The Safest States in America (RANKED)
According to the Global Peace Index, the USA ranks 129th out of 163 countries, suggesting there is a risk of danger to both residents and visitors to the country. However, the US consists of 50 distinct states, all with their own variations in culture and society. Therefore, safety is sure to differ immensely between each state.
The latest research assessed each state, looking at factors based on personal safety, financial safety, road safety, safety in the workplace, and emergency preparation to find an overall safety score. Using this research, we looked into the safest and least safe states in America.
Remember, if you’re travelling to the US for your next trip, contact Expatriate Group for your travel insurance. We provide flexible international travel insurance policies, covering all nationalities.
Here is a guide to driving in the USA should you choose to visit, but let’s dive in to the safest states in America below:
Top 5 Safest States in America
Vermont was found to be the safest state in America, with an overall score of 68.79. Vermont is the second smallest state by population, with around 643,500 people living in the northeastern state. It is 26th in the country for income, with a median household income of $57,513.
Vermont has a crime rate that is typically lower than the rest of the USA, which is a trait of all New England states. Vermont’s crime rate is 1.6 crimes per 1000 people – the national crime rate is over 50% higher than this, at 2.4 per 1000 residents. There are very few instances of violent crime in Vermont and the majority of crimes relate to property, i.e., larceny, burglary, and car theft.
Vermont has a very low risk of terrorism or natural disasters. The state also has one of the lowest rates of unemployment in the USA and is considered to be one of the healthiest states, according to America’s Health rankings.
Maine is the second safest state in the US, with an overall safety score of 66.95. Maine ranked first for being the most prepared for an emergency and second for road safety. This New England state has a population of 1,362,359 and ranks 35th in the country for income. It has a median household income of $56,277.
Maine has the lowest crime rate in America, with around 1.3 crimes per 1000 people. Like Vermont, the majority of crime is related to property theft, and there are very few instances of violent crimes such as mugging, assault, or murder.
Maine has an extremely low risk of terrorist attacks, with no history of this type of attack. The state also has a low national disaster risk, but being on the coast, it can see the occasional storm and flooding.
New Hampshire is the third safest state in America, with an overall score of 63.99. It ranks first for financial safety, which takes into account unemployment rates, poverty rates, and fraud crimes, Another New England State, it has a population of 1,377,529. It ranks 8th in the country for income, with a median household income of $76,381.
New Hampshire has a crime rate of around 1.3 crimes per 1,000 residents. The crimes that do occur are more likely to be property-related rather than violent. There is some risk when it comes to winter storms, flooding, and snow storms, due to the state’s proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. However, the danger is still low.
Utah is the fourth safest state in America with an overall score of 63.48. It’s the first state on the list that isn’t in the New England region. Utah is located in the western US and has a population of 3,271,616. It ranks 11th for income and has a median household income of $60,365.
Utah has a crime rate of 2.405 per 1,000 people, which is not far below the national crime rate of 2.489 per 1,000 people. As with the other safest states on this list, the crimes committed are usually related to property rather than violent crimes.
Utah has a moderate risk of natural disasters, with instances of wildfires, floods, and sometimes landslides. However, the state has one of the lowest loss rates due to climate disasters in the country.
Hawaii is the fifth safest state in America, with an overall score of 60.36. This archipelago state in the Pacific Ocean has a population of 1,455,271. It ranks 4th for income, with a median household income of $83,200.
Hawaii has a higher crime rate than the national average, at 3.1 per 1,000 people. There are very few instances of violent crime, and Hawaii has one of the lowest violent crime rates in the US. It also has one of the lowest rates of gun ownership and gun deaths.
Hawaii has the longest life expectancy of the entire US. It has a high risk of natural disasters, such as earthquakes and tsunamis, but it ranks fourth on the safest state list for emergency preparedness.
Top 5 Least Safe States in America
Alabama is the fifth least safe state in America with an overall score of 37.68. This state is located in the southwest and has a population of 5,039,877. It ranks 46th in the country for income, with a median household income of $52,000.
Alabama has a crime rate of 3.1 per 1,000 residents. It has a high proportion of property crimes, with 2.6 per 1,000 people. The state’s violent crime rate is .05 per 1,000 people, which is higher than the national average of 0.3 per 1,000.
Alabama has the third lowest life expectancy in the country. Factors that could contribute to this low life expectancy are thought to be related to maternal mortality, suicide, and gun crimes. Between 2014 and 2019, gun death rates increased by 31%, and firearm homicide increased by 67%.
Texas is the fourth least safe state in America with an overall score of 36.77. It is the second largest state in the US both by area and population, with a population size of 29,145,505. It ranks 22nd in the country for income, with a median household income of $64,034.
The crime rate in Texas is 2.8 per 1,000 people, with more crimes being property related than violent. However, mugging in Texas can be fairly common and it is one of the top 10 states for most occurrences of muggings. The larger cities, such as Houston, Dallas, and Snyder have a higher risk of crimes than the less densely populated areas in Texas.
Texas has a medium risk of natural disasters, such as tornados and hurricanes. On the safest state list, it ranks 48th for emergency preparedness.
Arkansas is the third least safe state in America, with an overall score of 33.72. It is a land-locked state in southern US, with a population of 3,013,756. It ranks 48th in the country for income, with a median household income of $49,500.
Arkansas has a crime rate of 3.4 per 1,000 people. It has the third-highest number if assaults per capita and the fifth most reported violent crimes. It has a high number of firearm mortalities and also homicide deaths.
Mississippi is the second least safe state in America, with an overall score of 32.52. It has a population of 2,963,914 and ranks 50th, the lowest, for income. The median household income in Mississippi is $43,567.0
Mississippi has a crime rate of 2.6 per 1,000 residents, with more property crimes than violent crimes. It has the highest death rate by homicide in the country and also the highest death rate by firearms.
Mississippi has the second lowest life expectancy in the country and one of the highest unemployment rates. On the safest state list, it ranks 50th on road safety and emergency preparedness and 48th on financial safety.
Louisiana was found to be the least safe state in America, with an overall score of 31.64. It has a population of 4,657,757 and ranks 47th in income in the country. The median household income in Louisiana is $49,973.
Louisiana has a crime rate of 3.7 per 1,000 people. Only two states – Alaska and New Mexico – have a higher crime rate in the US. The property crime rate is 3.1 per 1,000 people and the violent crime rate is 0.3 per 1,000 people. It has the second-highest rate of homicide deaths and firearm deaths in the country.
On the safest state list, Louisiana ranked 49th for emergency preparedness, 48th for financial safety, and 46th for personal safety.