Everyone loves lists and surveys. I’m typically skeptical of most types of list and surveys because I’m always checking to see where the original research comes from. For this particular survey from WalletHub, it ranks the safest states to live in. They used data from government resources. Data obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Climatic Data Center, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Verisk Analytics, stopbullying.gov, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the Crime Victims Center and CoreLogic. All sources I would deem as relevant and reputable. However, the context by which someone could describe a place as “safe” is up for interpretation. While this ranking seeks to explore a state’s safety factor in: 1) Financial Safety, 2) Road Safety, 3) Workplace Safety, 4) Natural Disasters, and 5) Home & Community Safety; a person may place a value and importance with regards to safety on other things.
Last week a Yelp member was visiting both Dallas (Plano actually a suburb of Dallas) and Houston. They are moving to Texas and looking for jobs. They enjoyed Dallas but liked the urban life in Houston. While in Houston their car got broken into. While this would be an isolated event, it was enough for the commenter to ask which city is safer. What she may consider safe is obviously impacted by this random event but most people have different criteria for safe.
In Texas and parts of Oklahoma (aka Tornado Alley) these states have recently experienced horrific weather phenomena such as tornadoes and floods. Most recently just in the month of May, Dallas-Fort Worth has experienced horrible flooding which would impact rankings in terms of natural disasters (as measured by Insurance payouts).
How does Texas Rank?
In the survey Texas ranks in the bottom 25% for overall safety. Last place for the number of the population that is covered by health insurance. Texas is also in the bottom 25% for road safety and natural disasters ranking. Where they rank in the top 50% are for financial safety and workdplace safety. I think the one thing that ranks high for single parents would be health insurance coverage and costs. Even with the new health care laws helping more Texans it is sad that there is still a large amount of the population not covered by health insurance. That means there Texas families not getting proper wellness checks and health maintenance due to the costs. This leads to even costlier medical bills down the road.
The infographic describes in more detail how the rest of the United States Ranks.