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state with the highest crime rate

Top 10 States With The Highest Crime Rate [with Statistics]

Are you worried about the crime rate where you live? Or maybe you're planning a move and want to know which states have high crime rates. It's normal to feel concerned about safety — after all, everyone wants to live in a peaceful area.

One interesting fact is that New Mexico has the highest violent crime rate in the US, with 6,462 incidents per capita.

This article will guide you through understanding what contributes to crime rates and take a closer look at the top 10 states with the highest ones. We'll discuss both violent crimes, like murders and assaults, and property crimes such as burglaries and thefts.

By the end of this read, you'll be better informed about these crucial aspects of safety across different states. Don't miss out!

Key Takeaways

  • Washington DC  has the highest violent crime rate in the US, with serious problems likehomicide, robbery, and burglary getting worse.
  • New Mexico struggles with violent crimes too, making it a focus for safety talks. Efforts are on to lower these rates.
  • Places like Tennessee, Arkansas, and Louisiana have high numbers of violent and property crimes. This makes people worry about safety.
  • Crime rates in the US dropped by 49% from 1993 to 2019. But property crimes started to rise again by 7% recently.
  • Fighting crime needs constant work. What helps stop crime today might need changes tomorrow to keep places safe.

Understanding Crime Rates

To understand crime rates, we look at two big groups: violent crimes and property crimes. These include acts like robbery, burglary, and assault that hurt people or take things without permission.

Violent Crimes

Violent crimes include actions like robbery, rape, murder, and simple assault. These acts involve force or threat of force. Facts tell us that New Mexico has a high number of violent crimes per person.

Alaska had the biggest problem with these in 2021—867 incidents for every 100,000 people living there. Most violent crimes are robberies—they make up 22.3%. Rape cases are fewer but still worrying at 8.2%, and murders are rare but tragic at 1.4% of all violent crimes.

Good news is here too—the US saw much less violence from 1993 to 2019. The numbers dropped by almost half! Robberies and murders went down significantly during this time, making streets safer for everyone.

This shows efforts to stop violence can really work over time.

Property Crimes

Property crimes include stealing, breaking into houses, and damaging other people's stuff. In 2018, across the US, people reported about 7 million of these crimes. Some states see more of this trouble than others.

For example, in 2022, Washington, Colorado, New Mexico, and Oregon had lots of property crimes. Also high on this list were big places like Arizona and California.

This kind of crime has gone down a lot since the '90s -- by 71% to be exact. California, Florida, and Texas are among those with many reports per 100 thousand folks living there. Everyone is working hard to make these numbers keep falling by watching closely and making new rules to stop criminals better.

Top 10 States with the Highest Crime Rates

Some states stand out for having more crime. Let's find out which ones top the list.

District of Columbia

DC Crime Rate

With 999.8 crimes committed against every 100,000 residents, the District of Columbia has the highest crime rate in the whole country. The Metropolitan Police Department reports a 14% rise in homicides, a 24% increase in robberies, an 8% increase in burglaries, and a 4% increase in motor vehicle theft from 2021 to 2022. Here is the breakdown of the crimes in DC.


Alaska crime rate

Alaska has one of the highest violent crime rates in the U.S., hitting 867 incidents for every 100,000 people. This state sees more than its fair share of serious crimes, from murder to arson.

Indeed, Alaska's overall crime rates may have dipped slightly, but don't be fooled. Murder has spiked by a shocking 67%, and cases of arson shot up over 40% between 2021 and 2023. What makes this even more concerning is that Alaska tops all other states with a combined violent and property crime rate like no other.

Despite some improvement in overall crime numbers, particular types of violent offenses are bucking the trend and getting worse. With an astounding rate of 838 violent incidents per 100,000 folks, it’s clear that Alaska is grappling with significant safety challenges.

The jump in specific crimes such as homicide points to deeper issues at play within the state's criminal justice system and society at large.

New Mexico

New Mexico crime rate

Moving south from Alaska, we find New Mexico leading the list in crime rates across the US. This state has seen its fair share of challenges, with a high number of violent crimes such as murder and rape putting it in the spotlight.

Despite a decrease in violent crime by about 5% from 2021 to 2022, according to the FBI, New Mexico's troubles are far from over. Its cities rank among those with the most alarming numbers nationwide.

The situation is stark - New Mexico finds itself grappling with issues that make it a central point for discussions on safety and law enforcement strategies. The national incident-based reporting system (NIBRS) and Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program keep tabs on these figures, showing where improvements are needed or progress is made.

As New Mexicans work towards better days, their state remains emblematic of broader national struggles against crime.


Tennessee crime rate

Switching from New Mexico to Tennessee, the crime scenario takes an intense turn. Tennessee stands out with a violent crime rate that tops the chart in the South. The state reported 673 incidents for every 100,000 people.

This high number places it among the most dangerous states in the U.S.

In addition to violent crimes, property crimes also soar high here. With over 2,507 instances per 100,000 folks as of 2020, it's clear why concerns about safety are on everyone's mind.

Despite these challenges, Tennessee has its mix of bright spots and shadows – holding rank No. 24 based on various metrics that measure quality of life among all U.S states.


Arkansas crime rate


Moving from the music-filled streets of Tennessee, we head to Arkansas, known for its natural beauty and unfortunately, high crime rates. The FBI's statistics place Arkansas among the top states with alarming levels of violent and property crimes.

Little Rock stands out with a staggering rate of 709 violent incidents per 100,000 people. In 2021, this state found itself holding the sixth spot in terms of violence with a rate of 472 events per 100,000 individuals.

A study put Arkansas at number four for violent offenses across America. It's a bit of a puzzle because this state has also been on lists for both high and low crime rates over time.

Ranked at No. 45 based on various metrics including safety – it paints a complex picture. From bustling Little Rock neighborhoods to quiet rural areas, criminal acts like theft and assault keep communities on edge while pushing leaders to seek better justice reforms.


Arizona crime rate

Arizona sees a lot of crime, with 474 violent crimes for every 100,000 people. This puts it in the top spots for the highest crime rates across the US. People there deal with murder, robbery, burglary, and theft quite a bit.

In fact, Arizona is considered one of the most dangerous states.

The state also stands out for property crimes and car thefts. With all these issues, folks are often looking up how safe Arizona is — especially if they're thinking about moving there or going to school.

Next on our list is Louisiana..


Louisiana crime rate

Louisiana has some big problems with crime. It's ranked as having the most murders per person and is really high up there for assaults too. In 2021, this state saw over 26,000 violent crimes - that's a lot! For every 100,000 people living in Louisiana, about 564 faced violent crimes.

This makes it the place with the highest rate of these bad things happening in the whole country.

This state also finds itself at number four among states where you're more likely to run into trouble. Whether it's getting stolen from or worse, Louisiana's overall crime numbers are pretty concerning.

Places like New Orleans only add to why many say it’s not very safe here. Next on our list is Missouri – let’s see how they compare.


Missouri crime rate

Missouri stands out for its high violent crime rate. FBI stats show this state leads in violence, nearly 21% above the national level. It's shocking but true - Missouri beats 42 other states with its crime figures.

Three cities here rank within the U.S.'s top ten for most violence. In 2022, Missouri's violent crime rate hit 448 per 100,000 people.

This place has more than just alarming numbers; it's a call to action for change and improvement on many levels. Moving further south takes us to South Carolina, where things look a bit different yet equally concerning..

South Carolina

South Carolina crime rate

South Carolina stands out for not-so-great reasons. It ranks fifth in the U.S. for violent crime, with 488 incidents per 100,000 people. The state saw its murder rate climb by 0.89% from 2020 to 2021—the highest since 1991.

Sumter County alone reported about one violent crime each day in 2018.

Given these stats, South Carolina is often seen as a more dangerous place compared to other states. Its rates of violent and dangerous crimes are higher than many places across the country.

This makes it one of the top ten states you might want to be extra careful in due to the high levels of criminal activities.

South Dakota

South Dakota crime rate

Moving from South Carolina to our next state, South Dakota has seen its share of challenges in crime rates. FBI data from 2022 indicates a rise in certain crimes, following a national trend.

This state might not make headlines as often, but it holds the 31st spot for violent crime rates across the country. Even more worrying, homicide rates soared by 109% between 2012 and 2023.

Sioux Falls stands out for its violent incidents among cities in South Dakota – marking it as one of the state's most dangerous places. Despite an overall lower total crime rate that ranks it as the 18th safest among states, South Dakota faces serious issues with violence.

With a violent crime rate that overshadows seven other states at 501 incidents per 100,000 people, the story here isn't just about numbers; it's about real lives affected every day by criminal activity.

Analysis of Crime Rates Over Time

Crime rates in the United States have had their ups and downs. From 1993 to 2019, the country saw a big drop in violent crimes. Think about it—a 49% fall! That's huge when you talk about serious stuff like robbery and murder.

And just recently, while most violent crimes went down, folks noticed that property crimes started to climb up by 7%. This twist tells us something important: even though we're getting better at keeping some bad behaviors in check, others are finding new ways to creep back up.

Now, focusing on our current times—New York, Alabama, and Vermont each faced quite the jump in crime rates over one year. It shows crime doesn't pick favorites; no place is immune.

From quiet towns to bustling cities, changes happen fast. What works today in fighting crime might not work tomorrow. So staying sharp and adapting is key for safer communities everywhere.

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We saw which states have the most crime. Violent and property crimes were our focus. The list had  DC, Alaska, New Mexico, and eight others. Over time, some places get safer or more dangerous.

Knowing this helps us stay aware and safe. Let's all work towards making every state a better place for everyone.

Related Read: How to Be Safe Walking Alone as a Woman


1. What state has the most crime?

Alaska often tops the list when we talk about which US state has the highest crime rate, especially due to issues like drug abuse and aggravated assault.

2. Why do some places have more crime?

Places with high poverty levels, inequality, and urbanization see more criminal behaviors. It's not just about one thing... it's a mix that leads to problems like shoplifting or worse, carjackings.

3. How do they figure out these crime rates?

The UCR program and the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) collect data on crimes from all over. They look at everything - from larceny to murder.

4. Can driving badly be a big part of these stats?

Yes! Driving under the influence or while impaired seriously counts here... Blood alcohol concentration levels matter a lot in figuring this out.

5. Are there any surprising places with high crime rates?

You might think it’s all big cities but small spots like Tukwila or Shreveport make the list too because of their specific challenges with crimes like battery or drug use.

6. Do efforts to fix this work?

Criminal justice reforms aim to lower these rates by tackling root causes—like poverty and lack of financial advice—for long-term change.

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