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: 321.0 per 100,000 (23rd lowest)
> Murder rate: 3.2 per 100,000 (16th lowest)
> Median household income: $63,909 (11th highest)
> May unemployment rate: 2.3% (the lowest)
In Colorado, 39.2% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, and just 2.3% of the labor force is unemployed — the second highest educational attainment rate and the lowest unemployment rate in the country. While economic opportunity often leads to lower crime rates, there were 321 violent crimes and 2,642 property crimes reported per 100,000 Colorado residents in 2015, roughly in line with the corresponding national rates. The state’s crime rate is partially driven by the Pueblo metropolitan area, where rising drug use and gang violence has led to a sharp increase in crime in the past several years.
Like a number of states, Colorado has partially reduced its prison population in recent years through a number of parole reform policies aimed at lowering its high recidivism rate. Today, 583 in every 100,000 Colorado residents are in state prison, similar to the national incarceration rate of 607 inmates per 100,000 Americans.
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.