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Most Dangerous States 2021

According to the Global Peace Index, the United States is the 128th-safest country in the world out of 163 countries. With frequent headlines of hate crimes, mass shootings, natural disasters, and terrorist attacks, the United States can be potentially dangerous for citizens and visitors.

Safety is a significant factor for those looking to relocate, especially those looking to start families, and can affect overall quality of life. Safety varies significantly by state in the U.S.

How do we determine the safest and most dangerous states in the United States? Wallethub compared all 50 states across 53 indicators. Each state was giving a total score out of 100. The indicators were grouped into the following categories:

  • Personal & Residential Safety
  • Financial Safety
  • Road Safety
  • Workplace Safety
  • Emergency Preparedness

Wallethub used indicators such as:

  • Number of Fatalities per 100 million Vehicle Miles of Travel
  • Number of Law-Enforcement Employees per Capita
  • Number of Assaults per Capita
  • Bullying Incidence Rate
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Share of Uninsured Population
  • Percentage of Adults with Rainy-Day Funds
  • Total Loss Amount from Climate Disasters per Capita
  • Number of Fatal Occupational Injuries per Total Workers

What are the Most Dangerous States?

1. Mississippi

Mississippi's total score is 32.00, making it the most dangerous state in the United States. Mississippi ranks 50th out of 50 for Road Safety and Emergency Preparedness and 48th for Financial Safety and Workplace Safety. Mississippi has the second-highest fatalities per 100 million miles traveled. Mississippi also has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. Before COVID-19, the unemployment rate sat around 5.5% and currently sits around 6.4%.

2. Louisiana

Louisiana is the second-most dangerous state in the U.S. Louisiana ranks 49th for Financial Safety and Emergency Preparedness. Louisiana has one of the highest unemployment rates, sitting at 8.3% as of November 2020. Louisiana has the third-highest bullying incident rate, and one of the high fatalities per 100 million miles traveled. Louisiana also has the highest homicide rate in the U.S. of 14.4 murders per 100,000 people.

3. Florida

As the third-most dangerous state, Florida ranks 47th for Road Safety and 44th for Financial Safety and Workplace Safety. Florida has one of the highest shares of uninsured people at 13.2% of its population. Florida's unemployment is around 6.4% as of November 2020.

4. Arkansas

Arkansas has a total score of 36.14, making it the fourth-least safe state in the country. Arkansas ranks 49th for Personal & Residential Safety and 48th for Emergency Preparedness but performs slightly better in the other categories. Arkansas has the third-highest number of assaults per capita and the fifth-highest bullying incidence rate. Arkansas has the fifth-highest murder rate in the U.S. of 8.6 murders per 100,000 people.

5. Texas

Texas is the fifth-most dangerous state in the country. With a total score of 26.61, Texas ranked 48th for Emergency Preparedness and 40th for Personal & Residential Safety. Texas has the highest share of uninsured people, with 18.4% of the population going without health insurance.

6. Oklahoma

Oklahoma is the sixth-least safe state. Oklahoma ranked 47th for Financial Safety, 46th for Workplace Safety, and 45th for Emergency Preparedness. Oklahoma has the third-highest share of uninsured people. With 14.3% of residents not having health insurance. Oklahoma's overall crime rate is 3,277.08 per 100,000 people.

7. Missouri

Missouri's overall score is 40.12, making it the seventh-most dangerous U.S. state. Missouri ranks 41st for Emergency Preparedness, with about 10% of residents missing health insurance. While Missouri ranks 37th for Personal & Residential Safety, it has the second-highest homicide rate in the country of 9.8 murders per 100,000 people.

8. Alabama

Alabama comes in at eighth for the most dangerous U.S. states. Alabama ranks 46th for Emergency Preparedness. Alabama has the fifth-highest number of assaults per capita and the seventh-highest homicide rate of 8.3 per 100,000 people. Alabama's overall crime rate is 3,185.26 per 100,000 people.

9. Georgia

With an overall score of 40.91, Georgia's the country's ninth-most dangerous state. Georgia ranks 50th for Financial Safety and 44th for Road Safety; however, Georgia ranks significantly better for Personal & Residential Safety at 25th. Georgia has the fourth-highest share of uninsured people. About 13.4% of people have of people are missing health insurance.

10. South Carolina

Finishing the top ten list of the most dangerous state is South Carolina. South Carolina ranks 44th Personal & Residential Safety and 46th for Road Safety. South Carolina has the highest number of fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. The state also has the fifth-highest overall crime rate of 3,451.58 incidents per 100,000 people. Additionally, its homicide rate is the country's ninth-highest, at 7.8 murders per 100,000 people.

The safest states in the U.S. are Maine, Vermont, and Minnesota. Below is a table with every state's total scores and category ranks.

Here are the 10 states with the highest homicide rates:

  1. Louisiana (12.4 per 100k)
  2. Missouri (9.8 per 100k)
  3. Nevada (9.1 per 100k)
  4. Maryland (9 per 100k)
  5. Arkansas (8.6 per 100k)
  6. Alaska (8.4 per 100k)
  7. Alabama (8.3 per 100k)
  8. Mississippi (8.2 per 100k)
  9. Illinois (7.8 per 100k)
  10. South Carolina (7.8 per 100k)

Most Dangerous States 2021

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Most Dangerous States 2021

State Homicide Rate Firearms Death Rate Total Firearm Deaths per Year
Louisiana12.421.221.2
Missouri9.818.818.8
Nevada9.116.716.7
Maryland911.811.8
Arkansas8.617.717.7
Alaska8.42323
Alabama8.321.421.4
Mississippi8.219.819.8
Tennessee7.81717
South Carolina7.817.717.7
Illinois7.811.611.6
New Mexico7.118.218.2
Georgia6.714.914.9
Oklahoma6.219.619.6
Ohio6.112.912.9
Indiana614.914.9
Kentucky5.917.517.5
Arizona5.915.215.2
Pennsylvania5.811.911.9
North Carolina5.813.613.6
Michigan5.712.212.2
Delaware5.610.910.9
Kansas5.513.313.3
Virginia5.31212
Texas512.112.1
Florida512.612.6
West Virginia4.717.517.5
California4.67.97.9
Montana3.91919
Colorado3.914.314.3
New Jersey3.65.55.5
Iowa3.39.29.2
Wisconsin3.211.411.4
Washington3.199
South Dakota2.913.513.5
New York2.84.44.4
Connecticut2.84.64.6
Hawaii2.74.54.5
Wyoming2.617.517.5
Oregon2.511.811.8
Massachusetts2.53.43.4
Utah2.412.912.9
Vermont2.21111
Nebraska2.29.19.1
Minnesota27.67.6
Rhode Island1.944
Idaho1.914.614.6
Maine1.78.28.2
North Dakota1.311.911.9
New Hampshire19.39.3

Most Dangerous States 2021