Safest States

Safety Index Score

Across the United States: Safety Rankings

Every day, safety remains a paramount concern for Americans from coast to coast. While safety can be a subjective topic and depends on various factors - from crime rates and law enforcement effectiveness to road safety and even workplace safety, quantifying it presents us with a unique perspective on the relative well-being of the residents of each state. Various organizations study vast amounts of public data to rank the 50 states based on their safety scores. 

This article aims to provide an insightful analysis of these safety scores, shedding light on the safest states in the United States while offering a comparative breakdown of the rankings.

Key findings from the data include:

  • Vermont tops the list as the safest state with a safety score of 68.79, followed closely by Maine with a score of 66.95.
  • The top five is completed  by New Hampshire, Utah, and Hawaii, indicating that geographical location does not necessarily equate to safety. 
  • At the lower end of the scale, states like Mississippi and Louisiana fall behind with safety scores of 32.52 and 31.64, respectively.
  • Surprisingly, heavily populated states such as New York and New Jersey have higher safety scores when compared to less populated states like Arkansas or Mississippi.
  • The data makes it clear that there's no direct correlation between the size or population density of a state and its safety ranking. 

Remember, while these statistics offer a snapshot of safety in each state, safety is a multifaceted subject, influenced by a wide range of factors from individual behavior to governmental policies. These rankings should serve not just as static scores, but as a catalyst for important conversations around safety and well-being across the United States.

Safest States


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To determine the safest states the 50 states were compared across five key categories:

  1. Crime and Law Enforcement
  2. Firearms and Violence
  3. Welfare and Personal Security
  4. Safety & Social Equity
  5. Transportation Safety

Each of these was defined via individual metrics that were representative of the category. There were a total of 32 metrics which are listed below. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 being the max. Each metric had state scores distributed from 0 to 100.

Finally, each state’s weighted average was determined across all metrics to calculate category scores. These were then summed to generate the final rank order of the states.

Crime and Law Enforcement (30%)

Violent Crime Rate - Triple Weight (7.2)

Non-violent Crime Rate - Regular Weight (2.4)

Recidivism Rate - Regular Weight (2.4)

Human Trafficking Cases Rate per 100K - Double Weight (4.8)

Homicides per 100k People - Double Weight (4.8)

Imprisonment Rate per 100k residents  - Half Weight (1.2)

Police Officers per 100k - Double Weight (4.8)

Assault Rate per 100k - Regular Weight (2.4)

Firearms and Violence  (25%)

Gun Ownership Rate - Regular Weight (3.6)

Mass Shootings Rate per 100k - Double Weight (7.1)

Gun Deaths per Capita - Triple Weight (10.7)

Nonfatal Gun Injuries per 100k - Regular Weight (3.6)

Welfare and Personal Security (25%)

Identity-Theft Complaints per Capita - Regular Weight (2.5)

Fraud Complaints per Capita - Double Weight (5.0)

Cyber Crime Victims per 100k - Regular Weight (2.5)

Drug Death Rate - Double Weight (5.0)

Property Crime Rate per 100k - Regular Weight (2.5)

Larceny Thefts per 100k - Regular Weight (2.5)

% of Illicit Drug Use in Adults - Double Weight (5.0)

Safety & Social Equity (10%)

Abortions due to Rape Rate - Regular Weight (1)

% of Domestic Violence Against Women - Regular Weight (1)

% of Sexual Harassment - Double Weight (2)

Workers Fatality Rate per 100k - Regular Weight (1)

Hate Groups per Capita - Double Weight (2)

Hate-Crime Incidents per Capita - Double Weight (2)

Deaths due to Intentional self-harm per 100k - Single Weight (1)

Transportation Safety (10%)

% of Motorcyclist Fatalities - Regular Weight (1.2)

Car Accidents Fatalities Rate - Double Weight (2.4)

% of Drivers fatalities with known BAC results - Regular Weight (1.2)

Pedestrian Fatality rate per 100k people - Double Weight (2.4)

% of Unrestrained Fatally Injured Occupants - Half (0.6)

% of Bicyclists Fatalities - Double Weight (2.4)

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