Study: Maine the most peaceful U.S. state, Louisiana the least
By Brett Michael Dykes
A study by the Institute for Economics and Peace finds that Maine is the most peaceful state in the country, while Louisiana is the least peaceful.
The inaugural United States Peace Index purports to be the first state-by-state ranking of America based on levels of peace. The group’s standard for measuring a state’s serenity was rather simple: “absence of violence.” Using data compiled from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the group focused on homicide rates, percentage of population that is jailed, availability of small arms, number of police officers and overall violent crime rate.
And despite what you may think, with all the mass public protests going on around the country in the last couple of years, the index claims that America is getting more peaceful as a whole, with neither Republican nor Democratic states having any sort of an advantage over each other.
“The USPI report reveals that peace in the United States has improved since 1995 primarily driven by a substantial decrease in homicide and violent crime,” the IEP says on its website, adding that “peace is significantly correlated with factors related to economic opportunity, education and health.”
The group lists the ten most peaceful states in order as: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Minnesota, North Dakota, Utah, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Iowa, and Washington. And here are the least (also in order, with Louisiana leading the unrest): Louisiana, Tennessee, Nevada, Florida, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Maryland.
It’s worth noting that Louisiana was ranked as the laziest U.S. state in a separate study last year. Apparently, kicking back and taking it easy doesn’t amount to a life of calm in the eyes of some, though many Louisianians, this reporter among them, would probably argue that they’re not lazy or non-peaceful, just misunderstood.