Tennessee that had the nation’s highest violent crime rate among states last year, reports 24/7 Wall St. in an analysis of crime reports to the FBI. Nevada and Alaska ranked #2 and #3. Urban Institute senior fellow John Roman noted that the crime decline in the U.S. over the last two decades has not been uniform. The crime level has improved markedly in some large cities, like New York, Dallas and Washington, D.C., but the decline has been less impressive in cities like Baltimore and Detroit, where economic and racial segregation limit the ability of the poor to move into the middle class.
The apparent relationship between low income, low education and higher crime rates has been well documented, although identifying the cause and effect is still a matter of debate. Of the 10 states with the highest rates of violent crime, eight have lower rates of adults with bachelor’s degrees, and most of them had median income levels below the national figure in 2012. There are notable exceptions to the national trend, however. Alaska, Delaware and Maryland all have higher educational attainment and higher income, but they still make the list.