America’s Most (and Least) Peaceful States

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5. Utah
> Violent crimes (excl. murder) per 100,000: 210.8 (6th least)
> Murders per 100,000: 1.9 (10th least)
> Incarceration rate per 100,000: 238 (7th least)
> Police per 100,000: 252.8 (6th least)
> Basic access: 85.1 (8th highest)
> Total cost of violence: $2.34 billion

As one of the most peaceful states, Utah performs extremely well in most peace-related metrics considered by the United States Peace Index. The state has the highest level of income equality in the country, as measured by the Gini coefficient. It also has the lowest percentage of children living in single-parent households. It has among the lowest rates of police, prisoners and violent crime. It also has one of the highest high school graduation rates and highest life expectancies.

4. Minnesota
> Violent crimes (excl. murder) per 100,000: 234.2 (9th least)
> Murders per 100,000: 1.8 (9th least)
> Incarceration rate per 100,000: 185 (2nd least)
> Police per 100,000: 258.8 (7th least)
> Basic access: 86.6 (2nd highest)
> Total cost of violence: $4.68 billion

Minnesota has the second-lowest rate of incarceration in the country, with just 185 out of every 100,000 residents in a state prison. The state has a graduation rate of 91.8% and the second-highest labor participation rate in the country. According to Gallup, the state provides its residents with the second-best access to all basic necessities among all states. Minnesota also has the second-highest life expectancy in the country, as well as the second-lowest teen death rate.

3. New Hampshire
> Violent crimes (excl. murder) per 100,000: 166.0 (3rd least)
> Murders per 100,000: 1.0 (the least)
> Incarceration rate per 100,000: 209 (5th least)
> Police per 100,000: 288.6 (16th least)
> Basic access: 85.4 (5th highest)
> Total cost of violence: $952 million

New Hampshire’s high level of peace may be the result of its sound economic conditions. Only 8.1% of state residents are living in poverty — the lowest rate in the country. It also has one of the lowest rates of income inequality. Additionally, New Hampshire has the lowest rate of homicide in the country, the third-lowest rate of other violent crimes and the fifth-lowest incarceration rate. New Hampshire also has a 91.5% high school graduation rate — the fourth-highest — and the lowest rate of births among teenagers.

2. Vermont
> Violent crimes (excl. murder) per 100,000: 129.1 (2nd least)
> Murders per 100,000: 1.1 (2nd least)
> Incarceration rate per 100,000: 265 (9th least)
> Police per 100,000: 414.8 (4th most)
> Basic access: 84.1 (15th highest)
> Total cost of violence: $447 million

Vermont is one of the most peaceful states in the country, with just 129.1 violent crimes and 1.1 murders per 100,000 people. The state is near the top for nearly every major indicator that the Peace Project has identified as being correlated with a low rate of violence and a high level of peace. The Green Mountain State is among the best 10 in the country for graduation rates, labor participation, and health insurance coverage. It also has the third-lowest rate of teen births in the country at 21.3%.

1. Maine
> Violent crimes (excl. murder) per 100,000: 120.2 (the least)
> Murders per 100,000: 1.8 (tied for 7th least)
> Incarceration rate per 100,000: 148 (the least)
> Police per 100,000: 213.9 (the least)
> Basic access: 84.0 (16th highest)
> Total cost of violence: $801 million

Maine is the most peaceful state in the country, as it has been since 2000. The state has the lowest rate of violent crime excluding murder. It averages 120 violent crimes per 100,000, while Nevada, the state with the most crimes, averages 654. It also has the lowest incarceration rate, effectively eight times lower than Louisiana’s, or the least peaceful state. In addition, Maine has the lowest rate of police employees among its population — over half that of New Jersey.