Mississippi named 2018’s least-safe state in recent study
Mississippi was recently named the least-safe state in America by a study from research firm WalletHub.
The study examined multiple facets of safety, ranging from personal to financial to traffic safety. Each metric in the study had a different weight when formulating the overall score, and each state’s rank was determined by calculating the weighted average across all metrics, resulting in the overall score.
In order to determine the safest states in America, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 48 key safety indicators.
Mississippi came in high on the list in some categories, ranking 12 out of 50 in both assaults per capita and suicide rate. However, the Magnolia State ranked last in poverty rate and median credit score.
Jill Gonzalez, an analyst who worked on the study, said a correlation can be made between the state’s poor rankings in the poverty and credit score categories comes down.
“A correlation between these two metrics can be made, as people struggling with poverty are often unable to maintain a good credit score,” Gonzalez said. “They might have higher levels of debt, be behind on bills, and potentially default at some point, which could definitely bring credit scores down.”
The study also named Mississippi one of the most unsafe states for motorists, coming in 48th in fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, and 47th in DUIs per capita.
Gonzalez said the traffic statistics may be related to Mississippi’s failing infrastructure, which has seen several road and bridge closures in recent months,
“One of the causes of the high number of traffic fatalities could be road quality, considering the fact that more than a quarter of Mississippi’s major roads are in poor condition,” she said. “However, that may not be the only cause.”
According to the report’s final synopsis, each state is safe from some dangers but falls prey to others. In 2017 alone, four hurricanes struck the mainland U.S., killing over 100 people and devastating Texas, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Puerto Rico. Louisiana led the U.S. in the homicide rate, averaging 11.8 homicides per 100,000 people.
“Safety is a basic human need. We require some form of it, such as personal and financial protection, in every part of daily life,” the report said. “But we’re likely to feel more secure in some states than in others.”