The Most Dangerous US State Is ... Tennessee?

644 violent crimes last year for every 100K people

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 6, 2013 5:16 PM CDT

(Newser) – Judging by newspaper headlines, you might expect the most dangerous state in the country to be California or New York. But it's actually Tennessee that has the nation’s highest rate of violent crime. That's according to a 24/7 Wall St. analysis of FBI statistics on violent crime last year—which includes murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. In 2012, Tennessee was first in the country for aggravated assault, made the top 10 for murders and robberies, and had 643.6 violent crimes for every 100,000 people. Coming in at No. 2 was Nevada, which is one of the worst states for robberies, car theft, and aggravated assault.

Next was Alaska, which has the nation's highest rate of forcible rape: 79.7 for every 100,000 residents. Rounding out the top 10: New Mexico, South Carolina, Delaware, Louisiana, Florida, Maryland, and Oklahoma. Though violent crime has been steadily declining for the past two decades, the change has been less pronounced in places with high levels of economic and racial segregation, 24/7 Wall St. reports—hence why an otherwise relatively wealthy and well-educated state like Maryland makes the list. Click through for the full report.

Memphis Police Department officers gather outside the Regional Medical Center after two of their fellow officers were involved in a shooting in 2002.
Memphis Police Department officers gather outside the Regional Medical Center after two of their fellow officers were involved in a shooting in 2002.   (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz)
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