As it stands, the nationwide violent crime rate today is about half what it was in 1993. While the United States is a much more peaceful place than it has been in decades, millions of Americans still live in relatively violent areas.
How peaceful or violent a given state is depends on more than the violent crime rate alone. Some violent crimes are more egregious than others, and factors such as the incarceration rate and the presence of firearms can also reflect how violent or peaceful a given state is.
> Violent crime rate: 383.8 per 100,000 (21st highest)
> Murder rate: 5.8 per 100,000 (14th highest)
> Median household income: $59,588 (18th highest)
> May unemployment rate: 4.6% (16th highest)
When it comes to violence in the United States, many Americans may immediately think of Chicago, a city plagued by gun violence. Every two and a half hours someone is shot in Chicago — and year-to-date, 336 people have been shot to death in the city. Indeed, about 94% of all homicides in the state occur in major metropolitan areas.
However, as a whole, Illinois closely resembles the nation. The state’s violent crime rate of 384 incidents per 100,000 is only slightly higher than the U.S. violent crime rate. Additionally, only 26.2% of Illinois residents belong to households that own a firearm, one of the lower shares among all states.
24/7 Wall St. created a weighted index to identify the most violent and the most peaceful states. Though there are a handful of exceptions, more violent states tend to be in the South, while the most peaceful states are concentrated in the Northeast.