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 Georgia, Oklahoma, Florida, and Arizona
Texas is a large state that has many regions which are dissimilar from each other. The diversity of the states most similar to it reflect its variety. Georgia is like East Texas, Oklahoma is like North Texas, Florida is like South Texas, and Arizona is like West Texas.
Top 5 States Most Similar to Texas
- Georgia is another prosperous Southern state, with a diverse population, although it has more African Americans and less Latinos. East Texas also has a similar climate to Georgia, since both areas are hot and humid. Texas has similar laws as well, since both states tend to be more conservative. They both still use the death penalty and require photo IDs to vote. Both states are also major transportation hubs. However, Georgia is far further to the east and does not border Texas or the Gulf Coast.
- Oklahoma is just to the north of Texas, so its geography is extremely similar to North Texas. Both states are about 75% farmland. The economies of both states rely upon the energy industry, especially oil extraction. However, Oklahoma’s population has a lower percentage of Latinos and African Americans. It also has more of a Native American influence, since many were once forced to live in reservations in the state, although less than 10% of the state is Native American now.
- Florida and Texas both have large Latino populations, although their origins are different. Florida has many Cubans and Puerto Ricans, while Texas has many Mexicans. The Southern portion of Texas has a similar climate to Florida and many beautiful beaches, like Padre Island. Furthermore, their laws are alike. They have lenient restrictions on guns. Both states do not impose income taxes. Both also allow beer and wine in grocery stores, but not spirits. In addition, since 1999 both states have had Republican governors, although on the presidential level Obama won Florida twice.
- Arizona has relatively similar demographics since both states have many immigrants from Mexico, although Texas has a higher percentage of African Americans. The states are also similar politically. In the past, both states were dominated by the Republican Party, but are now much more competitive. Texas and Arizona have many restrictions on abortion and gambling, but also have few restrictions on guns. The climate and landscape of West Texas is similar to Arizona.
- Tennessee is yet another state that was once part of the confederacy on this list. Their native people typically have either Lowland Southern or Inland Southern accents. The states also have about the same percentage of married people and households with one parent. Both states have only voted for Republican presidents and senators in recent elections. In addition, like Florida and Texas, Tennessee also does not have an income tax. However, there are also some big differences. Tennessee is landlocked and much more mountainous. Its climate is cooler as well, although both states rarely get snow.
Top 5 States Least Similar to Texas
- Vermont is a rural, landlocked, and extremely mountainous Northern state. Unlike Texas, it has no major cities. Its demographics are also far less diverse, since it has one the highest percentages of White people in the country. Furthermore, Vermont’s laws are also more liberal. Although there are few gun restrictions in both states, marijuana is legal in Vermont. It also has less restrictions to abortion.
- Massachusetts is one of the wealthiest and most educated states. Furthermore, its people are much more interested in ice hockey and less interested in football. Like Vermont, Massachusetts is also far more liberal and less religious than Texas, although both states have many Catholics. Furthermore, its population density is much higher.
- Maine, is similar to Vermont since its population is predominately White and it has few Latinos or African Americans. It is also much colder than Texas and also gets a lot more snowfall. The air conditioning systems in their buildings are quite different, as most homes in Texas use electric units to cool their homes, while most homes in Maine use fuel oil. In addition, a high percentage of Maine’s buildings are not connected to the public water system.
- New Hampshire is yet another state in New England on this list. New Hampshire is more conservative than Vermont and Massachusetts, but it still favors the Democratic Party. Its infrastructure is also quite different. Texas has hard water, while New Hampshire has the softest water in the country. In addition, a high percentage of its water withdrawals come from the ocean, not freshwater reservoirs or lakes.
- Hawaii, unlike the other states on this list, is on the opposite side of the country, although it is also very liberal. Its demographics are extremely different from Texas, since it has by far the highest percentage of Asian Americans of any state and few Latinos. Its tropical climate and agriculture is also quite different from most of the state, although South Texas does have some beautiful beaches. One interesting thing is that both states have high gun ownership rates, but few people with hunting licenses. In fact, contrary to stereotypes, Hawaii actually has a higher gun ownership rate than Texas, although it has far more gun restrictions.
Do you agree with the list?
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