Is Your State A Police State?

Have you ever wondered where your state ranks with regard to the total number of police, or police density compared to other states? Is your state a police state?

Here is the data, map, and chart which illustrates the police density across the country…

All politics aside, one might consider a “Police State” to be one in which there simply are more police per population than the rest…

The data has been sourced from the most recent available “Census of State and Local Enforcement Agencies” from the U.S. Department of Justice, 2008.

One geographical location stands well above the rest for the most police… Washington D.C. with triple the police density (per resident) compared to many states.

The states that stand out with the highest police density per number of residents…
Louisiana, Wyoming, New Jersey, New York, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee

The states that stand out with the lowest police density per number of residents…
West Virginia, Kentucky, Oregon, Vermont, Michigan, Washington, Pennsylvania

You can see for yourself in the following illustrations.

United States Map of Police Density per State

Number of Police per 100,000 Residents

Total Number of Police per State

From “Census of State and Local Enforcement Agencies”

StateNumber of
per 100K
District of Columbia45383912
New Jersey55043569503
New York51495105489
North Carolina50435140380
New Mexico1467164361
South Carolina27216111358
South Dakota1552669332
Rhode Island483462329
New Hampshire2083940298
North Dakota1141859290
West Virginia2334411243

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  1. I would have thought my state would have been higher on the list. This is good info to have in case you wish to get away from your Police State. Always wanted to move to Vermont which I am glad to see is near the bottom of the list. Maybe when I retire. Thats if the SHTF hasn’t happened by then. Not holding out hope on that one.

  2. Your next task is to overlay gun laws (may issue/shall issue/ no carry) on to these results and see if there’s any correlation between people taking the initiative to defend themselves and less police needed. Or vice versa, more police because people are disarmed.

    1. I would also include military bases/personnel. Specially sense ol’ posse comeandtakeus is out the window and they are allowed to “assist” police

  3. and yet, the top 20 most policed states STILL have the most amount of crime, despite the extra forces. I fail to see where this article is actually *saying* anything.

  4. We have the most awesome Sheriff’s here. We have 52 of them suing the state’s gun laws. But the regular police… Colorado is a growing police state… in the Democrat controlled areas. Does Colorado’s states also include the Sheriff’s dept, or the State Patrol? The IRS’s SWAT teams?

  5. Texas is a big state though. haha. We are really like 2 or 3 states. Joking aside I never have considered us a “police state”. Maybe because we are mainly gun toting conservatives, except for some of the Austin people. Sorry Austinites but it’s true. Lots of liberals there.

    1. Why throw out the DC stats?

      Didn’t DC have a mayor that was charged, convicted, and imprisoned? Bradley if I remember correctly.

      And then got reelected after he got out of prison.

      Makes me wonder about things that are going on in the beltway,

  6. From La. I wonder how this chart would change if you added in county/city/marshall etc officers? I’m not worried so much about the “police state” type issues from state PD (I’m related to too many of them! lol & they are VERY much on the side of gun rights and conservatives)

  7. This map is not correct. California should be in dark blue. I have friends there and traveled there many times.

  8. come one man… there are more cops in the bay area california alone, than there are in the entire state of Wyoming…. Wyoming should not even be dark blue.
    Oregon and washington is a bigger police state than Wyoming….
    that map is wrong.

  9. Very interesting article. One variable that immediately came to mind is the size of the state in square miles. Wyoming and Vermont are probably good examples; WY has about 100,000 Square Miles so if my math is correct they would have one officer for every 33 Square Miles. VT has about 10000 Square Miles so that equals approx. 1 officer for every 6 Square Miles. Terrain is the next variable that could be considered, WY being mountainous in the Western part of the state and High Plains in the Eastern. Much more difficult to patrol the Mountainous Western part vs. the High Plains of Eastern WY.

  10. I live in Mississippi,used to be a a Deputy Sheriff,I can tell you that a lot of what has been counted,is Administrative also.Most of our law enforcement officers are in the larger cities,Jackson,Tupelo,Hattiesburg,Gulfport,Biloxi,and others.In all of our counties we have a Sheriff’s office,and in a lot of the towns in the separate counties we have local police.Plus State Troopers,Dept.of corrections,Constables,MDOT ,they regulate commercial traffic and railroads,School resource officers in a lot of schools,most of our law enforcement is spread over a large gammet of the state,not just a large police state force.Our state is one of the more Conservative politically wise,the only non-conservative in the state governmental elected offices is the attorney general.Plus we have majority state Senate,and state House.We are a very pro-gun state,open carry will start July1st,We have had concealed carry for a long time,no real state infringements on gun rights.A lot of people that have not been to our state have misconceptions about our state,or are already biased in their view of our state,we are the Hospitality state.Ya’ll have a good day.Keep your powder dry.

  11. Golly Gee,
    for those Canadians who thought they were immune to a “Police State”, you all should know that Many Canadian Police Chiefs, Headed by the Calgary Police Chief, are petitioning to have law changed so they will automatically take DNA samples from anyone they arrest.


    Calgary police DNA notion has columnist thinking ‘Take that swab and stick it’

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