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: 315.1 per 100,000 (22nd lowest)
> Murder rate: 5.1 per 100,000 (19th highest)
> Median household income: $55,702 (21st highest)
> May unemployment rate: 5.0% (5th highest)
Although Pennsylvania’s gun ownership and violent crime rates are lower than the corresponding nationwide rates, the state is not among the most peaceful in the nation. It is the high incidence of homicide and incarceration that largely make the state a more violent place than most.
Some 655 people are in state prison for every 100,000 Pennsylvania residents compared to a nationwide incarceration rate of 607 inmates per 100,000 Americans. Additionally, there were 5.1 murders for every 100,000 people in the state in 2015, slightly higher than the 4.9 per 100,000 U.S. homicide rate.
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.