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: 218.7 per 100,000 (7th lowest)
> Murder rate: 4.7 per 100,000 (23rd highest)
> Median household income: $45,215 (5th lowest)
> May unemployment rate: 5.0% (5th highest)
Kentucky’s violent crime rate of 219 incidents per 100,000 residents is one of the lowest in the country. Despite its low violent crime rate, Kentucky is not ranked among the most peaceful states.
This is in part because of the state’s high firearm ownership as well as a high incarceration rates. There are over 760 people imprisoned in the state per 100,000 people, ninth highest among states. Firearms ownership is relatively high in the state, and guns account for about two-thirds of Kentucky suicides. Nationwide, guns are involved in about half of all suicides.
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.