Wed, Aug 31, 2022 7:41 AM
By Mary Stroka, The Center Square
Minnesota is the ninth-safest state in the U.S., based on TOP’s August data analysis of 37 factors.
The report covers six key dimensions: personal safety, public safety, financial safety, mental health, transportation and infrastructure, and public security. Personal safety and public safety together accounted for half of the states’ scores.
Minnesota has the best transportation and infrastructure safety in the country, the report said. Measures include road conditions, bridge safety and highway accidents. It had the second-lowest car passenger deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled and the third lowest pedestrian road fatalities per capita from 2018 to 2020. It ranked fourth for dams conditions. New Mexico ranked last in this dimension.
Minnesota ranks third in financial safety, with the fifth-lowest number of credit card frauds per capita, the seventh-lowest reported stolen identities per capita and the ninth-lowest package theft. It has the second-lowest unemployment rate in the nation.
Minnesota ranks 10th in the nation for both personal safety and mental health, the report said.
While the state has among the lowest murder (10th), missing persons (ninth) and aggravated assault (eighth) rates in the nation, it ranks 23rd for both sexual assaults rate and robbery rate. It’s 16th in the nation for fatal occupational injuries.
The North Star State does better than average across each mental health metric: budget allocated toward mental health spending; amount of funding used on prevention and control programs to track and prevent overdose; per overdose deaths; licensed psychologists per capita; number of mental health facilities; percentage of the prevalence of untreated adults with mental illness; and percentage of the prevalence of people with mental illness with substance use disorder and suicide deaths per capita. Suicide rate is the sole measure that receives double weight; the others receive regular weight or half weight.
Minnesota doesn’t do as well in public security, but it’s still above average. The state ranks 16th in this dimension, which includes school shootings and mass shootings in the past five years, people injured in terrorist attacks in the past 10 years, fully vaccinated (not counting boosters) rate, and cost of expenses to prevent or improve regions impacted by weather or climate disaster per state area.
Where Minnesota does poorly is public safety (47th), according to the report’s findings. Massachusetts conquers in that dimension, while Montana fares most poorly. Arkansas and Oregon rank 49th and 48th, respectively.
The reported included the following as public safety measures: registered sex offenders, reported hate incidents or crimes, neighborhood watch group participation, house burglaries, police officers and firefighters. While Minnesota has the 19th-least house burglaries per capita, the state has the second-lowest number of police officers per capita. The other public safety metrics hover around 30th lowest in the nation.