Human Trafficking Statistics By State 2020

What is human trafficking? Human trafficking is a serious crime and violation of human rights, involving the use of force, coercion or fraud to exploit a person into slave labor or sexual exploitation.

Traffickers typically target men, women, and children who are vulnerable, have little to no social safety net or who are without strong family relationships. It can happen to people of any age, race, gender or nationality. Violence, manipulation, or false promises of a well-paying job are often used to lure victims into trafficking situations. Victims frequently do not seek help due to language barriers, fear of their traffickers or fear of law enforcement. Because human trafficking is considered to be a hidden crime, several key indicators can help people recognize potential endangerment and notify law enforcement.

A common misconception about human trafficking is that it does not happen in the United States. This is false, as the United States is ranked as one of the worst countries in the world for human trafficking. It is estimated that 199,000 incidents occur within the United States every year.

Because of the clandestine nature of human trafficking, statistics that show the number of incidents in each state are only based on the number of incidences reported. The true number of incidents is likely higher than the numbers presented here.

The ten states with the highest number of reported human trafficking cases are:

  1. California (1656)
  2. Michigan (383)
  3. Georgia (375)
  4. Nevada (313)
  5. Illinois (296)
  6. North Carolina (287)
  7. Pennsylvania (275)
  8. Arizona (231)
  9. Washington (229)
  10. New Jersey (224)
State Number of Human Trafficking Cases Reported 2020 Pop.
California165639,937,489
Michigan38310,045,029
Georgia37510,736,059
Nevada3133,139,658
Illinois29612,659,682
North Carolina28710,611,862
Pennsylvania27512,820,878
Arizona2317,378,494
Washington2297,797,095
New Jersey2248,936,574
Virginia1988,626,207
Missouri1786,169,270
Colorado1785,845,526
Tennessee1656,897,576
Maryland1656,083,116
South Carolina1565,210,095
Louisiana1494,645,184
Indiana1426,745,354
Kentucky1414,499,692
Oregon1354,301,089
Wisconsin1345,851,754
Oklahoma1213,954,821
Minnesota1205,700,671
Massachusetts1206,976,597
Iowa1023,179,849
Kansas952,910,357
Alabama894,908,621
Mississippi862,989,260
Arkansas853,038,999
District of Columbia84720,687
Nebraska821,952,570
Utah763,282,115
New Mexico702,096,640
Connecticut553,563,077
Hawaii481,412,687
Delaware42982,895
West Virginia401,778,070
Maine321,345,790
South Dakota22903,027
Montana221,086,759
Alaska19734,002
Rhode Island181,056,161
North Dakota14761,723
Vermont13628,061
Wyoming12567,025
New Hampshire111,371,246