The United States is more peaceful now than at any time in the past 20 years. Nevertheless, violence still cost the economy at least $460 billion in 2010, through a combination of lost productivity and direct costs, according to a new report published by the Institute for Economics and Peace. 24/7 Wall St. analyzed the report in order to identify the most and least peaceful states, as well as how much they spend on v iolence.
Louisiana, which is the least peaceful state, has the highest rate of homicide. Maine is the most peaceful state and has the lowest rate of violent crime.
Peace, according to the Institute for Economics and Peace, is a combination of the absence of violence and the institutions required to address it. In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., chairman and founder of the IEP, Steve Killelae explained, “In perfect states, there’d be no crime, therefore you’d have no need for police, nor would you lock anyone up.”
The report considers five categories — separated into three groups — to calculate the United States Peace Index for 2011. The first group includes rates of violent crimes such as robbery and aggravated assault, as well as the rates of homicide in each state. The second group relates to the institutions used to prevent violence and is measured by the number of police per capita and the number of incarcerated residents per capita. The third includes the availability of small arms.
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