With homicides being a near-daily occurrence in the news for many Americans, it’s refreshing to know that some states have relatively low homicide rates. You just might want to make them your next vacation spot.
What the Data Says
The following rankings are based on statistics that World Population Review gathered from Wallethub. They rated each state’s safety according to homicide numbers per 100,000 people.
1: New Hampshire
With 1.0 homicides per 100,000 people, New Hampshire clocks in as the number one safest state in the US. With low population density and tons of open space, New Hampshire is a dream come true for anyone looking to get outside.
Exploring the White Mountains, which include the highest peak in the Northeast US, is a great choice for anyone looking to take a hike, go camping, or take a scenic drive.
2: North Dakota
North Dakota has a Homicide rate of 1.3 per 100,000 people, putting it in a position to be proud of within World Population Review’s data. Visitors and residents alike can check out the Maah Daah Hey Trail, which offers horseback riding, biking, or hiking through 144 miles of beautiful scenery.
With the nickname “Vacationland,” it’s no surprise that Maine is a highly sought out destination for both tourists and people looking to relocate. A day at the beach, a hike through one of Maine’s old-growth pine forests, or whale watching are just a few ways to spend a day in Maine.
Don’t forget to end the day with some of Maine’s world-famous seafood cuisine. With 1.7 homicides per 100,000 people, crime is one thing you likely won’t have to worry about during your stay.
4: Rhode Island
Rhode Island has a homicide rate of 1.9 per 100,000 people. Although it’s the smallest state in the US, it has no shortage of things to do.
Block Island showcases a quintessential New England town with 17 miles of beaches, a wildlife refuge filled with migratory birds, and a historic lighthouse from the mid-1800s. Newport’s Cliff Walk also offers a 3.5-mile trek along the Ocean State’s iconic bluffs, with the ocean on one side and stunning mansions on the other.
Idaho is tied with Rhode Island in terms of safety, with a homicide rate of 1.9 per 100,000 people. Although Idaho might not be known as a travel hotspot, there are several cool spots to check out, especially for those who enjoy nature.
Sun Valley is a great year-round attraction, with skiing and snowboarding in the winter, and hiking, fishing, biking, and camping opportunities in the summer. Idaho’s many hot springs are another fun option to explore.
With 2.0 homicides per 100,000 people, Minnesota enjoys a high ranking on World Population Review’s list. Minneapolis and St. Paul, known as the “Twin Cities,” offer a big city experience in a relatively safe environment. The Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Science Museum of Minnesota, and the iconic Mall of America are all great experiences to have during your time in Minnesota.
The Green Mountain State has a homicide rate of 2.2 per 100,000 people. Although Vermont is renowned for having some of the best skiing on the East Coast, it’s not just a winter destination. The state’s largest city, Burlington, is located right on the shores of Lake Champlain and has a plethora of restaurants, shops, and local craft breweries that can be explored.
With 2.2 homicides per 100,000 people, Nebraska is an excellent state for travelers. While there, visitors can stop by Chimney Rock, which is one of Nebraska’s most iconic spots. It is both a geological site as well as a historic site, as it was used as a landmark by those traveling on the Oregon Trail.
Utah’s homicide rate is 2.4 per 100,000 people, putting it in ninth place. The awe-inspiring natural landscapes of Utah offer visitors a wide variety of experiences, including Zion National Park, home to a natural canyon over 15 miles long and 3,000 feet deep.
Oregon falls in the middle of this list, with 2.5 homicides per 100,000 people. Mount Hood is a must-see location for anyone spending time in Oregon and offers much more than just skiing. Hiking, biking, zip lining, and camping are all warm-weather activities you can enjoy during the summer months.
Massachusetts is tied with Oregon at 2.5 homicides per 100,000 people. For history buffs, Massachusetts is a dream come true. Plymouth was the first spot settled by the pilgrims in the 1620s, and visitors can explore a full-sized replica of the Mayflower, which carried the first pilgrims to the shores of America.
Wyoming has just a hair more homicides than Massachusetts, with 2.6 per 100,000 people. Visitors to Wyoming are in for a treat, for Yellowstone National Park offers the opportunity to see wildlife such as brown bears and wolves. Natural formations such as Old Faithful, one of nearly 500 geysers in the park, are also abundant. Old Faithful erupts twice an hour.
Hawaii has 2.7 homicides per 100,000 people. The Aloha State is world-renowned for its tropical climate and gorgeous beaches. It’s no wonder, given that it has some of the best snorkeling and diving anywhere in the world.
14: New York
New York State has 2.8 homicides per 100,000 people, sharing its ranking with Connecticut. New York City is a prime destination for anyone looking to experience world-class restaurants, boutique shops, bars, and nightlife in the city that never sleeps. For anyone looking for a quieter experience, the Adirondack Mountains offer an opportunity to enjoy hiking, fishing, and camping in a serene environment.
Connecticut also has 2.8 homicides per 100,000 residents. In Mystic, Connecticut, visitors can stop into the Mystic Seaport Museum to learn about the sea-faring history of the state. The museum offers a unique perspective on how residents of the area lived in the 19th century.
16: South Dakota
South Dakota has 2.9 homicides per 100,000 residents, making it among the safest states by homicide in the US. Mount Rushmore is something every visitor should check out, as it’s one of the most recognizable landmarks in the entire country.
With 3.1 homicides per 100,000 people, Washington is the first state on this list to surpass the 3.0 mark. Seattle is the largest city in the state and offers a fun experience for locals as well as visitors. For people just passing through, the Space Needle is an iconic spot that offers breathtaking city views.
Wisconsin has 3.2 homicides per 100,000 people. Football fans in the state can catch a Packers game at the iconic Lambeau Field or visit the Packers Hall of Fame in the off-season.
Iowa is second to last in World Population Review’s top 20 states with the fewest homicides, with 3.3 incidents per 100,000 residents. Maquoketa Caves State Park is one of the most beautiful attractions in Iowa and is home to more caves than any other park in the US. A six-mile trail winds through the park, providing plenty of opportunities to explore the amazing scenery and gain access to limestone caves.
20: New Jersey
New Jersey just makes the cut as the 20th safest state by homicide rates, with 3.6 homicides per 100,000 people. Visitors to New Jersey can stop by Atlantic City and test their luck at any of the numerous casinos on the strip. The vibrant nightlife ensures there is never a dull moment. With over 130 miles of coastline, those looking for a more low-key experience can kick off their shoes and enjoy a relaxing day at the beach.
Use Your Noggin
Just because World Population Review lists the states above as the safest in the US according to homicides, it doesn’t mean you should let your guard down. Plus, there are many forms of crime outside of homicide fatalities.
Highest Homicide Rate
Mississippi has the highest homicide rate in the U.S., at 23.7 homicides per 100,000 people. High poverty and unemployment rates are some of the factors that may be contributing to Mississippi’s poor ranking.
Louisiana and Alabama have the second and third worst homicide rates, respectively, at 21.3 and 15.9 homicides per 100,000 people.
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