These Are The 10 Most Dangerous States In America


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

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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 New Mexico is the most dangerous state you can live in this country. The safest? You might not be too surprised that Vermont takes the cake.

Here are the most dangerous states in America:

  1. New Mexico
  2. Florida
  3. Louisiana
  4. South Carolina
  5. Tennessee
  6. Arkansas
  7. Alabama
  8. Alaska
  9. Delaware
  10. Arizona

(Scroll down to read the entire report about each state).

So basically, 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.

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

While there are surveys and public polls on what cities in a state are the most dangerous, we didn’t want to rely on speculation and opinion. Instead, we looked at the hard numbers from the FBI’s reporting period for 2015. Specifically, we analyzed the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report which summarizes the number of property crimes and violent crimes in each city per year.

Violent crimes are defined as rapes, murders, robberies and aggravated assaults.

We must note that this report is not an analysis of the effectiveness of local police departments. It simply states where crimes occurred most frequently.

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1. New Mexico

Population: 2,085,572
Violent crime rank: 4th
Property crime rank: 2nd

Believe it or not, but little New Mexico, one of the least densely populated places in the country, has the highest crime rate in the nation. Why? The number of violent crimes per person is the 4th highest and the number of property crimes is the 2nd highest.

The only state where robberies occur most often, per capita, is Washington state, which is one of the lesser violent places to live.

2. Florida

Population: 19,938,933
Violent crime rank: 5th
Property crime rank: 5th

Florida is constantly in the news for the number of crimes, and is always the butt of jokes on the news for ‘Only in Florida’ moments. As it turns out, one of the most populated places in the nation is one of the most dangerous.

Example: There were a more than 100,000 violent crimes in the state of Florida in the last reporting year (2015). That’s just insane. In California, there were more than 150,000.

3. Louisiana

Population: 4,649,303
Violent crime rank: 6th
Property crime rank: 4th

Continuing 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. South Carolina

Population: 4,827,293
Violent crime rank: 6th
Property crime rank: 4th

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.

5. Tennessee

Population: 6,549,393
Violent crime rank: 3rd
Property crime rank: 10th

It might be surprising to hear that Tennessee is the 3rd most violent place in the nation, but with places like Memphis making national headlines for murders every year, you can understand why. There were also 1,800 reported rapes in Tennessee in 2015, which is about 6 a day.

6. Arkansas

Population: 2,966,393
Violent crime rank: 9th
Property crime rank: 6th

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 5,600 vehicles stolen in the state of Arkansas in 2014.

7. Alabama

Population: 4,830,393
Violent crime rank: 12th
Property crime rank: 9th

Alabama saw 276 murders last year, which is almost one per day. Additionally, you have a 1 in 230 chance of being the victim of a violent crime every year in the Yellowhammer State.

8. Alaska

Population: 736,204
Violent crime rank: 1st
Property crime rank: 21st

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.

9. Delaware

Population: 935,203
Violent crime rank: 8th
Property crime rank: 14th

Say it ain’t so! One of the smaller jurisdictions in America is a pretty dangerous place, statistically. Here in Delaware, there were 54 murders, and for a population under a million, that’s really high.

For perspective, in Vermont, there were only 10, and Vermont is only about 25% smaller.

10. Arizona

Population: 6,731,203
Violent crime rank: 16th
Property crime rank: 8th

The only west coast state to make the list, Arizona is notoriously a pretty dangerous place, especially for robberies. For example, there were nearly 18,000 cars stolen here in 2015, and more than 43,000 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.

Now that you’re done reading this, you will LOVE our report on the 10 Worst States to Live in America. Click here to see that report and video.

Detailed List Of The Most Dangerous States In America

State Rank Population Violent Crime Per 100k Property Crime Per 100k
New Mexico 1 2,085,572 597.39 3,542.29
Florida 2 19,893,297 540.49 3,415.45
Louisiana 3 4,649,676 514.75 3,458.82
South Carolina 4 4,832,482 497.72 3,460.27
Tennessee 5 6,549,352 608.43 3,060.56
Arkansas 6 2,966,369 480.15 3,338.02
Alabama 7 4,849,377 427.42 3,177.60
Alaska 8 736,732 635.78 2,760.03
Delaware 9 935,614 489.09 2,982.00
Arizona 10 6,731,484 399.85 3,197.51
Nevada 11 2,839,099 635.59 2,625.41
Missouri 12 6,063,589 442.91 2,906.48
Georgia 13 10,097,343 377.30 3,281.22
Oklahoma 14 3,878,051 405.98 2,990.73
Texas 15 26,956,958 405.88 3,019.38
Washington 16 7,061,530 285.15 3,706.08
Maryland 17 5,976,407 446.10 2,507.51
North Carolina 18 9,943,964 329.52 2,873.07
Indiana 19 6,596,855 365.31 2,649.38
Kansas 20 2,904,021 348.59 2,735.21
California 21 38,802,500 396.13 2,441.06
Mississippi 22 2,994,079 278.48 2,921.17
Hawaii 23 1,419,561 259.24 3,050.03
Michigan 24 9,909,877 427.33 2,043.89
Ohio 25 11,594,163 284.88 2,799.06
Colorado 26 5,355,866 309.08 2,530.12
Montana 27 1,023,579 323.67 2,472.89
Illinois 28 12,880,580 370.04 2,075.88
Oregon 29 3,970,239 232.33 2,879.05
Nebraksa 30 1,881,503 280.36 2,523.46
Utah 31 2,942,902 215.64 2,878.49
Massachusetts 32 6,745,408 391.36 1,857.07
Wisconsin 33 5,757,564 290.30 2,088.35
West Virginia 34 1,850,326 302.00 2,034.67
New York 35 19,746,227 381.83 1,718.21
Pennsylvania 36 12,787,209 314.10 1,931.74
Iowa 37 3,107,126 273.47 2,093.77
North Dakota 38 739,482 265.05 2,110.26
South Dakota 39 853,175 326.54 1,863.86
Minnesota 40 5,457,173 229.15 2,297.47
Rhode Island 41 1,055,173 219.21 2,173.58
Kentucky 42 4,413,457 211.63 2,246.90
Connecticut 43 3,596,677 236.94 1,920.38
New Jersey 44 8,938,175 261.19 1,734.06
New Hampshire 45 1,326,813 196.11 1,962.67
Wyoming 46 584,153 195.50 1,964.72
Maine 47 1,330,089 127.81 1,986.41
Virginia 48 8,326,289 196.25 1,930.27
Idaho 49 1,634,464 212.18 1,854.80
Vermont 50 626,562 99.27 1,524.35
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