Special Report

America's Most Dangerous States

Sean Rayford / Getty Images

Violent crime — a broad category of offenses that includes robbery, aggravated assault, and homicide — is on the rise in the United States. According to FBI data, there were a total of 1.3 million violent offenses reported in 2020, or 388 for every 100,000 people — a 5% increase from 2019. 

The uptick was led by a spike in homicide. The number of murders surged by nearly 30%, from 16,669 in 2019 to 21,570 in 2020, the largest year-over-year increase on record. The spike in murders came during a year of national turmoil marked by coronavirus lockdowns, mass protests against police misconduct, and a sharp rise in gun sales. These are the states buying the most guns

Despite the increase, the national violent crime rate remains well below the highs reported in the 1990s. Still, crime is ultimately a local phenomenon, and in some parts of the country, violence is much more common than in others.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed 2020 violent crime rates from the FBI to identify the most dangerous states in America. States are ranked by their overall violent crime adjusted for the population. Violent crime rates in the 50 states range from 109 to more than 800 incidents per 100,000 people.

The states with the lowest violent crime rates are disproportionately located in the Northeast, particularly New England. Pennsylvania is the only Northeastern state with a higher than average violent crime rate, and four of the five states with the lowest violent crime rates are in New England. Here is a look at the cities where law enforcement makes the most arrests

Like the U.S. as a whole, the majority of states reported an increase in violence in 2020. Still, 14 states reported a decline in the rates of violence. However, several of these states still have some of the highest violent crime rates in the country. 

Click here to see America’s most dangerous states

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

50. Maine
> Violent crimes in 2020: 109 per 100,000 people (1,466 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: -5.7%
> Homicides in 2020: 22 (4th fewest)

There were 1,466 violent crimes reported in Maine in 2020, or 109 for every 100,000 people — the lowest violent crime rate of any state. Breaking from the national trend, Maine was safer in 2020 than it was in 2019, with the state’s violent crime rate falling by 5.7% year over year, one of the larger decreases among states.

Still, like most of the rest of the country, Maine reported a spike in homicides last year. There were a total of 22 murders reported in the state in 2020, a 10% increase from the 20 murders reported in 2019.

[in-text-ad]

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

49. New Hampshire
> Violent crimes in 2020: 146 per 100,000 people (2,000 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: -4.0%
> Homicides in 2020: 12 (the fewest)

New Hampshire’s violent crime rate of 146 incidents per 100,000 people is the second lowest of any state. One of only 14 states to report a reduction in violence over the last year, New Hampshire’s violent crime rate is 4.0% lower than it was in 2019.

One component of the violent crime rate is homicide. Breaking from the national trend, murders declined precipitously in New Hampshire in 2020. There were only 12 murders committed in the state that year, a 64% decline from the 33 reported murders in 2019. Currently, New Hampshire’s homicide rate of 0.9 per 100,000 people is the lowest of any state.

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

48. Vermont
> Violent crimes in 2020: 173 per 100,000 people (1,081 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: -14.3%
> Homicides in 2020: 14 (2nd fewest)

No state reported a steeper year-over-year decline in violence than Vermont. Down 14.3% from 2019, Vermont’s violent crime rate of 173 incidents per 100,000 people is the third lowest of any state.

As is the case nationwide, aggravated assault is by far the most commonly reported violent crime in Vermont. The 790 cases of aggravated assault reported in the state accounted for 73.1% of all violent crime in 2020.

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

47. Connecticut
> Violent crimes in 2020: 182 per 100,000 people (6,459 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: -1.1%
> Homicides in 2020: 140 (19th fewest)

The states with the lowest violent crime rates are disproportionately concentrated in the Northeast, and Connecticut is one of them. There were 6,459 violent crimes reported in the state in 2020, or 182 for every 100,000 people — the fourth lowest violent crime rate of any state.

Connecticut is also one of a minority of states to report a decline in violence in 2020. The state’s overall violent crime rate fell by 1.1% from 2019 to 2020.

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

46. New Jersey
> Violent crimes in 2020: 195 per 100,000 people (17,353 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: -5.6%
> Homicides in 2020: 329 (20th most)

New Jersey’s violent crime rate of 195 incidents per 100,000 people in 2020 is the lowest of any state outside of the New England region and fifth lowest overall.

Though New Jersey reported a 5.6% year-over-year decline in overall violent crime driven by declines the incidence of robbery, it also reported a surge in homicide. There were 329 murders in the state in 2020, a more than 25% increase from 262 homicides in 2019.

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

45. Virginia
> Violent crimes in 2020: 209 per 100,000 people (17,925 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +0.3%
> Homicides in 2020: 524 (16th most)

There were 17,925 violent crimes reported in Virginia in 2020 — or 209 for every 100,000 people, the sixth lowest among states and the lowest of any state outside the Northeast.

The overall violent crime rate in Virginia remained largely unchanged from the previous year. Even though cases of robbery were down from 2019, these declines were offset by upticks in aggravated assault and homicide. There were 524 murders in Virginia in 2020, a 23% increase from the 426 murders committed in the state the year prior.

[in-text-ad]

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

44. Rhode Island
> Violent crimes in 2020: 231 per 100,000 people (2,440 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +4.4%
> Homicides in 2020: 32 (6th fewest)

Rhode Island’s violent crime rate of 231 incidents for every 100,000 people is seventh lowest among states. The majority, 68.2%, of the 2,440 violent crimes reported in the state in 2020 were cases of aggravated assault.

In keeping with the national trend but breaking with the regional trend, violent crime was more common in Rhode Island in 2020 than the year prior. With a 4.4% year-over-year increase in the overall violent crime rate, Rhode Island is the only state in New England to report an uptick in violence in 2020.

Source: Dean_Fikar / Getty Images

43. Wyoming
> Violent crimes in 2020: 234 per 100,000 people (1,364 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +7.8%
> Homicides in 2020: 18 (3rd fewest)

Wyoming’s violent crime rate of 234 incidents for every 100,000 people is the lowest of any state in the West and eighth lowest nationwide. The state’s violent crime rate remains relatively low, despite climbing at a faster than average year-over-year pace of 7.8%.

As is the case nationwide, rising crime in Wyoming was led by a spike in homicides. There were 18 murders committed in the state in 2020, a 38.5% increase from the previous year, when there were 13 total murders.

Source: vkbhat / Getty Images

42. Idaho
> Violent crimes in 2020: 243 per 100,000 people (4,432 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +8.4%
> Homicides in 2020: 41 (9th fewest)

With a violent crime rate of 243 incidents for every 100,000 people, Idaho is one of only nine states with fewer than 250 violent crimes per 100,000 residents. More than three in every four of the 4,432 violent crimes reported in Idaho in 2020 were aggravated assault cases.

Rates of every type of violent crime increased in Idaho in 2020 — but none more than homicide. There were 41 murders committed in the state in 2020, a 17.1% increase from the previous year, when there were 35 murders.

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Art Wager / Getty Images

41. Hawaii
> Violent crimes in 2020: 254 per 100,000 people (3,576 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: -11.0%
> Homicides in 2020: 41 (9th fewest)

Few states reported a larger year-over-year decline in violent crime than Hawaii. There were a total of 3,576 violent crimes reported in the state in 2020, an 11.5% reduction from 4,042 in 2019. Currently, the state’s violent crime rate of 254 incidents for every 100,000 residents is the 10th lowest among states.

The vast majority of violent crimes reported in Hawaii in 2020 — nearly 83% — were either cases of aggravated assault or robbery.

Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

40. Kentucky
> Violent crimes in 2020: 259 per 100,000 people (11,600 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +19.3%
> Homicides in 2020: 323 (21st most)

After climbing by a near-nation leading 19.3% year over year, Kentucky’s violent crime rate stands at 259 incidents for every 100,000 people. Despite the increase, violence remains less common in Kentucky than it is nationwide and in all but 10 other states.

The increase in violence in the state was led by homicides. There were 323 murders committed in the state in 2020, a 46.2% increase from the previous year, when there were 221 total murders.

[in-text-ad]

Source: johnnya123 / Getty Images

39. Utah
> Violent crimes in 2020: 261 per 100,000 people (8,471 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +10.6%
> Homicides in 2020: 102 (15th fewest)

There were 8,471 violent crimes reported in Utah in 2020 — or 261 for every 100,000 people. Like in most states, violent crime was more common in Utah in 2020 than it was the year prior, increasing by 10.6%.

The uptick was led by homicide, which increased by 41.7% — from 72 murders in 2019 to 102 in 2020. Cases of robbery also spiked in the state, climbing by 21.1% year over year.

Source: culbertson / Getty Images

38. Minnesota
> Violent crimes in 2020: 277 per 100,000 people (15,698 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +17.4%
> Homicides in 2020: 190 (23rd fewest)

There were 15,698 violent crimes reported in Minnesota in 2020 — or 277 for every 100,000 people, the lowest violent crime rate in the Midwest and 13th lowest nationwide.

While violence is less common in Minnesota than in most of the rest of the country, the state also reported a far greater than average surge violence in the last year. The state’s violent crime rate is 17.4% higher than it was in 2019. The increase was led by a 62.4% surge in homicide cases. There were 190 total murders reported in Minnesota in 2020, up from 117 in 2019.

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

37. Mississippi
> Violent crimes in 2020: 291 per 100,000 people (8,638 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +4.8%
> Homicides in 2020: 315 (23rd most)

There were 8,638 violent crimes reported in Mississippi in 2020 — or 291 for every 100,000 people, the third lowest violent crime rate in the South and 14th lowest nationwide. As is the case nationwide, aggravated assaults account for the majority of violent crime in Mississippi — about two-thirds.

Mississippi’s violent crime rate is now 4.4% higher than it was last year, in line with the increase nationwide.

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: 4nadia / Getty Images

36. Oregon
> Violent crimes in 2020: 292 per 100,000 people (12,380 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +2.6%
> Homicides in 2020: 125 (18th fewest)

Oregon’s violent crime rate of 292 incidents for every 100,000 people is lower than that of most other states. The majority of the 12,380 violent incidents reported in the state in 2020 — 68.7% — were aggravated assault cases.

While violent crimes are less common in Oregon than they are in much of the rest of the country, property crimes like larceny and motor vehicle theft are not. There were 2,659 property crimes reported for every 100,000 people in Oregon in 2020, more than in all but half a dozen other states.

Source: aiisha5 / iStock via Getty Images

35. Washington
> Violent crimes in 2020: 294 per 100,000 people (22,596 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: -0.1%
> Homicides in 2020: 301 (25th most)

With a violent crime rate of 294 incidents for every 100,000 people, Washington is one of only 16 states with fewer than 300 violent crimes per 100,000 residents.

Though the overall violent crime rate was effectively unchanged in Washington from 2019 to 2020, the number of homicides committed in the state surged. There were 301 murders reported in Washington in 2020, a 52% increase from the previous year, when there were 198 murders.

[in-text-ad]

Source: pabradyphoto / Getty Images

34. Iowa
> Violent crimes in 2020: 303 per 100,000 people (9,601 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +13.9%
> Homicides in 2020: 111 (16th fewest)

Iowa has the second lowest violent crime rate in the Midwest, but only the 17th lowest among all states. There were 9,601 violent crimes reported in the state in 2020, or 303 for every 100,000 people.

Over the last year, Iowa’s violent crime rate ticked up by 13.9%, more than double the national increase. The increase in violence was led by homicide. There were 111 murders committed in Iowa in 2020, an 85% increase from the 60 murders reported in the state in 2019.

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

33. Ohio
> Violent crimes in 2020: 309 per 100,000 people (36,104 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +5.3%
> Homicides in 2020: 820 (8th most)

There were 36,104 violent crimes reported in Ohio in 2020 — or 309 for every 100,000 people. Over the last year, Ohio’s violent crime rate increased by 5.3%, in line with the national increase.

Though violent crime is less common across Ohio than it is nationwide, there are parts of the state where this is not the case. Both the Toledo and Cleveland metropolitan areas’ violent crime rates — at 486 incidents and 441 incidents for every 100,000 residents respectively — far exceed the national rate.

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

32. Massachusetts
> Violent crimes in 2020: 309 per 100,000 people (21,288 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: -5.7%
> Homicides in 2020: 160 (20th fewest)

The violent crime rate in Massachusetts is lower than in much of the rest of the nation, but relatively high for the region. There were 21,288 violent crimes reported in the state in 2020, or 309 for every 100,000 people, by far the highest of any state in New England. The second highest violent crime rate in New England is 231 incidents per 100,000 in Rhode Island.

In a break with the broader national trend, the violent crime in Massachusetts fell by 5.7% in 2020. Homicide was the only classification of violent crime to increase in the state in 2020, climbing by 5.3% year over year.

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

31. Wisconsin
> Violent crimes in 2020: 323 per 100,000 people (18,861 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +10.3%
> Homicides in 2020: 308 (24th most)

There were 18,861 violent crimes reported in Wisconsin in 2020 — or 323 for every 100,000 people, the fourth lowest violent crime rate in the Midwest and 20th lowest nationwide.

Though violent crime is less common across Wisconsin than it is nationwide, there are parts of the state where this is not the case. The Milwaukee metropolitan area’s violent crime rate — at 678 incidents for every 100,000 residents — far exceeds the national rate.

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

30. North Dakota
> Violent crimes in 2020: 329 per 100,000 people (2,518 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +15.6%
> Homicides in 2020: 32 (6th fewest)

North Dakota’s violent crime rate increased by 15.6% in 2020, nearly three times the national increase. Still, the violent crime rate of 329 incidents for every 100,000 people is lower than the national average. The majority of the 2,518 violent incidents reported in the state in 2020 — 77% — were aggravated assault cases.

The rise in the crime rate in North Dakota in 2020 was driven by an increase in the number of homicides and the number of aggravated assaults, which climbed by 33.3% and 26.8%, respectively.

[in-text-ad]

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

29. Nebraska
> Violent crimes in 2020: 334 per 100,000 people (6,473 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +11.0%
> Homicides in 2020: 69 (12th fewest)

There were 6,473 violent crimes committed in Nebraska in 2020 — or 334 for every 100,000 people. Year over year, the state reported an 11.0% increase in violent incidents per capita, more than double the comparable national increase.

As was the case nationwide, homicides led the increase in violence. There were 69 murders reported in Nebraska in 2020, up over 50% from 45 the previous year.

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

28. West Virginia
> Violent crimes in 2020: 356 per 100,000 people (6,352 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +12.4%
> Homicides in 2020: 117 (17th fewest)

West Virginia’s violent crime rate increased by 12.4% in 2020, more than double the comparable national increase. Still, the violent crime rate of 356 incidents for every 100,000 people is slightly lower than the national average. The majority of the 6,352 violent incidents reported in the state in 2020 — 79.3% — were aggravated assault cases.

The increase in crime in the state in 2020 was led by homicides. There were 117 murders reported in West Virginia in 2020, up over 50% from 78 the previous year.

Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

27. Indiana
> Violent crimes in 2020: 358 per 100,000 people (24,161 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: -3.6%
> Homicides in 2020: 505 (18th most)

Indiana is one of a minority of states to report a drop in violent crime last year. There were 24,161 violent crimes reported in the state in 2020, or 358 for every 100,000 people — a 3.6% decrease from the state’s 2019 violent crime rate of 371 incidents per 100,000 people.

Though overall violence was down in Indiana last year, homicides were not. There were 505 murders reported in the state in 2020, up 34% from 377 the previous year.

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: TomasSereda / Getty Images

26. New York
> Violent crimes in 2020: 364 per 100,000 people (70,339 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +1.4%
> Homicides in 2020: 808 (9th most)

The Northeastern U.S. tends to have far lower rates of violent crime than most the rest of the country. Though New York has the second highest violent crime rate in the Northeast, it ranks near the middle of all 50 states, and lower than the national rate. There were 70,339 violent crimes reported in New York state in 2020 — or 364 for every 100,000 people.

There were a total of 808 homicides reported in New York state in 2020 — 462 of which were committed in New York City. Homicides were up 45% statewide in 2020 from the previous year, in line with the 44% increase in New York City.

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

25. Florida
> Violent crimes in 2020: 384 per 100,000 people (83,368 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +1.4%
> Homicides in 2020: 1,290 (3rd most)

Florida’s violent crime rate of 384 incidents for every 100,000 people ranks near the middle of all states and in line with the overall violent crime rate nationwide. Of the 83,368 incidents reported in the state in 2020, the majority — 73% — were cases of aggravated assault.

Though violence is about as common in Florida as it is nationwide, there are parts of the state where it is far more common. In the Gainesville metropolitan area, for example, the violent crime rate stands at 760 incidents for every 100,000 people.

[in-text-ad]

Source: f11photo / Getty Images

24. Pennsylvania
> Violent crimes in 2020: 390 per 100,000 people (49,793 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +27.1%
> Homicides in 2020: 1,009 (5th most)

The Northeastern U.S. tends to have far lower rates of violent crime than most the rest of the country. Though Pennsylvania has the highest violent crime rate of any state in the Northeast, it is closely in line with the national rate. There were 49,793 violent crimes reported in Pennsylvania in 2020 — or 390 for every 100,000 people.

No state reported a greater year-over-year increase in violence than Pennsylvania. Driven by spikes in aggravated assault and homicide, Pennsylvania’s violent crime rate climbed 27.1% from 2019 to 2020.

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

23. Maryland
> Violent crimes in 2020: 400 per 100,000 people (24,215 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: -12.0%
> Homicides in 2020: 553 (14th most)

There were 24,215 violent crimes reported in Maryland in 2020, or 400 for every 100,000 people, only slightly higher than the national rate. Homicides and robberies are especially common in the state. Maryland’s murder rate of 9.1 murders for every 100,000 people is the ninth highest among states, and its robbery rate of 118 incidents per 100,000 is the highest.

In a break from the broader national trend, violence dipped substantially in Maryland in 2020. The overall violent crime rate in state fell by 12% in 2020

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

22. Georgia
> Violent crimes in 2020: 400 per 100,000 people (42,850 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +17.4%
> Homicides in 2020: 943 (6th most)

After climbing by a near-nation leading rate of 17.4% year over year, Georgia’s violent crime rate stands at 400 incidents per 100,000 people, higher than in most other states. The majority of violent crimes reported in the state — 73.4% — were cases of aggravated assault.

The increase in the rates of violent crime in Georgia was led by a spike in homicide cases. There were 943 murders reported in Georgia, a 44.2% increase from 654 murders the previous year.

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: red_moon_rise / iStock via Getty Images

21. North Carolina
> Violent crimes in 2020: 419 per 100,000 people (44,451 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +12.8%
> Homicides in 2020: 852 (7th most)

North Carolina’s violent crime rate of 419 incidents for every 100,000 people is higher than that of most other states. The majority of the 44,451 violent incidents reported in the state in 2020 — 75% — were aggravated assault cases.

Rising by 35% year over year, the number of murders reported in North Carolina totalled 852 in 2020 — more than in New York, a state with nearly twice as many people.

Source: pascaluehli / iStock via Getty Images

20. Colorado
> Violent crimes in 2020: 423 per 100,000 people (24,570 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +11.1%
> Homicides in 2020: 294 (24th fewest)

The violent crime rate in Colorado stands at 423 incidents for every 100,000 people, an 11% increase from 2019.

Crime rates in the state are driven up by high concentrations of violence in a few cities. Both the Pueblo and Denver metropolitan areas’ violent crime rates — at 722 and 490 incidents for every 100,000 residents, respectively — are far higher than the national average.

[in-text-ad]

Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

19. Kansas
> Violent crimes in 2020: 425 per 100,000 people (12,385 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +3.5%
> Homicides in 2020: 100 (14th fewest)

There were 12,385 violent crimes reported in Kansas in 2020 — or 425 for every 100,000 people. Though the state’s violent crime rate is higher than the national average, it did not climb as fast as the national rate, increasing by 3.5% over the previous year.

With the exception of aggravated assault, the incidence of every form of violent crime fell in Kansas in 2020. Even homicide, which surged nationwide, fell by nearly 5% in Kansas over the last year.

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

18. Illinois
> Violent crimes in 2020: 426 per 100,000 people (53,612 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +4.7%
> Homicides in 2020: 1,151 (4th most)

Despite reporting a nation-leading 0.7% population decline in 2020, the number of violent crimes committed in Illinois over the same period increased by 4%. The state’s overall violent crime rate of 426 incidents for every 100,000 people is up 4.7% year over year.

There were a total of 1,151 murders committed in Illinois in 2020, up 38% from the previous year. Chicago, a city struggling with high rates of gun violence, was the setting of 774 of those murders, a more than 50% increase from 2019.

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

17. Delaware
> Violent crimes in 2020: 432 per 100,000 people (4,262 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +2.2%
> Homicides in 2020: 73 (13th fewest)

Delaware’s violent crime rate of 432 incidents for every 100,000 people is higher than that of most other states. The majority of the 4,262 violent crimes committed in the state in 2020 — 75.7% — were aggravated assaults.

Though the state’s violent crime rate is higher than the national average, it did not climb as fast as the national rate, increasing by 2.2% over the previous year.

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: choness / Getty Images

16. California
> Violent crimes in 2020: 442 per 100,000 people (174,026 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +0.2%
> Homicides in 2020: 2,203 (the most)

There were 174,026 violent crimes reported in California in 2020, more than in any other state. Adjusting for population, however, California’s violent crime rate of 442 incidents for every 100,000 people is 16th highest among states.

Despite a 52% surge in homicides, California’s overall violent crime rate changed little from 2019, climbing by just 0.2%. The state’s rising murder rate was offset by declines in reported cases of robbery.

Source: RoschetzkyIstockPhoto / Getty Images

15. Texas
> Violent crimes in 2020: 446 per 100,000 people (131,084 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +6.6%
> Homicides in 2020: 1,931 (2nd most)

There were a total of 131,084 violent crimes in Texas in 2020, or 446 for every 100,000 people — the 15th highest violent crime rate among states.

Crime rates in the state are driven up by high concentrations of violence in some cities. Both the Lubbock and Corpus Christi metropolitan areas’ violent crime rates — at 919 and 738 incidents for every 100,000 residents, respectively — are far higher than the national average.

[in-text-ad]

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

14. Alabama
> Violent crimes in 2020: 454 per 100,000 people (22,322 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: -11.2%
> Homicides in 2020: 471 (19th most)

Alabama’s violent crime rate of 454 incidents for every 100,000 people is higher than that of most states. Though the majority of the 22,322 violent crimes committed in the state in 2020 — 75.7% — were aggravated assaults, Alabama’s murder rate was especially high. There were 471 murders in the state in 2020, or 9.6 for every 100,000 people, a higher murder rate than in all but six other states.

In a break from the broader national trend, violence dipped substantially in Alabama in 2020. The overall violent crime rate in the state fell by 11.2% in 2020.

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

13. Oklahoma
> Violent crimes in 2020: 459 per 100,000 people (18,255 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +6.2%
> Homicides in 2020: 296 (25th fewest)

Oklahoma’s violent crime rate of 459 incidents for every 100,000 people is higher than that of all but a dozen other states. The majority of the 18,255 violent crimes committed in the state in 2020 — 74% — were aggravated assaults.

Property crimes, like larceny and motor vehicle theft, are even more common in Oklahoma relative to much of the rest of the country. There were 2,706 property crimes reported in Oklahoma for every 100,000 people in 2020, more than in all but five other states.

Source: gchapel / Getty Images

12. Nevada
> Violent crimes in 2020: 460 per 100,000 people (14,445 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: -6.8%
> Homicides in 2020: 180 (22nd fewest)

One of a minority of states to report a decline in violence in 2020, Nevada’s violent crime rate fell by 6.8% last year. Despite the improvement, the state’s violent crime rate of 460 incidents for every 100,000 is higher than that of most states.

Even as the overall rate of violence fell in Nevada, there were more murders in the state in 2020 than there were the previous year. A total of 180 murders were committed in the state in 2020, a 25.9% increase from 143 murders in 2019.

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: peeterv / Getty Images

11. Montana
> Violent crimes in 2020: 470 per 100,000 people (5,077 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +16.0%
> Homicides in 2020: 54 (11th fewest)

Montana’s violent crime rate of 470 incidents for every 100,000 people is higher than in all but 10 other states. The majority of the 5,077 violent crimes committed in the state in 2020 — 81.7% — were aggravated assaults.

The overall violent crime rate climbed by 16% in Montana year over year — and as was the case nationwide, the increase was led by homicides. There were 54 murders in Montana in 2020, double the number of murders committed in the state the previous year.

Source: pawel.gaul / Getty Images

10. Michigan
> Violent crimes in 2020: 478 per 100,000 people (47,641 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +9.3%
> Homicides in 2020: 754 (10th most)

There were 478 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in Michigan in 2020 — the third highest violent crime rate in the Midwest and 10th highest nationwide. Over the last year, the violent crime rate in Michigan climbed by 9.3%, nearly double the national increase.

Violence in Michigan tends to be highly concentrated in certain cities. In the Detroit metro area, for example, there were 1,088 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in 2020. The Detroit metro area alone accounted for nearly 40% of all 47,641 violent crimes committed in Michigan in 2020.

[in-text-ad]

Source: Dreamframer / Getty Images

9. Arizona
> Violent crimes in 2020: 485 per 100,000 people (35,980 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +6.5%
> Homicides in 2020: 513 (17th most)

There were 485 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in Arizona in 2020 — the third highest violent crime rate in the West and ninth highest nationwide. Over the last year, the violent crime rate in Arizona climbed by 6.5%, slightly more than the national increase.

As was the case nationwide, murders led the rise in violence in Arizona last year. There were 513 homicides reported in the state in 2020, a 40.5% increase from the previous year.

Source: EunikaSopotnicka / Getty Images

8. South Dakota
> Violent crimes in 2020: 501 per 100,000 people (4,476 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +25.7%
> Homicides in 2020: 40 (7th fewest)

South Dakota’s violent crime rate of 501 incidents for every 100,000 people is higher than in all but seven other states. The majority of the 4,476 violent crimes committed in the state in 2020 — 80% — were aggravated assaults.

The overall violent crime rate climbed by 25.7% in South Dakota in 2020, the second highest increase of any state. The state also reported the largest year-over-year increase in homicides, from 17 in 2019 to 40 in 2020 — a 135% surge.

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

7. South Carolina
> Violent crimes in 2020: 531 per 100,000 people (27,691 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +3.8%
> Homicides in 2020: 549 (15th most)

South Carolina is one of only eight states with a violent crime rate of more than 500 incidents for every 100,000 people. There were 27,691 violent crimes in the state in 2020, or 531 for every 100,000 people.

The homicide rate is especially high in South Carolina. There were 549 murders in the state in 2020, more than in many other states with far larger populations. The state’s overall murder rate of 10.5 for every 100,000 people is fifth highest nationwide.

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: f11photo / Getty Images

6. Missouri
> Violent crimes in 2020: 543 per 100,000 people (33,385 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +9.6%
> Homicides in 2020: 723 (12th most)

There were 543 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in Missouri in 2020 — the highest violent crime rate in the Midwest and sixth highest nationwide. Over the last year, the violent crime rate in Missouri climbed by 9.6%, nearly double the national increase.

Crime rates in the state are driven up by high concentrations of violence in some cities. Both the Springfield and Cape Girardeau metropolitan areas’ violent crime rates — at 632 and 550 incidents for every 100,000 residents, respectively — are far higher than the national average.

Source: f11photo / Getty Images

5. Louisiana
> Violent crimes in 2020: 639 per 100,000 people (29,704 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +16.4%
> Homicides in 2020: 734 (11th most)

There were 29,704 violent crimes in Louisiana in 2020, or 639 for every 100,000 people, the fifth highest rate of any state in the country. The overall violent crime rate climbed by 16.4% in Louisiana in 2020, more than three times the national increase.

Homicide is especially prevalent in Louisiana. There were 734 murders in the state in 2020, a 35% year-over-year increase and more than in many states with far larger populations. Louisiana’s homicide rate of 15.8 for every 100,000 people is the highest of any state and more than double the 6.5 per 100,000 national murder rate.

[in-text-ad]

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

4. Arkansas
> Violent crimes in 2020: 672 per 100,000 people (20,363 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +14.9%
> Homicides in 2020: 321 (22nd most)

Arkansas’ violent crime rate of 672 incidents for every 100,000 people is higher than in all but three other states. The majority of the 20,363 violent crimes committed in the state in 2020 — 80% — were aggravated assaults.

Crime rates in the state are driven up by high concentrations of violence in some cities. Both the Pine Bluff and Little Rock metropolitan areas’ violent crime rates — at 1,098 and 939 incidents for every 100,000 residents, respectively — are far higher than national average.

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

3. Tennessee
> Violent crimes in 2020: 673 per 100,000 people (46,328 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +13.0%
> Homicides in 2020: 663 (13th most)

Tennessee’s violent crime rate of 673 incidents per 100,000 people is the highest of any state in the South and third highest nationwide. The state’s violent crime rate climbed by 13.0% in 2020, more than double the national increase.

Violence in Tennessee is highly concentrated in certain cities. For example, the violent crime rate of 1,359 incidents for every 100,000 people in the Memphis metro area is the highest of any metro area in the United States.

Source: ferrantraite / Getty Images

2. New Mexico
> Violent crimes in 2020: 778 per 100,000 people (16,393 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: -6.5%
> Homicides in 2020: 164 (21st fewest)

In a break from the national trend, New Mexico’s violent crime rate fell by 6.5% in 2020 — New Mexico is one of only 14 to report a decline in violence. Despite the improvement, the state’s violent crime rate remains high. At 778 incidents for every 100,000 people, it is the second highest of any state and highest in the lower 48 states.

Other types of crimes such as burglaries and motor vehicle thefts, which are classified as property crimes, are also higher than average in New Mexico. The state’s property crime rate of 2,842 for every 100,000 people is also the second highest of any state.

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: volvob12b / Flickr

1. Alaska
> Violent crimes in 2020: 838 per 100,000 people (6,126 total)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: -3.4%
> Homicides in 2020: 49 (10th fewest)

Alaska’s violent crime rate of 838 incidents for every 100,000 people is far and away the highest of any state. The majority of the 6,126 violent crimes reported in the state in 2020 — 69% — were aggravated assaults. Still, Alaska’s violent crime rate is 3.4% lower than it was in 2019, making the state one of only 14 to report a year-over-year decline in violence.

Violence in Alaska tends to be highly concentrated in certain cities. In the Anchorage metro area, for example, there were 1,171 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in 2020. The Anchorage metro area alone accounted for over 58% of all 6,126 violent crimes committed in Alaska in 2020, yet is home to only 42% of the state’s population.

ALERT: Take This Retirement Quiz Now  (Sponsored)

Take the quiz below to get matched with a financial advisor today.

Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests.

Here’s how it works:
1. Answer SmartAsset advisor match quiz
2. Review your pre-screened matches at your leisure. Check out the advisors’ profiles.
3. Speak with advisors at no cost to you. Have an introductory call on the phone or introduction in person and choose whom to work with in the future

Take the retirement quiz right here.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.