UPDATE: The company that produced this study got the data 100 percent wrong. Here's our follow-up post. Original Post: A new study shows that Oregon has the fewest sex offenders per capita of any state, with only 195 sex offenders per one million residents.
The company that put out the study, called A Secure Life, looked at a database of registered sex offenders in official state registries to get a count, then compared that data to the overall state population. Oregon, has a total of 707 sex offenders in that database, which makes the state home to the fewest number of sex offenders overall AND the fewest per capita.
Alaska is the worst off on the list, with over 5,000 sex offenders per one million residents.
Of course, a lot of people have problems with the whole concept of a sex offender registry. Teens who share nude photos can end up on the registry for life for disseminating child pornography, even if the teen only shared photos of himherself. The American Civil Liberties Union argues that sex offender registries can isolate sex offenders from resources that could help them, making them more likely to relapse and making communities less safe.
Perhaps the differences between the states has to do with Oregon's sex offender registration laws—in our state, only "predatory" sex offenders are listed in the public registry, and they're listed for life. Non-violent offenders can get removed from the state registry with a petition after 10 years. Other states register sex criminals of all stripes, including 18-year-old high schoolers who have consensual sex with their high school-aged girlfriends.
You can look up sex offenders in your area here.