Friday, January 30, 2009

A Tale of Two States

The USA Today released an interesting article today. The results from a recent Gallup Poll places Mississippi as the most religious state in the Union, followed closely by Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Louisiana. Vermont is on the opposite end of the religious spectrum, with New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, and Alaska as the least religious states.

New England is decidedly the least religious, while the states in the Bible Belt are the most. With these things in mind, I thought I'd do a little fact-finding, and compare these two regions. What follows is what I found.

In almost every year since 2000 to the present, Mississippi has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the US, while New Hampshire, the 2nd least religious state, had the lowest.

From 2005 to 2008, Vermont has been the "smartest" state in the Union, while Mississippi has consistently ranked in the lowest 3 as the, err...not-so smart states. By region, New England has the highest education rate in the US, while the Southeast as a region has the lowest. In the 2008 election, the state with the highest average IQ was Connecticut with 113, while Mississippi ranked last at 85.

In 2007 Maryland had the highest average household income, while Mississippi had the lowest. Overall, New England has the highest average income in the country.

In the latest GDP rankings taken in 2006, Delaware had the highest GDP per capita of any state in the Union, followed by Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York. Mississippi ranked dead last.

In 2004 New Hampshire had the lowest crime rate followed by South Dakota, North Dakota Vermont, Maine, and New York. The District of Columbia had the highest, followed by Arizona, South Carolina, Washington, and Louisiana. Overall, the New England states had the lowest rate, while Southeast had the highest rate by region. In 2008, New Hampshire was the safest state in the US, followed by Maine, North Dakota, Vermont, and South Dakota; Nevada was the least safe in 2008, followed by Louisiana, New Mexico, South Carolina, and Arizona. Overall, New England boasts the safest region of the United States to live in.

Colorado had the lowest obesity rate in 2008, followed by Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Rhode Island. Mississippi remained the heaviest state in the Union, followed by Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana, and West Virginia rounding out the lowest 5. Overall, the heaviest region in the US is the Southeast, while the lightest region is New England.

Is it just me or do you think there might be an inverse relationship between religious fundamentalism and quality of life?

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