WalletHub ranked all 50 states in five areas, including personal and residential safety, financial safety and workplace safety.
With crime rates in many U.S. cities soaring, you may be wondering which places to live are the safest.
WalletHub, a personal-finance website, ranked all 50 states for safety. It used 53 metrics across five areas: personal and residential safety, financial safety, road safety, workplace safety, and emergency preparedness.
WalletHub asked several experts: “There are many different potential threats to one’s safety: crime, weather, pollution, dangerous workplaces. In choosing a place to live, how should people weigh the risks?”
Per Garder, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Maine in Orono, offered an interesting response.
“We are subject to risks every day we venture out, or even when staying at home. Living can be dangerous, and lack of exercise is a contributor to early deaths. So, having safe neighborhoods where we can all enjoy walking and biking should be a goal,” he said.
Flying Is Much Safer Than Driving
“We should not forget that risks taken on voluntarily are often higher than those imposed by outside threats. For example, driving a car is dangerous. It is hundreds of times safer to fly by commercial jet to a destination than to drive long distances, even if it feels more dangerous to be up in the air than behind the wheel of a big SUV.”
Still, “driving a car is not the most dangerous mode of transportation. Riding a motorcycle or traveling in a single-engine small propeller plane is statistically more dangerous per mile. And walking or riding a bicycle is far from being safe in most American communities,” Garder said.
“We lack essential infrastructure to make it safe, especially with automobile drivers around us often speeding, sometimes being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or being distracted. And in a few cities, there is a higher threat to walking safety from crime than from cars.”
Garder noted that mass shootings are becoming increasingly common. So “eliminating high-powered automatic or semiautomatic weapons should be a goal of this administration,” he said.
Another question WalletHub asked the experts was: “What tips do you have for consumers looking to improve their financial safety?”
Brent Smith, a professor of real estate analytics at Virginia Commonwealth University, had an insightful answer.
“All too often people look at their fixed expenses (car payments, utilities, insurance, etc.) and use that figure as the guide in determining how much house they can afford,” he said.
“This leaves households exposed when the unexpected occurs, and it will occur. Everything from a catastrophic car accident to a missed flight can create financial stress.”
Safe State Rankings
As for WalletHub’s safe-state rankings, the 10 safest states are:
3. New Hampshire
10. Rhode Island.
The most dangerous (going from most to least dangerous) are:
9. South Carolina