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Natural Awakenings

Peace Index: States Earn New Peace Index

Jun 30, 2011 10:48AM

The inaugural United States Peace Index (USPI), created by the international think-tank Institute for Economics and Peace, provides the first-ever ranking of the 50 U.S. states based on their levels of peace. The USPI shows Maine is the most peaceful U.S. state, with New York, California and Texas recording the highest increases in peace since 1991.

The USPI report reveals that peace in the United States has improved since 1995, primarily driven by a substantial decrease in homicide and violent crime. Peace is significantly correlated with economic opportunity, education and health, high school graduation rate, access to health insurance and the percent of infant mortality.

The 10 most peaceful states identified are Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Minnesota, North Dakota, Utah, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Iowa and Washington. Maine topped the list of states on three of the five USPI indicators: number of violent crimes, number of police officers and incarceration numbers (the homicide rate and ease of access to small arms are the other two).

Regionally, Southern states were the least peaceful, while states in the Northeast were most peaceful. The Midwest and West were on a par, with Midwest states being slightly more peaceful.


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