Southern states are more violent than any region, according to a recently released peace index created with U.S. government statistics. The Institute for Economics and Peace said the index was their first U.S. Peace Index, and pulled from
April 8, 2011

Southern states are more violent than any region, according to a recently released peace index created with U.S. government statistics.

The Institute for Economics and Peace said the index was their first U.S. Peace Index, and pulled from data compiled by compiled by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the FBI, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Louisiana came in dead last, while Maine came in first.

A list of the top ten least-peaceful states follows:

1. Louisiana
2. Tennessee
3. Nevada
4. Florida
5. Alabama
6. Texas
7. Arkansas
8. Oklahoma
9. South Carolina
10. Maryland

Here are the top ten most-peaceful states:

1. Maine
2. New Hampshire
3. Vermont
4. Minnesota
5. North Dakota
6. Utah
7. Massachusetts
8. Rhode Island
9. Iowa
10. Washington

The institute also found that peace has a major impact on the economy. If the U.S. had that same level of peacefulness as Canada, there would be a positive economic effect of over $361 billion, and it would generate 2.7 million jobs.

"Peace translates into dollars and cents, IEP Founder Steve Killelea said in a statement (.pdf). "We have seen this in the findings of the 2010 Global Peace Index, where we found that a 25 percent reduction in global violence would free up $1.8 trillion USD annually."

"We are seeing the same thing with the USPI. By increasing peace, the United States can ensure that these unrealized billions are available to reduce taxes, stimulate the economy or invest in the nation’s infrastructure, schools, communities, and small businesses," he added.

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