Most Peaceful State: Maine
Louisiana, Deep South bring up the rear in new survey
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2012 6:57 AM CDT
In this Tuesday, July 13, 2010 photo, rock climbers make their way down a steep incline by the ocean on a foggy day in Acadia National Park, Maine.   (AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach)
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(Newser) – Apparently the moose-on-moose violence is next to nil, because Maine has scored the title of most peaceful state in the union, according to a new survey by the Institute for Economics & Peace. It finds the nation as a whole at its most peaceful point in two decades. Louisiana, meanwhile, grabs the dubious honor of least peaceful state for an 11th consecutive year, reports USA Today. The survey defines peaceful simply as "the absence of violence," and factors in homicide, violent crime, and incarceration rates, as well as number of police and the prevalence of small arms. Highlights:

  • The US saw a 3.2% drop in homicides and a 5.5% dip in violent crimes last year.
  • New England is pretty darn peaceful, with Vermont, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island all scoring in the top 10.
  • The South will fight again, with Mississippi, South Carolina, Arkansas, Texas, Missouri, Florida, and Tennessee in the bottom 10.
  • Arizona saw the worst drop, plummeting nine places to No. 46. A sharp spike in the murder rate was to blame.
  • The most peaceful metropolitan area is Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, Mass.
  • Bringing up the rear as least peaceful is Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich., at No. 61. New Orleans is just behind it at No. 60.
Click through for the full survey.