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Crime Rate By State: Is it Dangerous to Live in the U.S.?

Crime Rate By State: Is it Dangerous to Live in the U.S.?

Jeremy Porter
September 14, 2020

America is a wonderland offering myriad opportunities to lead a life of your dream. We are brought up with an idea that the USA is the country of freedom, tolerance, and safety. With all its seeming prosperity, it is hard to believe that the level of crime in the United States is appallingly high. Although the amount of crimes in America has been steadily declining for many years, various sorts of delinquency are still occurring.

The bad thing is that crime figures vary state by state. While Maine experienced one of the lowest rates of violent crimes in 2017 (according to the FBI report) — just 120 incidents per 100,000 population, ever-problematic Alaska at the same time struggled from 830 felonies per 100,000 people. Why are not all the spots in America equally safe and favorable for living? Reasons do differ, from the difference in laws and punishment measures to dissimilar geographical position and availability of natural resources. Hereafter, we discuss how the crime rate varies across the country.

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Comparison Of The United States Cities By Crime

Forewarned is forearmed. Below, you will see a table reflecting the main information on crimes for each American state.

Violent Crime Murder Rape Robbery Aggravated Assault Property Crime Burglary Larceny Theft Vehicle Theft Arson
WashingtonWashington 5,146 32 591 1,457 3,066 45,055 7,669 31,521 5,865 165
AlaskaAlaska 3,804 36 474 1,042 2,252 21,58 2,791 15,791 2,998 115
MarylandMaryland 5,146 135 188 2,318 2,505 12,339 2,828 7,492 2,019 98
ArizonaArizona 2,906 34 505 638 1,729 23,513 3,314 18,41 1,789 71
PennsylvaniaPennsylvania 3,572 76 281 1,281 1,934 12,254 1,62 9,245 1,39 108
New YorkNew York 4,219 32 280 1,186 2,72 11,855 1,201 10,074 580 21
HawaiiHawaii 1,2 8 164 413 615 14,397 1,654 10,435 2,308 146
NevadaNevada 1,826 22 241 451 1,113 8,131 1,968 4,78 1,384 18
IllinoisIllinois 1,937 36 129 637 1,136 6,35 948 4,712 690 36
TennesseeTennessee 2,028 26 113 464 1,425 7,759 1,286 5,603 869 31
IndianaIndiana 1,675 27 122 451 1,076 6,282 1,2 4,304 779 37
OhioOhio 1,4 29 172 459 741 6,749 1,556 4,317 877 21
MissouriMissouri 1,591 32 115 327 1,117 5,769 930 3,883 956 49
OklahomaOklahoma 1,23 15 130 222 864 6,481 1,455 4,148 879 33
TexasTexas 1,162 13 123 326 699 6,114 1,036 4,392 686 25
ArkansasArkansas 1,326 20 120 149 1,037 6,145 1,06 4,576 509 24
LouisianaLouisiana 903 31 113 276 482 5,403 886 3,924 593 37
MinnesotaMinnesota 920 7 137 284 492 4,472 755 2,93 786 31
AlabamaAlabama 903 19 50 202 632 4,624 949 3,164 511 50
NebraskaNebraska 884 8 179 127 571 5,598 707 4,122 770 19
MichiganMichigan 1,165 19 104 200 842 2,864 643 1,675 546 62
GeorgiaGeorgia 754 17 63 211 463 4,73 709 3,436 586 14
OregonOregon 553 2 80 160 311 5,475 662 3,822 990 37
KentuckyKentucky 491 17 107 228 139 5,148 743 3,888 517 23
ColoradoColorado 713 8 113 148 445 4,08 608 2,768 705 27
North CarolinaNorth Carolina 0 14 0 291 642 5,578 1,082 4,056 440 31
CaliforniaCalifornia 696 7 62 244 383 3,55 575 2,352 624 33
KansasKansas 734 9 80 97 549 3,829 554 2,798 477 22
WisconsinWisconsin 759 4 95 118 542 3,723 518 2,917 288 8
FloridaFlorida 534 9 50 137 339 3,295 448 2,545 303 8
MassachusettsMassachusetts 756 8 47 215 487 2,392 422 1,77 201 8
Rhode IslandRhode Island 425 5 57 119 244 2,807 391 2,096 320 8
VirginiaVirginia 376 10 37 96 233 2,788 305 2,224 259 12
UtahUtah 357 3 67 79 208 3,285 463 1,992 344 6
ConnecticutConnecticut 368 5 23 108 233 1,706 240 1,162 304 14
MontanaMontana 269 1 29 53 186 2,671 333 1,952 386 9
New JerseyNew Jersey 342 7 21 126 188 1,368 222 829 317 8
IowaIowa 232 5 29 56 143 2,255 442 1,611 202 8
North DakotaNorth Dakota 252 2 50 33 167 1,826 318 1,361 147 5
South DakotaSouth Dakota 232 3 28 38 162 1,721 186 1,342 193 7
New HampshireNew Hampshire 317 0 35 65 217 1,303 154 1,072 77 9
New MexicoNew Mexico 194 3 18 19 154 1,81 267 1,418 125 3
South CarolinaSouth Carolina 174 4 18 33 119 1,403 136 1,106 161 3
MississippiMississippi 66 3 6 28 48 852 185 634 70 4
IdahoIdaho 56 0 12 3 41 404 71 305 28 2
West VirginiaWest Virginia 35 1 5 3 27 235 40 180 15 2
VermontVermont 29 0 7 1 20 150 53 87 10 1
WyomingWyoming 23 0 5 1 16 247 34 196 17 1
MaineMaine 11 0 3 2 6 152 22 125 5 1
DelawereDelawere 8 0 4 2 3 100 6 94 1 1

How did we get these crime figures?

Stats on the law violation incidents are based on the 2018 FBI uniform crime reporting. To compose this article, we also used many other metrics and statistical data connected to security, property, and violent crimes. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is one of the most powerful institutions in the USA on guard for safety, control, and law compliance. Most major establishments in America (such as local governments, educational institutions, hospitals, airports, etc.) report to the FBI, informing them about all crime/law-related issues. This information is available for free on the FBI official website and everyone can get acquainted with it. Below you will see which metrics we used for this guide, with their description provided.

Level of criminality by state

Violent Crime Level

The term Violent Crime applies to various kinds of criminal acts performed with the use of violence, such as physical altercation, thrusting, or unlicensed deadly weapons.

Murder Level

It is an incident of slaying another human being. Murders differ by degree of severity: willful murder, manslaughter, killing on self-defense, and more. Punishment measures for killing a person vary by state and include life sentence and even death penalty.

Rape level

It is a kind of sexual abuse toward a person when a victim is forced to have sex without actually willing to perform the act.

Robbery Level

Robbery is a serious misdeed involving threatening of a victim for the purpose of taking their money, belongings, or services. Robbers use or pretend to use weapons, or force to intimidate their victims.

Aggravated Assault Level

It is all about attacking a person to bring bodily harm to them. Aggravated assaults are generally committed with the use of different weapons or by physical force. The punishment for aggravated assault depends on the severity of the offense.

Property Crime Level

Property crime is a punishable offense that implies doing damage to the private property belonging to other people, or state. Vandalism, graffiti, and shoplifting, arson, trespassing are all examples of property crime.

Burglary Level

Burglary is a broad term involving various acts of wrongdoing. It, for example, relates to unauthorized entering into another person’s property, intending to steal something or using a motor vehicle without permission.

Larceny Theft level

Larcenies are criminally punishable activities that involve taking another person’s things with the use of physical force of weapons. Larceny-theft crimes vary by degree and, consequently, by the severity of punishment.

Motor Vehicle Theft Level

A motor vehicle theft is stealing a car, motor-bicycle, or any other kind of vehicle. The term does not involve car hijacking when an owner is inside while his/her vehicle is being thieved.

Arson Level

Arson is a very serious crime involving deliberately setting another person’s property afire. A punishment for arson vary by region and severity of consequences.

As you see from the written above, the guide is based on the information taken from the publicly available FBI UCR. After analyzing these crime reports and comparing the number of offenses by region, we were able to determine the most and least safe parts of the United States. With this information considered, you will better understand the crime situation in different states, and, perhaps, avoid crucial mistakes of moving to the wrong place.

The most criminalized states in America

Although America has it all to make all your dreams come true, safety is still an unbeaten problem for many states. Let us face it: governments of too many states fail to ensure a decent level of security for the local people, and crime figures treacherously creep up. Offenses include all sorts of lawlessness: from the abasement of human dignity and defamation to violent and property crimes, assaults, homicides, and even massive social conflicts for racist, religious, political, and other reasons. Here are the most crime-prone states in America in decreasing order.

  • Washington
  • Alaska
  • Maryland
  • Arizona
  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • Hawaii
  • Nevada
  • Illinois
  • Tennessee

Washington: quite a dangerous place to live in

Washington, D.C. is situated on the West Coast, and, washed by the Pacific Ocean the District is fantastically beautiful from a natural point of view. However, leading a perfectly tranquil life in this spot is something next to impossible owing to a scandalously high level of crime and violence.

Type of offense

Number of reported incidents

Comment

Violent Crime

5.146

This type of wrongdoing involves punishable activities performed by a lawbreaker toward a victim. Violent crimes are committed using some kind of weapon and violence. As can be seen from the figures, the rate of violent crime in Washington is blatantly high. The reason for such miserable figures is the crack cocaine epidemic raging in the District between the 1980s and 1990s the negative consequences of which still take place to be.

Murder

32

It is one of the severest types of crime, and the number of incidents of murder is, unfortunately, very high in Washington D. C. If you think about relocating to this place, think again. The statistics may be inaccurate — the actual figures are always higher.

Rape

591

Rape is dire perpetration, and such a high mark makes it a grim reality that women and children cannot feel absolutely safe in Washington.

Robbery

1.457

Looking at such an awesomely high rate of robbery in Washington, it is fair to assume that nearly every person living here has been bereft at least once.

Aggravated Assault

3,066

A violent attack with the use of some weapon, like a gun, a knife, or even a baseball bat is considered by the law as an aggravated assault. Washington seems to be the leader in this relation. With a brazen prevalence of drug syndicates and felons, this place is still far from becoming one of the most peaceful cities in the world.

Property Crime

45,055

Property crimes seem to be a common thing in Washington, looking at this statistic. Having a more or less good car or dwelling is a risky luxury for the locals.

Burglary

7,669

This felony also refers to illegal entry to someone’s house with an aim to steal something irrespective of whether the owner is away. The stats are shocking and discouraging.

Larceny Theft

31,521

Larceny thefts are viewed as trivial offenses by the law when the value of the stolen goods does not exceed $50,000. Felonies when a criminal rips the item from the victim’s hands are also considered larceny.

Motor Vehicle Theft

5,865

Motor vehicles are, perhaps, the most common of  malefactors. Left on the streets unattended, cars and bikes are a real temptation.

Arson

165

Though Washington has one of the strictest punishments for arson in the country (one can be sentenced to life imprisonment), this does not stop reckless criminals from setting non-owned property afire, judging by these numbers.

Alaska: Surprisingly dangerous given its farness

The land of majestic snow and infinite natural resources, Alaska strikes not only with its landscapes but with the level of crime. Remoteness from the rest of civilization seems to have played a dirty trick on this area. Criminologists agree that leading an isolated life without keeping contact with other people can badly affect one’s psychic, sharpening their hereditary hunter instinct, and triggering aggressive behavior. Beautiful as it is, Alaska is also one of the most hostile territories in the US.

Type of offense

Number of reported incidents

Comment

Violent Crime

3.804

Given its remoteness from the rest of the country, it is hard to believe that violent crimes can ever possible in this naturally gorgeous place. However, nearly 4,000 reported incidents per 100,000 people negate the imaginary tranquility and peacefulness of Alaska.

Murder

36the

The main cause of murders in this picturesque nook is domestic abuse and sporadic violence on the streets. The prevalence of drug-addicted communities enhanced by overall poverty of the local population is one contributing factor to a strangely high rate of manslaughter.

Rape

474

With such a sheer number of reported rape incidents in Alaska, it is easy to figure out that the region abounds with criminal elements, who chose women and children as their victims. The situation could be better if the police punished the evil-doers to the full extent of the law.

Robbery

1.042

The metric is very high leading one to think that the police in Alaska are not worth their funding. The cases of robbery generally occur on the streets and rarely with the use of weapons. Most victims are predictably women who cannot defend themselves effectively.

Aggravated Assault

2252

The score is very serious given the size and population of Alaska. Aggravated assaults are committed with the use of weapons and force, so many incidents end up with heavy wounds and even deaths.

Property Crime

21,580

It seems that having a home or a vehicle is a bad sign in Alaska. The property crime figures set new negative records year by year. Ensuring property security, like setting up surveillance cameras, signaling systems, and motion sensors are the main expenditure item on an average household budget.

Burglary

2791

Shoplifting is quite a trend in this state. Store owners are always at risk of losing their goods and stocks in the till. Enthusiastic startuppers willing to launch a business in Alaska should seriously consider a sadly high score of burglary.

Larceny Theft

15,791

Petty felony is not punished strictly in Alaska, which, surely, keys up light law violators. If caught by the police, a delinquent will most likely just quit paying a fine and recommence the evil-doing.

Motor Vehicle Theft

2998

Motor vehicle theft incidents have been increasing over the last few decades. The situation is, perhaps, the worst in the whole country, and locals here just reuse to own cars, opting for less convenient public transport.

Arson

115

Attempts to set the property on fire generally occur due to unhealthy competition and commerce. In a fight for customers and, consequently, revenues, businessmen so brazenly set each other’s restaurants, stores, and supermarkets afire, badly affecting the crime statistics in Alaska.

Maryland: beautiful coasts and hideous crimes

An urban state with mesmerizing beaches, Maryland does attract foreign tourists and holiday-makers. The state’s capital, Baltimore, is considered the country’s major seaport. A Mid-Atlantic region, Maryland boasts lots of climatic contradictions. From unbearably cold to steaming hot, Maryland runs the gamut of weather conditions. With over 200 years of slavery, Maryland, of course, has a much diversified economy. The state is booming, roaring, and, let us be honest, prone to exceeding violence.

Type of offense

Number of reported incidents

Comment

Violent Crime

5.146

Uniform crime reports show that the score of violent crimes in this region is ridiculously high. Factors contributing to such discouraging figures are poverty and an unstable economic situation. The median age of victims is also frighteningly, young — adolescents between 14–16, and kids below 5 tend to suffer from violence.

Murder

135

Though the factors to drive these figures up are numerous, widespread unemployment and poverty are the main causes of murders in Maryland.

Rape

188

Teenagers and women are dramatically unsafe in this region. Though the situation with rapes is much better, compared to other notoriously known states, such as Alaska, there is much left to be done to ensure uncompromised security for the people.

Robbery

2,318

Do not confuse this term with burglary. Robbery in Maryland involves carjacking and mugging. Penalties do vary and depend on the type of weapon used, as well as the value of the loot.

Aggravated Assault

2,505

Aggravated assaults are also on the rise in this territory, with most attacks carried out with the use of weapons on the streets. Hospitals and healthcare centers suffer from a steady influx of victims of aggravated assaults, which cannot but create an additional cost loading on the state budget.

Property Crime

12,339

The situation with property crimes is not overwhelmingly adverse across the entire state. While the capital, Baltimore,  faces hundreds of car and house-involving felonies every month, Ocean Pines and Thurmont are comparably peaceful.

Burglary

2,828а

The index is impressive, making one think that a thief is quite a common profession in these cities. Baltimore is an undisputed leader in this respect, with the most cases of burglary occurring in the state. The assaults are predictably armed and forced.

Larceny Theft

7,492

A felony is considered a larceny-theft if the caused damage does not exceed $10,000. An array of possible punishments includes jail time and a substantial fine. Obviously, such measures are not strict enough to stop malefactors from stealing.

Motor Vehicle Theft

2,019

More or less decent cars are exposed to be stolen in Maryland. Unlike hijacking, a motor vehicle theft takes place when the owner is not inside the vehicle.

Arson

98

Cases of burning or intentions to burn other’s property are generally uncommon in cities of Maryland. Despite a pretty low score of arson, it is still a long way to go for the government to improve the crime situation in the state.

Arizona: not as grand as its Canyon 

With over 7.2 million residents, Arizona is the 6th largest state in America. The area is insanely huge with lots of diversified climatic conditions. Mountains and desert sands, elevations and plains, forests and parklands — Arizona has it all, with the Grand Canyon being a world-famous natural attraction. Farming and natural production make a large share of the state’s economy, factories and plants scattered throughout the territory. Arizona is also famous for its excellent education opportunities and is home to acknowledged higher education establishments, such as the University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, and Arizona State University. The state has a very favorable migration policy, attracting thousands of foreigners and expats to come there searching for a job and a better life. But is it possible to live safely in this region? Let us have a look at what the Uniform Crime Reporting says about Arizona.

Type of offense

Number of reported incidents

Comment

Violent Crime

2906

The FBI UCR shows that the number of violent crimes in Arizona has been steadily dropping over the past two years. This is, of course, great news for residents, as they can have peace of mind to safely walk on the streets, at least, during the daytime. Nights are nowhere safe, for the most part.

Murder

34

The same positive tendency is observed with the murder rate in Arizona — the figures are decreasing year by year. However, violent assaults and massacres still take place without any precise cause. Shootings are also quite usual in Arizona, making one take serious self-protection measures when stepping out of the home threshold.

Rape

505

Rapes are a hard issue in this region, with the number of incidents hardly ever decreasing. Not only women and children, but men are, too, at a high risk of being sexually abused in Arizona. The government has to conduct a serious educative campaign on the matter of rape and ways to fight it.

Robbery

638

The robbery statistics are very disappointing in these cities. Petty felonies are not treated seriously by the law, which makes robbers bolder. Wallets, gadgets, accessories, and jewelry are easily stolen on the streets of Arizona.

Aggravated Assault

1729

Though Arizona is less crime-prone, compared to other states, the volume of reported aggravated assaults is threatening. These criminal activities are performed with the use of steel and firearms, which ultimately end up with hospitalization.

Property Crime

23,513

Property crime figures are even higher than in infamous Maryland. The richer the city, the greater the risk is that your house or car will be cleaned out. Criminals here prefer presentably looking mansions and vehicles to break into and profit off.

Burglary

3,314

According to the law of Arizona, burglary is a criminal deed involving an unauthorized entry into another person’s home or car with the purpose of stealing things and/or money or causing injuries to the owner.

Larceny Theft

18,410

Larceny thefts are an established practice in Arizona. Stealing goods valued under $2,000 will not involve a rigorous penalty, as this criminal act will be considered a petty offense.

Motor Vehicle Theft

1,789

It seems that thieves are targeted at motorcycles in Arizona, though cars are being stolen pretty often, too. Fortunately, a good alarm system and observation cameras can add up to the safety of your hard-earned motor property.

Arson

71

Though arson and attempts to burn another person’s property incur a huge fine and even imprisonment in Arizona, the number of incidents is abnormally elevated. Once a criminal has taken all the valuable goods from a car of a home, the property is just set aflame either to produce a frightening effect or, perhaps, in a bid to cover up the traces of the crime.

Pennsylvania: no one to stop the crime

 Pennsylvania is a land of climatic contraries. Harsh winters with unbearable temperatures and icy winds followed by scorchingly hot summers, with minimum precipitations and an abundance of tornadoes. As for the state’s economy, many businesses are engaged in mining and fishing here, and their affairs are pretty good, given the large population in Pennsylvania (almost 13 million people in 2019). Despite that, Pennsylvania currently takes only 33rd place in the United States for its economic performance. According to the United Way of Pennsylvania, every third citizen does not have sufficient income to cover the primary household needs, like paying the bills, child

Type of offense

Number of reported incidents

Comment

Violent Crime

3572

As one-third of the whole state population is underpaid, it is not surprising that violent crimes are uniform here. According to the 2018 FBI UCR data, most victims of violent offenders end up in hospitals with severe, often life-dangerous injuries. Some crime acts are executed using silent weapons.

Murder

76

Despite the fact that Pennsylvania is not as dangerous as Alaska or Maryland, the number of killings is one of the highest in the country. Pennsylvania, for some reason, attracts multiple murderers, whose wickedness drives the homicide index up.

Rape

281

Women and teens cannot enjoy a totally secure life in Penn. To make things worse, they even cannot feel absolutely safe at their own homes, as most rapes occur in a home of victims. Observation cameras and a security system are to boost the security of the real estate.

Robbery

1281

The acts of robbery involve a different penalty: from an insignificant fine to long years as a jailbird, depending on the crime class. Poverty and lack of education are the main factors seducing wrongdoers to robbery.

Aggravated Assault

1934

This metric is remarkably low, compared to the situation in other provinces. The law is harsh toward those who practice aggravated assaults, with a real possibility to spend half the life behind the bars. Still, certain proactive measures should be taken by the state government to get these figures to drop.

Property Crime

12,254

Penal acts against homes and vehicles have been notably falling over the past years. The situation has stabilized because the punishment for property felonies has become much stricter. School and university education has also become more available for Pennsylvanians, which has granted them more opportunities in life and took them away from the criminal path.

Burglary

1620

The Pennsylvanian law treats burglars harshly. An unauthorized entering into a building or its portion, unless the premises are open to the public, is considered a first-degree felony which may end up with 20 years of imprisonment, and a heavy fine added to the penalty. In some cases, the incident may be changed to a second-degree felony which is hardly pleasant, as the defendant is subjected to up to ten years in jail.

Larceny Theft

9,245

The penalties for larceny thefts in Penn vary depending on the value of the goods stolen. If the value does not exceed $50, the criminal may receive up to three months in prison and a fine of up to $1,500, depending on the level of damage caused. If the value of the property stolen is over $2,000, it will be viewed as a second-degree felony with a prospect of spending up to seven years in jail. But on the whole, the rules for larceny thefts are not harsh, and the penalty will depend on the circumstances and the social background of the evel-doer.

Motor Vehicle Theft

1,390

The stats show that trucks and large motor vehicles have a hypnotizing effect on car thieves, as they majorly prefer these types of transport. Yet, the figures are remarkably low, compared to other regions. The insurance business is thriving in Pennsylvania as inhabitants spare no expense to protect their motor property against malefactors.

Arson

108

evil

New York: not golden, but dangerous apple 

With NYC as the capital, New York is a very motley state bringing both thousands of expats and natives under one impressive roof. Its economy is exemplary, the job places are one of the highest-paid in the whole country, celebrities, politicians, and affluent people massively choose downtown NYC to settle. The state abounds with covetable mansions and expensive cars, which speaks volumes about the prosperity of this province. Still, luxury is a hard temptation to resist — criminals have more than enough work in New York State, compromising an idyllic life of local communities and propelling them to take serious self and property protection measures.

Type of offense

Number of reported incidents

Comment

Violent Crime

4,219

Cartels and the influx of illegal drugs have always been an issue in this region; and over the last few years, their negative impact on the state’s peacefulness has spiked. Five Prisoners, Bloods, Nietas, Latin Kings, Crips, Silenciosos, to name a few, are real gangs of New York, and they terrorize people on the streets. The availability of guns also contributes to the enormous figures in the violent crime index. Violence is always around, but it is especially concentrated amongst the poor groups of people, numerous in New York State.

Murder

32

Though New York City is considered the Golden Apple of the country, extreme violence seems to be its inseparable part. We cannot say that the police fail to protect citizens from aggressiveness and manslaughter, but murder events are too common and often are a consequence of villainy, like shop-breaks or robbing.

Rape

281

Some zones in New York are especially dangerous for women, such as Midtown or Brownsville. The risk of being raped in these areas is highly elevated. Most incidents of sexual maltreatment occur because of constant wrangles between gangs.

Robbery

1,186

New York criminal law regards robbery as a violent felony with a strong likelihood to find oneself in a prison for many years. An act of forcible stealing with the use of a weapon, physical force, or threatening is classified with one of the three degrees of this misdeed and will make one immediately seek a good criminal attorney. Typical victims are teens, women, and tourists that are so amazed about New York that cannot admit a thought it is as dangerous as it is beautiful.

Aggravated Assault

2,720

The New York State police view an aggravated assault as beating and injuring another person. The index is pretty high; still, the situation is a bit improved compared to other American states.

Property Crime

11,855

Criminal mischief toward vehicles and dwellings is widespread in these locations. Chances of being deprived of property are so high that inhabitants do their utmost to protect precious property by installing observation systems and strengthening gates, garages, doors, and windows in their homes. All means go in if you do not want to be a victim of a dodging robber.

Burglary

1,201

Breaking into or remaining unlawfully in a house, trailer, or vehicle to commit a crime is considered a burglary offense in the New York State. The penalty depends on the degree of a criminal act and can incur up to 25 years in jail. The statistic is inspiringly low here.

Larceny Theft

10,074

The larceny-theft rate in New York is one of the lowest in the country, which indicates the effectiveness and dedication of the local police to protecting inhabitants against thieft. Incidents are still frequent, but the penalty is, surely, unavoidable.

Motor Vehicle Theft

580

Motor vehicle thefts vary by degree. if the caused damage does not exceed $100, the act will be qualified as a petty crime. The greater the value of loot,  the harsher the penalty is, down to years in jail or a huge fine.

Arson

21

There are five degrees of arson severity in New York’s criminal law. The behavior is described as intentionally damaging the property of another person by burning or causing an explosion. The punishment will be based on how devastating the offense is, with the likelihood to spend a quarter-century behind bars.

Hawaii: another side of paradise

The state locates on an island in the Pacific Ocean, outside the North American continent. Hawaii boasts impressive natural scenery, blissful tropical climate, pristine beaches, one-of-a-kind oceanic views, and active volcanoes, which explains why this place is often compared to paradise. The state is a sparkling combination of North American, East Asian, and indigenous Hawaiian cultures, which makes this canton a popular tourist destination. Much hyped and touted, Hawaii is seen by many as a perfect, tranquil, and dovish space. In reality, this is far from being true.

Type of offense

Number of reported incidents

Comment

Violent Crime

1,200

Since the state attracts lots of wealthy holidaymakers, violent crime stats are expectedly high. One may think violence in Hawaii is a fact of life and will not go away. Alongside with attacking carefree globetrotters, violent crimes on the island also relate to racial outbursts, which demonstrate direct between race and crime.

Murder

8

No killings are made in paradise! At least, the numbers are low, giving peace of mind and the impression that walking down Hawaiian streets can pretty safe. Chances to fall victim to a murderer are minimal — the credit to the state police and comparatively strict law.

Rape

164

According to the FBI, despite violent crimes in Hawaii have been declining over the last few years, the situation with rapes is getting ever worse. Criminologists agree that these figures are actually much higher because only one out of three victims of sexual abuse report to the police. It is a very devastating event, and women simply do not want to get involved in the criminal justice system and give a statement over and over again, re-creating traumatic memories.

Robbery

413

While the number of murderers and rapists is relatively low, robbers, obviously, act with impudence in Hawaii. The good thing, criminals are not very aggressive here and generally content with stealing wallets or gadgets from bypassers on the streets without hurting the victims.

Aggravated Assault

615

In accordance with Hawaiian law, an aggravated assault is a felony occurring when one person brings physical injuries to another without legal justification. The severity of assault is divided into three degrees, and the charge will depend on several factors, including the seriousness of caused harm, the defendant’s intentions, whether the criminal is the state’s resident, and more.

Property Crime

14,397

The state has a serious property crime issue. The number of cases is steeply increasing year by year while the number of resolved cases is dismally dropping, according to the FBI data. Vehicle and dwelling-related crimes are hard to investigate as they generally occur without witnesses or evidence left behind. The abundance of tourists only complicates the problem. Some travelers can be intractable shoplifters, too.

Burglary

1654

Felonies associated with burglary are divided into three categories by severity. An unlawful invasion or remaining within the premises or vehicle illegally with an intention to or actually committing a crime may be punishable up to 10 years in jail coupled with thousand dollars as a fine.

Larceny Theft

10,435

Hawaiian authorities use a specific approach to treat larceny thefts. Here, not only physical objects but intellectual property can be subject to punishable larceny. For instance, downloading an electronic book from the Internet without paying for it may incur a solid fine. Matter-of-factly, documents are very often stolen in Hawaii.

Motor Vehicle Theft

2,308

Owning a car or a motorbike is a risky business on the island. While violent crimes are not so frequent, motor thefts seem to be in full swing. According to the FBI statistics, motor vehicle thefts have been decreasing since 2016. Nevertheless, cars are still stolen daily in Hawaii.

Arson

146

Setting a paradise afire seems to be a motto of local people, otherwise, the metric would not be that high. Curiously, arson events often occur between ever-conflicting neighbors.

Nevada: remote and friendly

 The state that did not exist before the Civil War, Nevada was born amongst civil disturbances and rioting, which explains why it is also called the battle-born state. Nevada’s economy mainly revolves around tourism, mining, machinery production, food processing, cattle breeding, and electric equipment production. The driest province in the country, Nevada’s climate is semi-arid with little precipitation during a year. Nevada is almost entirely a mild desert with oppressive summers and nippy winters. Since inhabitants have to struggle with and adapt to unfavorable climate conditions, they seem to have no time left for wrongdoing, at least, the stats show it.

Type of offense

Number of reported incidents

Comment

Violent Crime

1,175

Life is never the same in families, neighborhoods, and even communities after violent crimes. Along with physical pain, such offenses cause emotional and social distress making people very suspicious and lonely. People prone to  be less physically active out of a fear to be exposed to violence in their neighborhood. When personal security is compromised, people try to reduce walking and cycling. Fortunately for Nevada residents and guests, chances to become a victim of violence are one among lowest in the country.

Murder

22

The unlawful killing of a person, done with malice is defined as murder in Nevada. Murders can be first degree (intended killings and felony murders) and second-degree when a defendant acted recklessly without an obvious intent to pull off a homicide. Charges include a possible life sentence in Nevada State Prison or even the death penalty for malicious killings. Such harshness of penalty explains why the murder rate is so low in Nevada.

Rape

241

Given the whopping figures, women and children cannot feel absolutely safe in Nevada. Unlike it is with murderers, rapists are not punished severely — the fact that makes some perpetrators very brave.

Robbery

451

While the rest country seems to swarm with robbers, this is not the case in Nevada. Perhaps, violence is not what prevails in this territory. Perhaps, it is the inclement climate that keeps inhabitants from breaching a law.

Aggravated Assault

1,113

Nevada’s law defines an aggravated assault as an attempt to cause harm to another person, or an act of putting a victim in fear of using force. Punishment for such offenses will depend on several factors, including victim-specific assaults and employment of dangerous weapons. Aggravated assaults more often occur in families with a low income than in richer ones. Reports show that women and children are often attacked by frenzied men and get injured.

Property Crime

45,055

Nevada’s law defines an aggravated assault as an attempt to cause harm to another person, or an act of putting a victim in fear of using force. Punishment for such offenses will depend on several factors, including victim-specific assaults and employment of dangerous weapons. Aggravated assaults more often occur in families with a low income than in richer ones. Reports show that women and children are often attacked by frenzied men and get injured.

Burglary

1968

Looking at this score, it is fair to say that burglary is not a big issue in Nevada. Evidently, that acts of delinquency happen almost without violence, burglars here steal goods without causing physical harm to their victims.

Larceny Theft

4780

In a hot pursuit to earn the title of the safest state in America, Nevada does not suffer from major larceny thefts, and most incidents are ranked as petty. However, stealing goods valued over $700 is fraught entailing the jail.

Motor Vehicle Theft

1384

While hijacking and kidnapping are exceedingly rare, motor vehicle thefts are on the rise. Grand larceny of a motor vehicle valued over $3,500 may end up with up to 10 years in jail with a big fine and, surely, restitution. If the stolen vehicle is worth less than $3,500, the possible punishment will include up to five years behind bars with a fine and restitution.

Arson

18

Property is rarely set on fire in Nevada. The police say most arson incidents are caused intentionally by owners themselves in an effort to receive insurance for the vehicle/house burnt. There are four degrees of arson in Nevada’s law with the first incurring the most severe penalty and the fourth incurring the lightest.

Illinois: is it as safe as they said?

Lots of outstanding historical figures were born in Illinois, for example, legendary President Lincoln. Boasting the fifth largest GDP in the USA, Illinois is often called a microcosm of the entire country. With its enormous agricultural productivity and rich natural resources, Illinois braggs a diverse economic base with world-class industries, and it is also a major transportation hub. From time to time, this state becomes a bellwether in economic, social, cultural, and political terms. The province is seemingly prosperous unless you have a look at its crime rate.

Type of offense

Number of reported incidents

Comment

Violent Crime

1937

This is quite an elevated metric, assuming that the state is one of the wealthiest in the country. Residents cannot feel safe not only on the streets but even in their own homes. Criminals are so brazen because the law in Illinois does not treat violent crimes as harshly as in other states.

Murder

36

Manslaughter is not an issue in this place if to judge by this index. This is made possible due to severe penalties applying to guilty persons. The incrimination in the first or second-degree killing can end up with life imprisonment, which effectively cools down the ardor of violence-prone ones.

Rape

129

Children and women are not in danger of sexual abuse in Illinois, regarding the figures. However, there is still much room for improvement.

Robbery

637

Illinois criminal law defines robbery as taking other people`s property by threatening or directly using physical force. Such behavior is generally Class 2 felony chargeable with up to 7 years in jail. Under certain circumstances (like robbing an old person or a public organization), the felony will be qualified as a Class 1 felony with a jail sentence up to 15 years. A penalty for aggravated or armed robberies may be extended to 60 years in prison. Even the real risk to meet death in jail does not stop felons from this bad practice if to look at this score.

Aggravated Assault

1,136

The problem of aggravated assaults is persistent in this region, the situation is even worse than in maleficent Alaska and New York. However, the local government does not seem to be hibernated — the streets of Illinois are patrolled by the police day and night to improve this adverse statistic.

Property Crime

6,350

Property crimes are also too frequent for an outwardly flourishing province. Criminologists explain these heightened figures with a rise in homelessness and poverty over the past few years. Vehicles and homes are common objects of these crimes pushing owners to take serious property protection measures.

Burglary

948

The criminal law of Illinois is very severe toward burglars. An unlawful entering into a stranger’s home, vehicle, or any other type of building or its structure irrespective of criminal intentions will carry a penal sanction.

Larceny Theft

4712

Illinois laws penalize larceny thefts, based on the nature of the offense, the value of the goods stolen, and the presence of previous related convictions. Stealing things from educational institutions, places of worship or even governmental property will involve heightened penalty up to 30 years in prison while Class A misdemeanor will carry a few months in jail, surely, with heavy fines in every case.

Motor Vehicle Theft

690

Motor vehicles are not in danger of theft in Illinois! This was the lowest crime level in the country in 2018. However, preventive measures are quite wise. A good vehicle anti-theft system will play an important role in protecting your dear car and what is inside it against hijackers.

Arson

35

The risk that your precious property will be burnt by another person is minimal in Illinois. Being accused of arson in Illinois promises nothing good for the accused as the penalty may be as strict as 30 years of jail time according to the nature of the crime. The facts show that people do not dare to destroy other’s property through burning in this province.

Tennessee: going slowly to excellent safety

 Nestled in the south of America, Tennessee is known for cheaper living, compared to the US average. Despite being packed with gorgeous natural beauties and a decent level of culture, this place is not as peaceful as shown in movies. The crime level has been gradually increasing in Tennessee over the past years, making it totally not the most decent region to move to. Though it is one of a few states still practicing capital punishment, the level of violent crimes is surprisingly high here, which suggests that lawbreakers in Tennessee are the most egregious.

Type of offense

Number of reported incidents

Comment

Violent Crime

2,228

Although the state is universally considered one of the safest in America, violence is a thorny problem in this area. Sparkling and booming Memphis often ranks the most criminal-prone city in the country with the rate of violent activities simply off the scale.

Murder

26

Though this index has been improved over the last years, manslaughter is still a pressing issue in the province. Killers are fully aware of an actual risk to end up on the electric chair, but this does not stop them from slaying others. To its credit, the state government is taking active measures to improve this statistic.

Rape

113

The score is rapidly getting worse in Tennessee. Rape reports have increased by 2.7% compared to 2017, even though the defendant may spend 60 years in prison without the possibility of release on probation.

Robbery

464

On the national scale, Tennessee earned the dubious honor of being the fifth-worst state in terms of robbery. Residents of this province cannot enjoy completely safe walking on the streets and have to carefully secure their property against evil-doers.

Aggravated Assault

1,425

Aggravated assaults occur ridiculously often in this place. The misdeed may be given class A, C, or D felony carrying 15 years in prison of possible sentence for, especially cruel behavior. Though, the punishment is not harsh enough if aggravated assaults have been commonplace for many years in TN.

Property Crime

7,779

The property crime figures have been decreasing almost in the entire state (except for notoriously known Memphis, surely) over the last few years. Vandalism, trespassing, and burglary are common property crimes in TN. The penalty for convictions depends on the seriousness of the crime and may result in a sentence of up to 15 years in jail.

Burglary

1286

Though the burglary stats are slightly better in TN, in contrast with other states mentioned above, it does not mean owners should not worry about safeguarding their assets. The most effective method of keeping your property safe is obtaining a sustainable home security system.

Larceny Theft

5,603

The Tennessee law considers larceny as trespassing and stealing another person’s goods. Theft is a broader concept encompassing all types of stealing and involving any kind of property or services. The larceny-theft occurrence is surprisingly stepped-up; still, it is not the worst situation in the country.

Motor Vehicle Theft

869

The state does not suffer much from motor vehicle thefts as the stat shows. The security forces have been intensively working toward reducing the occurrence of such crimes in TN and positive results have come quickly.

Arson

31

Property owners have peace of mind in this regard because arson offenses are not common in Tennessee. People also splurge on installing powerful observation cameras and fire detectors to their homes to steer arsonists away.

Frequently Asked Questions

What state is the most crime-prone?

According to the FBI data used in this guide, the most dangerous state for living in 2018 was Washington. It is the leader in almost all types of offense. Burglary, arson, and larceny felonies occur here much more frequently than in other areas. To make things worse, the crime rate has been ever-growing every year. Violent felonies often stem from the abundance and availability of illicit drugs, like cocaine and heroin, in Washington driving negative stats up. The occurrence of home invasions and arson is also excessive, making property owners allocate a larger fraction of the family budget to advanced home security systems.

What is the safest state in the US?

It is difficult to give an unambiguous answer to this question, because according to data of the Global Peace Index, America ranks 128 out of 163 countries in terms of safety. The land suffers much from shootings in the streets, hate crimes, never-ending natural disasters, and terrorist attacks, meaning both residents and visitors are frequently put in danger in the USA. Minnesota is said to be the safest region in the country where the index of personal and residential safety is higher than the nationwide average. Vermont and Maine also rank the safest US states with remarkably low unemployment and poverty rates.

Where is the Lowest Crime Rate in the USA?

Cases of mass shooting, terrorist attacks, hate crimes, and violence grab the headlines making Americans fear for their safety and that of their nearest and dearest. While the safety metric varies by state, certain lands can boast of remarkably decreased crime level against the national background. Maine, Vermont, Minnesota, Utah, Wyoming seem to be the most peaceful regions where the rates of assaults, thefts, and property crimes are the lowest per capita.

Which state has the most murders?

The highest concentration of murders is found in Maryland. Most offenses relate to racial violence, fights between gangs, and police issues. The murder rate has been escalating year by year as if all hell broke loose to and defied nationwide crime norms.

In what state does violence reign?

Violence is typical for the most populous states as the more the people there are, the harder it gets to control their behavior. New York, California, Texas have dense populations, and abnormal violence rate has always been an issue in these areas. If you want to lead a tranquil, brutality-free life, choose less populated states.

What is NIBRS?

This abbreviation stands for the National Incident-Based Reporting System used by USA law enforcement agencies to collect and report data on criminal behavior. Security authorities on local, state, and federal levels generate NIBRS data using their records management systems. Every incident or arrest classified as the Group A offense will be reflected in NIBRS with specific facts about the case, defendants, victims, and circumstances. NIBRS data helps to clearly identify the location and occurrence of criminal activities, their form, characteristics, and participants. Leveraging this information, law enforcement institutions have a clear vision of the roots of delinquency, how to fight it, and which resources must be involved.

What is NIBRS?

This abbreviation stands for the National Incident-Based Reporting System used by USA law enforcement agencies to collect and report data on criminal behavior. Security authorities on local, state, and federal levels generate NIBRS data using their records management systems. Every incident or arrest classified as the Group A offense will be reflected in NIBRS with specific facts about the case, defendants, victims, and circumstances. NIBRS data helps to clearly identify the location and occurrence of criminal activities, their form, characteristics, and participants. Leveraging this information, law enforcement institutions have a clear vision of the roots of delinquency, how to fight it, and which resources must be involved.

Is there a connection between race and crime in the United States?

Omniscient Wikipedia has it that there is no precise relation between race and crime in the United States. Moreover, perpetrators prefer to attack victims that are of the same race in the USA. Numerous academic researches prove that it is not the race but exposure to poor neighborhoods, poverty, expensiveness of living and education, exposure to dangerous chemicals, and early childhood issues, and even the environmental condition that have an impact on whether a person will be inclined to criminal behavior.

What is the subculture violence theory?

The theory of subculture of violence developed from the work of the Chicago School, and it revolves around the supposition that members of certain subcultures are more prone to execute crimes than the rest of society.

What is the social control theory?

Social control theory assumes that criminal behavior can be controlled and suppressed only through joint social efforts. It includes a set of norms and moral values of society, as well as sanctions applied to punish those with aggressive conduct. The essence of social control lies in the intentions of society to strengthen the conformism (a desire to please) of its members, inculcate “socially desirable” forms of behavior, suppress deviant behavior, and also push individual with deviant behavior to follow social norms.

What is the social disorganization theory?

The theory of social disorganization is a supposition in criminology that views crime as a social phenomenon. According to the theory, a crime can be associated with social conditions rather than individual features of a person. The theory states that such social factors as a place of residence and environmental status in that state have a crucial influence on a person’s inclination to the offense.

What is the social bonding theory?

Social bonds theory was developed by Travis Warner Hirschi, an American sociologist, professor of sociology at the University of Arizona. According to this theory, every human nature tends toward delinquent behavior and has to suppress himself from pushing social norms. Hirschi believed that the higher the level of social control and the tighter the bonds of the social network a person belongs to are, the lesser is the chance that social standards will be violated. In this context, social bonds are viewed as elements of social cohesion such as closeness to the family, religion, compliance with socially approved norms.
 

What is the anomie theory?

In criminology, anomie is a state of personal disorganization arising as a result of disorientation, which is a consequence of either a social situation in which there is a conflict of norms and a person is faced with conflicting requirements or a situation when there are no norms. David Émile Durkheim, a French sociologist, is a founder of anomie theory, and he believed that a crime is a normal and even useful phenomenon because it performs two functions:
  • the deviation of individual consciousness from the collective one is a prerequisite of change and progress. The completely uniform behavior of all members of a given society means that this society is experiencing stagnation and is not developing;
  • crime can be a factor in the integration of society and the strengthening of social ties. A negative reaction to a criminal activity strengthens the collective consciousness and makes the difference between moral and legal norms more visible.
 

What is Marxist criminology?

Marxist criminology is a theory that views criminal behavior through the prism of Marxism. Marxist Criminology assumes that during the fight for resources in a capitalistic society, crimes are inevitable because those who lack resources will always want to take them from those who own them. Marx claimed that capitalism as a form of production is the only system that does not allow a product to be naturally distributed to those people who need it. For example, in other societies, a product is manufactured to be provided for those who need it but not to be accumulated by those who are on the top of that society. In a capitalist realm, those who are on the top of society try to pay their workers as little as possible, thereby not allowing the product to flow easily to those who need it. It is the unsatisfied demand artificially created by the capitalists that drive those at the bottom to perform crimes. Willem Adriaan Bonger, a Dutch scholar, was the first to relate Marxist theory with criminality, which is reflected in his book Criminality and economic conditions.
 

How to live peacefully and safely in the USA?

Want to leave peacefully in the USA? Make a weighted decision about safety when moving between states or when relocating to America from a foreign country. Yes, America is an astonishingly attractive, promising excellent job and living opportunities, but personal and property safety is still a big issue in too many states. Knowing which state is the safest and cruelest will save you from fatal mistakes when it comes to changing place of residence. While safety and peacefulness must be majorly ensured by the police and law enforcement authorities, it is also in your power to protect yourself and your property by installing sophisticated home and vehicle security units.
 

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About the author 

Jeremy Porter

As a former sales manager, Jerry has extensive experience in home safety solutions. He has been working in this sphere for 12 years. He is industrious, ambitious, and accurate. As of now, he has been writing home security articles for about 6 years and has already managed to present his materials in a range of influential periodicals, including The Washington Post.


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