Breaking News: Rhode Island 8th Most Peaceful State in America
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
The inaugural United States Peace Index purports to be the first state-by-state ranking of America based on levels of peace. The group's standard for measuring a state's serenity was rather simple: "absence of violence."
National Data from Major Institutions
Using data compiled from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the group focused on homicide rates, percentage of population that is jailed, availability of small arms, number of police officers and overall violent crime rate.
The 10 most peaceful states as identified by the USPI are (from 1 to 10) Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Minnesota, North Dakota, Utah, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Iowa and Washington. Maine was ranked first overall because it topped the list of states on three of the five USPI indicators: number of violent crimes, number of police officers and the incarceration rate.
The index claims that America is getting more peaceful as a whole, with neither Republican nor Democratic states having any sort of an advantage over each other.
"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," the IEP says on its website, adding that "peace is significantly correlated with factors related to economic opportunity, education and health."
The key findings of the study are:
- First-ever ranking of peace in the U.S. shows the nation has become more peaceful since 1995
- Reductions in violence and crime to levels equal to Canada would yield an estimated $89 billion in direct savings, $272 billion in additional economic activity, and potentially create 2.7 million jobs
- New York, California and Texas record highest increases in peace since 1991, while North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana see largest declines
- Peace is significantly correlated with factors related to economic opportunity, education and health
- Peace is politically neutral – neither Republican nor Democratic states have an advantage
Economic Impact – Potential to Create 2.7 Million Jobs
Education and Health Outcomes Correlate Strongly with Peace
The USPI also finds that a state’s ranking is strongly correlated with various socio-economic factors including the high school graduation rate, access to health insurance and the rate of infant mortality. Significant economic factors included the degree of income inequality and the rate of participation in the labor force. Meanwhile, factors such as median income and a state’s political affiliation had no discernable impact on a state’s level of peace.
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