Where are the safest jobs in the United States located?

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Where are the safest jobs in the United States located? Surprisingly, it’s not New York or California.

Quite recently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the 2015 Census of Fatal Occupational data. Below is the map showing the number of fatal injuries per 100,000 workers in each state.

Fatal injuries per 100,000 workers each year

North Dakota stands out as the most dangerous state in the U.S., with more than 11 fatal injuries per year. Wyoming is second with just over nine accidents per year.

The number is much lower in New York and Utah, at around 1.5 accidents.

But the map doesn't tell the whole story. It shouldn't come as a surprise that fatal injury rate is much lower in states with a higher percentage of white-collar jobs, like New York or California.

The chart below shows how significant the differences are among the ten largest industry categories in the country.

Fatality rates for the top 10 industry categories

Specialty trade is predictably the most dangerous category. Of course, there are smaller industries, like logging or fishing, where the injury rate is even higher.

For each state, we can get a predicted, baseline data. This is based on fatality rates for each industry in the previous years (and the number of employees in each state).

The map below shows how the actual number of fatal accidents compares to the predicted number.

Actual fatality rate compared to predicted

North Dakota is still the most dangerous state. Since 2013, the number of fatal accidents that occurred here was almost twice as high as expected. Wyoming, on the other hand, has just moderately dangerous jobs.

The states with the safest jobs? According to the data, Maine and Vermont.


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About Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Andrey Kamenov is a data scientist working for Advameg Inc. His background includes teaching statistics, stochastic processes and financial mathematics in Moscow State University and working for a hedge fund. His academic interests range from statistical data analysis to optimal stopping theory. Andrey also enjoys his hobbies of photography, reading and powerlifting.

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