US Peace Index Report

The USPI has found that the U.S. is more peaceful now than at any other time over the last twenty years. The index is based on an analysis of homicide, violent crime, policing, incarceration rates and the availability of small arms.


From 2011-2012 the homicide rate decreased by 3.78% and the violent crime rate fell by 6.03%.

Maine is the most peaceful state and Louisiana is the least.

Wyoming has improved the most while Arizona recorded the largest fall in peace scores.

The U.S. is more peaceful now than at any other time in the last 20 years.

Further improvements in peacefulness would generate hundreds of billions of extra economic activity.


The top three most peaceful states are: Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. Maine has been the most peaceful state for 11 consecutive years. The North East corner of the US continues to be the most peaceful region, with three of the five most peaceful states. Louisiana, Tennessee and Nevada are the three least peaceful states. Louisiana is the least peaceful state for the 20th year running. The South is the least peaceful region, it has highest homicide, violent crime and incarceration rates, as well as the highest prevalence of gun ownership.


The USPI shows that more peaceful states tend to have more economic opportunities, better provision of basic services and higher levels of educational attainment. Social capital is strongly correlated with more peaceful states, which tend to have higher levels of volunteerism and trust.

Economic Impact

The total cost of violence to the US was conservatively calculated to be over $460 billion while the lost productivity from violence amounted to $318 billion. The USPI shows that if all states had the same level of violence as Maine, $274 billion worth of extra economic activity could be, which would be enough to generate over 1.7 million jobs.

Related Articles

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Vision of Humanity is an initiative of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). IEP have offices in New York and Sydney. For more specific inquiries related to the peace indexes and research, please contact IEP directly.

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