A new report ranks Idaho in the top one-third of U.S. states when it comes to being peaceful. The state is 16th in the Vision of Humanity 2012 U.S. Peace Index. Idaho receives high marks for its low murder and violent crime rates, but was hurt by higher incarceration rates and gun ownership.
Wyoming and Montana are ranked right after Idaho on the list. Other Western states and their rankings include Utah (#5), Washington (#7), Oregon (#13) and Nevada (#48). Maine is ranked the most peaceful state, while Louisiana is the least peaceful.
The report says the U.S. is safer now than at any other point in the last 20 years, and that the nation's homicide rate has been cut in half since 1991.
Researchers also attempt to quantify the economic benefits of a more peaceful nation. The report says if all 50 states could attain a level of peace similar to top-ranked Maine, the overall economic impact would be $274 billion.