FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, MAY 8, 2002
Contact: Scott Morgan, 785-841-3534
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LAWRENCE, KS — Louisiana is back! After staying out of the spotlight for four years, the Pelican State has returned as Most Dangerous State in the nation. The announcement was made today by Morgan Quitno Press, a Lawrence, Kansas-based independent research and publishing company, which released its annual findings. At the safer end of the rankings scale, North Dakota repeated as America’s Safest State, winning the honor for a sixth consecutive year.
"Louisiana’s crime rates exceeded the national average for every category measured for our rankings,” said Scott Morgan, President of Morgan Quitno Press. “The state’s murder rate, which is the highest in the country, was more than double the national average. North Dakota, on the other hand, had the nation’s lowest murder rate, the lowest robbery rate, the lowest aggravated assault rate and the lowest burglary rate.”
The ninth annual Most Dangerous and Safest State rankings are based on six basic crime factors reported in Morgan Quitno’s annual reference book, Crime State Rankings 2002. The updated volume was published in April. Factors considered were rates per 100,000 population for murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and motor vehicle theft. States are ranked based on how they compare to the national average for each crime category. The findings are based on 2000 crime statistics, the most recent final state data available from the FBI.
Joining Louisiana at the top of the rankings list (in descending order) were Florida, New Mexico (last year’s #1 state), Maryland and Arizona. On the safer end of the rankings scale immediately preceding North Dakota were Maine, Vermont, South Dakota and Idaho.
“For the nine years that we have issued the Safest and Most Dangerous State rankings, the best that Louisiana has ranked was fourth most dangerous. The last time it was named the Most Dangerous State was in 1998,” said Morgan. He added that while Louisiana clearly has some serious crime problems to solve, the state is making progress. “Louisiana’s violent crime rate decreased more than 26% in the five years from 1996 to 2000, better than the national average decline of 21% for that same time period.”
The Most Dangerous/Safest State Award is one of four designations announced annually by Morgan Quitno Press in conjunction with publication of its annual statistical reference books. The company's other annual announcements designate the nation’s Safest City and Metro Area, the Most Livable State and the Healthiest State.
Additional information about 2002’s Most Dangerous and Safest States is available through the Morgan Quitno website at www.statestats.com. For further inquiries, please contact Morgan Quitno Press at (785) 841-3534.
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