In a new study, a think tank called the Institute for Economics and Peace ranked all 50 U.S. states based on how peaceful they are. Which is a good thing or a bad thing, I guess . . . depending on your feelings toward hippies.

The study was based on factors like homicide rates, the percentage of the population in jail, the availability of guns, the number of police officers, and the overall crime rate. And the basic conclusion is . . . the Northeast is peaceful, and the South is gonna kill you. Maine was named the most peaceful state in the country, and five of the top 10 most peaceful states are in New England.The top 10 goes: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Minnesota, North Dakota, Utah, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Iowa, and Washington.Louisiana was named the least peaceful state, and it's joined in the bottom 10 by a LOT of other Southern states: At least six, and up to eight if you count Tennessee and Oklahoma as Southern states.The bottom 10 goes: Louisiana, Tennessee, Nevada, Florida, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Maryland. The good news in all of this is that according to the study, the U.S. on the whole has become significantly more peaceful over the past 15 years . . . mostly thanks to a big decrease in homicides and violent crimes.