Times, are changing.
With 204,000 Americans dying from COVID-19 and 15,200 have died from gun violence in 2022, a new report on 2022’s Safest States in America gives insight to those looking to relocate.
To determine the most secure states, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 53 key metrics. The data set ranges from the percentage of residents who are fully vaccinated to assaults per capita and the unemployment rate.
For example in California:
Safety in California (1=Safest; 25=Avg.):
- 12th – Percentage of Residents Who Are Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19
- 24th – Murders & Non-Negligent Manslaughters per Capita
- 31st – Assaults per Capita
- 20th – Loss Amounts from Climate Disasters per Capita
- 3rd – Job Security
- 14th – Fatal Occupational Injuries per 100,000 Full-Time Workers
- 26th – Fatalities per 100 Million Vehicle Miles of Travel
- 13th – Law-Enforcement Employees per Capita
- 31st – Bullying Incidence Rate
- 17th – Sex Offenders per Capita
- 21st – Share of Uninsured Population
There are many different potential threats to one’s safety: crime, weather, pollution, and dangerous workplaces. In choosing a place to live, how should people weigh the risks?
“Pollution should be the first criterion as it affects health. Crime is probably second. However, when people have a choice, the weather is probably their first criterion,” said
Edward J. Miller, professor; co-director of the Center for the Small City; Eugene Katz Letters and Science distinguished faculty Member, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
“To assess threats and hazards, one can look at real estate databases and maps to note various crime areas, school ratings, pet friendliness, green spaces, floodplains, property assessments, values, and tax rates. Census-based indices like FEMA’s Resilience, Analysis and Planning Tool offer users a vast assortment of factors to view in a map form, ranging from the number and location of nursing homes, hospitals, or schools to considering the cost of living, income levels, education, population, literacy, demographics, and prevalence of natural hazards … Individuals and families should take a few moments to list their priorities for their future community and then consider what trade-offs they are willing and able to make. For example, living close to schools may encourage children to walk or bike each day and may make extracurricular activities more possible. Such opportunities can result in healthier, better socialized, independent children. But this ‘blessing’ may require kids to be cautious and mindful while traversing streets and sidewalks that are in good shape and depend upon school leaders who are engaged with parents and students,” said Rebecca A. Rouse, DM, professor of practice & associate program director, Emergency and Security Studies, Tulane University.
What tips are there for consumers looking to improve their “financial” safety?
“Although it is virtually impossible, in modern life, to avoid all risks there are a few steps that can be taken to reduce financial risk in choosing a place to live. One important step is you should make every effort to understand your complete budget in determining what you can afford. All too often people look at their fixed expenses (car payments, utilities, insurance, etc.) and use that figure as the guide in determining how much house they can afford…This leaves households exposed when the unexpected occurs, and it will occur. Everything from a catastrophic car accident to a missed flight can create financial stress … You want to structure your budget, which includes housing expenses, to allow for creating a cushion to respond to the unexpected. In other words, you are not eliminating risk, you are simply reducing the exposure,” according to Brent C Smith, Ph.D. , co-star chair in real estate analytics, Virginia Commonwealth University.
“The Internet has plenty of free, digestible, comprehensive financial advice and tools and any financial education or literacy has value in improving our resilience before, during, and after a crisis or disaster. First, skilled financial management leads to a few more dollars in the pocket which can be set aside as emergency funds to cover costs associated with evacuations, temporary lodging, or repairs to homes and businesses while waiting for insurance to kick in after a crisis or disaster. These set-aside dollars can also help folks rotate emergency supplies or manage home maintenance … Financially literate people shop around for fair deals and ensure they have adequate insurance, without being over-insured. They reduce or avoid unnecessary debt, so their credit is improved for buying safe homes or transportation and so they have credit for use after a disaster. They recognize mitigation – or those measures are taken before a crisis to prevent worse consequences – is key to the safety and protection of themselves and their families and research what they can do to patch any gaps or vulnerabilities in their plans, homes, lifestyles, and expectations,” Rouse added.
For the full report, please visit here