Maine named the most peaceful state for the 11th year in a row

Peter Watson

Maine is once again the most peaceful state in America, retaining the title it has held for over a decade.

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Maine has been named the most peaceful stateVision of Humanity

The United States Peace Index (USPI), produced by the UN-sponsored Vision of Humanity, provides a comprehensive measure of US peacefulness dating back to 1991.

It also provides an analysis of the socio-economic measures that are associated with peace as well as estimates of the costs of violence and the economic benefits that would flow from increases in peace.

In this report, a Metropolitan Peace Index has also been produced which measures the peacefulness of 61 metropolitan statistical areas within the US.

The USPI is based on the work of the Global Peace Index, the preeminent global measure of peacefulness, which has been produced by the Institute of Economics and Peace every year since 2007.

The USPI uses five indicators to assess throughout the US:

  • Number of homicides per 100,000 people
  • Number of violent crimes per 100,000 people
  • Incarceration rate per 100,000 people
  • Number of police employees per 100,000 people
  • Availability of small arms

Maine is the most peaceful state in the U.S. for the 11th year in a row, Louisiana is the least peaceful.

The Northeast continues to be the most peaceful region with three of the five most peaceful states.

The South is once again the least peaceful region in America, with four of the five least peaceful states. For the 20th year in a row, Louisiana is the least peaceful state

There are significant economic benefits from improving peacefulness.

Violence and violence containment cost the average taxpayer $3,257 each year. If all the states in the U.S. had the same level of peacefulness as the most peaceful state (Maine), the total economic effect would be over 274 billion dollars.

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Maine is the most peaceful US stateSean Pavone/Shutterstock

More peaceful states tend to have more economic opportunities, better provision of basic services and higher levels of educational attainment.

In addition, the USPI has repeatedly found there is a strong correlation between social capital and peace. More peaceful states tend to have more social capital which represents a better sense of community and higher rates of volunteerism.

Vision of Humanity also produces a UK, Mexico and Global Peace Index annually.

Most peaceful: Maine

Maine is once again the most peaceful state in America, retaining the title it has held since the year 2000.

Maine is ranked first in the U.S. on three of the five indicators, with the lowest levels of violent crime, incarceration, and police employees.

It is also ranked in the top ten on the homicide indicator but performs poorly on small arms, where it is ranked 28th.

Least peaceful: Louisiana

Louisiana is once again the least peaceful state in the U.S., a position it has held for the last twenty years.

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Louisiana has been named the least peaceful stateSean Pavone/Shutterstock

Furthermore, the gap between Louisiana and the 49th ranked Tennessee is greater than any other gap between two states.

Louisiana is ranked last in the nation on homicides, equal last on incarceration and ranks in the bottom ten on the other three indicators.

Complete rankings

The USPI is a composite measure made up of 5 indicators: homicide, violent crime, incarceration, police employees and small arms. The lower the score the more peaceful the state.

The below is the complete rankings of the most peaceful state to the least peaceful state.

  1. Maine, 1.308
  2. Vermont, 1.547
  3. New Hampshire, 1.551
  4. Minnesota, 1.614
  5. Utah, 1.723
  6. North Dakota, 1.744
  7. Washington, 1.782
  8. Hawaii, 1.784
  9. Rhode Island, 1.788
  10. Iowa, 1.865
  11. Nebraska, 1.927
  12. Massachusetts, 2.004
  13. Oregon, 2.072
  14. Connecticut, 2.194
  15. West Virginia, 2.197
  16. Idaho, 2.226
  17. Wyoming, 2.264
  18. Montana, 2.273
  19. Wisconsin, 2.302
  20. Kentucky, 2.318
  21. South Dakota, 2.318
  22. Ohio, 2.328
  23. Indiana, 2.345
  24. Pennsylvania, 2.375
  25. Virginia, 2.477
  26. Colorado, 2.526
  27. Kansas, 2.573
  28. New Jersey, 2.631
  29. Michigan, 2.694
  30. North Carolina, 2.714
  31. New York, 2.722
  32. California, 2.738
  33. Alaska, 2.751
  34. New Mexico, 2.853
  35. Illinois, 2.892
  36. Georgia, 3.04
  37. Oklahoma, 3.111
  38. Maryland, 3.145
  39. Delaware, 3.148
  40. Alabama, 3.17
  41. Mississippi, 3.17
  42. South Carolina, 3.178
  43. Arkansas, 3.201
  44. Texas, 3.202
  45. Missouri, 3.205
  46. Arizona, 3.217
  47. Florida, 3.365
  48. Nevada, 3.368
  49. Tennessee, 3.413
  50. Louisiana, 4.049

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Peter Watson is a writer, photographer and adventurer. A keen trekker and climber he can usually be found on the trails of the Greater Ranges. He’s visited over 80 countries and is currently focused on climbing the seven summits – the highest mountain on every continent. Four down, three to go... He has also travelled extensively around the US developing a penchant for American backcountry, abandoned buildings and natural wonders en route.

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