Which States Worry about Crime the Most?

Written by | Updated January 28, 2019

Outside the narrow walls of Facebook and Twitter, what are people really worried about?

“I am concerned about burglars . . . ”

“I am worried about assault and murder . . . ”

“I’m most concerned about terrorism . . . ”

states that worry infographic

Sound familiar? If you live in one of the eight most worried states, those fears might be haunting you and your neighbors.

What Are People Worried About?

With the 24/7 news cycle, it’s hard not to feel like the world is full of danger. But which issues make us pace the floor, bite our nails, and grind our teeth? SafeWise conducted a nationwide survey to find out. Our State of Safety survey polled residents in all 50 states to find out what’s really keeping them up at night.

We tallied up the numbers to identify the states that are the most and least worried about safety issues like violent crime, property crime, and digital crime.

infographic of worried and least concerned states
Worried National Graphic

A Closer Look at What’s Keeping Us Glued to Our Twitter Feed

The Broad View

  • Digital security was the biggest worry overall, across both most worried and least worried states. Property crime was the second-biggest worry.
  • Violent crime wasn’t rated the number one worry among any of the states we’ve listed.
  • Half of the most worried states have violent crime rates above the national average and five out of eight have higher property crime rates.1
  • Half of the least worried states have property crime rates below the national average and all of them have fewer digital crime victims than the national average.2
  • The majority of states that worry the least are located in Northern latitudes.

Digital Security Crime Discoveries

  • 50% of the most worried states said digital security is the safety issue they worry about most—and 88% of the least worried states said the same.
  • Even though digital security is the biggest worry overall, 75% of the most worried states (and 100% of the least worried states) have digital crime rates below the national average.2
  • Being a target of identity theft is the biggest digital security worry.
  • New Jersey and New York both have digital crime rates above the national average,2 but Louisiana has the most people who’ve ever experienced a digital crime—43%. New York and Tennessee are close seconds with 42% each.
  • Surprisingly, New Jersey tied with Massachusetts for the lowest number of respondents (33%) who’ve ever experienced a digital crime.

Provocative Property Crime Findings

  • 50% of the most worried states said property crime was the biggest worry.
  • Having a break-in while not at home is the top property crime concern.
  • Nevada had the highest level of concern about property crime (73%) and the highest number of respondents who’ve ever experienced property crime (45%).
  • The most worried state, Louisiana, fears property crime the most and 44% of survey respondents have personally experienced a property crime—with 27% experiencing one in the past year.
  • Utah and Alaska are the only least worried states to name property crime a top concern (in Utah it’s a tie between property and digital crime).

Violent Crime Conclusions

  • Although it isn’t the top fear, every most worried state reported a level of concern about violent crime that was 55% or higher.
  • In Louisiana, property crime beat out violent crime as the biggest worry by a mere 1 percentage point—the highest rating for violent crime among all the states on our list.
  • New York is the only most worried state with a violent crime rate that’s above the national average. It also has the highest number of people who’ve experienced a violent crime, 34%—with 13% of those occurring in the past year.
  • All of the least worried states have violent crime rates below the national average, except Alaska.1
  • In Vermont, the least worried state, only 6% of survey respondents reported a violent crime experience in the past year. But Montana has the lowest rate of violent crime experiences, with zero participants reporting one in the past year.

The Most Worried States

Rank State % of Overall Concern Rated Highest Concern % of Respondents Who Have Ever Been a Property Crime Victim % of Respondents Who Have Ever Experienced a Digital Security Crime
1 Louisiana 55.8% Property Crime 44% 43%
2 Alabama 55.0% Property Crime 37% 39%
3 Massachusetts 54.8% Digital Crime 32% 33%
4 Hawaii 54.0% Digital Crime 37% 40%
5 Nevada 54.0% Property Crime 45% 35%
6 New Jersey 53.7% Digital Crime 27% 33%
7 New York 53.2% Digital Crime 38% 42%
8 Tennessee 53.0% Property Crime 35% 42%

*FBI crime rate per 1,000 people
**Numbers according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Report

The Least Worried States

Rank State % of Overall Concern Rated Highest Concern % of Respondents Who Have Ever Been a Property Crime Victim % of Respondents Who Have Ever Experienced a Digital Security Crime
1 Vermont 31.2% Digital Crime 10% 28%
2 Utah 31.3% Digital Crime Property Crime 37% 33%
3 Montana 32.2% Digital Crime 33% 41%
4 Iowa 32.2% Digital Crime 30% 38%
5 North Dakota 33.5% Digital Crime 33% 41%
6 Alaska 34.2% Property Crime 46% 32%
7 Maine 34.8% Digital Crime 38% 45%
8 Wyoming 35.5% Digital Crime 29% 43%

*FBI crime rate per 1,000 people
**Numbers according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Report

How to Stop Worrying

How to Put Worries to Rest (and Cut Down on Sleepless Nights)

Whether or not you live in a state that’s prone to fretting over the latest scary headline or you call a more laid-back state home, we all give into worry from time to time. Here are some things you can do to quiet those nagging anxieties.

  • Cut down on your exposure to bad news—limit the time you spend watching or reading the news.
  • If you worry about being robbed, take measures to secure your home. Adding a security camera or security system that comes with a mobile app can help you feel safer all the time.
  • To limit worry about identity theft, get a shredder for monthly bills and other financial records, make sure your computer is protected, and regularly check your credit report for suspicious activity.
  • Manage your worries: designate “worry time” every day, write down your anxieties before bed and leave them on the nightstand (or in a drawer in another room), or try meditation or deep breathing to help bring you back into the present and out of your worry spiral.

Methodology

To determine the most and least worried states, SafeWise used proprietary data from a nationwide survey that asked people in each state how worried they were about different safety issues.

Sources:

1. FBI Uniform Crime Reporting, “2017 Crime in the United States
2. FBI, “2017 Internet Crime Report

Written by Rebecca Edwards

Rebecca has honed her safety and security skills as both a single mom and a college director. Being responsible for the well-being of others helped her learn how to minimize risk and create safe environments. Learn more

Share this article.