There's really no doubt that Florida leads the nation -- if not Planet Earth -- in insane crimes. In the past month, we've had an elderly guy showing up pants-less and masturbating at a McDonald's drive-thru, a woman twerking obscenely in front of a school bus full of kids, and the inventor of the Whac-A-Mole blowing up a warehouse full of robots.
But where does Florida rank in the run-of-the-mill violent crime stats? The FBI released its annual report last month, and according to one new study crunching the numbers, the Sunshine State is the eighth most dangerous locale in the U.S.
The website 24/7 Wall St. took the raw data in the new FBI Uniform Crime Report, which compiles nationwide stats for all types of reported crime, and crunched the data to come up with the ten most dangerous states. The site focused on four types of violent crime -- murder, rape, aggravated assault, and robbery -- and then incorporated poverty and education stats for each state.
The results: Despite huge crime reductions since the '80s, Florida clocked into the top ten, nudging past Oklahoma and Maryland into the eighth slot thanks to a rate of 487.1 violent crimes per 100,000 people. Here's what the authors have to say:
Supporters of the state's controversial "stand your ground" law, passed in 2005, believe it is the reason crime in Florida has been falling. But crime rates have fallen steadily for 20 years, dropping 43% since peaking in 1993. Reported rapes have fallen 28.5% since 1993, to levels last seen in 1979. There were just over 1,000 murders in 2012, up 2.5% from 2011, but the total is down 28% from a 1989 peak. High-school graduation rates have risen sharply as crime has dropped, hitting 74.5% in the 2011/2012 school year, up from 56.5% in 2003, according to the Orlando Sentinel. But it is still a laggard nationally, ahead of only a handful of states.
Even more dangerous than Florida, 24/7 Wall St. found, are Louisiana, Delaware, South Carolina, New Mexico, Alaska (a surprise entry thanks to its sky-high rape stats), Nevada, and Tennessee. The Volunteer State earned the dubious top slot thanks to the nation's highest violent crime rate.
When the FBI gets around to clocking "WTF Florida" offenses as a separate category, we're confident the Sunshine State will reclaim its rightful position atop our national criminal pyramid.