News

Violent States In America — Guess Which States Top The List?

The ‘Most Violent State’ Crown Is Held By…Tennessee

What do you think is the state with the highest violent crime rate? You might be surprised to learn it’s Tennessee. Despite the reputations of states like New York, California and Florida when it comes to violence, Tennessee the most violent state, followed by Nevada and Alaska. Those are in the 2nd and 3rd spots, respectively.

The violent crime statistic comes from the FBI compilation of statistics for rape, robbery, murder and aggravated assault.

Why is Tennessee the most violent state? Well, according to 24 Wall St., who originally reported on the list of most dangerous states,

The state was among the top 10 in the country for murders and robberies and was first for aggravated assaults, with an estimated 479.6 for every 100,000 residents. Tennessee’s 41,550 violent crimes in 2012 were up 6.8% from 2011 but down 10% from 2007, when there were 46,380 violent crimes. There were 388 murders in the state in 2012, up for a second straight year. To be fair, Tennessee’s violent streak is concentrated in some of the major metropolitan areas. Memphis’s violent crime rate was the nation’s fifth worst, while Nashville’s was the 18th worst. Like many states with high violent crime, poverty in Tennessee is acute, and high school and college graduation rates are lower than most of the country.

Who else is on the most violent state list?

The rest of those on the most violent state list are NV, AK, NM, SC, DE, LA, FL, MD and OK.

In high-poverty low-income states, violent crimes are more likely to occur in general. That’s something the violent states on this list have in common, minus Alaska. AK made the list due to the high incidence of rape. The right wing attempts to pass off urban violence on the left by pointing out that the majority of mayors from major cities are Democratic. Yet, this ignores the historical fact that cities are centers of crime by virtue of population density. Also, major improvements in the crime rates of several major cities have demonstrated that it is social and local policy which determine crime rates. Not party.

Segregated cities, whether by racial, economic, or other lines, generally have higher levels of violence as well. As I’ve reported previously for Young Progressive Voices, the level of modern-day segregation in some cities is simply stunning. You can see that evidenced by the image below:

most violent state

This map demonstrates racial segregation along 8 Mile Road in Detroit. Each dot color represents a different race. Blue dots are white, green dots are black, red are Asian, and orange are Hispanic.

If you live in one of the more violent states on this list, there are things you can do to help. That’s even truer if you live in an area with high population density. That’s where crime rates are highest. Find out what programs have been successful in other areas, and contact local legislators and officials about implementing similar programs. See if there are community outreach programs that help impoverished areas. Remember, poverty is one of the highest causes of crime in violent states, and there are things we can do to help.

Originally written for Addicting Info. 

About Justin Acuff

Justin Acuff is a political activist, writer and admitted news junkie. He has written hundreds of articles that have been read millions of times. Justin is a Senior Editor for Addicting Info, the owner and managing editor of Young Progressive Voices, and contributes to other publications as well. The best part? He isn't even 21 yet. Follow his Facebook fan page to get access to his latest articles, find his website here, or follow him on Twitter.

Discussion

131 thoughts on “Violent States In America — Guess Which States Top The List?

  1. Wow. And there you have it.

    Posted by Heather Ferris (@FerrisAgain) | October 8, 2013, 8:57 am
    • I’m not surprised at all. When I travelled through Nashville years ago, I saw how an ‘establishment’ on the main drag treated a severely handicapped man; made me sick. (I’m from California, you know, one of those ‘liberal’ states). I helped the man the best I could.

      Posted by Gino | October 13, 2013, 3:29 pm
    • its not the state that is the problem its the people in the state it would be more interesting to find out if the crimes were done by liberals or conseratives to get a real outlook on the cause of crime in the country, then get back to me the state my be red because all the good people in that state are trying to fix it by letting the liberals know there is no free lunch get a job and earn you keep I could be wrong but just saying you really need to know who is committing the crimes

      Posted by ruth anderson | December 27, 2013, 9:27 am
      • You really believe this is political?

        Tennessee has one of the loosest gun laws….Just saying

        Posted by TONY NSWATKI | December 27, 2013, 1:54 pm
      • I can tell you this the ones committing the crimes are uneducated, intolerant human beings with very poor impulse control and are already living so far below the poverty level they hardly register on any record keeping rolls except criminal statistics. Ruth you inference that liberals are criminals is outright laughable and show just how ignorant some people are when it comes to crime and the reasons for it.

        Posted by Sando | December 27, 2013, 2:27 pm
      • I have lived in Tennessee almost all of my life, so I think I am qualified to chip in my 2 cents worth on this subject. I can tell you that the VAST majority of the crimes are committed by the resident conservatives. You know, the good old boys who own tons of guns, and believe it is their God given rights to beat their girlfriend/wife when ever they feel like it. Mix with that the lack of an education and all of the drugs that are in the state. And don’t forget the illegal immigrants that are here dealing drugs and committing violent crimes against residents. Tennessee is ruled by Republicans in almost every political office in the state. So you cannot blame the Conservatives (as few as they are) for the problems in the state.

        Posted by Larry G | December 27, 2013, 2:51 pm
      • well ruth.. its the people that make the state….stop w/ that bullshit no free lunch.. what the hell does that mean anyway… what are you going to do tell the kids @ school who’s family is strapped because the conservatives are against people earning a living wage.. those same conservatives who give big tax breaks to big corporations but would think nothing of sitting back while others don’t have enough to feed their kids.

        Posted by joann | December 27, 2013, 3:16 pm
      • Yes you could be wrong.

        Posted by lonnie93041 | December 27, 2013, 3:18 pm
      • No you don’t You need to know who is running the state, in control of enforcing the law.

        Posted by John | December 27, 2013, 4:59 pm
      • What stupid convoluted comment there Ruth. Let’s face it the south is the armpit of the country in so many ways.

        Posted by A.j. Peterson | December 27, 2013, 5:25 pm
      • Ruth, judging by your post, I’d say lack of education is probably a big part of the problem, running in tandem with Fox ‘news’ addiction. Seriously, how many ‘liberal’ states are in the ‘violent’ category, hmmmmmm?
        You seem to have, shall we say, a bias that’s skewing your judgment.

        Posted by yellerkitty | December 27, 2013, 6:41 pm
      • Not very christian-like

        Posted by Ted Holland | December 27, 2013, 7:10 pm
      • Ruth, you’re nuts!

        Posted by Michael | December 27, 2013, 9:12 pm
      • Yes, some need to get, ‘A Real Outlook.’
        Before blaming political parties, without any analytical backing, and forgoing utilizing firm data, how about just a little Academic Research please? Here, I’ll help you out, Ruth.
        http://www.tbi.tn.gov/tn_crime_stats/stats_analys.shtml

        I’m also having problems understanding the “Good People” in your area as well. These “Good People” strive to take food away from unfortunate school children? Now there’s a shining example of Christian values. *sarcasm*

        Posted by T.M. Phillips | December 28, 2013, 5:53 am
      • Hilarious. You actually believe liberal people are violent. It’s quite obvious that you’ve never EVER even watched a single crime story TV show, have no idea that white collar crime is committed by staunch Republicans and the most religious among us, and that fascism originates from the conservative side of the political spectrum. The fact that you spewed your ignorance on this forum proves to us that you’re a low information voter and an adherent of AM talk radio.

        Posted by Scott | December 28, 2013, 7:39 am
      • Your comment is very ignorant and immature. Haha I pity you.

        Posted by gail | December 28, 2013, 8:54 am
      • WOW…. just wow… you do realize with the low education rate people are TRAPPED in dead in jobs that do not provide a living wage. You must enjoy keeping shareholders of large corporations wealthy while we the taxpayers subsidize their employees. YOUR RED STATE is the problem. The GOP sold out your conservative notions to have their pockets lined by big business.
        Time to step up and be part of the solution, shop local. Ask how much employees make. Take a true interest… or continue to be spoon fed by Fox News.

        Posted by Laura L. Gilbert | December 28, 2013, 10:38 am
  2. Wow! I’m so pleased to see my home state of Michigan is not on that list. For awhile, Detroit was considered the murder capital of the nation. I’m not pleased, however, that there is so much violence in any states. Since the F.B.I. has profiles of the different types who commit the different crimes, we should probably all take advantage of those statistics and profiles so that we can possibly see what might be coming from any particular individual.

    Interesting article. Thanks for posting it.

    Posted by Richard La France | October 8, 2013, 9:20 am
  3. I’m surprised MO didn’t make the list. Maybe it’s just that Kansas City has such a high homicide rate.

    Posted by tinsleyd | October 8, 2013, 9:42 am
    • Yeah, KC is is not a nice place. The rest of us in the state kind of ignore it; hoping it will fade into Kansas….

      Posted by DJ | October 9, 2013, 7:23 am
    • St. Louis used to have a higher murder rate per capita than NY, LA & Chicago.

      Posted by Mendy Puffenburgh | October 13, 2013, 9:26 am
      • Actually a safe state in general is New York ..it has 19 million residents is the second richest state in the nation and has the strictest gun control laws …now maybe it is not gun control that helps new York ..maybe it is that Nnew Yorkers are far better than all you Midwest religious right wing gun scumbags

        Posted by Sean T Gallagher | October 13, 2013, 11:53 am
      • Oh how nice Sean Gallagher. That is so sweat how you on one hand describe New Yorkers to be loving, rich, and above all other AMERICANS, while calling a group of AMERICANS names. Check your nose there guy, it is way to high in the air. I hope you come down and see that we with different beliefs than the wonderful New Yorkers are fellow AMERICANS.

        Posted by Cuckleburr | December 27, 2013, 9:45 am
    • Actually the Kansas City with the high violent crime rate is the one in Kansas. Kansas City MO is a pretty peaceful city compared to Kansas City KS

      Posted by Adam Kratt | December 27, 2013, 6:08 pm
  4. So if someone lives in the democrat controlled areas of Tennessee like Nashville and Memphis, then crime is high? Got it.

    Posted by Eric | October 8, 2013, 11:29 am
    • As the article states, blaming it on being democratic is a fallacy. Please try again.

      Posted by Justin Acuff | October 8, 2013, 11:31 am
      • No, Justin, your math skills are spot on when you want them to be, and weak when it suits your purpose. Population density should have no automatic impact on crime statistics, and anyone who’s passed a High School statistics class caught your intentional oopsie. You write propaganda, pure and simple.

        Posted by Mike | October 13, 2013, 3:21 pm
      • Absolutely and completely untrue. If you think that urban areas don’t have higher incidences of violence the world over, you need to check your statistics and your head. That’s a current AND historical fact. Population density DOES have an impact on crime statistics, whether you like it or not.

        In fact, the usual things that impact the crime rate are:

        1) Population density and degree of urbanization.

        2) Variations in composition of the population, particularly youth concentration.

        3) Stability of the population with respect to residents’ mobility, commuting patterns, and transient factors.

        4) Modes of transportation and highway system.

        5) Economic conditions, including median income, poverty level, and job availability.

        6) Cultural factors and educational, recreational, and religious characteristics.

        7) Family conditions with respect to divorce and family cohesiveness.

        8) Climate.

        9) Effective strength of law enforcement agencies.

        10) Administrative and investigative emphases of law enforcement.

        11) Policies of other components of the criminal justice system (i.e., prosecutorial, judicial, correctional, and probational).

        12) Citizens’ attitudes toward crime.

        13) Crime reporting practices of the citizenry.

        Does it say “political party” in there anywhere? Nope.

        It’s so easy to label things you don’t like “propaganda.” Harder to prove your case. ESPECIALLY because I’ve repeatedly stated it has nothing to do with partisanship, on either side.

        Posted by Justin Acuff | October 13, 2013, 3:31 pm
      • Maybe you can explain to all of us why an urban area of decent law-abiding citizens would automatically have a higher crime rate. The simple fact is that criminals create crime. Cities don’t create crime, high population densities don’t create crime. Criminals do. Your bully pulpit here doesn’t make your faulty logic logical. Your self-generated list of subjective reasons is full of nonsense. Climate? Really? You want to compare the crime rates of Tel Aviv, Melbourne, and Oakland? Maybe ‘shouting over me’ with a long string of non-facts impresses your usual reader, but you aren’t fooling me. It’s still propaganda, please try again.

        Posted by Mike | October 13, 2013, 5:26 pm
      • Self-generated? Try again. Those are the factors as determined by the FBI. Criminals are influenced by other factors.

        Posted by Justin Acuff | October 13, 2013, 5:28 pm
      • UNLIKE you, I offer citations for my claims, so here you go. I did your research for you — http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/cautionagainstranking.pdf

        Posted by Justin Acuff | October 13, 2013, 5:29 pm
      • Be honest with us now… did YOU write that self-indulgent ‘About Justin Acuff” piece that’s at the end of the article?

        Posted by Mike | October 13, 2013, 5:33 pm
      • “Self-indulgent?” Wow, you’re all over the place on these threads! My tagline doesn’t have anything that isn’t factual, either. I HAVE written hundreds of articles. They HAVE been read millions of times (this one over 250,000, for example). And I AM under 21.

        I’m not a senior editor for AI anymore — I’ve actually been promoted. Any other inane questions?

        Posted by Justin Acuff | October 13, 2013, 5:36 pm
      • Justin, do you actually think a statement like ‘criminals create crime’ requires citation? If the FBI wants to make claims that fly in the face of common sense, I should just accept it anyway? I don’t think so. 300,000 decent citizens compressed into a city will have the same crime rate as 300,000 decent citizens spread over a suburban county. I’m not the only one to notice how you hold an article YOU WROTE up as irrefutable… “As the article states…” as if you are what makes it infallible. Wow.

        Posted by Mike | October 13, 2013, 5:50 pm
      • Hahahahaha I’m glad you laugh off the official causes, based on dozens of studies and years of research, just because they don’t fit your claims. I’m banning your IP from commenting on my site in the future. Have a great day.

        Posted by Justin Acuff | October 13, 2013, 5:59 pm
      • Justin, I notice you dodged the question. Points for not lying, though.

        Posted by Mike | October 13, 2013, 5:57 pm
      • I’d run like hell if I were you, too. Figures don’t lie, but liars sure do figure. Common sense needs no citation.

        Posted by Mike | October 13, 2013, 6:09 pm
      • Know what? I’m not going to ban you. This will be fun.

        Figures? I’ve cited figures. I cited FBI statistics, which you denied based on your “common sense,” which, strangely, doesn’t seem to be peer reviewed or held to any real academic standard. You’re right! Figures don’t lie. And the figures say that the factors of crime are the aforementioned. Please provide solid evidence that refutes that before continuation.

        Posted by Justin Acuff | October 13, 2013, 6:12 pm
      • To address a few other things —

        1) I didn’t dodge your question. I answered it by combating your description of “self-indulgent.” Yes, I wrote it.

        2) No, “criminals create crime” doesn’t require citation, but it also isn’t strictly true, because it doesn’t really get down to the real, basic causes of crime. And the distinction is important when it comes to lowering crime rates, which is, again, a bipartisan issue.

        3) I wasn’t saying my article was irrefutable. I was saying the argument contained hadn’t been refuted and I didn’t see the point of restating the same points.

        Posted by Justin Acuff | October 13, 2013, 6:17 pm
      • You’re banning my IP? First of all, you didn’t. Secondly, do you really think I care? Good grief, you are SOOOOOOO full of yourself! AHAHAHAHA Conceit doesn’t even annoy me when it’s justified. Grow up.

        Posted by Mike | October 13, 2013, 7:23 pm
      • This comment was a waste of time, considering I already retracted that statement 🙂

        I never said you cared, just notified you.

        I’m not conceited. I’ve repeatedly referenced sources beyond myself, used statistics gathered from reputable sources, and used numbers and facts, rather than attacks and heated arguments. You, on the other hand, have repeatedly stated negative things about me personally, all while assuming your personal interpretation supercedes gathered information from official sources. If that isn’t conceit, good sir, what is?

        Unless you’re referring to my tagline. If I were conceited — and I maintain that I am not — I could go with the technical truth, which is that I’ve published well over a thousand articles for a dozen publications for views in the tens of millions. All in all, I took a rather humble route! Furthermore, my writing is my job, so I have to sell my writing, don’t I?

        You’re starting to bore me. First you stated that I had my causes of crime wrong, without offering what the true causes are. When I cited the factors behind crime, you told me I made that list up and called them subjective. When I gave you the source, you stated that sources are pointless. You have done nothing to make a real argument. And THAT is why I would ban you — because someone, likely many people, will read your comments and have wasted time they will never get back. And that’s a real shame.

        Posted by Justin Acuff | October 13, 2013, 7:38 pm
      • I agree, this is fun! I believe we are getting to the central issue, in a round-about way. Tell us, Justin, if criminals don’t create crime, what does? Humans possess free will. Nobody HAS to rob the gas station, they choose to. I don’t care what shell-game mumbo-jumbo the Justice Department offers, they are a part of that Executive Branch you keep telling us is non-partisan. I don’t believe it, by the way. Your thoughts?

        Posted by Mike | October 13, 2013, 7:43 pm
      • Of course criminals cause crime. The reason your argument is incorrect is because it’s saying the buck stops there, and it doesn’t. You’re saying that there are no factors that contribute to crime other than free will? Well then, my friend, you’re a fucking idiot, a waste of breath, and this conversation is over, because I feel like my time will be more valuably spent helping people that aren’t willfully ignorant.

        Posted by Justin Acuff | October 13, 2013, 7:47 pm
      • Argumentum ad hominum is never classy, and it just shows desperation. Perhaps you can enlighten the unwashed masses: if crime isn’t free will, what is it then? Whether you believe it or not, I am open-minded. You just won’t convince me with carefully spun factoids, I didn’t fall of the truck yesterday. Here in Ohio a childless married couple receives over $360 a month food benefits if they want them. Criminals aren’t hungry. Drug use IS free will, no sympathy. What crime ISN’T free will? Oh, sorry if I’m not responding quickly, I’m multitasking, and our posts are a touch muddled up. I’m interested in what you have to say, I just don’t find it convincing.

        Posted by Mike | October 13, 2013, 8:06 pm
      • oh.. if the buck doesn’t stop there, where does it stop? What other factors are there in crime? You choose to do it, or choose not to. I am responsible for my own actions, I’d guess you feel the same about yourself. How does this simple rule not apply across the board? c’mon, it’s intellectually dishonest to suggest otherwise.

        Posted by Mike | October 13, 2013, 8:13 pm
      • I already listed all the fucking factors.

        And you know, it doesn’t matter if it “makes sense” to you or not, because study after study has DEMONSTRATED that, when controlled, those variables affect crime rates.

        Posted by Justin Acuff | October 13, 2013, 8:50 pm
      • We finally reach the root of the problem. I want answers that make sense and are understandable considering real-world scenarios. You drink the kool-aid as long as it comes from a left-wing administration. I’ll just go on arrogantly thinking for myself, thanks anyway. Best of luck. btw the f-bomb doesn’t impress anyone over the age of 12 anymore. Just sayin’.

        Posted by Mike | October 14, 2013, 3:15 am
      • Ah, so you’re saying you have absolutely no sourcing or real justification for your opinions? Because I can cite the same reasons coming from the FBI, or ANY crime-tracking organization, from ANY administration.

        So, for clarification — you get to make up your own facts, but I don’t, right?

        Posted by Justin Acuff | October 14, 2013, 3:40 pm
      • I form my own opinions, true… I don’t want yours.

        Posted by Mike | October 15, 2013, 6:52 am
      • I’m not going to reply to this thread anymore. I cited facts. You arbitrarily declared them not to be facts based on your personal preference, and have repeatedly been proven wrong. It’s a waste of time. Bye.

        Posted by Justin Acuff | October 15, 2013, 11:29 am
    • Isn’t the Tennessee governor a Republican?

      Posted by Jerry Shorter | October 8, 2013, 1:11 pm
      • Yes, and Republicans have a super majority in both houses.

        Posted by Eric | October 8, 2013, 6:14 pm
      • YES and Republicans won a historic victory in Tennessee’s 2008 elections, when the party won majorities in both houses of the Tennessee General Assembly for the first time since the Reconstruction Era election of 1868. Therefore Democrats have pretty much ruled the roost for 140 years, and the problems in the state get blamed on the Republicans? Wake up people.

        Posted by Bill Anderson | October 10, 2013, 7:41 am
      • yes ..in fact the top 8 of 10 are republican ..and if you extrapolate when crime started rising in the other two they both had a republican during the greatest increases..Florida ,new mexico ,Arizona ,Alabama,Georgia ,Michigan ,Alaska,

        Posted by Sean T Gallagher | October 13, 2013, 11:56 am
    • No they just don’t report the other crime areas. And that is a Fact.

      Posted by SashaBlu | October 9, 2013, 8:25 am
    • No, Idiot. If that were the case California and New York would top the list. If someone lives in a state where Republican state governments allow the boot of big business to be firmly placed on the neck of worker, the sense of futility leads to higher crime rates. States with low minimum wage, virtually no worker protections, limited social safety net, and unchecked racial discrimination top the list. People that live in poverty and feel they have no opportunity to improve their life are far more likely to resort to violent crime.

      Posted by Greg Parish | October 13, 2013, 10:40 am
    • I see they still allow idiots on the Internet.

      Posted by Jim Mooney | October 13, 2013, 12:53 pm
  5. Shocked that Texas isn’t at the top… guess we just have more unreported crimes.

    Posted by Bee | October 8, 2013, 1:05 pm
  6. And the NRA is very active in Tenn. I wonder why?

    Posted by Robert “oldfoxbob” Hersh-geer | October 8, 2013, 1:53 pm
  7. Does this have a direct connection to gun ownership?

    Posted by Nancy K | October 8, 2013, 6:55 pm
    • Nope. Has to do with poverty…

      Posted by DJ | October 9, 2013, 7:24 am
    • Sure it does. It has to do with all the guns owned by drug dealing thugs who believe that gangsta rap is real. I’m sure if you ban them that they would all follow the law, turn them in and go back to stabbing each other like they do when they are locked up in prison. The high rate of gun ownership is why they stay in their own area while sticking to dealing drugs and shooting each other instead of committing home invasions and carjackings everywhere.

      Posted by Jason B | December 29, 2013, 4:50 am
  8. I would imagine it’s because Tennessee is one of the poorest States and, as all sensible people know, poverty breeds frustration, anger and therefore crime…Enough said.

    Posted by mary | October 8, 2013, 10:46 pm
    • *See if there are community outreach programs that help impoverished areas.*

      This kind of squishy outreach has been going on for decades at great cost to many with little to no positive results. That’s because blacks are inherently violent and impulsive. Why fkn bother? Liberalism, the kind pimped here, does not defend liberty; it destroys the independence of all individuals. By eroding historical memories, liberalism blinds white men from history. It proposes to ensure his means of existence, of course, but robs him of his reason to live and deprives him of the possibility of having a destiny. Blacks on the other hand are to NEVER forget their history and demand the power of the state to enforce their every narcissistic ‘offence,’ real and imagined.

      http://www.westernjournalism.com/hate-crime-charges-soliders-race-based-murder/

      Posted by SPQR | October 9, 2013, 1:02 am
      • Yeah, pseudointellectual racist assholes like you are just as idiotic as any other brand of racist asshole. Move on, please. This isn’t the place for you.

        Posted by Justin Acuff | October 9, 2013, 1:05 am
      • I take it that you are an angry white man. As a white, Southern woman, I have no problems knowing my family and cultural history. I remember the Jim Crow laws just fine. I remember being in the fifth grade at Brewster Elementary School in Cedartown, Ga., when Linda Fay’s father brought her into our all white school, looking terrified that he would have to leave his daughter in a place run by white, southern racists. Yep, I remember history very, very well. Too bad you are still stuck in the 1800s.

        Posted by Little Bit | October 9, 2013, 3:49 pm
      • Racist much????

        Posted by Greg | October 13, 2013, 10:45 am
      • You moron – one month of the war in Iraq, based on lies, cost more than All the outreach programs for ten years. But I bet you cheered that on since I have No doubt who you voted for.

        Posted by Jim Mooney | October 13, 2013, 12:54 pm
    • You are out of your ever lovin mind Mary. You do not seem to keep up with the news.

      Posted by Shelia | October 10, 2013, 7:13 am
    • Years ago I went to Mexico, Tijuana. I knew nothing about Mexico at the time. After a day spent in Tijuana I was so depressed by the poverty there! Old people, sick, sleeping on sidewalks, little kids trying to sell you Chicklets gum. We paid two young boys to watch our car that morning. We really didn’t expect them to do it! When we came back to our car at 7:30 pm both of those boys were still there watching the car! We promised them a quarter, but instead we gave them each a dollar. Oh they were so thrilled! Paper, paper, they kept saying! They kissed my hand and ran off, We sat at dinner that night in Chula Vista, California, the waitress said “looks like you’ve been to Mexico!” I said “how did you know?” She said “everyone looks depressed after going to Mexico.” She was right, I was just imagining what I would do if born in a place like this. I have never wondered “why” the Mexicans sneak into America? I know and I think if I were in the same position I would probably do the same. When you are hungry with children something has to change in your life, you cannot remain in poverty.

      Posted by dawnbaby | December 27, 2013, 4:01 pm
  9. This has to be wrong Jersey should definitely be on this list. Camden, Newark, Jersey City, Patterson, Atlantic City? Come on now

    Posted by Thomas Arminio | October 8, 2013, 11:24 pm
  10. This article is total BS, check the FBI violent crimes database, it tells a completely different story.

    Posted by Rich Holland | October 9, 2013, 4:07 am
  11. I’m kind of shocked ND isn’t on the list. There are two large towns in this state that have a high number of rape and robbery. Give it another year or two and I’m sure ND will be seen.

    Posted by Amanda Peterson | October 9, 2013, 2:53 pm
  12. to break it down, Memphis, which accounted for roughly 40% the murders (157 of the 388) in the state….only has slightly over 10% of the states population (655,000) of the 6.4 million in 2012…Nashville who’s population was 605,000 in 2012, had another 15 percent of the states murders…so not nearly as skewed, but essentially, the two largest areas, that vote democratic, only account for about 19 percent of the states total population, account for nearly 50 percent of the murders….sounds like it being a red state is really a useless point to bring up once you look at the numbers

    Posted by Derek Lyles (@Reknmachin) | October 9, 2013, 4:31 pm
    • You didn’t see it addressed in the article? Correlation doesn’t imply causation. The political party in control of the city has absolutely no impact or relevance to violence. Also, cities have a higher percentage of violent crime by nature — all those people living closer together. Use some logic, now.

      Posted by Justin Acuff | October 9, 2013, 4:40 pm
  13. Clearly TN needs more guns – that should fix it! rofl

    Posted by Aaron Gonzalez | October 9, 2013, 4:39 pm
  14. Look everyone. Don’t fall into the partisan blame trap on this issue (others, ok, maybe). No matter who is in control or who is not, crime is always a hot button issue to campaign on. Both parties will always use high crime stats to trumpet what’s not being done by the other side and what will be done if you vote for “X”. Once “X” gets into office, ?do you really think they are going to do anything about the high crime rate? Of course not. If they did, there’s be nothing to campaign on next election. What’s the answer? The same one as always. Term limits and the possibility of instant recall if they don’t satisfy the mandate of lowering crime. Simple. Lowering crime is easy – more cops on the beat. Getting politicians to hire more cops? Ha!

    Posted by David Ocame | October 13, 2013, 9:09 am
    • Maybe also, we should withhold the pay of ALL politicians until their term limit is reached. That way, we have a bargaining chip to hold over them. “You want your paycheck? Get this done. Otherwise we’ll kick you out and you get nothing!” For the most part, they don’t need their pay right away, do they? I mean, we usually vote in people who are already wealthy (something else for us to rethink)

      Posted by David Ocame | October 13, 2013, 9:13 am
    • More cops =/= less crime. The two are related, but indirectly.

      Posted by Justin Acuff | October 13, 2013, 1:46 pm
  15. At least were #1 for something…LOL! My beliefs are this…if they paid a decent living wage, I don’t think violence, and crime would be as bad. No one would have to rob or steal to survive…the majority would lead happy and productive lives working to eek out a living…but when your desperate to provide for your families….Desprate people do desperate things…WERE #1! WERE #1! WERE #1!!!

    Posted by RUTH | October 13, 2013, 9:24 am
  16. Show up in Philadelphia, Camden, Newark uninvited and tell me how friendly they are.

    Posted by Ron Ferraris | October 13, 2013, 10:06 am
  17. Have you noticed how many people in this thread protest that this cannot be true, because wherever they happen to live absolutely must be the highest violent crime area? It just goes to show, the fear mongering machine really is national. Sad, terrified little people huddling in their homes, scurrying about when they have to go out, and armed to the teeth to defend themselves from the Big Bad Boogeyman they just know must be lurking right outside their door! And of course, the Boogeyman is “Anyone Who Is Not Exactly Like Me”!

    Roosevelt was right on when he said that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

    Posted by gardoglee | October 13, 2013, 12:43 pm
  18. I haven’t read replies yet, but wanted to start by saying i appreciate the information in your article. However, I disagree with one statement. While I agree there is a strong tie between the two, poverty does NOT cause crime. I grew up desperately poor, the youngest of 9 kids; but we were given a strong moral compass, both by our parents and grandparents living in the home (12 of us in a tiny house) who disciplined us and taught us right from wrong. We didn’t have enough food and i never remember having shoes without holes. But we were taught to work. Climbing out of that poverty has taken until my forties, but as a family we have beaten that legacy. Not one of us ever committed a violent crime even tho we were victims of it and we might have had reason ourselves to do so. So I would beg you to be careful when you say poverty CAUSES violent crime. People make choices…THAT’S what causes violent crime.

    Posted by Kris | October 13, 2013, 1:24 pm
    • Poverty IS a major cause of crime. That’s not saying “all poor people commit crime.” It’s saying “in areas with high poverty, certain types of crime are likely to be much more prevalent.”

      You can’t just blame it on “people’s choices,” because that’s ignoring a proven cause and possible solution.

      Posted by Justin Acuff | October 13, 2013, 1:44 pm
    • I completely agree with the above comment!!!! I grew up in Dyersburg, Tn. & was raised by my grandmother!!! At one time in my childhood I was limited to one slice of bread a day, I weighed 85 lbs, in the 8th grade, I wore hand-me-downs, dressed under the covers because the electricity was turned off, walked everywhere I went because we didn’t have a car & I could go on & on!!!! I did not CHOOSE to be violent….. It is a choice!!!! That is what causes violent crime!!!!!! If more people had God in their lifeon a daily basis & depended on Him more, there would be less violent crimes!!!! When God is taken out of everything everywhere what do we expect?

      Posted by Jo Ann Joseph Lockridge | October 30, 2013, 3:49 pm
      • Good for you Jo Ann. That still does not justify your hardhearted selfish view of other people. It amazes me to how stupid conservatives are, and how they manufacture excuses on their own successes as to why others can somehow succeed. Everyone is different and everyone has different experiences as to what leads them down the path of failure or success. Their are unforeseen things that do happen and I guarantee you will have an unforeseen incident happen at some point and time. Everyone handles problems differently with or without God. So stop being such narrow minded self-absorbed bitch about how if everyone was like you they would succeed – IT’S JUST NOT TRUE! The reason I believe this country has gone down hill is because of assholes like and your political beliefs. 30+ years of the religious right and Reaganomics has caused this country to decline. It is you and your pernicious ideas about since you suffered, others should suffer.

        Posted by Matthew Morrison | December 27, 2013, 10:58 am
    • Yeah it’s people’s choices, and those choices are influenced by factors such as poverty and whatnot.

      Posted by cpark | December 27, 2013, 11:45 am
  19. The thing is we are 911 done here. We have to take care of our own.

    Posted by Ted | October 13, 2013, 2:29 pm
  20. I was born in TN, and I can tell you what the problem is, poverty. I grew up in a small, economically depressed town, where there were a high number of people on welfare because jobs were scarce. The only decent paying jobs were at the local hospital, or plant (which shut down). Most people who offered jobs thought they were doing you a favor paying you minimum wage with no benefits. My Dad was a skilled trade worker, and only made minimum wage. We struggled for everything we had. His boss would take off a week during Christmas and would shut the business down; without paying his employees of course. The most we would get was a ham or a turkey. (I guess he thought he might as well give us something to eat since we couldn’t afford groceries that week.) We were always one or two paychecks away from being homeless, and yet we were better off then a lot of people there. That kind of stress and feelings of hopelessness can breed violence. I was just watching a show last night that uncovered how prevalent Meth is there, making it and using it. The combination of both I’m sure has caused the high numbers of violence there.

    Posted by amandamh82 | October 13, 2013, 2:53 pm
  21. Reblogged this on .

    Posted by amandamh82 | October 13, 2013, 3:15 pm
  22. I LIVE here. surprised I am not.

    Posted by Cassy Michael | October 13, 2013, 8:36 pm
  23. wow how is alaska so low on the list? lol

    Posted by Sarah DeLancy | October 14, 2013, 1:12 am
  24. Reblogged this on okieprogressive.

    Posted by Terry M Gresham | October 21, 2013, 7:47 pm
  25. Justin please. Mike is from Ohio, so cut him some slack. People there still believe that a man in the sky created the Earth. The smart people from Ohio get the hell out of there once they realize there is nothing left there, but for those who are so stupid as to believe and put up with the garbage Mike is spewing. I mean come on, NOTHING in life is that black and white. Idiots like him have to have an iron death grip on pseudofacts or propaganda that people choose poverty or a life of crime, because they don’t have the ounce of brain cells it takes to consider for a moment that maybe a person could grow up in an environment that eliminates many choices for them or even just find themselves in that situation for a variety of reasons that are not their choice. And hell, last time I checked people do make mistakes. Are we to judge them because we are perfect? We even need programs for people like Mike. I believe Newt Gingrich suggested a moon colony didn’t he? The rest of us native Ohioans will gladly inherit the rest of the country and make amends for those like Mike who make us look bad.

    Regarding statistics, I will make one comment. They do not lie, but can be manipulated. There is always a context in which you have to read them and try to understand the relationship between the numbers. In research we call these relationships correlations. It does not imply cause and effect relationships. Just that somehow there is SOME relationship. Most average people don’t understand that because they haven’t done research or taken a stats class. I wouldn’t stress too much about the opinions of those who don’t get it, but you may want to include that when including a piece on statistical info.

    Posted by Jessica H. | December 27, 2013, 9:29 am
  26. I just skipped through all the self-serving comments where everyone just defends their own opinions regardless of facts or common sense. You can lead a horse to water…

    Posted by David | December 27, 2013, 9:33 am
  27. Not surprised. Memphis can be scary. But, most places where people live in dire poverty, crime rates will be higher. Survival.

    Posted by PJ Yusten (@GagaEJ) | December 27, 2013, 10:10 am
    • The survival instinct overrides morality. I have no idea why people can’t understand that. My conservative father in law understood that and expressed compassion for people who committed crimes because they had little or no choice, probably because he grew up with next to nothing and knew damn well what it was like.

      Posted by lonnie93041 | December 27, 2013, 3:16 pm
  28. Does anyone understand basics of journalism anymore? Just because the story is online or you’re a blogger doesn’t take away from the fundamentals of how to tell/report a story. Or is everything now just deemed to be subjective because no one can research deeper than Wikipedia. Or see the value in that.

    Posted by Michael | December 27, 2013, 11:11 am
  29. No surprise it’s Tenn. That’s where the KKK got started. Go figure.

    Posted by Joseph Sinkovic | December 27, 2013, 2:30 pm
  30. Justin Acuff isn’t the first person to notice that there is a large disparity in crime statistics between states and regions of the United States. Americans don’t study geography so Americans continually reinvent geography, in this case cultural geography. Acuff takes a few amateur stabs at the causes of the differences, but might do well to do some background reading first. I would recommend: “Cultural regions of the United States” by Raymond D Gastil (1975) and “Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America” (America: A Cultural History) by David Hackett Fischer for starts. Then rewrite the article.

    Posted by Charles Cotton | December 27, 2013, 10:27 pm
  31. It came out that the FBI survey upon which this is based was optional and states didn’t have to submit data. TN was the ONLY state who submitted everything. Not to mention that Shelby County (Memphis) has more than 10% of the entire state’s population, and Memphis has been run by Democrats for decades and so, like Detroit and so many others, crime has been endemic.California also leads in officer involved shootings.

    These studies always exclude state sponsored violence.

    And, as always, most people’s “reasoning” is simply ex post facto justifications for their initial biases.

    Posted by Lloyd Ritchey | December 27, 2013, 11:25 pm
  32. Sociology: It’s proven, it relies on facts and makes sense. Low income, poverty sticken areas are the breeding grounds for delinquency, violent crimes, and just a lower standard of living.

    Environment, not government, decides these statistics; although government can perpetuate them.

    Posted by Finches | December 28, 2013, 12:12 am
  33. I live in TN and have been a life long violent criminal. Most of the violence, poverty, and desperation here emerges from addiction (legal and illegal). Over 90 percent of the penal population is incarcerated due to alcohol and drug related crimes, over 80 % percent are addicted to one or more substances. The war on drugs has been a big joke. We have jobs here, actually, we are forced to import workers to fill them. We have welfare, insurance, and food stamp benefits that are part of our criminal system. TennCare provides many of the pharmaceutical drugs for the drug trade. Welfare and food stamps are part of the currency that keeps the criminal enterprises profitable. Does every one on government assistance abuse the system? No but enough due to make it a cash cow. But criminal activity at least in this state does not stop with the poor. Medical doctors are regularly charged with Medicaid/Medicare fraud. Other doctors for cash money write prescriptions without ever seeing the patient, some even write prescriptions for nonexistent patients. Judges, lawyers, and police officials also take part in the drug conspiracy here. They did not start out drug smugglers and traffickers; the influence of drugs on their thinking and the constant need to replenish their own drug supply influenced them to make some very irrational decisions. These actions then further cement their fate. My references, pick up any newspaper on any given day across the state. Who are they? Well they are the democrats of Memphis and Nashville and the republicans of every small town across the state. This epidemic knows no socioeconomic boundaries. The poverty thing well those are the people for the most part that actually go to jail. That is how poverty plays into it but the violence or at least the deadly violence part also crosses socioeconomic boundaries.

    Posted by Jesse Johnson | December 28, 2013, 2:33 am
  34. Say what you want. People in Tennessee are 10 times nicer than people from the north.
    Besides, this whole thing is skewed because of one city. Memphis!

    Posted by Matt | December 28, 2013, 7:02 am
  35. You definitely could be wrong ruth. Definitely.

    Posted by gail | December 28, 2013, 9:00 am
  36. Big business and media executives have been feeding the pockets of all politicians (liberal & conservative) for years.. It’s OUR fault as a society for not taking responsibility for OUR country and communities. All politicians are slime in the end. None of the ones with any real power will do what they say because in the end they are going to do what those execs tell them to. Violence is a product of a collective, that which feeds it is our inability to shed our ignorance of the real world. My state, Tennessee, has many violent crimes, most of which are committed due to drugs and gang violence. I grew up in a small town in West Tennessee, where racism is still quite prevalent. A percentage of all races are raised to either blame the white “devil”, hate the black “monkey”, deny the “wetback”, or underestimate the “little man of Asia”. We may have a lot of black on black or white on white crime, etc., but they are sparked by something more than is on the surface. Let’s stop blaming others an ask ourselves what we can do to stop the madness.. I wish you all peace, love, and understanding in the new year.

    Posted by Steve | December 28, 2013, 9:00 am
  37. I have lived in Tennessee for 30 plus years and have many friends and law enforcement. What I find funny about these posts is no one is looking at the demographics. The two most violent parts of the state Memphis and Nashville both boat heavily Democratic, but no one wants to point that out.

    Posted by Stephen | December 28, 2013, 9:31 am
  38. I live in East Tennessee, was born here and never plan on leaving. It is not Geography that labels a particular part of the country it is the people who live there and the choices they make.I hear a lot about people wanting a ‘living wage.’ and not just in Tennessee so they can have the life they deserve. To get the life you want starts with a mindset, not a 15.00 a hour minimum wage. It seems to me that people reguard the word sacrafice as a dirty word. “I deserve a nice home, new car and a smart phone for every family member!”. Really ?Why? Have you worked a minimum wage job maybe 2 and saved anything you made to get those things? Or are you just entitled to these things because someone else has them? ? Let me tell you what 1 Tennessee girl who came from a family that believed you had to WORK for what you had, that if you could not afford thenm you either worked and saved and sacrificed to get it or you did without. What a novel concept.Work for what you want.Is it possible a 11 year old can catch a bean truck at day break, pick green beans for 10 hours a day for 50 cents a bushel just to get the money for shoes? Yes it is. It is easy to do ? Not hardly. Starting out in your married life in a 10×48 trailer with 1 car and between the two of you 4 minimun wage jobs is hardly the life one aspires to. Eating Roman Noodles and a lot of bisquits and gravy will keep you going to work those 2 jobs . Did we go hungry sometimes? Sure we did. But the thought of stealing never entered our mind.What did enter our minds was ways to make what we had last longer.Wanting better for your self and your kids will send you to school at night at a Community College after working a ten hour day. The reward will be that after years of hard work and sacrifice that your kids watched and learnedand I can see that it WAS worth it.

    Posted by Happy Tennessean | January 1, 2014, 8:54 am

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