Saturday, April 16, 2011

United States Peace Index - Is your state peaceful?

The Institute for Economics and Peace, an international think tank, just released the first ever United States Peace Index, a ranking of the states based on their levels of peace. They measure "peace" by looking at the number of homicides, violent crimes, the jailed population, the number of police officers, and the availability of guns.

If you look at the map here, you'll see blue representing the most peaceful states (Maine is #1, followed by New Hampshire and Vermont), followed by green, yellow, orange, and finally red (Louisiana is #50).

In general, the report reveals that peace has improved since 1995, driven by a sharp decrease in homicide and violent crime.

I find the chart fascinating, because the map clearly shows a pattern of increasing peace as the climate gets colder: a peaceful north and a less peaceful south. The only real outliers are Nevada, Michigan, and Maryland (worse than expected), and Utah (better than expected).

Click through
to read highlights and other tidbits. One that interests me as a New Yorker is that New York experienced the most significant increase in peace, as a result of decreases in violent crime and the homicide rate.