Crime Rates-Top Ten States

Crime in America.Net

Summary: the survey (link below) states that Nevada, New Mexico, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, Delaware, Maryland, Arizona and Arkansas have the highest rates of crime in America.

Gentlereaders: The warnings (see below) we provide on this site about comparing one city’s crime rates to another also applies to comparing states.

What’s offered here is another private survey based on its own unique characteristics. The article below offers a list of states ranked by crime and the methodology used.

Please see .


The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) collects crimes reported to law enforcement agencies through state collection agencies and releases statistics for the nation, states, metropolitan areas and cities twice a year.

The National Crime Survey from the National Institute of Justice releases crime survey data for the country measuring reported and unreported crime and does not offer crime statistics for states, metro areas or cities.

The FBI frowns on using data reported to law enforcement agencies to make comparisons of one city to another, and for good reasons.

Most crime is not reported to the police (thus the need for the National Crime Survey to get a picture of total crime) so there is a lot of room for error. Law enforcement agencies can affect the amount of crime reported through aggressive interactions with citizens.

The FBI and state crime data collection agencies try to enforce common definitions on what constitutes a crime, but individual officers can (and do) downgrade crimes where definitions are vague. For example, an overaggressive person (or people) asking for money could be guilty of panhandling or robbery; it depends on how you interpret the aggressiveness of the person “asking” for money.

Some cities have been known to downgrade crimes. The past is filled with documented examples. Some cities do poor jobs of collecting and analyzing crime data.

Most crime rankings are based on crimes per 1,000 residents which immediately creates an unfair playing field if your state gets thousands of tourists or workers per day. Those thousands of “outsiders” will inevitably commit crimes or inadvertently create opportunities for crime that would not exist in cities and states not getting a lot of tourists or daily workers (which applies to most of the states listed at the beginning of this article).

So the bottom line is that crimes and crimes reported can and will differ for reasons having little or nothing to do with the quality of policing or crime control strategies.

Having said this, the warning from the FBI is routinely ignored by every newspaper in the country; all report on how their city or county or state ranks regarding crime.

So if you choose to look at rankings, please do so with an open mind. A city or state may have crime problems, but hundreds of thousands or millions of its citizens and tourists and workers move throughout their city and state in relative safety on a daily basis.

Please see for a complete overview of the different methods government and private surveys use to count crime totals and rates.

Please see “Crime in the United States” on the header of this site.



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