The non-profit Institute for Economics and Peace has released its U.S. peace index for the second-straight year.
According to 24/7 Wall St., the rankings were compiled based on five categories, including violent crime, amount of law enforcement and the ability to obtain small arms.
Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) founder Steve Killelea told 24/7 Wall St.: “In perfect states, there’d be no crime, therefore you’d have no need for police, nor would you lock anyone up.”
Steve Killelea said that because peace is not an exact science, the organization’s findings are based on several factors.
He told 247WallSt.com: “I don’t think there’s a single silver bullet which creates peace. I think it’s multi-dimensional and really complex. So, on that basis, we’ve pulled out the correlations.”
Louisiana was marred by its murder rate, which – at 11.2 per 100,000 people – is the highest among each of the 50 states.
Maine, which has been crowned the most peaceful state in the nation, had the lowest levels of violent crime, incarceration and police officers.
A state’s education system also comes into play in the IEP data, with education appearing to have the most impact on where a particular state wound up on the list.
High school graduation rates in particular had a striking effect on that state’s rank in the peace index.
Steve Killellea told the 24/7 Wall St.: “It is not so much the quality of education that matters for peace, but that states keep children in school and off the streets.”
The IEP, which is based in Australia, first released the U.S. peace rankings last year.
THE MOST PEACEFUL STATES IN AMERICA
3. New Hampshire
6. North Dakota
9. Rhode Island
THE MOST VIOLENT STATES IN AMERICA
9. South Carolina