Public safety makes up 50 percent of the Best States for crime & corrections ranking. This subcategory evaluates both the violent crime rate and the property crime rate in each state, as measured by the FBI in 2016. Interestingly, less crime doesn’t always lead to less people in jail. Rhode Island and Pennsylvania both rank in the top-10 Best States for public safety and in the bottom 10 for corrections, the other subcategory used to determine the Best States for crime & corrections. Though some major cities, such as Chicago and Baltimore, have seen drastic increases in homicides in recent years, overall violent crime and property crime rates remain near historic lows.
A higher state ranking indicates a lower crime rate for these metrics. Maine toppled Vermon this year to become the Best State for public safety, with the lowest violent crime rate and fifth-lowest property crime rate in the nation. New Mexico retained its No. 50 slot for public safety. Severalof the bottom-10 states for public safety fall in the South, while half of the top 10 are in New England.