According to the Global Peace Index, the United States is the 128th-safest country in the world out of 163 countries. With frequent headlines of hate crimes, mass shootings, natural disasters, and terrorist attacks, the United States can be potentially dangerous for citizens and visitors. Safety is a significant factor for those looking to relocate, especially those looking to start families, and can affect overall quality of life.
Safety varies significantly by the state in the U.S. How do we determine the safest and most dangerous states in the United States? Wallethub compared all 50 states across 53 indicators. Each state was given a total score out of 100. The indicators were grouped into the following categories: Personal & Residential Safety; Financial Safety; Road Safety; Workplace Safety; and Emergency Preparedness. Wallethub used indicators such as the Number of Fatalities per 100 million Vehicle Miles of Travel; Number of Law-Enforcement Employees per Capita; Number of Assaults per Capita; Bullying Incidence Rate; Unemployment Rate; Share of Uninsured Population; Percentage of Adults with Rainy-Day Funds; Total Loss Amount from Climate Disasters per Capita; and Number of Fatal Occupational Injuries per Total Workers.
Louisiana is the most dangerous state in the U.S. Louisiana ranks 47th for Financial Safety and 49th for Emergency Preparedness. Louisiana has one of the highest unemployment rates, sitting at 8.3% as of November 2020. Louisiana has the third-highest bullying incident rate, and one of the high fatalities per 100 million miles traveled. Louisiana also has the highest homicide rate in the U.S. with 14.4 murders per 100,000 people.
Mississippi's total score is 34.46, making it the second-most dangerous state in the United States. Mississippi ranks 50th out of 50 for Road Safety and Emergency Preparedness and 49th for Financial Safety. Mississippi has the second-highest fatalities per 100 million miles traveled. Mississippi also has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. Before COVID-19, the unemployment rate sat around 5.5% and currently sits around 6.4%.
Texas is the third-most dangerous state in the country. With a total score of 34.78, Texas ranked 48th for Emergency Preparedness and 43rd for Personal & Residential Safety. Texas has the highest share of uninsured people, with 18.4% of the population going without health insurance.
Arkansas has a total score of 37.05, making it the fourth-least safe state in the country. Arkansas ranks 48th for Personal & Residential Safety and 48th for Financial Safety but performs slightly better in the other categories. Arkansas has the third-highest number of assaults per capita and the fifth-highest bullying incidence rate. Arkansas has the fifth-highest murder rate in the U.S. with 8.6 murders per 100,000 people.
Oklahoma is the fifth-least safe state. Oklahoma ranked 45th for Financial Safety, 47th for Workplace Safety, and 44th for Emergency Preparedness. Oklahoma has the third-highest share of uninsured people. With 14.3% of residents not having health insurance. Oklahoma's overall crime rate is 3,277.08 per 100,000 people.
With an overall score of 38.93, Montana is the sixth-most dangerous state. Montana ranks 47th for Personal & Residential Safety and 42nd for Workplace Safety. Surprisingly, Montana has a much high Financial Safety ranking of 15th.
Alabama comes in at seventh for the most dangerous U.S. state. Alabama ranks 46th for Emergency Preparedness. Alabama has the fifth-highest number of assaults per capita and the seventh-highest homicide rate of 8.3 per 100,000 people. Alabama's overall crime rate is 3,185.26 per 100,000 people.
As the eighth-most dangerous state, Florida ranks 47th for Road Safety and 43rd for both Emergency Preparedness and Workplace Safety. Florida has one of the highest shares of uninsured people at 13.2% of its population. Florida's unemployment is around 6.4% as of November 2020.
Missouri's overall score is 41.48, making it the ninth-most dangerous U.S. state. Missouri ranks 40th for Emergency Preparedness, with about 10% of residents missing health insurance. While Missouri ranks 39th for Personal & Residential Safety, it has the second-highest homicide rate in the country of 9.8 murders per 100,000 people.
Finishing out the top ten with an overall score of 42.60 is Tennessee. The state ranks 50th for Personal & Residential Safety. In 2020, the state had 11.5 murders per 100,000, the eighth-highest homicide rate in the country.
Personal and Residential Safety