Can You Guess the Safest State in the US?

Most of us would consider safety when choosing a place to live. And safety comes in many forms. There’s being protected from crime — but also from natural disasters, financial ruin, occupational injuries and more. And your level of protection in all of those areas can vary based on the community in which you live.

WalletHub has evaluated each state in the U.S. using 52 safety indicators across five main categories: personal and residential safety, financial safety, road safety, workplace safety and emergency preparedness. The states received overall scores based on points they earned for each safety indicator, which determined their rank on the list.

These are the 10 safest states in the U.S., according to WalletHub.

10. Wyoming

American buffalo grazing in Grand Teton National Park in WyomingCredit: JohnnyGreig/Getty Images

Kicking off the top 10 safest states is Wyoming. The state came in 21st place for the financial safety, workplace safety and emergency preparedness categories. A strike against Wyoming was it was among the states with the most fatal occupational injuries per total workers. Moreover, the state took 15th in the road safety category. But its ninth-place finish in personal and residential safety managed to bump up its overall score. That category included safety indicators, such as homicides, rapes, assaults, thefts and hate crimes per capita — as well as  the number of law enforcement employees, firefighters and emergency medical technicians and paramedics per capita.

9. Massachusetts

Massachusetts had some varied category ranks. It came in 35th for workplace safety and 10th for both personal and residential safety and emergency preparedness. But it stood out in road safety at second place and financial safety at first place. The state came in first for the fewest fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel. It also was one of the states with a low bullying rate, and it came out on top for having the lowest uninsured population.

8. Hawaii

Hawaii also had some assorted category ranks. It took 26th for personal and residential safety, 22nd for road safety and 17th for workplace safety. But it bested nearly the rest of the country in financial safety at sixth place and emergency preparedness at fourth place. The state had a low unemployment rate, as well as the second lowest uninsured population. It also had a high percentage of adults with rainy-day funds. Plus, it was one of the states with the fewest fatal occupational injuries per total workers.

7. Iowa

Iowa was an extremely safe state — except for its emergency preparedness rank of 42nd. Otherwise, the state came in eighth for workplace safety, third for personal and residential safety, third for road safety and second for financial safety. Within the financial safety category, the state had a low unemployment rate, as well as the fifth lowest uninsured population. That category also included safety indicators, such as the foreclosure rate, poverty rate, share of households with an emergency fund and personal bankruptcy filings per capita.

6. New Hampshire

New Hampshire also had just one category that brought down its overall score — a 39th-place finish in workplace safety. Besides that, the state came in 13th for road safety, 10th for financial safety, fifth for emergency preparedness and fourth for personal and residential safety. New Hampshire had a low unemployment rate, along with a high percentage of adults with rainy-day funds. It also had the fourth fewest assaults per capita. Moreover, New Hampshire tied for first (with New Jersey and Rhode Island) for the fewest fatal occupational injuries per total workers. And it had the third fewest fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel.

5. Connecticut

aerial view of autumn trees in New Haven, ConnecticutCredit: DenisTangneyJr/Getty Images

Connecticut ended up being a standout in one category and fairly good in the rest. The state took first place in personal and residential safety. But it came in 14th for road safety, 16th for emergency preparedness, 18th for financial safety and 22nd for workplace safety. Within the workplace safety category, Connecticut was among the states with the fewest fatal occupational injuries per total workers. That category also included safety indicators, such as injuries and illnesses per 10,000 full-time workers, median days lost due to occupational injuries and illnesses and presence of occupational safety and health act plans.

4. Utah

Utah’s worst category rank was its 23rd-place finish in personal and residential safety. But it performed very well in the rest of the categories: 11th in financial safety, seventh in road safety, sixth in emergency preparedness and second in workplace safety. A strike against Utah was it was one of the states with the fewest law enforcement employees per capita. But within the emergency preparedness category, it had the fourth lowest total loss amount from climate disasters per capita. That category also included a safety indicator measuring the number of climate disasters costing $1 billion or more in damage between 1980 and 2019.

3. Maine

Maine only had fairly good scores in three of the main categories: 17th in financial safety, 21st in road safety and 23rd in workplace safety. But it came in second both for personal and residential safety and emergency preparedness. Within the personal and residential safety category, Maine actually was one of the states with the fewest law enforcement employees per capita. But it also was the state with the fewest assaults per capita, so perhaps a heavy law enforcement presence wasn’t so necessary.

2. Vermont

Vermont had pretty good category scores across the board. Its worst rank was still a decent 18th-place finish in workplace safety. Otherwise, it took 11th in road safety, ninth in emergency preparedness, fifth in personal and residential safety and fourth in financial safety. Like Utah and Maine, Vermont was one of the states with the fewest law enforcement employees per capita. But the state had the second fewest assaults per capita. It also had a low unemployment rate, as well as the third lowest uninsured population.

1. Minnesota

Minnesota welcomes you sign at the state borderCredit: AndreyKrav/Getty Images

Minnesota recently was deemed the best state for women’s health and well-being. And now it’s also the safest state in the country. It came in 22nd for emergency preparedness but made up ground in the rest of the categories. It took seventh in personal and residential safety, seventh in workplace safety, third in financial safety and first in road safety. The state had the fourth lowest uninsured population, as well as a high percentage of adults with rainy-day funds. Plus, within the road safety category, Minnesota had the second fewest fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel. That category also included metrics, such as pedestrian and cyclist fatalities per capita, DUIs per capita, the share of uninsured drivers and road quality.

The 10 least safe states in the country

Mississippi state welcome sign along US Highway 61Credit: Tiago_Fernandez/Getty Images

These were the 10 states that received the lowest overall safety scores on WalletHub’s list.

  • 10. South Dakota
  • 9. Montana
  • 8. Missouri
  • 7. Oklahoma
  • 6. Alabama
  • 5. Texas
  • 4. Arkansas
  • 3. Florida
  • 2. Louisiana
  • 1. Mississippi

Several of the individual safety indicators contributed to the poor performances of these states.

For the personal and residential safety category, Louisiana and Arkansas were among the states with the most assaults per capita. Those two states also had high rates of bullying. But interestingly, Florida was one of the states with a low prevalence of bullying. And Louisiana actually had the second most law enforcement employees per capita.

The financial safety category was bad news for most of the bottom 10 states. Mississippi and Louisiana had high unemployment rates. Florida, Oklahoma and Texas each had a high uninsured population. And Mississippi, Missouri and Oklahoma had low percentages of adults with rainy-day funds.

In the road safety category, Louisiana and Mississippi both had high fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel.

Furthermore, for the workplace safety category, South Dakota was among the states with the most fatal occupational injuries per total workers.

And for the emergency preparedness category, Montana, South Dakota, Mississippi and Louisiana all were among the states with the highest total loss amounts from climate disasters per capita.

Main image credit: kali9/Getty Images

59 comments

beba h
beba h2 days ago

After living in the US for a few years, I prefer Canada for quality of life.

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Hannah A
Hannah A2 days ago

thanks for sharing

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Richard E Cooley

Thank you.

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Tania N
Tania N3 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Tania N
Tania N3 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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heather g
heather g4 days ago

Not if you are not white! Too many trigger fingers and then there's Bump!

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Diane E
Diane E7 days ago

Interesting, thank you.

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Gabriel C
Gino C9 days ago

thanks for posting

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Christine V
Christine V10 days ago

I wonder where my state, New Jersey, falls.

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Tanya W
Tanya W11 days ago

Thank you for sharing

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