The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) has just released the first ever United States Peace Index. The Peace Index ranks all 50 state on their peacefulness and also points out the potential economic benefits of being a peaceful state.
According to IEP, Maine is the most peaceful U.S. state and Louisiana is the least peaceful. Of course, I was most curious about my own state – Oregon, which feels pretty peaceful. However, Oregon didn’t even make the top ten. The top ten most peaceful states include:
- The previously mentioned Maine takes the number one spot.
- New Hampshire
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
Oregon clocks in as the 13th most peaceful state in America.
Curious about the five least peaceful states? These states are below (from best to worst):
What makes for a peaceful state?
According to this report, some key indicators were used to figure out which states are more (or less) peaceful. The five major indicators used included:
- Number of homicides per 100,000 people
- Number of violent crimes per 100,000 people
- Number of jailed population per 100,000 people
- Number of police officers per 100,000 people
- Availability of small arms
A slew of secondary factors gauging issues such as education, health, economic conditions, political attitudes and demographics were also looked at.
Money saving – The report notes that peace saves money. For example, violence and incarceration rack up large costs to the community. This study estimates that if the U.S. had similar levels of peacefulness to Canada, the U.S. could save some serious dough; about $361 billion per annum. As an example of where this money might be saved, the report notes, “If the U.S. had the same number of homicides as Canada then there would have been 9,746 fewer homicides in 2009. This would have resulted in $ 61,542,000 fewer medical costs.”
When peace is not the norm, costs related to lost productivity due to stress and suffering, medical bills, judicial and legal services, care and keep of criminals and much more, all add up.
How peaceful is your state? You can check out your state’s stats at the peace index map (pdf)