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Twin Cities 4th-most peaceful metro; Minnesota 4th-most peaceful state, study finds [GRAPHICS]

The Twin Cities and Minnesota more broadly are bastions of peacefulness, the study finds.
The Twin Cities and Minnesota more broadly are bastions of peacefulness, the study finds.

It doesn't always seem like it, but Minnesota is one of the most peaceful places in America.

That's the conclusion emerging from the Institute for Economics and Peace's United States Peace Index 2012. The study looks at five factors -- the homicide rate, violent crime rate, incarceration rate, police presence, and availability of small arms -- to rank the state from most to least peaceful, and four factors -- all of the state ones minus the availability of small arms -- to rank the 61 largest metros.

Minnesota and the Twin Cities ranked fourth in each of the respective rankings, suggesting that there might be something to the whole 'Minnesota Nice' thing after all.

Here's a map prepared by Zara Matheson of the Martin Prosperity Institute (based on the data from the report) showing where the states rank from most peaceful (Maine) to least peaceful (Louisiana):

Twin Cities 4th-most peaceful metro; Minnesota 4th-most peaceful state, study finds [GRAPHICS]

And here's a similar map depicting the metro ranks from most peaceful (Cambridge) to least (Detroit):

Twin Cities 4th-most peaceful metro; Minnesota 4th-most peaceful state, study finds [GRAPHICS]

The Atlantic's analysis of the data reveals some interesting correlations. For instance, states and metros with high levels of violence (and hence, lack of peace) tend to have relatively high rates of both poverty and inequality. One of the strongest correlations is between lack of peace and the percentage of children living in single-parent households.

More peace correlates with more educational attainment, and metros featuring concentrations of creative jobs tend to be more peaceful. There are especially strong correlations between lack of peace at the state level and higher instances of teen pregnancy and infant mortality.

Interestingly, The Atlantic found a considerable negative correlation between state peacefulness and the share of state residents that are "very religious." In other words, perhaps counter-intuitively, the more religious a state is, the less peaceful it is.

Analysis also revealed that states won by Democrat Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election tend to be 'modestly' more peaceful than those carried by Republican John McCain.

Secular, left-leaning, well educated, relatively wealthy... these are the characteristics of America's most peaceful cities and states. And it's no coincidence that they're also characteristics of the Twin Cities and Minnesota more broadly.


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