What is a “safe” state? Beyond protection from violence and crime, being safe also includes workplace safety, emergency preparedness, home stability, community stability, road safety and financial security. So where, exactly, does your state rank?
WalletHub recently analyzed each state and the District of Columbia to determine which offer the safest environments. The researchers looked at 20 key factors, among them crime rate, traffic accidents, climate disasters and even employer insurance coverage.
The best and the worst
Overall, the nation’s safest states include Massachusetts at number one, followed by Vermont, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Utah, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Virginia and Maine. Coming in at the bottom of the list are Kentucky, Arkansas, Arizona, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Tennessee, Oklahoma, South Carolina and, at number 51, Mississippi.
Interesting (and surprising) findings
The District of Columbia has the lowest rate of bullying in the nation. In fact, the percentage of high school students who were bullied online is three times higher in Maine than in D.C. Montana and Idaho have the highest rates of bullying in the U.S.
However, D.C., even with the highest number of law enforcement officials, has the highest number of assaults. Maine, Vermont and Kentucky have the lowest number of assaults.
It’s safer to drive in D.C. and Massachusetts. For fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, D.C. and Massachusetts rank best, while West Virginia and Montana are worst.
Walking or cycling in Florida isn’t all that safe. The pedestrian and pedacyclist fatality rate per 100,000 residents is 12 times higher in the Sunshine State than it is in North Dakota.
Connecticut enjoys the lowest number of work-related fatalities, but North Dakota suffers a rate that is nine times greater.
Despite headlines of raging fires, earthquakes and mudslides, California has the lowest estimated property losses from climate disasters while Tornado Alley’s Oklahoma and Kansas have the highest.
Massachusetts boasts the lowest share of the population without health insurance. Texas is on the other end of the spectrum with the greatest share not covered.
North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation; Nevada has the highest.
Want to know more? Read the full report at WalletHub.