Which States Have the Highest Crime Rates

Posted: November 20, 2013 at 8:16 pm, Last Updated: March 20, 2014 at 12:33 am

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Knowing the crime rates for states can be very valuable information in making many life decisions. It is important to be aware of crime rates when moving to a new home, seeking employment, or even considering a future career. Crime rates play into many aspects of our daily lives, so it is important to know what they are and what they mean. We were able to take a look at which states have the highest crime rates and what this means for you and your future from the opinion of someone with a paralegal degree. These Federal Bureau of Investigations findings are from 2012. Some of these statistics may come as a surprise to you.

  1. Tennessee: This state holds the number one spot for highest crime rates, with 643.6 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents. Tennessee also places first in the country for aggravated assaults. Despite its number one spot for highest crime rate, Tennesse has actually lowered its crime rate since 2007. There have been ups and downs during this state’s crime statistics but with the proper tools and education the crime rates can reach a new low. Lack of education has been shown to be related to crime rates. For those looking to live in Tennessee the crime rates are definitely something to consider, but looking at city specific rates can give an even clearer picture of an area’s crime rate.
  2. Nevada: It may be no surprise to see Nevada on the list. Home to Las Vegas, this busy state attracts people of all types which leads to its crime rates. Nevada has 607.6 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents. Despite being ranked number two in the nation, Nevada is number one in motor vehicle theft, robbery and aggravated assault. The areas within Nevada with the highest crime rates are Reno and Las Vegas, which happen to be the most popular places for tourists due to the enormous casino industry. These statistics should not stop you from enjoying a trip to Las Vegas, but it is important to be on the lookout and make an effort to be safe. It is a must to be mindful of your surroundings and avoid dangerous locations.
  3. Alaska: This state may come as a surprise, but Alaska has managed to reach number three. This state has a rate of 603.2 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents. Alaska is also number one in the entire nation for forcible rape at 79.7 rapes for 100,000 residents. About 37% of women in Alaska have suffered a sexual assault incident; this disturbing statistic may be an important factor to consider for those who might be moving there. Alaska also ranks number two for aggravated assaults. Alaska is an unusual state in that its poverty levels are low and its education levels are high, while still maintaining a high crime rate.
  4. New Mexico: This state’s high poverty rates are a factor to its crime rates, at 559.1 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents New Mexico has room for improvement. This state has some of the highest drug use rates in the country, which definitely play a role in its crime rates. Its burglary rates are the second worst in the country, which is important to note for those who are on the market for a home. New Mexico legislators have acknowledged that the crime rates affect the quality of life of their state; this acknowledgement is a positive thing because it shows that New Mexico legislators are willing to work to reduce the crime rates.
  5. South Carolina: This state also is a victim of high poverty rates which increase the number of crimes, with 558.8 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents. South Carolina has the highest rate of property crimes in the nation, as well as some of the lowest percentages of college educated residents. Not all hope is lost for this state, industry is growing with many companies moving their manufacturing facilities to South Carolina as employment rates increase and poverty rates decrease there can be positive change for this state.

These states are the top five in highest crime rates according the recent FBI statistics. Poverty and education rates are clearly linked to many of the statistics; education is a valuable tool in reducing the rates.