Society

States With the Lowest Crime Rate

A look at the safest U.S. states as determined by multi-factorial analyses. The safest are found in the New England region of the Northeast United States.

There may be no worse feeling than feeling insecure or in danger, whether that be a fear for one’s life, financial trouble, or lying in the path of a storm. With a number of safety criteria in mind, however, the New England region of the United States appears idyllic. Most of New England's urban and rural areas alike have low crime rates. Furthermore, the region is not as prone to many types of natural disasters as are other areas of the U.S., it is home to some of the nation's finest educational institutions, and sees some of the highest median incomes and quality of life measures of anywhere else in the country.

4. Defining Parameters on Safety

The safest states to live in the United States are characterized by rates of violence and crime well below national norms. The methodology we used to calculate the safest states in the country combine per capita rates of burglary, homicide, and violent crime to produce one overall safety score that is a combination of all three aforementioned measurements.

It is difficult to define the overall safety of a state by numbers alone, and numeric ratings should always be looked at in a critical matter. Considerations for workplace safety, home and community stability, emergency preparedness, road safety, and financial security can all also play a role in a state's overall safety, as can rates of traffic accidents, employer insurance coverage, and threats from climatic disasters. Furthermore, when looking at safety with a larger scope, it is also wise to look at the cost of living, education standards, healthcare costs, and tax burden, as these indirect factors are often closely correlated with the more direct ones.

3. The Safest States in the US - New England Leads the Way

Our study found that of the top five safest states in the United States, four are in New England. The top five safest states are New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, and Minnesota. The only state in this list that is not in New England is Minnesota, which is located in the Midwestern region of the United States.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire ranked number one on the ranking of states by homicide rate, which means that it has the lowest number of homicides per capita of any state. New Hampshire's homicide rate is only 1.5 per 100,000 people, the lowest in the United States. New Hampshire has the 4th lowest burglary rate in the United States, with a rate of 378.2 burglaries per 100,000 people. Lastly, New Hampshire has the third smallest violent crime rate of any state, with 1.3 violent crimes per 100,000 people. Residents of New Hampshire enjoy the active outdoor lifestyle that New England has to offer, as well as four distinct seasons throughout the year. New Hampshire was called the best state for small businesses.

Vermont

Vermont, New Hampshire's neighbor to the west, is the second safest state in the United States. Vermont's homicide rate is 2.2 per 100,000, its burglary rate is 324.6 per 100,000, and its violent crime rate is a lot 158.3 per 100,000. Vermont is one of the least populated states in the union, and is known for its pristine green hills and largely untouched wilderness.

Maine

Maine ranks third on the list of the safest states in the United States. This sparsely populated state is the most northern state in New England, known for its rugged coastline on the Atlantic Ocean. The burglary rate in Maine is 378.2 per 100,000 people, the homicide rate is 1.5 per 100,000 people, and the violent crime rate is 123.8 per 100,000 people. The largest city in Maine is Portland while its capital city is Augusta.

Connecticut

Connecticut, in southern New England, is the fourth safest state in the United States. It has the 7th lowest burglary rate in the country, at 332.4 per 100,000 people, as well as the 7th lowest homicide rate (2.2 homicides per 100,000 people). However, Connecticut ranks 5th in terms of violent crime, with a low 227.1 violent crimes per 100,000 people. Connecticut is known for being home to Yale University, as well as for being commuter distance from New York City.

2. Other Safe States in the United States - Midwest and Beyond

Minnesota

Located in the midwestern United States near the Canadian border, Minnesota ranks 5th on our list of the safest states in the country. Although Minnesota ranks 15th in terms of burglary rates, with a rate of 380.7 burglaries per 100,000 people, its low homicide rate (1.8 per 100,000) and low violent crime rate (242.6 per 100,000) combine to give Minnesota a low ranking. Minnesota's 5.5 million residents enjoy a high quality of life where the twin cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis serve as the epicenter of culture for the state.

North Dakota

North Dakota is also located in the American midwest. It has a burglary rate of 366.1 per 100,000 people, a homicide rate of 4.2 per 100,000 people, and a violent crime rate of 251.1 per 100,000 people. North Dakota has a population of just under 1 million residents, with a population density of 11 people per square mile, one of the lowest in the United States. Its largest city is Fargo.

Wyoming

Located in the western United States, Wyoming is the least populated state in the entire country, with only half a million residents. While Wyoming has the 18th highest homicide rate in the United States (3.4 homicides per 100,000 people), it has the third smallest burglary rate (289.1 per 100,000) and 11th lowest violent crime rate (244.2 per 100,000 people).

1. Environments Conducive to General Safety

Socioeconomic indicators point to the safest states' high marks in the survey. The residents in the safest states in the country typically earn at or above the national median income level of $52,250. The survey also revealed that the members of the populations of these states generally have better financial security than do most other Americans living elsewhere. While poverty still exists, the rates of financial insufficiency within these states are considerably lower than those of the national average. Educational level and achievements also play a large role in placing these states among the safest in the nation. Factors like good educational attainment often correlate to lessened crime and this points to the fact that the safest states may be getting even safer as higher educational levels become more and more prevalent within them.

The United States Ranked By Safety

RankState Burglary Rate Ranking Homicide Rate Ranking Violent Crime Rate RankingOverall Safety Score
1New Hampshire4132.6
2Vermont5624.3
3Maine14215.6
4Connecticut7756.3
5Minnesota15399
6North Dakota114139.3
7Wyoming3181110.6
8Utah1791012
9Virginia231412.3
10Idaho1815613
11Rhode Island2412814.6
12New Jersey9231214.6
13New York1172715
14Massachusetts1352815.3
15Nebraska19111715.6
16Oregon21141416.3
17Iowa2581616.3
18Montana8192517.3
19Wisconsin12222018
20South Dakota6163218
21Pennsylvania10262219.3
22Hawaii32102121
23Colorado22202321.6
24Kentucky3032723
25West Virginia27242425
26Washington45131925.6
27Kansas31212927
28Ohio38301828.6
29California28253629.6
30Michigan23353832
31Texas36273432.3
32Illinois16473532.6
33Indiana33363133.3
34Florida40283333.6
35Arizona37293935
36Mississippi47461536
37Georgia41373036
38North Carolina46382636.6
39Delaware35334236.6
40Alaska20405036.6
41Maryland26454037
42Oklahoma43353738.3
43South Carolina42434142
44Missouri34494342
45Tennessee39424742.6
46DC29515143.6
47Arkansas50414545.3
48Nevada44444845.3
49New Mexico 51394946.3
50Alabama48484446.6
51Louisiana49504648.3

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