The Safest and Most Dangerous States in the United States

Posted on Oct 17, 2013 by George F Huhn
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Annual FBI statistics on violent and property crime show the rate of each type of crime per 100,000 residents by state. This bubble chart shows violent crime per 100,000 residents on the y-axis and and property crime per 100,000 residents on the x-axis. Bubble size represents population. By combining the violent and property statistics for each state, we can see the most dangerous states in the upper right-hand corner of the chart and the safest states in the lower left-hand corner of the chart. There does not appear to be a relationship between population and the number of crimes per 100,000 residents:
The Safest and Most Dangerous States Bubble Chart

The Safest and Most Dangerous States in Relation Population Bubble Chart

However, if we change the bubble size to represent percentage of individuals living in poverty, as compiled from the U.S. Census Bureau, there does appear to be a relationship. Notice how most of the 10 most dangerous states in the upper right corner have a larger percentage of their population living in poverty than most of the safer states in the lower left corner:
The Safest and Most Dangerous States Versus Poverty Bubble Chart

The Safest and Most Dangerous States in Relation to Poverty Bubble Chart

If we look at all the states in this chart, we can see a similar trend: the bubbles get larger moving from the lower left corner to the upper right corner:
Relationship Between Crime and Poverty in the United States Bubble Chart

Relationship Between Crime and Poverty in the United States Bubble Chart

Next, if we change the bubble size to represent percentage of the population with bachelors degrees (from the U.S. Department of Education), most of the safer states now have larger bubbles then most of the most dangerous states:
Safest and Most Dangerous States Versus Education Bubble Chart

Safest and Most Dangerous States in Relation to Education Bubble Chart

Similarly, if we look at the bubble chart of all the states, we can see a similar trend: the bubbles get smaller moving from the lower left corner to the upper right corner:
Relationship Between Crime and Education in the United States Bubble Chart

Relationship Between Crime and Education in the United States Bubble Chart

My state of Delaware seems to be the only exception in both cases. It has a relatively high percentage of college graduates and a relatively low poverty rate, yet it is still one of the most dangerous states in the country. Click here to download a zipped folder containing all these bubble charts in higher resolution. These charts may be freely distributed and used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. References: FBI Crime Statistics: Crime in the United States Poverty Percentages Compiled From The U.S. Census: Albuquerque Business First Morning Edition Education Statistics: U.S. Department of Education

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