Most Dangerous States In America For 2020


These are the states in the U.S. with the highest number of violent and property crimes per capita.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out. This is the sixth time we’ve ranked the most dangerous states in America.

Dangerous States In America Map

Do you live in one of the most dangerous states in America?

We all watch the news with horror when we hear about a crime that happens not that far away from us. While a major crime just blocks or towns away from your house would make anyone uneasy, in the long run, most likely, where you live is relatively safe.

Instead of relying on public opinion and speculation, we wanted to get the facts straight and dug into the FBI crime data in order to identify the most dangerous states in the U.S. If you’re in one of the places we’re about to highlight, odds are you know things aren’t a place that you can let your guard down too often.

The purpose of this study is to use facts to determine which of our great American states have the highest instances of crime. While unbiased, this research does take into account factors that almost all Americans would agree are undesirable. Therefore, while you may have strong opinions either way, you can’t argue against the methodology. Turns out Alaska is the most dangerous state in all of America. The safest? You might not be too surprised that New Hampshire takes the cake.

What’s the most dangerous state in America? According to the most recent FBI data, Alaska is the most dangerous state in America if you look at violent and property crimes per capita.

Additionally, the south isn’t a place you want to go if you want to live a life without looking over your shoulder. At least not generally.

And if this has you down, feel free to check out the best states in the country. Or, if you’re into negative (and humorous), you can check out our report on the 10 Worst States to Live in America.

How do you decide if a place is dangerous or not?

In order to rank the dangerous American states, we had to determine what makes a place dangerous. It isn’t a stretch to assume that states where people are being killed and beaten up on a weekly basis are a pretty bad place to be.

So we used the FBI’s 2018 Crime Report for those criteria.

  • Violent Crimes Per Capita
  • Property Crimes Per Capita

We then ranked each state from 1 to 50 for the two criteria with a #1 ranking being the dangerous for the particular criteria.

Next, we averaged the two rankings into one “Danger Index”.

Finally, we ranked every state on the “Danger Index” with the lowest index being the most dangerous in America for 2020, Alaska.

Here’s a visualization of the criteria:
Most Dangerous States In America

Note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the states themselves. This list is based on data. It’s also not a testament to the effectiveness of local law enforcement.

1. Alaska

Alaska|Ak, AK

Population: 737,438
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 884 (1st worst)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,300 (2nd worst)
Alaska maintained its spot at the top of the rankings this year.

So here’s the deal with Alaska. Yes, it’s the most violent place you can live in the nation. Sure, there are hardly any places in Alaska where people actually live, but in the large clusters of cities that do exist, the odds are higher here than anywhere else that a rape, assault or murder will occur.

That’s some scary stuff.

2. New Mexico

New-Mexico|Nm, NM

Source: Public domain

Population: 2,095,428
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 856 (2nd worst)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,419 (1st worst)
Believe it or not, but little New Mexico, one of the least densely populated places in the country, has the second highest crime rate in the nation. Why? The number of violent crimes per person is the 2nd highest and the number of property crimes is also one of the highest you’ll find in America by a long shot.

New Mexico has moved back and forth between the number 1 spot and number 2 spot with Alaska each of the past six rankings now.

3. Louisiana

Louisiana|La, LA

Source: Public domain

Population: 4,659,978
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 537 (6th worst)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,276 (3rd worst)
Starting the trend of southern states, we come to Louisiana, one of the poorest states in the union. Is there a correlation between poverty and crime?

Yes there is.

And in Louisiana, a large percentage of the population lives below their means.

4. Arkansas

Arkansas|Ar, AR

Population: 3,013,825
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 543 (4th worst)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,913 (6th worst)
Arkansas is another poor state in the south with a far-higher than average number of murders, rapes, assaults and robberies per capita.

If you live in the Natural State, don’t leave your car doors unlocked; there were more than 7,100 vehicles stolen in the state of Arkansas in 2018.

5. Tennessee

Tennessee|Tn, TN

Population: 6,770,010
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 623 (3rd worst)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,825 (10th worst)
It might be surprising to hear that Tennessee is the 3rd most violent place in the nation (in terms of violent crimes per capita), but with places like Memphis making national headlines for murders every year, you can understand why.

There were also 2,800 reported rapes in Tennessee in 2018, which is about 7.67 a day.

6. South Carolina

South-Carolina|Sc, SC

Source: Public domain

Population: 5,084,127
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 488 (9th worst)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,017 (4th worst)
South Carolina is notoriously bad for property crimes, especially in places like Myrtle Beach, which is a major tourist draw.

Yes, we’re aware that many of the crimes committed in Myrtle Beach are from visitors, and related to the huge summer influx, but the fact remains: Lots and lots of property crimes happen within South Carolina’s borders every year.

Given all that, South Carolina is not a bit safer than last year.

7. Alabama

Alabama|Al, AL

Population: 4,887,871
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 519 (7th worst)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,817 (11th worst)
Alabama saw 383 murders last year, which is more than one per day.

Additionally, you have about a 1 in 200 chance of being the victim of a violent crime every year in the Yellowhammer State.

8. Oklahoma

Oklahoma|Ok, OK

Population: 3,943,079
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 466 (12th worst)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,875 (8th worst)
After breaking into the top ten for the first time several years ago, Oklahoma finds itself in a familiar place.

Property crimes are the obvious culprit this year as they shot up relative to other states. Larceny and car thefts in particular were a problem.

9. Missouri

Missouri|Mo, MO

Source: Public domain

Population: 6,126,452
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 502 (8th worst)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,647 (14th worst)
Coming in as the ninth most dangerous state in America for 2020 is Missouri.

Violent crimes were an issue here in 2018 as murders stood out led by the murder capitol — St. Louis.

10. Arizona

Arizona|Az, AZ

Population: 7,171,646
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 474 (10th worst)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,676 (12th worst)
Moving down a bit to number 10 is Arizona. The only west coast state to make the list, Arizona is notoriously a pretty dangerous place, especially for robberies.

For example, there were over 19,000 cars stolen here in 2018, and more than 31,000 home robberies.

Better lock up the cactus.

There You Have It

When you’re looking at American states that have really high property and violent crime numbers according to FBI reporting, this is an accurate list.

Here’s a quick look at the 3 safest states for 2020:

  1. New Hampshire
  2. Maine
  3. Vermont

For more reading check out:

  • Safest States In America
  • Worst States In America
  • Worst Mid-Sized Cities
  • Detailed List Of The Most Dangerous States In America For 2020

    State Rank Previous Rank Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
    Alaska 1 1 737,438 884 3,300
    New Mexico 2 2 2,095,428 856 3,419
    Louisiana 3 3 4,659,978 537 3,276
    Arkansas 4 5 3,013,825 543 2,913
    Tennessee 5 4 6,770,010 623 2,825
    South Carolina 6 6 5,084,127 488 3,017
    Alabama 7 7 4,887,871 519 2,817
    Oklahoma 8 10 3,943,079 466 2,875
    Missouri 9 9 6,126,452 502 2,647
    Arizona 10 8 7,171,646 474 2,676
    Nevada 11 11 3,034,392 541 2,438
    Kansas 12 12 2,911,505 439 2,633
    Colorado 13 19 5,695,564 397 2,671
    Washington 14 13 7,535,591 311 2,946
    California 15 17 39,557,045 447 2,380
    Oregon 16 21 4,190,713 285 2,893
    Delaware 17 15 967,171 423 2,324
    Texas 18 14 28,701,845 410 2,367
    North Carolina 19 23 10,383,620 377 2,494
    Montana 20 20 1,062,305 374 2,496
    Maryland 21 18 6,042,718 468 2,033
    Georgia 22 16 10,519,475 326 2,573
    Florida 23 22 21,299,325 384 2,281
    Hawaii 24 27 1,420,491 248 2,870
    Indiana 25 24 6,691,878 382 2,179
    Illinois 26 25 12,741,080 404 1,932
    South Dakota 27 29 882,235 404 1,728
    Michigan 28 28 9,995,915 449 1,653
    Mississippi 29 26 2,986,530 234 2,402
    Utah 30 30 3,161,105 233 2,377
    Nebraska 31 31 1,929,268 284 2,079
    Ohio 32 32 11,689,442 279 2,177
    North Dakota 33 34 760,077 280 2,040
    New York 34 39 19,542,209 350 1,440
    Pennsylvania 35 40 12,807,060 306 1,489
    Wisconsin 36 35 5,813,568 295 1,559
    Minnesota 37 37 5,611,179 220 1,993
    Iowa 38 36 3,156,145 250 1,691
    West Virginia 39 33 1,805,832 289 1,485
    Massachusetts 40 38 6,902,149 338 1,263
    Kentucky 41 42 4,468,402 211 1,962
    Wyoming 42 41 577,737 212 1,785
    Rhode Island 43 43 1,057,315 219 1,660
    Connecticut 44 44 3,572,665 207 1,680
    Idaho 45 47 1,754,208 227 1,461
    Virginia 46 45 8,517,685 199 1,665
    New Jersey 47 46 8,908,520 208 1,404
    Vermont 48 49 626,299 171 1,283
    Maine 49 48 1,338,404 112 1,357
    New Hampshire 50 50 1,356,458 173 1,248

    Most Dangerous Cities In America By State

    About Chris Kolmar

    Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

    He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

    If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

    You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

    24 thoughts on “Most Dangerous States In America For 2020

    1. Not New Mexico
      Only Albuquerque and anything along I40 I10 n I25 all drug roots east west norht south.

    2. They have Louisiana and South Carolina both has being 6th in violent crime and 4th in property crime. Then they rank Louisiana 3rd and South Carolina as 4th. Can the rest of this be trusted to make as much sense? Also, this is a picture of how it was in our country 2 years ago. I’m certain that things are not the same today. But just think, while we were living in the most dangerous state in America two years ago, we were blissfully ignorant. And everyone reading this survived the danger, so we have proven that we are all badasses. Take a bow, my fellow New Mexicans.

      1. I’ve just read several articles regarding safe states and cities, they all vary. We live in what is considered one of safest places in NC. Huge condo complex, somewhat walkable area. Two huge break ins in 5 mins. from us in mini-mall. Our building is in back of complex and would seem safest. Not so fast, many people buy and then rent for profit. Some renters are wonderful. . .some are insane, troublemaking, abusive and worse yet DRUG DEALERS (who give out our safety key pad codes for their buyers. One family kicked out already as well as two other renters for drug dealing and other annoyances. Now fairly new owner spoke to us of new renters next door. Place wreaks of marijuana so badly it’s infesting her home and clothing. Strangers coming in and out all night, one rang her bell at 1AM (no she didn’t answer). SO they are all sitting around smoking weed. My guess is they are selling far more dangerous drugs. No place is safe anymore.

    3. Well, my home state, Virginia, is a very safe place to be. We learned at an early age to “treat other’s as we would like to be treated” It’s called the “Golden Rule” for those that have never heard such a thing.
      Now living in Michigan where the first thing I learned was to change the subject when someone asks, “are you looking at me”?

    4. New Mexico like many border states deals with the criminal elements that illegally cross over the border but don’t want to get too far in case they need a quick escape (and don’t get all worked up I’m pro-immigration). But facts are facts and illegal residents are arrested here for violent crimes all the time. New Mexico also suffers from decades of poor legislation and governing. Too many years of law making by the ‘good ol’ boys’ club as far back as the 40’s and to some current laws. We have very few laws with ‘teeth’ or that give the legal system here and real strength or authority however there are TONS of loopholes. There are also an abundance of people and groups that will protect the rights of criminals over those of their victims for one reason or another. Many people here LOVE to be political/ethically outraged for no other reason then just to outraged. Education here is less than stellar which doesn’t help matters, there are very few good programs for kids & teens to participate in, good paying jobs are few and hard to find and the list goes on with local and state program problems and management. I have lived here all my life and things have only gotten worse and unless there are some drastic changes it will only worse.

      1. Your’e actually thinking of the drug problem in the southwest which pretty much only pertains to native americans in those areas. Trust me, go to Watertown, SD (located within an indian reservation), go to the downtown to the bars and TELL me I BEG you to tell me that you enjoyed it and that you felt respected by any of the locals, who are constantly getting arrested for getting overly drunk and fighting each other. Also, dummy, the drugs that go THROUGH new mexico go to cities where people can either actually afford cocaine, or cook it into crack and distribute it to the local addicts. The people in New Mexico shoot home-made heroin. Do your research, take accountability, and, from now on, don’t speak until a responsible adult can make a reasonable summation of things for you because you obviously don’t have the mental capacity to understand that you are being brainwashed by fame-seeking liberal douchebags. Grow some nuts.

    5. Figures don’t lie, but Liars figure. If you were to analyze How figures are obtained and What constitutes the basis of the statistics, you can come-up with Results that are at complete variance with what is being purported. How much crime goes Unreported in larger cities simply because the Victim says “Why bother”. And yet, this very same Tendency is used as a Reason to say that Crimes are rampant in big cities; but are simply Not Reported “Only 310 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to police. That means about 2 out of 3 go unreported”. In Rural and Small Towns; everybody knows everybody and the local sheriff and police officers are often on a first name basis with the locals, and things get reported that would never see the light of day otherwise. Murder is Harder to Hide, and that is where Baltimore, Chicago and DC garner the spotlight. And that Link between Crime/Poverty is a crock; foisted upon us by a bunch of do-gooders looking for an excuse for Inexcusable Behavior.

      1. Don’t forget to mention how New York city has an extremely low crime rate and also has one of the least populations of black people out of the big cities. Oh, unless you’re talking about harlem…

      1. thank you, sir. very well said. Illinois #26, texas #15. Both have HUGE cities, but only one has the propensity to look obviously more effected by people’s acceptance of bogus “politically correct” garbage. Still not convinced? Think it’s because of border activity? SC #5! What more do you need to know?!?!?! AK #2??? is that not enough yet?!?!?! hmmmmmmmmmm i wonder why the entire north is safe as all hell, except for missouri of course. Might it be that it was a slave state and the population is mostly black in many areas?!?!?! is it because these petty people are STILL mad about slavery (a time in history that 0% of every black person in america was a part of, or is just that all of these “politically correct” people are trying to make the world to be as fake and hunky dory as it is in their small minds. That’s right small minds, there is a difference between being intelligent and acting like everything that offends you is wrong. DO YOUR GOD DAMN RESEARCH.

    6. My state was not on the top ten but to be honest I have read a couple of your articles and it’s all just talking crap about were people live and it’s mean I’ve read the most ghetto places in Georgia (my home state) and it’s just being rude to people that live there and you never know their personal business you never know they could struggle financially and that town is the only places they can afford to live in and most of the places listed on that list it all wrong some of the places on that list is the most beautiful in the state you need to stick your so called “science “ we’re the sun doesn’t shine

      1. I’m from Maryland, I’ve lived in larger cities my whole life traveling from state to state. My current residences for the last ten years was Dallas, but in the most recent six years I’ve been near New Orleans to visit my fmaily from Jennings while I am going for my MLT degree. Trust me, in the ratio of populations vs crime and how much it occurs in number, New Orleans is the worse I’ve been in. I’m not saying crime doesn’t happen in big cities like Dallas where I also lived, but in ratio to populations and the numbers? It’s so much worse here. Every day in the news and the news paper at least ten people are reported to be victims of drive by shootings or deadly assaults. That’s just what’s reported. It’s all you hear from the local news.

        It’s not uncommon to read or hear about children as young as three and up being shot dead almost everyday. It’s normal for people to pull out knifes and stab you for disagreeing with them. Went to work two weeks ago, and someone was shot dead at a gas station right next to me. In Challmette, I’ve had a classmate’s sister left to die in a cell from a platelet disease while the police just stood there laughing at her because she’s not from America. Everyday I live here I fear for my family and my own life.

        It’s also considered common to find dead bodies in local trenches or the streets.

        So please consider what I and others here in Louisiana are going through everyday, especially those of us who lived in various large cities prior where it wasn’t even 1/4 of this type of crime being reported or known by communities.

      2. Peggy, come here to near New Orleans where I’ve lived for the last six years. Where it’s normal to have kids as young as three being shot weekly. Where it’s normal to have at least ten people murdered everyday around you, and that’s just what goes reported. Where finding dead bodies in water ways or cars is just the common thing. Let’s see you talk like that after just living here for a week, if you’re not robbed or stabbed. I am my family are only alive still because we only go out when we need to such as for work, business, the gym or shopping. We only talk to family or coworkers we know. This is the reality here, and ether a person can accept it and take the measures needed to survive, or escape into a mental happy place ignoring it while gambling with their lives. Just two weeks ago on my way to work someone was shot dead at a gas station near me. This is my everyday normal experience. If my fmaily wasn’t from Jennings, I wouldn’t be here.

    7. Hmmmmmmmmmmm New Mexico, huge drug problem, ranked #1, 50% white; Oregon, huge drug problem, ranked #24, 90% white; Vermont, huge drug influx (not a problem), ranked #48, 99% white. Sure there are a few flaws in my argument here but, also, fuck you. Call me a biggot, call me arrogant, shit, call me ignorant of the times, but you can’t call me wrong and if you try I’ll embarrass you with the other 99% of my argument and I won’t make it so short and sweet.

    8. Drug problem + racial diversity + common ignorance= high crime rate (triangulated — must include all three) MS: no drug problem, high diversity, relative ignorance — low crime, New York: drug problem, high diversity, low ignorance — low crime, (pay attention) California — drug problem, high diversity, high ignorance (California is full of overly-sensitive, low moral follower type people in case you haven’t been there) — HIGH CRIME. I think the main issue here is to understand that you cannot rely on academia or statistics for information because THEY WOULD REFUSE TO RESEARCH THIS. Lacking proof does not mean you lack reason and I find any retort to that absolutely laughable. Guess who funds colleges. Guess who accredits them. A white guilt having, post-slavery government.

      1. lol!! you are literally making things up on your gut feelings and obvious bias and acting like you are an expert!?!? Speaking of High Ignorance! Do you know what the term “Per Capita” even means? Did you fact check the research or have you done your own counter research? Or are you just crying off that California is not ranked number 1 like you expected it to be?? Sounds like you are a follower type that believes anything you are told. I have been all around this country. New Mexico, Alabama, North Florida, lots of parts of Georgia, are terrifying places to be and look like 3rd world countries. You can look up these statistics on multiple sites, some of the numbers and rankings change slightly, but they are pretty consistent overall. Thats the magic of facts and research.

    9. In East Tennessee Knoxville there’s barley not a lot of crime.All of them are only in Spanish,African,and Old Neighbors.Knoxville is a great place for kids to play.My kids have enough patient to go to Pigeon Forge!A really fun place.Kind of cheap.Knoxville has low population,#128 most population in the us.They have great parks.Downtown has Crimes.Its pretty sunny in the fall.It doesn’t rain a lot the max days of rain in fall is 5 or 4.Clinton Hwy has a lot of Shopping and restaurants.Up in West Town Mall there’s a lot of fun.Movies,Arcade,Play Area,VR,and munch munch more to do. Explore it first.Kingston Pike has the most fun stuff and food.Its long West Town Mall is also in Kingston Pike.There are only about 1,000 Polices because the crimes are kinda low.The Schools are the best than the Whole East Tennessee.Too munch people too munch crimes.The Winters are cold and wet,a lot of rain,and Cloudy a lot.In the Spring Thunderstorms happens a lot and warm and pretty sunny days.In the Summer its the best fairs open carnivals too,but Thunderstorms are stronger but only happens seven times a month.Summer is hot here and Sunny.In fall it’s probably the safest time to visit on October or November in Knoxville.Its always Cloudy every season.Hope have safe time.

    10. “The only west coast state to make the list, Arizona is notoriously a pretty dangerous place”

      If you don’t even know elementary school geography, I doubt we can trust you with any sort of useful information. Roadsnacks.net: the most idiotic site on the Internet.

    11. Watching the news out here in Albuquerque can be downright disgusting on a pretty regular basis. I don’t watch often. Whether it’s disgusting crimes against children, murder or all these idiotic repeat offenders we have out here, how could you argue against this ranking? That’s my problem living here, is the people out here do not see any issues with the state. Cannot wait until the day I can leave this hell hole. About the only good thing I can say about New Mexico is the land is beautiful. Too bad the people here don’t match it.

    12. Lmao! This is one of the most load of crap articles I’ve read in awhile. I live in one of the states listed, and have been to several others, my state doesn’t even compare to a state like California when it comes to crime. The author is obviously biased, or high.

    13. Problem with this list is that states are BIG. It really depends on where you are and broad statistics don’t give you a true idea of safety. I feel much safer in almost any part of NM or AZ than I would in the dangerous areas of Miami, Atlanta, or Los Angeles where you’re pretty much guaranteed to be shot even during the day.

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