Most Dangerous States in the US

The United States is a vast and diverse country, both in terms of its population and land area. Due to this diversity, crime statistics such as violent crime rates can vary significantly from state to state. This article provides information on the ten states with the highest rates of violent crime between 2020 and 2022.

10 Most Dangerous States in the US in 2023

  1. Alaska
  2. New Mexico
  3. Tennessee
  4. Arkansas
  5. Arizona
  6. Louisiana
  7. Missouri
  8. South Carolina
  9. South Dakota
  10. Michigan


According to recent statistics, Alaska is currently considered the most dangerous state in the US due to its high rate of combined violent and property crimes. In 2022, the state’s crime rate was 32.14 per 1,000 people, with a total population of 736,081.

Among the most frequent crimes reported in Alaska, aggravated assault is particularly prevalent, with 4,222 incidents reported. The state also faces a significant problem with sexual assault, with over 1,132 cases reported, putting Alaska among the highest in the country for this type of crime.

New Mexico 

New Mexico is another state in the US that is considered to be among the most dangerous due to its consistently high ranking in violent crime rates. In 2021, the state recorded more than 12,000 incidents of violent assault and over 2,000 cases of robbery. Property crimes, such as burglary and vehicle theft, are also prevalent in the state. Cities like Albuquerque, Gallup, and Farmington are often cited as having particularly high rates of crime within the state.


Tennessee is another state in the US with high levels of violent crime. The state has a population of approximately 6,917,000 and an overall crime rate of 31.65 per 1,000 people. In 2021, more than 221,000 criminal incidents were reported, of which 46,428 were violent crimes. However, property crime remains the most prevalent issue, with burglary and personal theft being major concerns.

Despite being a growing and evolving state, certain areas within cities like Memphis and Nashville continue to experience high rates of violent crime.


Arkansas is another state that struggles with high rates of violent crime, much like its neighboring state of Tennessee. In 2020, Arkansas had a violent crime rate of 672.7 per 100,000, with a total population of 3,013,756. This means that residents have a 1 in 148 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime. Additionally, property crime is also a significant issue in the state, with a 1 in 38 chance of being a victim of theft, including crimes like burglary and vehicle theft. In 2021 alone, nearly 24,000 such incidents were reported. Cities like West Memphis, Little Rock, and Helena are considered to have the highest crime rates within the state.


While Arizona is known for its stunning national parks, it is also among the most dangerous states to reside in due to high rates of violent crime. While certain cities like Scottsdale may have minimal crime, others like Tempe and Phoenix have high crime rates in many neighborhoods. According to the FBI Crime Data Explorer, violent crime in Arizona rose by 8.6% between 2020 to 2021. During that period, robbery and assault were the most frequently reported crimes, with a total of 32,201 incidents, while the state recorded 504 murders. Overall, Arizonans have a 1 in 199 chance of becoming victims of violent crime.


Louisiana is a state that consistently exceeds the national average for both property and violent crime rates. Cities like Shreveport, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans have notably high rates of violent crimes like murder, which are well above the national average. As of 2022, the crime rate in New Orleans is 150% higher than the national average. Additionally, property crime remains a significant issue, with a rate of 29.71 incidents per 1,000 residents in 2021, significantly exceeding the national average. Burglary and theft are some of the most common types of property crime.


Missouri is among the most dangerous states in the US, with a high incidence of violent crime, especially murder. In 2020, the state recorded 723 murders, or 11.8 per 100,000 people. Additionally, crimes such as assault, robbery, and rape were prevalent in the state, with a rate of 543 violent crimes per 100,000 people.

Cities like St. Louis, which have consistently ranked among the top in the nation for both violent and property crimes, contribute to Missouri’s high crime rate. In 2020, the crime rate in St. Louis was 234% higher than the national average, making it one of the most dangerous cities in the US.

South Carolina

South Carolina is among the top ten most dangerous states in the US, with high rates of violent and property crimes. Despite its surprising ranking, the state has a crime rate of 5.4 per 1,000 people out of a population of 5,118,425, which is higher than the national average of 4 per 1,000 people. In 2020, the state reported almost 22,000 cases of robbery, indicating a significant problem with violent crime. Additionally, the number of murders in South Carolina was 549 in the same year, which is equivalent to .11 per 1,000 people, exceeding the national average of .07 per 1,000 people.

South Dakota 

South Dakota, despite its relatively small population, has a high crime rate. With a population of 895,376, the state had a violent crime rate of 5.05 per 1,000 residents in 2021, translating to a 1 in 198 chance of becoming a victim. Crimes such as murder and rape are higher than the national average, with over 3,000 incidents of assault reported in 2021.

In addition to violent crime, South Dakota has the second-highest rate of drunk driving arrests in the country, as well as a significant number of drunk driving-related fatalities.


Michigan, located in the Midwest, is ranked 10th on the list of the most dangerous states in the US. With a population of over 9.9 million, the state had over 40,000 incidents of violent crime in 2020, which translates to 4.73 per 1,000 people. Both violent and property crime have been on the rise in Michigan. The cities of Detroit, Kalamazoo, and Saginaw have particularly high rates of violent crime. In 2021, Detroit had reported 14,509 murders, which is much higher than other cities of similar size.

Most Dangerous States in USA Bottom Line in 2023

Although crime rates may differ within each state, the ten states mentioned above have been consistently ranked with some of the highest crime rates in the US. Nevertheless, it is important to note that within these states, there are still towns, cities, and neighborhoods that are safe, and are actively working towards reducing crime rates.

Ranking the Most Dangerous States in America: Methodology

In order to identify the states in America with the highest rates of crime and violent crime, we conducted a thorough analysis of various data sources at the state and federal level. Our assessment took into account crime and violent crime rates per capita, which is calculated based on the population of each state. We consulted official data sources such as the FBI uniform crime report, as well as other relevant sources. The data we analyzed refers to crimes that were committed during the years 2020, 2021, and 2022.

What state has most crime?

According to our analysis, Louisiana stands out as the state with the highest level of danger in the United States. In terms of financial safety, Louisiana is ranked 47th, and its emergency preparedness is rated as the 49th worst in the nation. Furthermore, the state has one of the highest unemployment rates, which was recorded at 8.3% in November of 2020.

What state has most murders?

Based on our analysis, Louisiana, Missouri, South Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alaska, Maryland, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and North Carolina are among the states with the highest murder rates in the United States. However, it is worth noting that the District of Columbia actually has the highest murder rate in the entire country, with a rate of 49.2 murders per 100,000 people.