FBI 2012 Crime Stats: Tennessee is Most Dangerous State

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24/7 Wall St.com did an analysis last week of the FBI's recently released 2012 crime statistics, but before anyone starts hastily comparing states, it should be noted that the FBI does remind people not to compare state violence in rankings.

"These rough rankings provide no insight into the numerous variables that mold crime in a particular town, city, county, state, tribal area, or region," the FBI said at the end of their report. "Consequently, they lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting communities and their residents."

Because no system of ranking could fairly gauge the numerous unknown variables, and because crime is reported and measured in different ways by different states, Urban Institute senior fellow John Roman would also caution against comparing them. The trend of declining crime since the 1990s is not clearly traced to any one factor, though experts have suggested demography, higher incarceration, falling crack use and new social programs as reasons for the decline.

But trends always have exceptions. Alaska, Delaware, and Maryland are states with a high level of education and a high income, yet they are found within the top 10 because of small urban areas with a high crime rate (the city of Baltimore comes to mind).

The 24/7 Wall St analysis was calculated by using the FBI's population estimates and comparing four types of violent crime per 100,000 residents: homicide, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault. Income, poverty, and education statistics were also compared as the relationship between the uneducated, the impoverished, and rising crime rates has been followed for decades.

Here are the top 10 most violent states in the U.S. based on their calculations. If you want to see the report for yourself, you can find it here. Included are explanations of each states' crime rates and the factors that contributed.

1. Tennessee
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 643.6
> Poverty rate: 17.9%
> Pct. of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: 24.3%
> Property crimes per 100,000: 3,371.4 (10th highest)

2. Nevada
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 607.6
> Poverty rate: 16.4%
> Pct. of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: 22.4%
> Property crimes per 100,000: 2,809.4 (23rd highest)

3. Alaska
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 603.2
> Poverty rate: 10.1%
> Pct. of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: 28.0%
> Property crimes per 100,000: 2,739.4 (24th lowest)

4. New Mexico
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 559.1
> Poverty rate: 20.8%
> Pct. of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: 26.1%
> Property crimes per 100,000: 3,600.7 (4th highest)

5. South Carolina
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 558.8
> Poverty rate: 18.3%
> Pct. of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: 25.1%
> Property crimes per 100,000: 3,822.2 (the highest)

6. Delaware
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 547.4
> Poverty rate: 12.0%
> Pct. of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: 29.5%
> Property crimes per 100,000: 3,340.9 (13th highest)

7. Louisiana
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 496.9
> Poverty rate: 19.9%
> Pct. of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: 22%
> Property crimes per 100,000: 3,540.6 (5th highest)

8. Florida
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 487.1
> Poverty rate: 17.1%
> Pct. of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: 26.8%
> Property crimes per 100,000: 3,276.7 (15th highest)

9. Maryland
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 476.8
> Poverty rate: 10.3%
> Pct. of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: 36.9%
> Property crimes per 100,000: 2,753.5 (25th lowest)

10. Oklahoma
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 469.3
> Poverty rate: 17.2%
> Pct. of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: 23.8%
> Property crimes per 100,000: 3,401.0 (9th highest)

[Image via Google Maps]