The 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the states with the highest violent crime rates – such as murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults. In general, the data shows that violent crime in the United States rose about 1 percent last year, after the rate had declined the 20 years before that. It is believed that the crime rate in the nation peaked in the 1980s due to crack cocaine usage – and then declined thereafter. The reason for the decline is not quite known but some experts believe there have been better policing and higher incarceration rates of criminals as well as somewhat of a drop in cocaine usage.
In the report, it is said that the relationship between low income, low education and high crime rates appears to be well-documented. The states listed as having the most crime support this theory. Eight of the 10 states with the highest rates of violent crime have lower rates of adult citizens with bachelor’s degrees. Additionally, more than half of the 10 states with the highest rates of violent crime have median income levels below the national average.
The Top 10 Most Dangerous States
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
Tennessee has the infamous number one position on the list for having the worst violent crime rate in the entire nation. Beyond being among the top 10 states for robberies and murders, it was first for aggravated assaults with an estimated 479.6 for every 100,000 citizens in the state. With 41,500 violent crimes in Tennessee last year, that put the state’s crime rate up 6.8 percent. Most of the crime is concentrated in the major metropolitan areas of Tennessee – Memphis and Nashville. It was reported that poverty is somewhat prevalent in the state and education is below the national average as well.
Though many would expect the larger and more populated states such as New York and California to have the worst crime, the data shows otherwise. Illinois, with Chicago being 2012’s murder capital, isn’t in the top ten either.