Safest States In America: Vermont tops list, while Louisiana ranks last

WASHINGTON — In the wake of increasing crime rates and severe weather incidents, Americans have been on the lookout for the safest havens within the country. WalletHub’s latest study reveals which states are the safest for residents, taking a comprehensive look at various factors that contribute to overall safety. The 2023 report places Vermont at the pinnacle of safety in the United States.

The Green Mountain State emerged as the safest with a total score of 68.27 out of 100. It notably took first place in workplace safety and ninth in emergency preparedness. Maine and New Hampshire were not far behind, boasting excellent scores in personal safety and road safety, respectively. On the flip side, Louisiana finds itself at the bottom of the list, a position it shares with other states like Mississippi and Arkansas that have been rated as less safe.

Here’s a snapshot of the top 10 safest states according to WalletHub’s analysis:

  1. Vermont
  2. Maine
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Utah
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Connecticut
  7. Hawaii
  8. Minnesota
  9. Rhode Island
  10. Wyoming

(For the full list of rankings, please refer to the end of the article.)

The study also unearthed some striking contrasts:

  • Massachusetts vs. South Carolina: The former leads with the fewest fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, while the latter ranks lowest.
  • New Jersey and Wyoming tie for the most law-enforcement employees per capita, a stark contrast to Washington, which has the fewest.
  • Maine stands out with the fewest assaults per capita, in sharp contrast to New Mexico.
  • In financial safety, Massachusetts showcases the lowest share of the uninsured population, contrasting with Texas, which has the highest.
  • Nevada and Louisiana represent the extremes in total loss amount from climate disasters per capita.

Understanding the Metrics

Safety is a multifaceted issue, encompassing everything from personal and residential security to financial stability and natural disaster preparedness. WalletHub’s study did not shy away from complexity, instead embracing a broad spectrum of 52 key safety indicators. These were grouped into five distinct categories:

  1. Personal & Residential Safety
  2. Financial Safety
  3. Road Safety
  4. Workplace Safety
  5. Emergency Preparedness

Methodology

Each state was compared across the five categories using the 52 metrics, which covered aspects like crime rates, insurance coverage, economic stability, and road safety. Each metric carried a different weight, signaling its importance in the overall score.

For instance, the number of mass shootings and the rate of murders and non-negligent manslaughter per capita were given double the weight compared to other metrics, reflecting the significant impact of violent crimes on the perception of safety.

Metrics like the presence of terrorist attacks and law enforcement employees per capita were included to provide a comprehensive view of safety beyond everyday crimes.

Economic factors were not overlooked, with elements such as the unemployment rate and the presence of rainy-day funds contributing to the financial safety score.

Safest States in the U.S.

Overall Rank*  State Total Score  Personal & Residential Safety  Financial Safety  Road Safety  Workplace Safety  Emergency Preparedness 
1 Vermont 68.27 4 2 10 1 9
2 Maine 65.85 3 7 8 20 2
3 New Hampshire 65.71 2 4 1 43 3
4 Utah 63.81 29 1 7 2 4
5 Massachusetts 62.93 5 10 2 24 10
6 Connecticut 60.00 1 38 17 26 16
7 Hawaii 59.87 17 13 22 12 12
8 Minnesota 59.83 18 3 4 9 23
9 Rhode Island 59.52 8 26 9 34 8
10 Wyoming 57.22 13 11 14 22 21
11 Iowa 57.01 6 18 3 6 47
12 Washington 56.86 37 6 29 5 6
13 Virginia 56.77 26 5 18 3 31
14 Arizona 56.26 32 19 45 7 7
15 Idaho 55.52 12 27 15 44 14
16 Indiana 54.77 11 39 25 11 29
17 Maryland 54.75 27 22 21 17 22
18 New Jersey 53.54 7 36 20 29 24
19 North Carolina 53.45 15 20 31 4 41
20 Delaware 53.20 14 29 26 37 11
21 Kentucky 53.11 10 40 32 21 30
22 Wisconsin 52.79 28 15 13 30 20
23 Oregon 52.68 49 21 23 8 15
24 Alaska 52.66 42 24 36 18 1
25 Michigan 51.31 39 25 38 14 17
26 New York 51.18 23 31 6 31 25
27 North Dakota 50.68 9 9 12 50 37
28 New Mexico 49.51 41 30 49 13 13
29 Pennsylvania 49.43 21 35 28 27 27
30 West Virginia 49.20 22 43 33 40 19
31 Nevada 49.18 46 47 43 16 5
32 Nebraska 48.70 16 17 5 35 42
33 Illinois 48.40 19 46 19 25 35
34 South Dakota 48.33 20 8 24 49 39
35 Ohio 47.87 33 44 11 33 26
36 California 46.36 48 34 47 19 18
37 Kansas 46.35 25 16 16 36 45
38 Georgia 44.58 30 48 37 23 38
39 South Carolina 44.56 44 28 44 15 34
40 Tennessee 44.25 47 42 39 10 36
41 Missouri 44.20 31 32 42 28 40
42 Montana 42.67 38 12 35 41 32
43 Colorado 42.22 50 14 30 45 28
44 Oklahoma 41.32 34 33 40 38 44
45 Alabama 40.97 36 45 27 39 43
46 Florida 39.97 35 23 46 45 46
47 Texas 37.12 40 37 41 32 48
48 Arkansas 36.17 45 41 48 48 33
49 Mississippi 34.86 24 50 50 47 50
50 Louisiana 32.99 43 49 34 42 49
Note: *No. 1 = Safest
With the exception of “Total Score,” all of the columns in the table above depict the relative rank of that state, where a rank of 1 represents the best conditions for that metric category.

The findings of WalletHub’s study could influence decisions ranging from individual relocation plans to governmental policy-making. Experts suggest that states can learn from the data to bolster their weak points, whether that’s improving road safety, increasing law enforcement presence, or enhancing emergency preparedness systems.

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Comments

    1. Well, it’s not. But I assume that you have an extreme bias. Here’s a diversity chart for you. And yes, I’m from Louisiana.

    2. You obviously didn’t read the chart. It includes financial safety, road safety, emergency preparation. As for personal safety Colorado (guess the demographic) is dead last. Pay attention before making silly comments that can easily be fact checked

    1. All of the worst performing states are Republican.

      All of the worst performing states are also parasites on the blue states.

      1. it isn’t my job to prove a negative.

        It is your job to prove that you aren’t lying.

        You can’t because you are.

  1. Vermont is safe except for our big city Burlington. You cannot walk thru City hall park at night. You will get shot.

  2. Exactly…a heterogeneous population tends to bring prejudice and hatred between groups and cultures, leading to various crimes.

  3. Exactly what natural disasters do New England states need to plan for? I wouldnt take this very seriously. I suspect if you drill down, you’l find the metrics based on amounts of government expenditure, thus favoring high tax and spend states.

  4. Notice a trend? Top of the list is Northern (mostly New England). And as you go down, the list becomes more and more southern states (closer to and adjacent to the southern border). Thanks for the list. Now Texas and Arizona know where to start sending future bus loads of new immigrants. Another point, notice how they covered this by the state? If they did it buy city, all the most dangerous cities would be blue cities- fact.

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