Tuesday, September 02, 2014 Headlines & Global News

Tennessee America's Most Dangerous State? Nevada and Alaska Among U.S. States With Highest Rates of Violent Crime

By Julia Lynn Rubin j.rubin@hngn.com | Oct 08, 2013 06:30 PM EDT

Tennessee State Seal
New statistics from the FBI rank Tennessee as the number one U.S. state for high rates of violent crime. (Photo : Official State Seal)

Last year, violent crime rose in the U.S. by about one percent, with Tennessee topping the list of the country's most dangerous states with the highest national crime rate, USA Today reports.

Statewide FBI statistics from 2012 show that despite last year's slight increase, the past 20 years has revealed a downward trend in crime, as compared to the 1980s when crime peaked during the country's crack cocaine epidemic before drug use started to taper off in the early 1990s. The FBI identifies violent crime as including murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

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Despite an overall downward trend, Urban Institute senior fellow John Roman told 24/7 Wall St. that while cities like New York, Dallas and Washington D.C. have greatly improved over the years, Baltimore and Detroit have still been struggling, as these cities suffer from economic and racial segregation that make it more difficult for lower-income people to move into the middle class.

Experts have linked factors such as demographic changes, the introduction of more social programs and a higher incarceration rate to lowered crime statistics nationally, though the causes for crime in each urban area of the U.S. remain unclear, as every area has its own complex set of social and economic problems.

States like Alaska and Maryland, for example, may have higher educational attainment and income, yet they still make the list of the nation's most dangerous states, while list-topper Tennessee was among the top 10 state in the country for murders and robberies, and was first for aggravated assaults last year.

The FBI's list of America's most dangerous states includes, as reported by 24/7 Wall St.:

10. Oklahoma
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 469.3
> Poverty rate: 17.2%
> Pct. of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: 23.8%
> Property crimes per 100,000: 3,401.0 (9th highest)

9. Maryland
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 476.8
> Poverty rate: 10.3%
> Pct. of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: 36.9%
> Property crimes per 100,000: 2,753.5 (25th lowest)

8. Florida
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 487.1
> Poverty rate: 17.1%
> Pct. of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: 26.8%
> Property crimes per 100,000: 3,276.7 (15th highest)

7. Louisiana
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 496.9
> Poverty rate: 19.9%
> Pct. of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: 22%
> Property crimes per 100,000: 3,540.6 (5th highest)

6. Delaware
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 547.4
> Poverty rate: 12.0%
> Pct. of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: 29.5%
> Property crimes per 100,000: 3,340.9 (13th highest)

5. South Carolina
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 558.8
> Poverty rate: 18.3%
> Pct. of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: 25.1%
> Property crimes per 100,000: 3,822.2 (the highest)

4. New Mexico
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 559.1
> Poverty rate: 20.8%
> Pct. of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: 26.1%
> Property crimes per 100,000: 3,600.7 (4th highest)

3. Alaska
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 603.2
> Poverty rate: 10.1%
> Pct. of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: 28.0%
> Property crimes per 100,000: 2,739.4 (24th lowest)

2. Nevada
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 607.6
> Poverty rate: 16.4%
> Pct. of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: 22.4%
> Property crimes per 100,000: 2,809.4 (23rd highest)

1. Tennessee
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 643.6
> Poverty rate: 17.9%
> Pct. of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: 24.3%
> Property crimes per 100,000: 3,371.4 (10th highest)

Click here to read more about the rankings and why these 10 states are considered the most dangerous in the U.S.

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