According to the Global Peace Index, the United States ranks 128 out of 163 countries. The U.S. has terrorist attacks, mass shootings, hate crimes, and natural disasters, making headlines often, putting citizens and visitors in danger. Safety plays a large role in people's quality of life and is a significant factor for families looking to relocate.
Safety varies from state to state. Some states are safe from some dangers but fall prey to others. To determine which states are the safest, WalletHub compared all 50 states across 53 safety indicators grouped into the following categories:
- Personal & Residential Safety
- Financial Safety
- Road Safety
- Workplace Safety
- Emergency Preparedness
Indicators that were used to determine the safest states include:
- DUIs per capita
- Road quality
- Unemployment rate
- Debt per income
- Poverty rate
- Number of mass shootings
- Assaults per capita
- Law enforcement employees per capita
- Share of families with children aged 0 to 17 who feel they live in safe neighborhoods
Each state was given a score between 0 and 100 for each metric, with 100 being the safest. This score was used to determine which states are the safest in the U.S.
Safest States in the U.S.
With a score of 66.02, Maine is the safest U.S. state. Maine ranks first for Personal & Residential Safety, Road Safety, and Emergency Preparedness. Maine has the lowest number of assaults per capita of any state in the U.S. Maine has the lowest violent crime rate overall than any other state and has the fourth-lowest property crime rate as well.
Vermont is the second-safest state in the U.S., with a score of 65.48. Vermont ranks second for Personal & Residential Safety and seventh for Financial Safety. Vermont has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, has the third-lowest share of uninsured people, and has the second-fewest assaults per capita. Vermont's violent crime rate is 1.7 incidents per 1,000 people, two points below the national rate.
Minnesota is the third-safest state in the U.S. Minnesota's total score is 62.42. Minnesota ranks first for Workplace Safety, third for Road Safety, and fourth for Financial Safety and Workplace Safety. Minnesota has the fourth-highest percentage of adults with a rainy-day fund and the fourth-lowest share of uninsured people in its population. Additionally, the state has the second-fewest fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel. Some of the safest cities in Minnesota are Lakeville, Plymouth, Eden Prairie, and Maple Grove.
Utah ranks fourth on the safest states list with a score of 61.71. Utah ranks fourth for Workplace Safety, sixth for Emergency Preparedness, and seventh for Road Safety. Utah is tied with North Dakota, Vermont, New Hampshire, Hawaii, and Iowa for the lowest unemployment rate. Utah has the fourth-lowest total loss from climate disasters per capita, and the lowest percentage of drunk driving fatalities in the U.S. Law enforcement credits the community for looking out for each other and being involved in keeping the community safe.
With a score of 59.21, Wyoming ranks as the fifth-safest U.S. state. Wyoming ranks sixth for Personal & Residential Safety. Wyoming has the third-highest number of law enforcement employees per capita of 2.3 per 1,000 people. The violent crime rate is relatively low in Wyoming, at 2.1 incidents per 1,000 people. Wyoming has the smallest population in the country, and with small populations generally comes low crime rates. Residents say you could keep your car keys in the ignition and not have to worry about your car being stolen. Generally, everyone gets along and looks out for one another.
Tied with Wyoming with a score of 59.21, Iowa ranks fifth for the safest state. Iowa ranks third for Financial Safety and Personal & Residential Safety and fourth for Road Safety. Iowa has the fifth-lowest share of uninsured people in its population and is tied for the lowest unemployment rate in the country. However, Iowa falls behind in its Emergency Preparedness, where it ranks 44th. Some of Iowa's safest cities are Sioux Center, Norwalk, and Eldridge, also some of Iowa's wealthiest cities.
Massachusetts's score of 58.98 makes it's the seventh-safest state in the U.S. Massachusetts ranks first for Financial Safety and second for Road Safety. Massachusetts is the country's most educated state and the third-highest median household income of $85,843. This allows the state to have the third-highest percentage of adults with rainy-day funds. Massachusetts has the fewest fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel and the fewest share of uninsured people in its population.
8. New Hampshire
New Hampshire's score is 58.82, making it the eighth-safest state in the U.S. New Hampshire ranks seventh for Personal & Residential Safety and fourth for Emergency Preparedness. New Hampshire has the second-fewest assaults per capita. The overall violent crime rate is 1.7 incidents per 1,000, tied with Vermont and two points below the national rate. The state also has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, tied with North Dakota, Vermont, Utah, Hawaii, and Iowa.
As the ninth-safest state in the U.S., Connecticut has a score of 58.81. Connecticut ranks fourth for Personal & Residential Safety. Connecticut has its share of dangerous places; however, some of its safest cities are Weston, Ridgefield, Easton, New Canaan, and Madison. In these cities, the violent crime rate is 3.0 or less per 100,000 people.
10. Rhode Island
Rhode Island completes the list of the ten safest states, with a score of 58.15. Rhode Island ranks eighth for Personal & Residential Safety and sixth for Road Safety. Rhode Island has the fourth-fewest fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel and the second-fewest fatal occupational injuries per total workers. the state's violent crime rate is 2.19 incidents per 1,000 people, and its property crime rate is 16.6 per 1,000, both below the national rate.