2014’s Safest States to Live In
Relocating to a new city is never as simple as pointing one’s finger at a map and deciding to live where it lands. And it shouldn’t be. Before packing up, there are numerous factors to evaluate such as cost of living, education standards, health care quality or tax burden. But whatever one’s motivations are for moving, safety should rank among the top priorities when comparing places to live.
By safety, we’re not referring exclusively to protection from violence and crime. The term encompasses various categories, among them workplace safety, natural disasters, home and community stability, traffic safety and, of course, financial security. Choosing a new place to call home can be challenging. But knowing which states offer the safest environments and the biggest bang for the buck will be useful.
With that in mind, and in observance of National Safety Month, WalletHub has identified the Safest States to Live In. Using 26 key metrics, we’ve sorted the states according to different safety standards that take into account data related to crime, traffic accidents, employer insurance coverage, climate disasters, consumer bank accounts and more. Check out the Methodology section below for more detailed information on how we ranked each state.
Financial Safety Rank
Driving Safety Rank
Workplace Safety Rank
Natural Disasters Rank
Home and Community Safety Rank
|5||District of Columbia||22||8||15||17||N/A|
Note: in the case of District of Columbia, the Federal Bureau of Investigation does not provide data regarding the number of arrests for Murder and Non-negligent Manslaughter, Forcible Rape, Assault, Theft, Drug Abuse.
WalletHub took 26 key metrics into account in comparing the overall quality of safety in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. In doing so, we considered various standards of safety beyond protection from crime and violence. In this study, we adopt a more inclusive term that covers 1) Financial Safety 2) Driving Safety, 3) Workplace Safety, 4) Natural Disasters, and, finally, 5) Home and Community Safety. One’s financial security, after all, can be the difference between a pleasant place to live and a bad one.
You can check out the metrics as well as the corresponding weights we used to construct our overall rankings below. The five categories under which the metrics are listed were used for organizational purposes only and did not factor in to our overall rankings.
- Percentage of People Who Spend More Than They Make: 1
- Percentage of People with a Rainy Day Fund: 1
- Percentage of Unbanked Households: 1
- Annual Consumer Savings Account Averages: 1
- Percentage of Population without Health Insurance Coverage: 0.5
- Percentage of People Paying Only Minimum on Credit Card: 1
- Fatalities per 100 Million Vehicle Miles of Travel: 1
- Number of “Under the Influence” Traffic Violations per Capita: 1
- Pedestrian and Pedacyclist Fatality Rate per Capita: 1
- Fatal Occupational Injuries per Total Employees: 1
- Injury and Illness Rate per 10,000 Full-Time Workers: 0.5
- Median Days Lost because of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses: 0.5
- Employer Health Insurance Coverage Rates: 1
- Number of Climate Disasters (over 1 billion in damage): 1
- Estimated Property Losses from Disasters (estimates of insured property losses resulting from catastrophes): 1
- Public Hospital Rankings: 1
Home and Community Safety
- Total Law Enforcement Employees per Capita: 1
- Murder and Non-negligent Manslaughter per Capita (based on number of arrests): 1
- Forcible Rape per Capita (based on number of arrests): 1
- Assault per Capita (based on number of arrests): 1
- Theft per Capita (based on number of arrests): 1
- Sex Offenders per Capita: 1
- Incarceration Rate per Capita: 1
- Drug Abuse per Capita (based on number of arrests): 1
- Suicide Rate: 1
- Bullying Incidents Rate: 1
Source: Data used to create these rankings is courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Climatic Data Center, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, Verisk Analytics, Medicare.gov, stopbullying.gov, PitneyBowes, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, the Parents for Megan’s Law and the Crime Victims Center and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.