Safety in America: Where Does Your State Rank?

June 13, 2017
Kaitlynn Ely

Safety is one of our top priorities when it comes to choosing where to live, vacation, or attend school. Where does your state rank on the safe list?

Safety is one of our fundamental human needs, so it’s only natural for us to want to live in and travel to safe places and avoid areas that are statistically less safe.

“It’s always prodent to be an educated consumer, and that especially applies when selecting a place to live,” says John D. Cohen, distinguished professor of professional practice in criminal justice at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Besides crime and law enforcement, he says, “ask yourself — are the other issues like weather, flooding, power lines or anything else that could impact your quality of life and that could influence your decision to live in a specific community?”

The consumer financial website Wallethub analyzed the security of each state in America. The rankings were based on 37 key indicators across five primary categories:

  • Personal and residential safety, including various types of crime per capita, bullying incidence and suicide rates
  • Financial safety, including share of the population without health insurance, underemployment and debt
  • Road safety, including accident fatalities, road quality and number of DUIs per capita
  • Workplace safety, including fatal occupational injuries and injuries and illnesses among full-time workers
  • Emergency preparedness, including climate disasters with significant financial consequences

Listed below are the five most and five least safe states in the country.

  • In the top five for the fewest fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, the fewest assaults per capita and the highest number of people with health insurance
  • Score: 65.09

2. Maine

  • Overall has the fewest number of assaults per capita
  • In the bottom five for the least amount of law enforcement employees per capita
  • Score: 62.46

3. Massachusetts

  • Overall has the fewest fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel and the highest number of people with health insurance
  • In the top five for the lowest bully-incidence rates, the lowest total loss amount from climate disasters per capita, and the fewest fatal occupational injuries per total workers
  • Score: 62.03

4. Minnesota

  • In the top five for highest number of people with health insurance and the highest percentage of adults with a rainy-day fund
  • Score: 61.78

5. New Hampshire

  • Overall has the lowest unemployment rate
  • In the top five for the highest percentage of adults with a rainy-day fund
  • Score: 61.48

Continue to the next page for the five least safe states

  • In the bottom five for the most fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, the lowest percentage of adults with a rainy-day fund, the highest total loss amount from climate disasters per capita, and the most fatal occupational injuries per total workers
  • Score: 30.70

49. Louisiana

  • Overall has the highest loss amount from climate disasters per capita
  • In the bottom five for the most fatal occupational injuries per total workers
  • Score: 35.73

48. Oklahoma

  • In the bottom five for the lowest percentage of adults with a rainy-day fund
  • Score: 38.11

47. South Carolina

  • Overall has the most fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel
  • Score: 39.21

46. Missouri

  • In the bottom five for the lowest percentage of adults with a rainy-day fund
  • Score: 39.90