Special Report

The Most Dangerous States in America

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.