U.S. Crime Rates by State

With approximately 319 million citizens, it is not surprising that a large number of crimes are committed in the United States each year. The latest reports from the FBI show that there were 1,165, 383 violent crimes and 8,277,829 property crimes committed across the country last year. But looking at these statistics as a whole can be deceiving, as some states have much higher crime rates than other states.

Factors That Influence Crime Rate on the State Level

Despite being part of one country, each state is unique economically and sociologically which can influence crime rates. Studies have found that several factors directly correlate to a state’s crime rate. The factors include: per capita income, unemployment rate, and the percentage of a state’s population living in poverty.

There is evidence to show that states with high unemployment rates and a large number of people living in poverty typically have higher crime rates. A low per capita income compared to other states can also result in more crimes being committed. These three things are all tied together, as financial stress and a lack of resources can drive a person to commit a crime. Education can also play a big role in a state’s crime rates; studies have shown that states with a more educated population typically have less crime than states with a poorly educated population.

Top 5 Safest States

According to statistics from the FBI, the states with the lowest violent crime rates are:

5.) Kentucky (198.8 violent crimes per 100,000 residents)
4.) Wyoming (197.7 violent crimes per 100,000 residents)
3.) Virginia (187.9 violent crimes per 100,000 residents)
2.) Maine (121.6 violent crimes per 100,000 residents)
1.) Vermont (114.9 violent crimes per 100,000 residents)

Top 5 Most Dangerous States

The most dangerous states in the country based on violent crime rates are:
5.) Louisiana (510.4 violent crimes per 100,000 residents)
4.) Tennessee (579.7 violent crimes per 100,000 residents)
3.) Nevada (591.2 violent crimes per 100,000 residents)
2.) New Mexico (596.7 violent crimes per 100,000 residents)
1.) Alaska (602.6 violent crimes per 100,000 residents)