Most ‘Peaceful’ Places to Live

April 25, 2012

The country has gotten a lot more peaceful in the last 20 years, but in some states, you can find more peace than in others, according to the United States Peace Index, conducted annually by the Institute for Economics & Peace. 

For the rankings, researchers factored in criteria such as the area’s homicide rate, violent crime, police protection, incarceration rates, and the availability of small arms. 

Here are the most “peaceful” states according to the index: 

1. Maine

2. Vermont

3. New Hampshire 

4. Minnesota

5. Utah

The least peaceful state? Louisiana, a title it’s had for the last 20 years.

For metro areas, Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, Mass., was found to be the most peaceful. Detroit-Livionia-Dearborn, on the other hand, was found to be the least peaceful metro area, according to the index. 

Here are the top five “most peaceful” metro areas: 

  1. Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, Mass. 
  2. Edison-New Brunswick, N.J.
  3. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. 
  4. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn. 
  5. Peabody, Mass. 

Researchers found the most peaceful metro areas also tended to have the lowest poverty, lowest cases of inequality, and low unemployment rates. 

“What is absolutely clear from the Index is that peaceful states perform better across a range of economic, health, education and community factors,” says Steve Killelea, the Institute for Economics & Peace executive chairman. “They have higher high school graduation rates, lower poverty, better access to basic services, higher labor force participation rates, higher life expectancy, and less single-parented families. Even social capital — like volunteerism, civic engagement, trust, and group membership — is higher in more peaceful states.” 

Source: 2012 U.S. Peace Index