Special Report

America's Most Dangerous States

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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