A new study that ranked the 50 states in order of their safeness has placed Florida near the bottom of the list, citing its poor score across several safety metrics.
WalletHub named Florida the 46th safest state, only ranking higher than Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Mississippi. The study compared the states across several safety indicators which range from assaults per capita to unemployment rate to total loss amounts from climate disasters per capita.
According a statement, people are growing more concerned about their safety. Just last year, four hurricanes struck the mainland U.S., killing over 100 people and devastating Texas, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Puerto Rico. Meanwhile, Louisiana led the U.S. in terms of the homicide rate, averaging 11.8 per 100,000 people.
"With every new headline about a mass shooting, terrorist attack, hate crime or natural disaster, many of us fear for our safety and that of our loved ones," WalletHub said.
"Safety is a basic human need. We require some form of it, such as personal and financial protection, in every part of daily life. But we're likely to feel more secure in some states than in others."
As for the safest U.S. states, Vermont took first place followed by Maine, Minnesota, Utah and New Hampshire. When choosing a place to live, people should learn how to best weigh the risks, said Jane Fedorowicz, Ph.D, Chester B. Slade Professor of Accounting and Information Systems.
"There is no risk-free place to live. Every place exhibits risks of some nature. There are more incidents of some crimes when the weather is nice than when the weather is extremely cold," she said.
"Individuals make tradeoffs among the types of risks based on what they can control and what they cannot. Individuals should conduct a personal audit of the risks they are willing to tolerate versus those they would not.
"Unfortunately for many, money is the biggest impediment to choosing the 'best' place to live. Most of us have to settle for a 'good enough' place, based on what risks we can afford to mitigate, and which ones we can't afford to avoid."