• Maine took the top spot as the safest city
  • New Mexico took the 50th spot
  • The top Best State, Utah, ranked 31st in public safety

The ranking for the safest states is out, and some of the states that weren't considered to be among the Best States actually made it to the top 10.

As part of its ranking for the Best States in the U.S. for 2023, wherein the state of Utah took the top spot, U.S. News & World Report also looked at other important factors in a state's ranking. One of these important factors is Crime and Corrections.

This is informed by the states' public safety — how safe a state is — which is evaluated by taking a close look at FBI data on each state's violent crime and property crime rate, the outlet explained.

For 2023, Maine took the number one spot for public safety, making it the safest state in the U.S. Its violent crime rate is at 109 per 100,000 residents, while its property crime rate is at 1,156 per 100,000 residents.

Closely following behind was New Hampshire with a violent crime rate of 146 per 100,000 and a property crime rate of 1,099 per 100,000 residents. New Jersey was at the third spot, followed by Vermont, Idaho and Rhode Island, respectively.

Massachusetts took the seventh spot, followed by Virginia and then Connecticut in the ninth spot. Wyoming capped off the top 10 with its violent crime rate of 234 per 100,000 residents and property crime rate of 1,611 per 100,000 residents.

On the flip side, South Carolina took the 45th spot in Public Safety, followed by Tennessee (46), Arkansas (47), Alaska (48) and Louisiana (49). New Mexico was at the 50th spot.

Interestingly, this year's top Best State, Utah, only ranked 31st in Public Safety and 15th in Crime & Corrections — it ranked 12th in violent crime rate, but 40th in property crime rate. This shows how complex such rankings can be, with each state showing strengths and weaknesses.

For instance, although Maine was the list's safest state in the U.S., it was actually only second in the Crime & Corrections category. In that category, the runner-up, New Hampshire, actually took the top spot. Maine also ranked 28th in the Best States Overall, while New Hampshire ranked 6th.

Similarly, while Rhode Island ranked sixth in public safety, it took the 32nd spot in the Best States Overall ranking. West Virginia, too, took the 11th spot in public safety but ranked 46th in the Best States overall.

On the other hand, although Nebraska took the fourth spot in the Best States ranking overall, it ranked 23rd in public safety. Following behind it in the 24th spot in public safety was Minnesota, which was ranked fifth in the Best States Overall.

Overall, the lists show that ranking the states isn't quite as straightforward as simply picking the best in the pack. A safe state may not be among the "best," while a high-ranking one may also have troubles with public safety.

The ratings come as FBI data shows a decline in property crime but an increase in the violent crime rate in the U.S. In fact, it has reached the "highest level since 2010," the outlet noted.

So, where does your state rank? Is it one of the safest states?

Maine Mark Olsen
The Forks Mark Olsen//Unsplash