It's called the United States Peace Index (USPI), and it attempts to measure--for the first time ever--the level of peace and violence in each state.
By this ranking, Maine is the most peaceful state, while Louisiana is the most violent.
The USPI, which defines peace as "the absence of violence," looks at a set of five indicators, including homicide rates, violent crimes, percentage of the population in jail, number of police officers and availability of small arms per 100,000 people. The data used to construct the USPI are drawn from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Centers for Disease Control.
The top 10 most violent states:
9. South Carolina
The top 10 most peaceful states:
2. New Hampshire
5. North Dakota
8. Rhode Island
Fun facts to know and tell:
- Maine was ranked first overall because it topped the list of states on three of the five USPI indicators: the least number of violent crimes, police officers and incarceration rates.
- Regionally, Southern states were identified as being the least peaceful, while states in the Northeast were the most peaceful. The peacefulness of states in the Midwest and West was about equal, with Midwest states being slightly more peaceful.
- The total cost of violence per person in a state ranges from $656 in Maine to $2,458 in Louisiana. The USPI estimates that the economic effect of decreasing violence in states by 25 percent ranges from $126 million in Vermont to $16 billion in California.
- New York experienced the most significant increase in peace, as a result of decreases in violent crime and homicide rates, simultaneously with a substantial decrease in incarceration rates.
- Conversely, South Dakota saw the largest decline due to a steady rise in incarcerations and the number of police without a fall in the homicide and violent crime rates.
--From the Editors at Netscape