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Illinois ranked poorly in national safety survey

CHICAGO, (Illinois News Network) — Illinois is among the least safe states in the United States, according to a new study.

A national study found that Illinois was safer than only one of its neighboring states and ranked the Land of Lincoln 35th in terms of overall safety. Other Midwest states fared better, including Iowa (11th), Wisconsin (12th), Indiana (14th) and Kentucky (31st). Missouri was ranked 43rd. The top 5 safest states were Vermont, Maine, Minnesota, Utah and New Hampshire. Mississippi came in last (50th).

Illinois’ low ranking was the result of a number of factors, including residential safety, emergency preparedness and road safety, according to the Wallethub study “Safest States in America.” Although Illinois didn’t fall in the lowest 10 states, the bottom-15 ranking might be a cause for concern.

Gonzalez said the survey incorporated factors such as financial safety to determine whether the state was on the brink of a recession and to determine the quality of its work safety conditions. Gonzalez also pointed out the largest areas that need improvement in Illinois.

“I would say it has the worst marks in personal and residential safety, as well as financial and emergency preparedness,” she said.

While crime rates in Chicago are higher than most of the rest of the state, Gonzalez said the data also pointed heavily to the state’s rural areas as contributors, especially when analyzing the results of the opioid epidemic.

“So this was strictly data from state level, so I can’t speak exactly to how much Chicago swayed these rankings,” Gonzalez said.

Hiring more police officers won’t necessarily improve the state’s safety ranking.

The deceptively obvious answer to solving the state’s safety woes would appear to be adding in more law enforcement. However, Gonzalez said “Illinois actually has the third most law enforcement employees per capita. However, that seems like it’s not yet really affecting its crime rate as I think many people wish that it would be.”