2 aggravated assaults per 100,000.

Kansas is one of the most heavily policed states, with 353.5 full-time law enforcement officers per 100,000 residents — the sixth highest share in the country.

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16. Texas
> Violent crime rate: 418.9 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 1,409 (2nd most)
> Incarceration rate: 529 adults per 100,000 (6th highest)
> Poverty rate: 13.6% (11th highest)
> Most dangerous city: Snyder

Texas is one of just six states in which there were at least 100 robberies for every 100,000 people in 2019. The Lone Star State also had relatively high occurrences of rape and aggravated assault that year. The murder rate in Texas was 4.9 per 100,000 — roughly in line with the U.S. murder rate.

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15. Delaware
> Violent crime rate: 422.6 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 48 (11th fewest)
> Incarceration rate: 382 adults per 100,000 (21st highest)
> Poverty rate: 11.3% (22nd lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Wilmington

Delaware ranks as the 15th most dangerous state in the country, after reporting 422.6 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in the state in 2019. Murder and robbery were almost as common in the state as they were nationwide that year. Yet aggravated assaults were far more common, at 304.7 reported 2019 per 100,000 people compared to the national aggravated assault rate of 250.2 per 100,000. Delaware did have the seventh lowest rate of rape in 2019, with 31.8 incidens per 100,000. For context, there were 42.6 reported rapes per 100,000 people in the U.S. in 2019.

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14. Oklahoma
> Violent crime rate: 431.8 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 266 (21st most)
> Incarceration rate: 639 adults per 100,000 (2nd highest)
> Poverty rate: 15.2% (8th highest)
> Most dangerous city: Muskogee

Oklahoma ranks as one of the most dangerous states in the country, with 431.8 violent crimes reported per 100,000 people in 2019. Though Oklahoma has a relatively low incidence of robbery, the incidences of rape, murder, and aggravated assault are much higher than they are in the U.S. overall. Despite having the 14th highest violent crime rate, Oklahoma has the second highest incarceration rate in the nation, with 639 sentenced prisoners per 100,000 Oklahoma adults.

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13. Michigan
> Violent crime rate: 437.4 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 556 (10th most)
> Incarceration rate: 381 adults per 100,000 (23rd highest)
> Poverty rate: 13.0% (16th highest)
> Most dangerous city: Muskegon Heights

Michigan is one of the most dangerous states in America, reporting 437.4 violent crimes per 100,000 people in 2019. Nearly half of the 556 murders in Michigan in 2019 were reported in Detroit. Yet Michigan’s most dangerous city — Muskegon Heights — is on the other side of the state. The western Michigan city is one of just five American cities with populations of 10,000 or more in which the violent crime rate was more than 2,000 incidents per 100,0000 residents in 2019.

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12. California
> Violent crime rate: 441.2 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 1,690 (the most)
> Incarceration rate: 310 adults per 100,000 (19th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 11.8% (25th highest)
> Most dangerous city: Stockton

California reported the 12th highest violent crime rate in the country in 2019, well above the U.S. violent crime rate of 366.7 per 100,000. The state reported the second highest incidence of robbery, at 132.4 robberies per 100,000 residents, well above the 81.6 per 100,000 nationwide robbery rate.

Though it is one of the more dangerous states, murder and rape are less common in California than they are nationwide. California is home to eight large cities with violent crime rates of over 1,000 incidents per 100,000 residents in 2019.

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11. Maryland
> Violent crime rate: 454.1 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 542 (12th most)
> Incarceration rate: 305 adults per 100,000 (18th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 9.0% (4th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Baltimore

Maryland is one of the more dangerous states, with 454.1 violent crimes reported per 100,000 residents in 2019, well above the U.S. violent crime rate of 366.7 per 100,000. It had the highest rate of robbery, at 152.2 incidents per 100,000 people, nearly double the national robbery rate of 81.6 per 100,000.

Maryland, unlike most other relatively dangerous states, is financially well off. In 2019, it had the highest median household income of any state, at $86,738, and the fourth lowest poverty rate at 9.0%. One of the main reasons why Maryland is so unsafe is because of the very high violent crime rate in Baltimore of 1,858.7 per 100,000. Though Baltimore makes up less than one-tenth of Maryland’s population, it accounts for over a third of its violent crimes.

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10. Arizona
> Violent crime rate: 455.3 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 365 (18th most)
> Incarceration rate: 558 adults per 100,000 (5th highest)
> Poverty rate: 13.5% (13th highest)
> Most dangerous city: Phoenix

Arizona is one of the 10 most dangerous states in the country. The state’s murder rate of 5.0 incidents per 100,000 is in line with the U.S. murder rate, but every other type of violent crime — rape, robbery, and aggravated assault — is more common in Arizona than it is nationwide. Like many other relatively dangerous states, Arizona residents are more likely to struggle economically. The state has one of the higher poverty rates in the country, at 13.5%, compared to the national rate of 12.3%.

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9. Nevada
> Violent crime rate: 493.8 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 143 (21st fewest)
> Incarceration rate: 413 adults per 100,000 (18th highest)
> Poverty rate: 12.5% (21st highest)
> Most dangerous city: North Las Vegas

Nevada, one of the 10 most dangerous states in the country, had the fifth highest rates of both rape and robberies in the country in 2019. The state’s rate of rape was 70.2 per 100,000 residents, well above the national rate of 42.6 per 100,000. The robbery rate of 106.7 per 100,000 was also well above the nationwide rate of 81.6 per 100,000. However, Nevada’s murder rate of 4.6 incidents per 100,000 was slightly lower than the nationwide rate.

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8. Missouri
> Violent crime rate: 495.0 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 568 (8th most)
> Incarceration rate: 424 adults per 100,000 (15th highest)
> Poverty rate: 12.9% (18th highest)
> Most dangerous city: St. Louis

Missouri has the fourth highest murder rate in the country, at 9.3 reported incidents per 100,000 residents — nearly double the nationwide murder rate. Aggravated assaults are also much more common in the state, with 357.4 such incidents reported for every 100,000 Missourians in 2019. Nationwide, there were 250.2 aggravated assaults per 100,000 people. As one of the most dangerous states, Missouri is also one of the 10 most heavily policed states, with 240.5 full-time police officers for every 100,000 residents.

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7. Alabama
> Violent crime rate: 510.8 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 358 (19th most)
> Incarceration rate: 419 adults per 100,000 (17th highest)
> Poverty rate: 15.5% (7th highest)
> Most dangerous city: .

Alabama was one of just seven states in which the violent crime rate in 2019 exceeded 500 incidents per 100,000 residents. Though rape and robbery were about as common in Alabama as they were nationwide that year, both the state’s murder rate and aggravated assault rate ranked seventh highest in the nation. Like most other relatively dangerous states, Alabama residents are more likely to struggle economically. The state’s poverty rate of 15.5% is the seventh highest in the country.

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6. South Carolina
> Violent crime rate: 511.3 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 464 (15th most)
> Incarceration rate: 353 adults per 100,000 (25th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 13.8% (10th highest)
> Most dangerous city: Greenwood

South Carolina is one of five Southern states to rank among the 10 most dangerous in the country. The state reported 390.5 aggravated assaults per 100,000 residents in 2019 — the sixth highest rate and well beyond the nationwide rate of 250.2 per 100,000. The state also had the fifth highest murder rate, with 9.0 incidents per 100,000.

Despite the high crime rate, South Carolina has an incarceration rate of 353 people per 100,000 — lower than most states and well below the U.S. incarceration rate of 419 people per 100,000.

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5. Louisiana
> Violent crime rate: 549.3 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 544 (11th most)
> Incarceration rate: 680 adults per 100,000 (the highest)
> Poverty rate: 19.0% (2nd highest)
> Most dangerous city: Opelousas

Louisiana ranked as the fifth most dangerous state in 2019, with a violent crime rate of 549.3 per 100,000 people. The state had the highest murder rate in the nation, at 11.7 homicides or non-negligent manslaughters per 100,000 people — more than double the U.S. rate.

With such a high incidence of violent crimes, Louisiana has a higher share of its residents incarcerated than any other. For every 100,000 Louisiana adults, 680 are incarcerated and under the jurisdiction of state or federal authorities. Nationwide, the incarceration rate is 419 people per 100,000.

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4. Arkansas
> Violent crime rate: 584.6 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 242 (23rd most)
> Incarceration rate: 586 adults per 100,000 (4th highest)
> Poverty rate: 16.2% (5th highest)
> Most dangerous city: West Memphis

Arkansas ranked as one of America’s most dangerous states in 2019. It had the eighth highest murder rate at 8.0 incidents per 100,000, the second highest rate of rape at 77.2 incidents per 100,000, and the fourth highest rate of aggravated assault, at 447.8 incidents per 100,000. However, robberies were relatively uncommon, with 51.6 incidents per 100,000 residents as compared to the nationwide robbery rate of 81.6 per 100,000.

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3. Tennessee
> Violent crime rate: 595.2 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 498 (14th most)
> Incarceration rate: 384 adults per 100,000 (20th highest)
> Poverty rate: 13.9% (9th highest)
> Most dangerous city: Memphis

Tennessee reported the third highest violent crime rate in the country in 2019, at 595.2 incidents per 100,000 people. Like most other dangerous states, Tennessee struggles economically — its poverty rate of 13.9% is one of the 10 highest, and its median annual household income of $56,071 is one of the 10 lowest. The state is home to Memphis, which reported a violent crime rate of over 1,900 incidents per 100,000 in 2019 — making it more than five times as dangerous as America as a whole.

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2. New Mexico
> Violent crime rate: 832.2 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 181 (24th fewest)
> Incarceration rate: 316 adults per 100,000 (21st lowest)
> Poverty rate: 18.2% (3rd highest)
> Most dangerous city: Gallup

In 2019, 48 states had violent crime rates below 600 incidents per 100,000, and two reported more than 800 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents. New Mexico is one of the two, reporting 832.2 violent crimes per 100,000 people — well more than double the U.S. violent crime rate of 366.7 incidents per 100,000.

New Mexico reported 650.5 aggravated assaults per 100,000 residents, by far the most of any state and more than double the U.S. rate of 250.2 per 100,000. It was also one of two states with more than 3,000 property crimes per 100,000, leading the nation in car theft and burglary rates.

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1. Alaska
> Violent crime rate: 867.1 per 100,000 people
> Total 2019 murders: 69 (14th fewest)
> Incarceration rate: 244 adults per 100,000 (12th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 10.1% (13th lowest)
> Most dangerous city: Anchorage

Alaska is again the most dangerous state in America, and by a relatively wide margin. The state reported 867.1 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, well more than double the U.S. violent crime rate of 366.7 incidents per 100,000.

Unlike every other state with one of the 10 highest violent crime rates, however, Alaska has a relatively low poverty rate. Just 10.1% of state residents live below the poverty line, compared to 12.3% of Americans overall. Many of Alaska’s 731,000 residents live in very remote locations, making it difficult for law enforcement to assist victims of violent crimes or track down potential perpetrators.

Methodology: 

To determine the most dangerous states in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the number of violent crimes in 2019 per 100,000 residents for all 50 states with data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program

Data on murders also came from the FBI. Incarceration rates for 2019 represent the number of sentenced prisoners under the jurisdiction of state or federal correctional authorities per 100,000 state residents and are from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, a division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Data on poverty came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey. Unemployment rates came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and are seasonally adjusted for November 2020. Only cities with populations of at least 10,000 were considered for the most dangerous city in every state. City-level crime data for Alabama and Hawaii were insufficient and we listed no cities for these states.

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