Originally Posted by gunnails
I am not sure how to interpret this data.
I see the Dakotas near the bottom of the list and think it's population related, but there is Alaska near the top and NY and CA near the middle?
LOL. Me neither.
The ranking is based on incidents per 100k population, so it's based on percentages, not raw numbers.
I looked this info up for reasons unrelated to this board...a woman I know from Texas said to me, "Everyone in Texas is armed, that's why we have the lowest crime rate in the country!" Now opinions about gun control aside, I knew there was no way that any state bordering on Mexico has the lowest violent crime rate in the country. And indeed it turns out she was very wrong...Texas ranks 15th in violent crime rate.
But the reason for looking the data up aside, I thought the numbers were interesting for the very reason that they defy fast and easy interpretation. For example, whether you believe increased availability of guns increases crime or decreases it, there are numbers here to contradict either position. The closest I could come come to a generality looking at the data is that violent crime rates tend to be higher in the south than in the north. But that shouldn't come as a surprise: cold weather tends to depress certain types of crime for the simple reason that it tends to depress lots of outdoor activities. And there were some real surprises...like Alaska ranking as high in violent crime as it does (related to the high incidence of substance abuse?) or Mississippi (a dirt poor state full of racial tension) ranking relatively low.