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Typically a bottom dweller in good rankings and top o’ the list on the bad, Louisiana ranks 7th nationally on the FBI’s list of the most dangerous states based on violent crime rates. Topping the list of most violent states are Tennessee, Nevada, Alaska, New Mexico, South Carolina and Delaware. Louisiana is followed in the top 10 by Florida, Maryland and Oklahoma.

The website 24/7 Wall Street compiled the rankings, noting that Louisiana’s low ranking on other lists — notably income and education — appears to play a role in the state’s violence rate:

The apparent relationship between low income, low education and higher crime rates has been well documented, although identifying the cause and effect is still a matter of debate. It is clear, though, that these states for the most part match the national trend. Of the 10 states with the highest rates of violent crime, eight have lower rates of adults with bachelor’s degrees, and most of them had median income levels below the national figure in 2012.
The Bayou State’s violent crime rate is 497 crimes per 100,000 residents, while our poverty rate stands just below 20 percent and only 22 percent of state residents have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher, leading the website to conclude:
The stark reality of crime in Louisiana is reflected in its murder rate: 10.8 per 100,000. That is the worst in the country and 45% ahead of neighboring Mississippi, which has the second-highest rate at 7.4 per 100,000. Louisiana also has among the highest rates of violent crime and property crime, and the second highest rate of larceny-theft in the nation. The high crime rates are a reflection of the state’s high poverty rate. At 19.9%, it is the third poorest state, ahead of only Mississippi and New Mexico. Of the 495 murders in Louisiana in 2012, 193, or about 40% of the total, occurred in the city of New Orleans alone. Gun violence is prevalent in the city; some 427 people in New Orleans were shot in 2012, unchanged from 2011.

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