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Maine is the Country's Most Peaceful State According to United States Peace Index

United States Peace Index, compiled by Vision of Humanity,Top ranked state, Maine

Portland is a really peaceful city, that's true. But it turns out that of all the States in the U.S., Maine is the most peaceful. I don't mean most yoga studios or spas per capita, though we have plenty of those. I mean peace as in the absence of violence.

For two years in a row, The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) has ranked Maine at the top of their United States Peace Index. And if Maine were a country unto itself (which it feels like sometimes) it would rank fifth on the IEP's Global Peace Index. To see how striking this is, consider that the U.S. as a whole ranks 82nd out of 153 countries!

The IEP "is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit research organization dedicated to shifting the world’s focus to peace as a positive, achievable, and tangible measure of human well-being and progress," according to the full report on the rankings. "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," explains the report. "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."

Our neighbors Vermont and New Hampshire rank right behind us, and Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, MA was ranked the most peaceful of all major U.S. metro areas (Portland was not rated independent of Maine). And, as you can see on the map above, New England is the country's most peaceful region.

Although Maine as a whole has some significant socio-economic challenges, we all feel the positive effect of the lack of violent crime, the social ease of not requiring large police forces and the commitment to self-improvement that comes along with low incarceration rates.

So when people wonder what they can do to make the world a better, more peaceful place, one of the answers is, be more like Maine!


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