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- The US is a huge, diverse country, and the characteristics of its states vary widely.
- We calculated how from average each state landed on 38 demographic, social, and economic indicators including marriage, education, and income.
- Business Insider has also ranked states by the most dangerous place to work, pinpointed the most expensive college in every state, and zeroed in on the most exciting — and boring — hometowns in each state.
The US is a huge, diverse country, and the characteristics of the states that make it up vary widely.
We used 38 demographic, social, and economic indicators that cover several aspects of American life, mostly from the US Census Bureau’s recently released 2017 American Community Survey estimates.
We looked at how far away each state was from the average of each of those metrics among the states and Washington, DC. Adding those distances together, we found an overall “averageness” score for each state and DC.
Here’s all 50 states and DC, ranked from least to most average, along with some of the metrics for which they were outliers or average.
51. Washington, DC
Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks
What’s average: The 90.2% of residents of DC with at least a high school diploma was very close to the average share among the states and DC of 89.5%.
What’s not average: The nation’s capital is demographically and economically very different from the rest of the country, largely because it’s a city with no suburban or rural areas. For example, DC’s median age of 34.0 years is much lower than the average of 38.4 years, and its median household income of $ 82,372 was the highest in the country.
U.S. Geological Survey via Getty Images
What’s average: About 92.1% of households in Hawaii have access to at least one car, right in line with the average rate of 92.2% among the states and DC.
What’s not average: Hawaii’s median home value of $ 617,400 was the highest in the country, and, perhaps not surprisingly, the 9.3% of Hawaii residents who self-identified as Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander was by far the largest share among the states and DC.
What’s average: California’s poverty rate of 13.3% was just above the average rate of 13.1% among the 50 states and DC.
What’s not average: California’s median gross monthly apartment rent of $ 1,447 was the third-highest in the country. Only 83.3% of California residents had at least a high school diploma, the lowest rate among the states and DC.
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- Here’s how we figured out how ‘average’ each state is