Safest States In America For 2020


We looked at the most recent FBI data to determine which states are the safest in America to call home.

This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. This is the sixth time we’ve ranked the safest states in America.

Safest States In America Map

There’s a common denominator that all safe states have.

They are the places where people sleep safer at night, where shootings and beatings don’t dominate the local news. The best states in America to raise kids, and awesome places to retire. Because if crime is really low, everyone wants to be there (crummy weather aside).

The states below all share those qualities. There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against. We had more than 10 million people read our worst cities in a state series, which was featured in hundreds of media outlets, including an NPR feature. So we know what we’re talking about.

Here is our list of the safest states to live in the United States for 2020:

  1. New Hampshire (Photos)
  2. Maine (Photos)
  3. Vermont (Photos)
  4. New Jersey (Photos)
  5. Virginia (Photos)
  6. Idaho (Photos)
  7. Connecticut (Photos)
  8. Rhode Island (Photos)
  9. Wyoming (Photos)
  10. Kentucky (Photos)

What is the safest state in America for 2020? The safest state in America is New Hampshire according to the most recent FBI data based on an index of property and violent crimes per capita.

You might be surprised to see some of the states on this list. We understand there’s a lot of good in every place. However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty, ‘friendly people’ and community involvement), there aren’t safer options in America for making a place home.

The most dangerous state to live in America? Alaska More on that later.

If you want a more detailed analysis, check out the safest cities in America and the most dangerous cities in America.

How do you decide if a place is safe or not?

In order to rank the safest American states, we had to determine what makes a place dangerous. It isn’t a stretch to assume that states where people are being killed and beaten up on a weekly basis are a pretty bad place to be.

So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

How we crunched the numbers

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent 2018 FBI crime data, this is the criteria we used:

  • Violent Crimes Per Capita
  • Property Crimes Per Capita

We then ranked each state from 1 to 50 for the two criteria with a #1 ranking being the safest for the particular criteria.

Next, we averaged the two rankings into one “Safe Index”.

Finally, we ranked every state on the “Safe Index” with the lowest index being the safest in America for 2020.

Here’s a visualization of the criteria:
Safest States In America

Note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the states themselves. This list is based on data. It’s also not a testament to the effectiveness of local law enforcement.

1. New Hampshire

New-Hampshire|Nh, NH

Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 173 (3rd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,248 (1st safest)

If you’re looking for the absolute safest state to live in America, than look no further than New Hampshire. In fact, most of the entire New England area north of New York State is actually a really safe place to be.

In the last reporting year, there were only 21 murders for the entire year, which is astoundingly low. The leading state, California, saw nearly 100 times that number.

2. Maine

Maine|Me, ME

Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 112 (1st safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,357 (4th safest)

Maine is the place to be if you want to avoid murder, rape, and other violent crimes. Maybe the colder weather chills people out.

In Maine, there were less than .001121 violent crimes per capita in the last reporting year. To put that into perspective, in Alaska, there were .00885 violent crimes per person. Just wow.

3. Vermont

Vermont|Vt, VT

Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 171 (2nd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,283 (3rd safest)

Continuing our trend of the northeast being the safe haven in America, we come to Vermont.

It is the lowest in the country for violent crime this year, but took a slight tumble down the rankings due to an increase in its property crime ranking. In fact, there were only 10(!) murders in the entire state of Vermont for the entire year in the last reporting year.

Some large cities in America see that in a bad weekend.

4. New Jersey

New-Jersey|Nj, NJ

Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 208 (6th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,404 (5th safest)

New Jersey? No way. Yes, that’s correct. This goes to show that just because people are packed on top of one another doesn’t mean they have to act uncivilized.

You might be shocked to learn that Jersey has the fifth lowest property crime rate in the country. And, as you can imagine, most of that is packed into places like Camden and Newark. Take those two cities out of the equation, and you’ve got a really safe place to live.

5. Virginia

Virginia|Va, VA

Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 199 (4th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,665 (13th safest)

This might come as a surprise (or maybe not), but Virginia is a really safe place to live. Seeing as how the population is really high, you might think there would be lots of crime. You’d be wrong.

The Commonwealth is actually the 4th safest when it comes to violent crimes. You’d have to drive pretty far north to see a place where there are less violent crimes per capita than here.

6. Idaho

Idaho|Id, ID

Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 227 (11th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,461 (7th safest)

Idaho might get a knock for being a relatively boring place, but talk to the people that live there – when it’s quiet, it’s safe.

Idaho saw only about 3 murders a month, on average, which is far less than the national average. Additionally, there were only 4,900 burglaries in the last reporting year, which might sound like a lot, but only averages to about 95 a week for the entire state.

7. Connecticut

Connecticut|Ct, CT

Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 207 (5th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,680 (14th safest)

Most Americans might think of Connecticut as a wealthy place, and for the most part, they’d be right. Does a relatively rich group of people commit less crime? Apparently so.

There were only 2,194 reported robberies in Connecticut for the entire last reporting year, which is well below the national average. Additionally, Connecticut saw 840 reported rapes that same year, too.

8. Rhode Island

Rhode-Island|Ri, RI

Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 219 (9th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,660 (12th safest)

Now we arrive in Rhode Island, which is not surprisingly, in the northeast. Sure, it’s a small state, and the number of property crimes is higher than the other states on this list, but overall, you could find much more dangerous places to live.

Rhode Island only saw 454 robberies for the entire year, which is about 1.3 a day. Does that make you jealous of where you live?

9. Wyoming

Wyoming|Wy, WY

Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 212 (8th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,785 (17th safest)

Sure, there are only about a half million people in the Cowboy State, and people are spaced out a lot more than they are in places like Florida and Minnesota. But look at New Mexico. There’s some wide open spaces there, too, and that’s one of the most dangerous states in the nation.

Only 870 people were the victim of an aggravated assault in Wyoming. Meaning there’s a really good chance you can walk around at night here without having to watch you back. In fact, you might have a better chance of being trampled by a bison than beaten by a mugger.

10. Kentucky

Kentucky|Ky, KY

Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 211 (7th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,962 (19th safest)

Rounding out our tour of the safest states to live in America for 2020, we come to Kentucky.

You’d have to drive all the way to Iowa or Pennsylvania to get to a safer place outside of Kentucky (save Virginia, which we already talked about.) Kentuckians are a pretty chill group of people, seeing as how they rank 7th for number of robberies, car thefts and identity thefts each year.

Only 10,261 cars were stolen in the state, and only 2,457 robberies occurred here in the last reporting year. While it’s sad that is a low number, for America, it is.

There You Have It — The Safest States To Live In America

If you’re looking at American states where murders, rapes and robberies happen at a much lower rate than average, this is an accurate list.

If you’re also curious enough, here are the most dangerous states to live in America, according to science.

Here’s a quick look at the 3 most dangerous states for 2020:

  1. Alaska
  2. New Mexico
  3. Louisiana

For more reading check out:

  • Richest Places By State
  • Cheapest States To Live In
  • Safest Cities In America
  • Detailed List Of The Safest States In America For 2020

    State Rank Previous Rank Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
    New Hampshire 1 2 1,356,458 173 1,248
    Maine 2 3 1,338,404 112 1,357
    Vermont 3 1 626,299 171 1,283
    New Jersey 4 5 8,908,520 208 1,404
    Virginia 5 6 8,517,685 199 1,665
    Idaho 6 4 1,754,208 227 1,461
    Connecticut 7 7 3,572,665 207 1,680
    Rhode Island 8 8 1,057,315 219 1,660
    Wyoming 9 9 577,737 212 1,785
    Kentucky 10 10 4,468,402 211 1,962
    Massachusetts 11 11 6,902,149 338 1,263
    West Virginia 12 18 1,805,832 289 1,485
    Iowa 13 17 3,156,145 250 1,691
    Minnesota 14 14 5,611,179 220 1,993
    Wisconsin 15 16 5,813,568 295 1,559
    Pennsylvania 16 13 12,807,060 306 1,489
    New York 17 12 19,542,209 350 1,440
    North Dakota 18 15 760,077 280 2,040
    Ohio 19 20 11,689,442 279 2,177
    Nebraska 20 19 1,929,268 284 2,079
    Utah 21 21 3,161,105 233 2,377
    Mississippi 22 24 2,986,530 234 2,402
    South Dakota 23 23 882,235 404 1,728
    Michigan 24 22 9,995,915 449 1,653
    Illinois 25 26 12,741,080 404 1,932
    Indiana 26 27 6,691,878 382 2,179
    Hawaii 27 25 1,420,491 248 2,870
    Florida 28 30 21,299,325 384 2,281
    Georgia 29 36 10,519,475 326 2,573
    Maryland 30 33 6,042,718 468 2,033
    Montana 31 31 1,062,305 374 2,496
    North Carolina 32 28 10,383,620 377 2,494
    Texas 33 38 28,701,845 410 2,367
    Delaware 34 35 967,171 423 2,324
    Oregon 35 29 4,190,713 285 2,893
    California 36 34 39,557,045 447 2,380
    Washington 37 37 7,535,591 311 2,946
    Colorado 38 32 5,695,564 397 2,671
    Kansas 39 39 2,911,505 439 2,633
    Nevada 40 40 3,034,392 541 2,438
    Missouri 41 42 6,126,452 502 2,647
    Arizona 42 43 7,171,646 474 2,676
    Oklahoma 43 41 3,943,079 466 2,875
    Alabama 44 44 4,887,871 519 2,817
    Tennessee 45 46 6,770,010 623 2,825
    South Carolina 46 45 5,084,127 488 3,017
    Arkansas 47 47 3,013,825 543 2,913
    Louisiana 48 48 4,659,978 537 3,276
    New Mexico 49 50 2,095,428 856 3,419
    Alaska 50 49 737,438 884 3,300

    About Chris Kolmar

    Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

    He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

    If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

    You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

    12 thoughts on “Safest States In America For 2020

    1. Obviously the largest populists places rate higher – New York, Florida, California, Texas, Washington, etc. lower places have to be Montana, Iowa, Idaho, etc

      1. This site is severely skewed in the very fact that is goes by number of crimes per number of population. If only two people live in a city and one of them is violent then it’s a 50% rate.
        That’s so liberally wrong on so many counts. There is NO way California is safer than South Carolina, for example.

    2. Virginia? Are you people out of your mind s? Richmond per capita had topped the most violent crimes and murder rates in the country for years. The next largest cities Virginia Beach Suffolk Newport News Roanoke all top the crime charts. Virginia should be removed from this list

    3. Anyone can carry a gun in West Virginia but WV has significantly less violent crime per capita than gun restrictive states like Illinois and California.

    4. People are so ignorant and naive.
      It’s the whitest places in the country that are the most safe. Look at a map of white non-hispanic % of the population. It correlates PERFECTLY, state by state. Then look at the FBI crime stats based on race and it becomes clear. Use your brains for once and stop supporting immigration from Somalia, the middle east, Africa, South America, etc.

      1. That’s a horribly ignorant statement from a closed minded, backwards thinking, detrimental to the good of mankind type of person that you are. We put up these invisible lines that people “can’t”cross. The last time I checked the world is for everyone.

        1. It’s not an ignorant statement at all. Maybe your just in denial or suffering from white guilt. Looks at the statistics. It is impossible to walk away from these demographics and not conclude that Latino communities and African American communities have serious problems with violent crime. To deny this clearly obvious fact is to create an invisible wall between yourself and an entire community plagued by violence. And yes the world is for everyone no doubt, but ignoring a problem, or worse blaming everything on racism is intellectually lazy and very simple. Not to mention that these communities with high rates of violence are usually victimizing members or their own communities. And as far as your backward, closed minded statement, take a drive through the “hood” after hours and get back with me. Better yet look at the graduation rates in inner cities. And don’t throw out some antiquated school budget BS. Rural schools are often under funded and RARELY have the same problems.

          1. You can accept this list so I’m sure you agree with the list of the most DANGEROUS states also hmm? https://www.roadsnacks.net/most-dangerous-states-in-america/ Which also land on the poorest states year after year. Al these poor red states would absolutely crash and burn without the states they often bash to death like California whose tax dollars come in very useful for the welfare states in the US. Mississippi’s poorest population are practically living in s!t being #1 for such a long time yet still red as hell. Education? No…Their guy Sean Hannity has been doing a great job in terms of the manipulation on top of their uneducated minds seeing as he’s sitting happy with his $30 million a year.Obamacare and the ACA are the exact same thing but there’s a reason one triggers certain groups which also don’t know they’re the fkn same thing.

        2. Layla, you are right about the bigot Kendra Michelen. Saying that “people are so ignorant and naive” should have a big arrow pointing directly back at the speaker. There’s criminals in every group of humans. But whenever the general economy is hurting, crime rises. When a segment of society is subjected to extreme poverty, there will be an increased crime problem. Not the whole problem, but we have a crime problem on Wall Street and other centers of power that is more serious than that blamed on minority’s.

    5. Actually Kendra is 100% correct.

      Facts are not racist, facts are facts.

      The numbers are all readily available and before you spout of calling me racist.

      Why is it that new immigrants from East Asia (China, Korea, Japan, etc) have an even lower crime rate than whites and are the least likely group to require welfare?

      It’s the same reason that Asian-Americans are the highest educated and highest earning group in the US.

      The truth will set you free, especially from the chains that CNN and the left keep you shackled in.

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