Most Dangerous States in the US

The United States, known for its diverse culture, heritage, and breathtaking landscapes, unfortunately, has some regions where crime rates exceed the national average.

In this article, we examine the ten most dangerous states in the US, based on crime rates in 2020 per 100,000 inhabitants.

1. Alaska

Despite its captivating wilderness and vast landscapes, Alaska tops our list with an alarming crime rate of 837.8 per 100k inhabitants. The state’s unique geographical features, isolation, and lack of readily available resources to fight crime might contribute to these high rates.

2. New Mexico

New Mexico, famous for its vibrant arts scene and rich history, holds the second spot with a crime rate of 778.3 per 100k inhabitants. The high crime rate could be due to factors such as poverty and substance misuse, which are significant challenges within the state.

3. Tennessee

In third place is Tennessee, with a crime rate of 672.7 per 100k residents. The metropolitan areas of the state may be significant contributors to the high crime rate, in addition to socio-economic disparities and certain educational challenges.

4. Arkansas

Despite its beautiful terrain inclusive of mountains, rivers, and hot springs, Arkansas experiences a crime rate of 671.9 per 100k inhabitants. Factors such as high poverty rates, unemployment, and limited educational opportunities may be contributing to these statistics.

5. Arizona

The state known for the Grand Canyon, Arizona, is fifth on our list with a crime rate of 654.8 per 100k inhabitants. It’s plausible that the proximity to the international border and issues such as drug trafficking may contribute to the state’s crime rates.

6. Louisiana

Louisiana, celebrated for its multicultural heritage and delectable cuisine, registers a crime rate of 639.4 per 100k inhabitants. Economic disparity, high poverty rates, and the aftermath of natural disasters may contribute to Louisiana’s high crime rate.

7. Missouri

With its vibrant cities and natural beauty, Missouri is seventh on our list with a crime rate of 542.7 per 100k residents. Factors like economic disparities, educational issues, and urban crime hotspots may contribute to Missouri’s standing on this list.

8. South Carolina

South Carolina, known for its scenic coastline and historic landmarks, has a crime rate of 530.7 per 100k inhabitants. Socio-economic factors like poverty and unemployment could be significant contributors to the state’s crime statistics.

9. South Dakota

South Dakota, known for its rural landscapes and rich indigenous history, is ninth on our list with a crime rate of 501.4 per 100k inhabitants. The state’s isolated rural areas and limited law enforcement resources could contribute to its crime rate.

10. Michigan

Finally, Michigan, famous for its Great Lakes and industrial heritage, makes the list with a crime rate of 478 per 100k residents. Factors such as urban crime hotspots, socio-economic disparities, and challenges in the education system could contribute to Michigan’s ranking.


In summary, it’s important to note that the most dangerous states in the US are not necessarily so due to a lack of charm or appeal. Instead, unique challenges contribute to their high crime rates. Each state also has safer regions, and these statistics should not entirely shape perceptions. Stay informed about the latest crime rates and data to ensure personal safety and a deeper understanding of the issues these states face. Despite the crime rates, each state offers unique attractions and cultures that continue to attract tourists and residents alike.

Data Source for the US crime rates: Reported violent crime rate in the United States in 2020, by state based on the FBI Survey, Crime in the United States 2020.
Note: We have excluded the District of Columbia because it’s not a state, but D.C. would have the highest crime rate at 999.8 crimes per 100,000 inhabitants if considered for this ranking.

US Southern Neighbor: Mexico

In addition to the US, the southern neighbor, Mexico, also experiences varying crime rates across its states.

To better understand the landscape of crime rates in Mexico, check out this thematic map of the most dangerous places in Mexico. It offers a visual depiction of crime rates, making it easier to comprehend the disparities across the country.

Additionally, to gain broader insights into the Mexican states, including their geographical, demographic, and socio-economic characteristics, visit Mappr’s directory of Mexico.

Knowledge is a key tool for safety and understanding, so whether you’re planning a trip or aiming to better comprehend international crime trends, these resources provide invaluable insights.