Gangs by State 2022

Gangs in the U.S. include groups like organized ethnic motorcycle clubs, prison gangs, local street gangs, and national street gangs. There are about 20,000 gangs in the U.S., with over one million members. Many of these gangs started and still exist in urban places. For example, national street gangs developed in major cities like Chicago and New York City but later grew in other cities like Washington D.C. and Albuquerque. Gangs are present in all 50 states, all the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. Read along to learn about gangs by state.


There are about 6,100 gangs in California, with the Mexican mafia gang being the most notorious. The Mexican Mafia, also known as El Eme, is mainly centralized in California prison systems. It was formed by 13 Hispanic gangsters in the 1950s and is known for its ability to collaborate with groups like the Aryan Brotherhood.


Tennessee is one of the most dangerous states in the U.S., filled with violence and a high crime rate. Many people keep away from Tennessee cities like Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville due to the high presence of gangs. Criminal activities in this state include rape, murder, and assault, which are the most committed violent crimes in North America. However, the safest city in Tennessee is Murfreesboro; it has better infrastructure, more safety, and fewer crimes.


Nevada is home to more than 300 gangs. However, this number is increasing as members ditch loyalties to create new groups. Some criminal activities include identification fraud, robbery, weapons traffic, drive-by shootings, burglary, etc.

New Mexico

New Mexico is often profiled badly due to high crime rates like robberies, violent crimes, and death-related activities (homicides). It would be best to avoid visiting any cities in New Mexico without prior knowledge about the place itself.


Texas was once a safe place in the U.S., but it has now become a den of criminal gangs like MS-13 and Crips. As a traveler, watch out for your belongings while visiting Texas cities like San Antonio, Forth Worth, and Dallas. Keeping off these cities is safer unless you have to be there.


The high crime rates in Idaho are caused by gangs like S.V.C., Latin Kings, and Aryan Knights, who commit crimes throughout the state. Idaho has one of the highest violent case rates, with every city reporting thousands of robberies and assaults annually.

Gangs Activities

American gangs are responsible for about 48% of violent crimes in most jurisdictions. Major cities and suburban surroundings experience most gang activities, especially gang-related violent crimes.

Gangs are known to engage in gang-related gambling, arms and drug trafficking, white-collar crimes like fraud, identity theft, counterfeiting, and nontraditional prostitution and human trafficking activities. Nowadays, gangs are participating in more nontraditional crimes like mortgage fraud and identity theft. These new nontraditional crimes create lower visibility and higher profitability. Moreover, gang members are more likely to be involved or arrested for alcohol and drug abuse than non-gang members.

Gangs by State 2022