Crime is an issue that affects people across all states in the United States. While some areas have lower crime rates than others, certain states still have a disproportionately large number of criminal activities reported each year. In this article, we will look at seven states with the most crime and explore what factors contribute to their elevated levels of criminality.
With the highest combined violent and property crime rate out of all states, Alaska is the most dangerous state in America. With a population of 736,081 people and a score of 32.14 criminal incidents per 1,000 individuals in 2022, this was exemplified throughout its many cities. Aggravated assault is especially concerning, with 4222 cases reported, while sexual assault has been on an upward trend with over 1132 recently registered—one amongst few leading national rates for such crime type.
New Mexico has earned the unfortunate distinction of being one of the most hazardous states in America. Data from 2021 reveals that 12,000 violent assaults and 2,000 robberies occurred within its borders; moreover, property crime is rampant here, with widespread burglary and vehicle theft. Among all cities in New Mexico, Albuquerque, Gallup & Farmington are considered particularly dangerous places to live or visit.
Despite Tennessee’s thriving population of over 6.9 million, the Volunteer State is among America’s most hazardous states, with a crime rate of 31.65 offenses per 1,000 people in 2021. Of the 221,000 criminal reports made this year alone, 46% have been attributed to violent crimes such as burglary and theft; nevertheless, property-related misconducts remain the leading cause for concern in Tennessean cities like Memphis or Nashville, where violence still frequents daily headlines
Unfortunately, Arkansas’s violent crime rate is not much better than its neighboring state, Tennessee. With an estimated population of 3 million and a staggering 672.7 cases per 100,000 in 2020, the risk for Arkansans to suffer from a violent crime stands at 1 in 148 – an incredibly alarming figure. Unluckily, the citizens of Arkansas are no strangers to property crime. Residents have a 1 in 38 likelihood of being involved in theft, including burglary and vehicle theft which amounted to 24,000 occurrences during 2021 alone. West Memphis, Little Rock, and Helena have been recognized as having some of the highest crime rates within the state.
Arizona may be known for its beautiful state parks, but the reality of high violent crime rates makes it one of the most hazardous places to live in. In cities like Scottsdale, the crime rate is almost negligible. However, large metropolises such as Tempe and Phoenix have reported considerable criminal activity in certain districts. According to the FBI Crime Data Explorer’s 2020-2021 statistics, Arizona has experienced a dramatic 8.6% rise in violent crime throughout that period—an astonishing 32,201 incidents of robbery and assault with an additional 504 murders documented statewide; this means Arizonans are at 1/199 risk of being subjected to some form of violence.
Louisiana remains above the national average with the ongoing prevalence of property and violent crime. However, in cities like Shreveport, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans in particular – murder standing out significantly – they are plagued by continued violence that has soared to 150% greater than normal across America. And it isn’t only in terms of physical danger; with a rate of 29.71 for every 1,000 inhabitants affected by property crimes such as burglary or theft annually (far beyond the rest of our nation), it’s clear that this issue won’t be solved any time soon without drastic improvement from all involved.
In the year 2020, Missouri suffered from an alarmingly high occurrence of murder and violence. This was illustrated by its staggering 11.8 murders per 100,000 people – 723 in total – and 543 violent crimes for every 100,000 individuals residing within its borders.
St. Louis, Missouri, is notorious for having some of the highest crime rates in the U.S., with violent and property crimes consistently above average nationally. In 2020, St. Louis’ reported crime rate was more than double that of other cities, an astounding 234% higher than national averages.
The Bottom Line
Violent and property crime rates have increased in the United States, particularly in states such as Tennessee, Arkansas, Arizona, Louisiana, Missouri, and New Mexico. Although some cities within these states are safer than others, it is important to take caution when traveling or residing there.
Crime prevention tactics such as increased cooperation between local law enforcement and citizens are one way to combat the continued rise of violent and property crimes, but it is ultimately up to all citizens to help keep their communities safe.