Have you ever wondered how similar or different two states are? The State Similarity Rating attempts to quantify how similar states are to each other relative to other states. The index is a statistically-based way to measure this. The index weights equally five major aspects of states: their demographics, culture, politics, infrastructure, and geography. The research combines 1,000 different data points. Each aspect was roughly balanced evenly between quantity/percentage and quality/type. See this post for a full explanation: State Similarity Rating
Similar to no other states
No other states are similar to Alaska. It is an isolated state with unique geography and sparse infrastructure. The states most similar to it are also sparsely populated, tend to be more conservative, and do not have an especially diverse population.
Top 5 States Most Similar to Alaska
- Montana is another cold, mountainous, and sparsely populated state. It is also extremely similar in regards to religion, except for the fact that Alaska has more Orthodox Christians. Although both states favor electing Republicans, Montana has had many Democratic governors recently. Both states have also legalized marijuana and banned smoking in public places.
- Idaho may have the most similar climate compared to Alaska of any other state. It has roughly the same percentage of forests and is also extremely mountainous. However, despite the fact that both states favor Republicans, Idaho has far more conservative laws than Alaska. While Alaska does not even allow life in prison, the death penalty is still legal in Idaho. Idaho does not even allow medical marijuana. Furthermore, it has more restrictions to abortion.
- Wyoming has the second lowest population density, after Alaska. Like Alaska, its primary crop is hay, although Wyoming has a much larger percentage of agricultural land. Both states use a lot of energy due to industrial activities. However, Wyoming creates fat more electricity per capita than Alaska. Furthermore, most of its electricity is created by coal power plants, unlike Alaska.
- Colorado is another state that has a long history of mining in the Rocky Mountains. Both scenic states are very snowy and mountainous. Their demographics are also fairly similar, although Alaska has less Latinos. They both have relatively high military enlistment rates. Both states have banned the death penalty and also smoking in public places. However, Colorado tends to favor the Democratic Party in elections, unlike Alaska.
- North Dakota is the second coldest state, after Alaska. Both states especially enjoy playing hockey. Another similarity is that both states do not allow alcohol of any kind to be sold in the grocery store. However, North Dakota has one of the highest percentages of agricultural land in the United States, while Alaska has the lowest. It is also not very mountainous.
Top 5 States Least Similar to Alaska
- Florida is almost the exact opposite of Alaska geographically. It is at the extreme southeast portion of the United States. It has a subtropical climate and much more rainfall. It also has the flattest terrain of any state. However, they are both peninsulas, although Florida has more coastline in proportion to its size. In addition, both states tend to favor the Republican Party and do not have restrictive gun laws.
- New Jersey is somewhat like New York, since a large portion of its population is in the New York metropolitan area. In contrast to Alaska, it has the densest population of any state. Furthermore, New Jersey is one of the wealthiest states in the country.
- Mississippi is one of the poorest states. It has the highest percentage of African Americans. The state has little interest in hockey, but produces a high amount of football players. However both Alaska and Mississippi are quite rural and conservative. Both states favor Republicans.
- New York has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country, in contrast to Alaska. A large percentage of its people use regularly use mass transportation, so far fewer have cars. The national origins of its people is much different than Alaska. New York’s White population is mostly Italian in origin. In contrast, Alaska has more Germans and very few Italians. Furthermore, Alaska has a substantial Indigenous population, unlike New York.
- Massachusetts is one of the most well educated and affluent states. A majority of its people are Catholic. It is also one of the least religious states. However, both states are relatively cold and they also both like hockey.
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