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Safest States in the US by Identity Theft 2017

Residents in some states are more vulnerable to identity theft, according to a review of federal data by Elite Personal Finance. There were 399,225 identity theft complaints in the U.S., according to data from the Federal Trade Commission in 2016.

Do you know that the Federal Trade Commission received more than 3 million complaints in 2016 alone? About 13% of them were identity theft.

Identity theft is one of the fastest rising crimes. The stats below prove that.

 

Total Numbers of Complaints

 

Total Numbers of Complains by Crime Types

 

Elite Personal Finance team has analyzed the numbers from FTC.gov in details.

But before we present the data, we will give more information on how we ranked states.

METHODOLOGY & RANKING SYSTEM

The data was collected from 2016 Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book. (The data pertains to reports received from January to December 2016.)

To determine which states are the safest, we analyzed the data and calculated the number of identity theft complaints per 1000 residents. Thus, the states with the ‘lowest score’ are actually the safest. For instance, Hawaii as the safest state has a score of 0.552, which means that 0.552 in 1000 Hawaiian residents reported identity theft. Not a bad result, right?

On the other hand, Michigan, as the least safe state, has a score of 1.756 (1.756 identity theft complaints per 1000 residents).

*Please note that not all identity theft cases were reported by victims.

 

Without further ado, here are:

10 Safest States In The US

 

1st Place – Hawaii

Identity theft reports per 1000: 0.552
Total identity theft reports: 789

This beautiful group of islands and, according to many people, the most exotic US state, ranked as the safest. With a population of 1,428,557, this paradise can boast its safety in the category of identity theft. It seems that its being the youngest state has no negative effect on how ‘wise’ it is.

 

2nd Place – South Dakota

Identity theft reports per 1000: 0.581
Total identity theft reports:: 503

This Midwestern state is home for 865,454 Americans. This mainly agricultural state did not only score high on identity theft test, but also when it comes to fraud reports, where it ranked 2nd best. It looks like the giants of Mount Rushmore are carefully watching over South Dakota.

 

3rd Place – West Virginia

Identity theft reports per 1000: 0.597
Total identity theft reports: 1,093

This time, the two Dakotas were separated by West Virginia. But it happened for a great reason. Even though it is not largely populated (1,831,102), all of its residents can now heave a sigh of relief, at least when it comes to identity theft. Also, the average loss per scam was the lowest in this state.

 

4th Place – North Dakota

Identity theft reports per 1000: 0.613
Total identity theft reports: 465

The colder of two Dakotas closely follows West Virginia when it comes to identity theft reports, but it can also be proud of its number of fraud reports, where they ranked the best, with only 1.867 reports per 1000 residents. It looks like Dakotas took this issue seriously.

 

5th Place – Vermont

Identity theft reports per 1000: 0.620
Total identity theft reports: 387

This state had the smallest number of total identity theft reports, which is all but surprising if we take into account the number of its residents (624,594 , which is the 2nd lowest population, higher only than Wyoming). However, they still made it to the 10 safest states.

 

6th Place – Kentucky

Identity theft reports per 1000: 0.653
Total identity theft reports: 2,898

The Bluegrass State, as some like to call it, reached the top 10 last year. With 4,436,974 people living there, it definitely did a great job of maintaining identity theft safety. Combined with the neighboring state, West Virginia, that is over 6 million people who can be at ease when it comes to identity theft.

 

7th Place – Iowa

Identity theft reports per 1000: 0.681
Total identity theft reports: 2,135

This state is well-known for its corn fields and agriculture in general. However, now they can be proud of one more thing. With a population of 3,134,693, Iowa reached 7th place on the list of the safest identity theft states. They also ranked 3rd best in the category of fraud reports, closely following North and South Dakota.

 

8th Place – Montana

Identity theft reports per 1000: 0.682
Total identity theft reports: 711
The Land of the Shining Mountains is 4th in size of all US states. With a population of 1,042,520, it is very close to the bottom of the states. However, they seem to successfully compensate for it by ranking on the 8th place on our list.

 

9th Place – Louisiana

Identity theft reports per 1000: 0.697
Total identity theft reports: 3,264

The state of jazz and multiculturalism reached the 9th place on our list. In spite of the fact that it was among the states with worse fraud reports and highest average-loss-per-scam, 4,681,666 residents of Louisiana still found their way to the top 10.

 

10th Place – Wyoming

Identity theft reports per 1000: 0.746
Total identity theft reports: 437

Not only did Wyoming reach number 10 on our list, but it also achieved the 2nd best result in the category of total identity theft reports. However, this is not surprising if we take into account the fact that this state is the least populated of all 50 states. Nonetheless, they deserve to be in the company of the best.

 

In case your state did not rank in top 10, take a look at the complete table of all 50 states:

Full List of US States By Identity Theft

(Washington D.C. was not included in this list).

RANKSTATETOTAL NUMBER OF IDENTITY THEFT REPORTSIDENTITY THEFT SCORE
1Hawaii
7890.552
2South Dakota5030.581
3West Virginia1,0930.597
4North Dakota4650.613
5Vermont3870.62
6Kentucky2,8980.653
7Iowa2,1350.681
8Montana7110.682
9Louisiana3,2640.697
10Wyoming4370.746
11Indiana5,0910.768
12Arkansas2,3080.772
13Mississippi2,3780.796
14Idaho1,3480.801
15Alabama4,0070.824
16Nebraska1,5840.831
17Utah2,5400.832
18Oklahoma3,3370.851
19Tennessee5,7180.86
20Kansas2,5320.871
21Wisconsin5,0540.875
22Maine1,1700.879

23South Carolina4,4380.895
24Ohio11,0090.948
25North Carolina9,7460.961
26Alaska7130.961
27New Mexico2,0160.969
28New Hampshire1,3521.013
29New York20,2051.023
30Virginia8,7721.043
31Oregon4,3121.053
32Massachusetts7,2871.07
33Minnesota5,9191.072
34Pennsylvania14,0301.097
35New Jersey9,9771.115
36Colorado6,2031.12
37Washington8,3101.14
38Rhode Island1,2161.151
39Texas33,2141.192
40Georgia12,7871.24
41Arizona8,7481.262
42Nevada3,9931.358
43Missouri8,2921.361
44Maryland8,2511.371
45Connecticut4,9331.379
46Illinois17,6601.38
47California54,7441.395
48Delaware1,4841.559
49Florida34,3841.668
50Michigan17,4301.756

 

Key Findings

  • There were 399,225 total reported identity theft cases in 2016.
  • On average, 1,24/1000 people report identity theft.
  • Hawaii is the safest state with 0.552 identity theft complaints per 1000 people and 789 complaints overall.
  • Michigan, as the least safe state, had 1.756 identity theft complaints per 1000 people and 17,430 complaints overall.
  • The ratio between the least safe and the safest state is: Michigan / Hawaii = 3.18
  • As a matter of fact, top 3 safest states combined have better score than Michigan.
  • We have found a huge correlation between identity theft cases and population in these states. Most of the states that rank in top 10 safest states are with less than 1 million residents. There are only few of them that are with over 1 million residents. From these that rank as the least safe states, there is only one of them that is with less than 1 million residents (Delaware). The rest of them are relatively big states, with close to or over 10 millions residents.
  • In addition, it seems that states with large metropolitan areas and business centers are more vulnerable to identity theft.

That’s why Elite Personal Finance analyzed the data more closely and made 3 additional tables (states with less than 1 million; 1-10 million; and over 10 million residents).

*Total rank is indicated in brackets.

 

  • States with fewer than 1 million residents

RANK (TOTAL RANK)STATETOTAL NUMBER OF IDENTITY THEFT REPORTSIDENTITY THEFT SCORE
1 (2)South Dakota
503
0.581
2 (4)North Dakota
465
0.613
3 (5)Vermont
387
0.653
4 (10)Wyoming
437
0.746
5 (26)Alaska
713
0.961
6 (48)Delaware
1,484
1.559

 

  • States with 1-10 million residents

RANK (TOTAL RANK)STATETOTAL NUMBER OF IDENTITY THEFT REPORTSIDENTITY THEFT SCORE
1 (1)Hawaii
789

0.552

2 (3)West Virginia
1,093
0.597
3 (6)Kentucky
2,898
0.653
4 (7)Iowa
2,135
0.681
5 (8)Montana
711
0.682
6 (9)Louisiana
3,264
0.697
7 (11)Indiana
5,091
0.768
8 (12)Arkansas
2,308
0.772
9 (13)Mississippi
2,378
0.796
10 (14)Idaho
1,348
0.801
11 (15)Alabama
4,007
0.824
12 (16)Nebraska
1,584
0.831
13 (17)Utah
2,540
0.832
14 (18)Oklahoma
3,337
0.851
15 (19)Tennessee
5,718
0.86
16 (20)Kansas
2,532
0.871
17 (21)Wisconsin
5,054
0.875
18 (22)Maine
1,170
0.879
19 (23)South Carolina
4,438
0.895
20 (27)New Mexico2,016
0.969
21 (28)New Hampshire
1,352
1.013
22 (30)Virginia
8,772
1.043
23 (31)Oregon
4,312
1.053
24 (32)Massachusetts
7,287
1.07
25 (33)Minnesota
5,919
1.072
26 (35)New Jersey
9,977
1.115
27 (36)Colorado
6,203
1.12
28 (37)Washington
8,310
1.14
29 (38)Rhode Island1,216
1.151
30 (41)Arizona
8,7481.262
31 (42)Nevada
3,993
1.358
32 (43)Missouri
8,292
1.361
33 (44)Maryland
8,251
1.371
34 (45)Connecticut
4,933
1.379
35 (50)Michigan
17,430
1.756

 

  • States with more than 10 million residents

RANK (TOTAL RANK)STATETOTAL NUMBER OF IDENTITY THEFT REPORTSIDENTITY THEFT SCORE
1 (24)Ohio11,0090.948
2 (25)North Carolina

9,746
0.961
3 (29)New York
20,205
1.023
4 (34)Pennsylvania
14,030
1.097
5 (39)Texas
33,214
1.192
6 (40)Georgia
12,787
1.24
7 (46)Illinois17,660
1.38
8 (47)California54,744
1.395
9 (49)Florida34,384
1.668

 

 

How Safe Is Your State?

If you have any concerns about lack of identity theft safety in your state, you can share it in the comments below. Likewise, if you are satisfied with safety level in your state, please feel free to comment on that.

Sources:

– Federal Trade Commission: Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book for January – December 2016

– Javelin Strategy & Research: 2017 Identity Fraud Study

United States Census Bureau: Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2016

List of U.S. States and Territories by Population

 

Do you want to prevent identity theft? We can help.

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Read More About Identity Theft Here – We work everyday to provide you with the highest quality information on identity theft.

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