According to Propertyclub, the United States is an enormous country, both in terms of population and land area. Given its vast and diverse population, it’s no surprise that crime statistics can vary significantly from state to state. In this article, we will explore the ten states with the highest rates of violent crime between 2020 and 2022.
15 Most Dangerous States in the US in 2024
This Article Includes
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
Alaska holds the title for the most dangerous state in the US, with the highest combined rate of violent and property crimes compared to all other states.
Alaska holds the unfortunate distinction of having the highest crime rate among all the states, with a rate of 32.14 per 1,000 people in 2022. This alarming statistic reveals the pressing issue of crime in the state. Among the various types of crimes, aggravated assault stands out as one of the most prevalent, with a staggering 4,222 incidents reported. Additionally, Alaska also faces a significant challenge in combating sexual assault, as it ranks among the highest in the nation with over 1,132 incidents reported. These troubling numbers highlight the urgent need to address and combat crime in Alaska.
2. New Mexico
New Mexico is known for its high levels of crime, making it one of the most dangerous states in the US. Throughout the years, it has consistently ranked among the highest in the nation for states with the highest rates of violent crimes. Additionally, Albuquerque, NM, holds the reputation of being one of the most dangerous cities in the country.
In 2021, there were more than 12,000 cases of violent assault and over 2,000 incidents of robbery in New Mexico. Property crime, including burglary and vehicle theft, is also a major concern. The cities of Albuquerque, Gallup, and Farmington are widely regarded as some of the most problematic areas in the state.
Tennessee, with its population of approximately 6,917,000, stands out as one of the most violent states in America. It has an overall crime rate of 31.65 per 1,000 people. In 2021 alone, there were over 221,000 reported criminal incidents, out of which 46,428 were classified as violent crimes. However, the most prevalent type of crime in this state is property crime, particularly burglary and personal theft, which pose significant challenges.
While Tennessee continues to undergo growth and transformation, certain cities like Memphis and Nashville still grapple with persistently high rates of violent crime.
Arkansas, much like its neighboring state Tennessee, struggles with high rates of violent crime. With a population of 3,013,756, Arkansas recorded a violent crime rate of 672.7 per 100,000 in 2020. This alarming statistic translates to residents facing a 1 in 148 chance of falling victim to a violent crime.
Property crime rates in Arkansas are alarmingly high, with residents facing a 1 in 38 chance of falling victim to theft. In 2021 alone, there were nearly 24,000 incidents of crimes such as burglary and vehicle theft. The cities of West Memphis, Little Rock, and Helena are particularly notorious for their high crime rates.
Arizona is recognized for its stunning national parks, but it also holds the dubious distinction of being one of the most violent states in the USA. The state’s high rates of violent crime make it a dangerous place to reside.
In cities such as Scottsdale, crime rates are incredibly low. However, in other cities like Tempe and Phoenix, crime is a prevalent issue in numerous neighborhoods. According to the FBI Crime Data Explorer, there has been an 8.6% increase in violent crime in Arizona between 2020 and 2021. The most commonly reported crimes during that period were robbery and assault, with a total of 32,201 incidents. Additionally, there were 504 reported murders in the state. As a result, residents of Arizona face a 1 in 199 chance of falling victim to a violent crime.
Louisiana is notorious for being one of the most dangerous states in America, surpassing the national average in both property and violent crime. Cities like Shreveport, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans have alarmingly high rates of violent crimes, including murder, which far exceed the national average. In fact, as of 2022, the crime rate in New Orleans alone is a staggering 150% higher than the national average.
Property crime, including burglary and theft, was 29.71 per 1,000 residents in 2021, which exceeds the national average. It is evident that violent crime is not the sole issue; property crime poses a significant concern as well.
Missouri experiences an alarmingly high rate of murder and violent crime. In the year 2020, there were a total of 723 murders reported in the state, which translates to a rate of 11.8 murders per 100,000 individuals. Furthermore, Missouri also grapples with a significant prevalence of other violent offenses, including assault, robbery, and rape, with a staggering rate of 543 such crimes per 100,000 people.
St. Louis and other cities in Missouri consistently rank among the highest in the country for both violent and property crime. Shockingly, in 2020, the crime rate in St. Louis was a staggering 234% above the national average.
8. South Carolina
South Carolina is known for its high crime rates, making it one of the most dangerous states in the US. In fact, the state consistently ranks among the top in the nation for both violent and property crimes.
In South Carolina, with a population of 5,118,425, the crime rate stands at 5.4 per 1,000 people, surpassing the national average of 4 per 1,000 people. The state exhibits a notable prevalence of violent crimes, with nearly 22,000 instances of robbery reported in 2020. Additionally, the murder rate in the same year reached 549, equivalent to .11 per 1,000 people, exceeding the national average of .07 per 1,000 people.
9. South Dakota
With a population of 895,376, South Dakota experiences a surprisingly high crime rate considering its relatively low population. In 2023, the state’s violent crime rate stood at 501 per 100,000 residents, translating to a 1 in 198 chance of becoming a victim. Shockingly, South Dakota surpasses the national average in crimes like murder and rape, with over 3,000 reported assault incidents in 2021. Furthermore, the state holds the second-highest rate of drunk driving arrests nationwide and unfortunately experiences a significant number of drunk driving-related fatalities.
Oklahoma remains one of the most perilous states in the United States. Despite a 4.2% decrease in violent crime rate compared to the previous year, it still ranks among the highest in the nation, with 419.7 incidents per 100,000 residents. Additionally, the homicide rate stands at 6.7 per 100,000, showing a decline from 7.6 incidents in 2021.
The violent crime rate in Oklahoma City is significantly higher than the national average, with a staggering 74% difference. Similarly, the property crime rate in the city is 57% higher compared to the national average. Moving on to Tulsa, the situation is even more alarming. The city experiences a violent crime rate that is 151% higher than the national average, along with a property crime rate that is 119% higher.
Michigan, a Midwestern state, holds the 10th position on our list of the most violent states in the US. Last year alone, the state witnessed a staggering 40,000 incidents of violent crime, which translates to approximately 4.73 incidents per 1,000 individuals. Unfortunately, both violent and property crimes have been on the rise throughout Michigan. Among the cities contributing to this alarming trend are Detroit, Kalamazoo, and Saginaw. Particularly, Detroit stands out with a reported 14,509 murders in 2021, surpassing other cities of similar size by a significant margin.
Colorado has emerged as one of the most perilous states in the nation. In the last decade, the state has experienced a significant surge in crime rates, making it one of the highest in the country. The incidence of violent crime in Colorado exceeds 500 per 100,000 residents, reaching its peak at 586.2 in 2023, a significant increase from 480.4 in 2021 and 423.1 in 2020. Notably, Colorado is home to major urban hubs like Denver and Aurora, where the violent crime rate surpasses the national average by a staggering 180%.
Colorado currently has the fourth highest property crime rate in the United States for both property and violent crimes, as per the latest FBI data in 2023.
Nevada, known as Sin City due to its association with Las Vegas, is notorious for being one of the most perilous states in America. With a thriving gambling and nightlife scene, it inevitably becomes a magnet for criminal activities. A comprehensive analysis utilizing FBI crime data has recently designated Nevada as the top-ranking state in terms of violent crimes such as homicide, kidnapping, and human trafficking.
The crime rate in Nevada stands at 2,731 crimes per 100,000 residents, reflecting the overall state statistics. In the year 2023, a total of 11,719 crimes were reported in Nevada. These included 190 homicides, 2,014 robberies, and 8,258 aggravated assaults. It is worth noting that certain areas within the state are considered safer in comparison. However, cities like Las Vegas and Reno have violent crime rates that surpass the national average by more than 40%.
Montana holds the distinction of being one of the most perilous states in the United States. As a matter of fact, it is positioned as the 10th highest state in terms of violent crime and the 15th highest state for property crime. The rate of violent crime in Montana stands at 469.8 crimes per 100,000 residents, which is approximately 21% higher than the national average. An noteworthy study further classified Montana among the top ten states in the nation for gun-related fatalities, taking into account both homicides and suicides.
Cities like Billings and Missoula may not have the reputation of being large urban centers, but they do face a significant crime rate. In fact, the violent crime rate in Billings is 151% higher than the national average, while property crime is 121% higher.
Washington, situated in the farthest reaches of the Pacific Northwest, is a state that grapples with a significant crime rate. The state is home to several major cities that have witnessed an alarming surge in crime rates. In 2023, Washington recorded a violent crime rate of 376 crimes per 100,000 residents, showing a notable increase from 295 in 2020. Additionally, the homicide rate has climbed to 5 murders per 100,000 residents from 3.9 in 2020.
Seattle has emerged as a significant hub for criminal activities, witnessing a violent crime rate that surpasses the national average by a staggering 127%. Moreover, smaller cities in Washington state like Tacoma, Fife, and Tukwila also experience violent crime rates that exceed the national average by over 100%.