Violent crime still remains a major problem in many states throughout the U.S.  But which are the most violent states in the country?

The following interactive heat map illustrates where crime happens in 50 states and a federal district in the U.S.A.  The map coverage highlights violent crimes across the entire country to assist users answer one of the most frequently asked questions, which state has the highest crime rate?

Crime Heatmap Color Range

Data was sourced from Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics (2012), extracted on 20 August 2014.  Violent crime rate is calculated per 100,000 population to provide a balanced comparison.

In the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting, violent crimes consist of four offenses, which comprise murder and non-negligent manslaughter, robbery, rape and aggravated assault.  Violent crimes include offenses which involve force or threat of force.

The heat map shows violent crime density — that is, which state with the most crimes or least crime rate?  As you can find in District of Columbia, their crime ranking was one of the highest in the U.S, whereas Maine was the state with least crime rate.

Top 10 States with the Lowest Violent Crime Rate

The table below presents a ranking list of top 10 States with the lowest violent crime rate.  As a comparison, population data is provided from 2013 census estimate.  Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire ranked top 3 in this list.  In particular, Maine has very low violent crime rate.  For illustration, although Maine’s population is close to Hawaii, its crime rate is almost halve of Hawaii’s rate.

Top 10 States with Lowest Violent Crime Rate
Rank State Name Population, 2013 est Violent Crime Rate, per 100K
1 Maine 1,328,302 122.7
2 Vermont 626,630 142.6
3 New Hampshire 1,323,459 187.9
4 Virginia 8,260,405 190.1
5 Wyoming 582,658 201.4
6 Utah 2,900,872 205.8
7 Idaho 1,612,136 207.9
8 Kentucky 4,395,295 222.6
9 Minnesota 5,420,380 230.9
10 Hawaii 1,404,054 239.2

Top 10 States with the Highest Violent Crime Rate

District of Columbia, Tennessee and Nevada ranked top 3 States with highest violent crime rate.  Data shows that District of Columbia had a particularly high rate.  Comparing it to Vermont (not shown in this table), which had similar population size in 2013, District of Columbia had almost 9 times higher violent crime rate.

Top 10 States with Highest Violent Crime Rate
Rank State Name Population, 2013 est Violent Crime Rate, per 100K
1 District of Columbia 646,449 1243.7
2 Tennessee 6,495,978 643.6
3 Nevada 2,790,136 607.6
4 Alaska 735,132 603.2
5 New Mexico 2,085,287 559.1
6 South Carolina 4,774,839 558.8
7 Delaware 925,749 547.4
8 Louisiana 4,625,470 496.9
9 Florida 19,552,860 487.1
10 Maryland 5,928,814 476.8