Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Rank of Maine, Public Safety

Maine ranks very low in crime and prisoner incarcerations.

With respect to crime rates, the Morgan Quitno Press, which produces state-by-state rankings on a variety of subjects, produced rankings of the “safest states” based on a formula that measures how a state compares to the national average for a given set of crime categories. They used rates for murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and motor vehicle theft.

From 1994 through 2006, Maine ranked 48th or 49th, except for 1995 when it ranked 50th – that is the safest state in the nation.3

YEAR RANK MAINE U.S.
Rates per 100,000 persons
Prisoner Incarcerations
2000 50 129 478
20074 53 156 481
Crime Rate
20001 47 2,620 4,124
20084 405 2,840 3,715
Violent Crime Rate
20001 50 109.6 506.1
20042 49 104.0 463.0
20052 49 112.0 469.0
20094 50 119.9 439.7

The annual United States Peace Index finds the country overall more peaceful in 2012 than at anytime in the past 20 years, with Maine finishing first as the “most peaceful” state and Louisiana placing last for the 11th year in a row. Other top ranked states are 2. Vermont 3. New Hampshire 4. Minnesota; 5. Utah 6. North Dakota 7. Washington 8. Hawaii 9. Rhode Island 10. Iowa.

The five criteria used in the ranking are the number of homicides per 100,000 people; number of violent crimes; incarceration rate; number of police employees; and availability of small arms.

The survey, first issued in 1991, finds that the United States improved in all five categories over 2011, including a 3.2% drop in homicides and a 5.5% dip in violent crimes.

The survey, once again, notes a strong correlation between peace and economic opportunity, health, education and social capital.

Source:  “Survey: Maine ranked ‘most peaceful’ state; Louisiana last.” USA TODAY. April 24, 2012. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2012/04/survey-maine-ranked-most-peaceful-state-louisiana-last/1#.T51N8cXKuDf (accessed April 29, 2012)


Sources are U.S. Census unless otherwise noted.

1 Louise L. Horner., Ed. Almanac of the 50 States: Basic Data Profiles with Comparative Tables. Palo Alto, California. Information Publications. 2002.

2 U.S. Census, 2008 Statistical Abstract, http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/tables/08s0301.xls

3 Morgan Quitno Press, “Rankings of States in Most Dangerous/Safest State Awards,” http://www.statestats.com/dang9406.htm [accessed October 28, 2008].

5 Table 308. Crime Rates by State, 2008 and 2009, and by Type, 2009. http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/cats/law_enforcement_courts_prisons/crimes_and_crime_rates.html (accessed March 6, 2012)

5 Maine rank of 40 of 48 states reporting.

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This entry was last modified: April 29, 2012 02:52 PM

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