By: Chris O'Shea
Here's a little Friday info for you: There is something called the "Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP)" and it surveys the United States to find which states are the "most peaceful." The findings are presented as the United States Peace Index (USPI).
While we are unabashed Robocop lovers, and sort of (kind of!) wish that the nation becomes like Detroit in the films — violent, overrun by criminals and unhappy cops — and thus Robocop becomes a reality, we're glad the IEP is around to tell us how things are going across the nation. Their overall summary? The United States is more peaceful now than ever before.
"What the USPI shows is that over the past 20 years, America has become substantially more peaceful, witnessing a significant and sustained reduction in direct violence," said the IEP's founder and executive chairman, Steve Killelea, in a press release. "Homicide rates in the U.S. have halved since 1991 and the violent crime rate has also fallen by nearly half during the same period. The state level trends are also very encouraging. 42 states reduced their violent crime rates, and 13 out of 16 Southern states increased their peacefulness."
That's great news for the nation, bad news for our Robocop fantasies. Hmmm... Typing out "Robocop fantasies" made us reconsider the creepiness of our idea. While we're sorting through our feelings, here are some other highlights from the USPI results:
- For the 11th year in a row, Maine is the most peaceful state in the United States. That means if you're not a tough guy, move to Maine. Chances are no one will want to fight you, ever, because they're all fishing and lounging about.
- Arizona dropped the farthest in the USPI rankings, compared to last year. No surprise here. Arizona, aside from that big hole in it we like to call the Grand Canyon, doesn't have much going for it. And no, "it's a dry heat!" doesn't count.
- Louisiana is the least peaceful state — for the 20th year in a row. Let's all make a note right now to ourselves: Never, ever, go to Louisiana.
- The Northeast is the most peaceful area of the United States. The south is the least peaceful, which is why people are scared of the south. We're pretty sure that's the way southerners like it.
- The most peaceful metro area is Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, in Massachusetts. Notice that this does not have anything to do with areas with the most tolerable sports fans live. We're confident that this area would be last in those rankings.
- The least peaceful metro area is Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, in Michigan. Perhaps there's hope for our Robocop fantasy after all! Ugh, we need to come up with a better phrase than that.
[Pic via Flickr - Norman B Leventhal Map Center]