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Study: Utah ranks high among the safest states in the country

SHARE Study: Utah ranks high among the safest states in the country
Bicyclists ride into the tunnel under 1300 East at Sugar House Park in Salt Lake City on June 22, 2020.

A pair of bicyclists go into the tunnel under 1300 East at Sugar House Park in Salt Lake City on June 22, 2020.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

What do Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire and Utah all have in common?

Safety, according to a new WalletHub study that puts Utah and the three New England states at the top of the list.

Behind the Beehive State at No. 5 is Hawaii, followed by Massachusetts, Connecticut, Minnesota, Washington and Rhode Island.

Meanwhile states in the South are overly represented as the country’s least safe, with Louisiana at No. 50, followed by Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas and Alabama.

“Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire edged us out, but nice to see Utah come in 4th. Hawaii rounds out the top 5,” Utah Gov. Spencer Cox tweeted on Wednesday.

The study uses 53 metrics divided into five sections — personal and residential safety, financial safety, road safety, workplace safety and emergency preparedness. According to WalletHub, personal and residential safety carry more weight than the other categories.

Within those categories are metrics to determine safety, in every sense of the word. That includes measuring assaults per capita, presence of terrorist attacks, murders and manslaughters per capita, suicide rate, active firefighters per capita, percentage of residents vaccinated against COVID-19, bullying incidence rate and even job and financial security.

The study ranks the Beehive State high in several key areas. With one being the safest and 50 being the least-safe, Utah comes in 10th for murders and nonnegligent manslaughters per capita, ninth for assaults per capita, fourth for loss amounts from climate disasters per capita and fifth for fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel.

The state does fall behind in other metrics, including the share of the population that’s uninsured or sex offenders per capita, where Utah ranks 33rd and 31st, respectively.

Crime specifically in Salt Lake City has ebbed and flowed in the last several years. Since Jan. 1, property crime is down 10%, and overall crime is down 9%.

But when looking at violent crime in the last two years, Salt Lake City has seen an upward trend. Despite being down 4.5% in the last year, since 2020 violent street crimes have increased about 20%, according to Police Chief Mike Brown, who held a joint press conference in early October with Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall to go over the city’s new plan to combat crime.