Thursday, April 14, 2011
South most violent region in nation?
South Carolina was named the ninth most violent state and North Carolina ranks 19th, according to the 2011 U.S. Peace Index that measures states by level of peacefulness -- or “the absence of violence.”
The South is the least peaceful region in the United States, based on the study conducted by the Institute for Economics and Peace.
Louisiana was ranked as the least peaceful state and Maine ranked as the most peaceful state. The Northeast was found to be the most peaceful region in the U.S., followed by the Midwest and then the West region.
Nine of the ten most violent states are from the South. Only two states in the South are ranked in the top 20 most peaceful states: West Virginia and Kentucky.
When determining rankings, the U.S. Peace Index takes into account the number of homicides, violent crimes, jailed population, police officers, and availability of small arms.
Started in 1991, the peace index seeks to further the understanding of what makes a peaceful community and help quantify the economic benefits that could result from an increase in peace. The authors estimate that if the U.S. had the same levels of peacefulness as Canada then state and federal governments could save $89 billion in expenditures and generate $272 billion in additional economic activity, and create over 2.7 million additional jobs.
The authors estimate North Carolina could save $6.2 billion and South Carolina could save $4.3 if violence were reduced by 50 percent.
Here are 2011 rankings. The least peaceful states are ranked first.
9. South Carolina
13. New Mexico
19. North Carolina
22. New York
25. New Jersey
33. West Virginia
37. South Dakota
43. Rhode Island
46. North Dakota
49. New Hampshire
Note: Washington D.C. is excluded from the ranking list.
Photo: Aerial photo of Columbia, S.C.