The annual United States Peace Index finds the country overall more peaceful than at anytime in the past 20 years, with Maine finishing first as the "most peaceful" state and Louisiana placing last for the 11th year in a row, reported USA Today.
In rankings by metropolitan area, the 2012 survey finds Framingam-Cambridge-Newton as most peaceful. Detroit-Livionia-Dearborn in Michigan was ranked the least peaceful.
The second annual edition of the index, produced by Institute for Economics and Peace, provides a comprehensive analysis of peacefulness at the state and city levels, as well as an analysis of the costs associated with violence and the socio-economic measures associated with peace.
The USPI measures peacefulness according to five indicators: the number of homicides, number of violent crimes, the incarceration rate, number of police employees and the availability of small arms. Peace, in this survey, means "absense of violence."
TThe survey is a statistical analysis of crime, and the cost of crime, in all 50 states and, for the first time this year, the 61 most populous metropolitan areas.
The survey, once again, notes a strong correlation between peace and economic opportunity, health, education and social capital.
The summary of the survey says, "The U.S. is now more peaceful than at any time in the last 20 years. This has been driven by a steady decrease in the homicide and violent crime rates combined with recent modest decreases in the incarceration rate."
New England is very peaceful and tranquil according to the survey. The top three states are Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire.