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.
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