Well, Oklahoma made the “Top Ten” list! But before you open a beer and throw those chicken wings on the grill let me tell you that it was NOT a list we want to be on, not now, not ever again.
Oklahoma is number ten on the current list of the Top Ten Most Dangerous States.
Let that soak in for a minute. The MOST DANGEROUS STATES.
And we move up the ranks in specific crimes. Oklahoma is #9 in property crimes and #6 in rapes. There has been such a sharp increase in rapes that we are now at our highest number since 1994!
The underlying causes for the crime statistics reported on the list are high poverty rates and low percentage of college graduates, which leads to unemployment or employment in low-paying jobs. Oklahoma’s poverty rate is 17.2%, while the national average is 15.9%. And yes, drugs are mentioned, as well as some other problems.
However, here is the statistic that breaks my heart!! Oklahoma’s percentage of the population with secondary degrees is one of the lowest in the nation- only 23.8%!!! How is that possible in a state that has so many great schools and colleges? How is that possible in a state where college is still affordable and supported by so many government programs and Native American groups? How is that possible in a state where we talk “high expectations” and “college prep” every other day? You tell me…please.
I know you are wondering, so here are our partners in crime:
9. Maryland- High murder rate, especially in Baltimore.
8. Florida- Crime rates improving, but not quickly enough.
7. Louisiana- Only 22% graduate from college and it has the #1 murder rate. Stay out of New Orleans.
6. Delaware- High median income, but also high assault rates, especially in Wilmington.
5. South Carolina- Highest property crime rate.
4. New Mexico- Worst in the country for drug-related crimes.
3. Alaska- Highest national rate for rape and sexual assault.
2. Nevada- High crime and lowest in percent of graduates.
1. Tennessee- Highest crime rate, especially in major cities where murder and robbery are more likely.
I don’t know what else to say except that we do NOT want to stay on this list! If the underlying cause is lack of money and education then we need to start working harder on those problems. We need to do everything we can to keep our children in school until they have some kind of degree in their hand and they are capable of earning a living.