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 Arizona and New Mexico
Nevada is similar to other states in territory that was originally part of Mexico, especially Arizona and New Mexico. They are both mountainous and have a dry climate. They also are sparsely populated states with many of their inhabitants concentrated in large cities.
Top 5 States Most Similar to Nevada
- Arizona and Nevada are the two driest states. They both have many immigrants from Mexico. They are also major tourist destinations. Although casinos are technically not allowed in Arizona, the state still has many casinos located on reservations for Native Americans. In addition, in both states, marijuana is legal and the sale of alcohol in the grocery store is allowed. One difference is the state tends to favor Republicans more than Nevada, although that has recently started to change. It also has a much older population, since there are many retirees in Arizona.
- New Mexico, like Arizona and Nevada, also has many immigrants from Mexico. Their climate and terrain is similar. They also have relatively few married people and many divorced people. Large portions of both states are used by the military to conduct missile testing. It is likely that this is the reason these places are famous for UFO and alien sightings. One big difference is that Nevada is a much bigger tourist destination. It also has a higher Native American population.
- California borders Nevada to its west. While California is famous for its beautiful beaches, Nevada is landlocked. Still, the states have many similarities. Both states have a lower percentage of high school graduates than average and a high percentage of unionized workers. However, Nevada’s laws are less favorable to unions and it has a much lower minimum wage. There are also several differences in their gambling and smoking laws, as California’s are more restrictive.
- Colorado is another mountainous state on this list. Both states have many ski resorts, although on average Nevada gets less snow. Both states have legalized marijuana and few gun restrictions. However, Colorado is wealthier and has a far higher percentage of college graduates.
- Oregon borders Nevada to its north. Much of its western portion is sparsely populated, mountainous desert, like Nevada. In addition, the average income of their people is about the same. They also have and a high percentage of unionized workers. One difference is that Oregon has much higher income and sales taxes. Furthermore, it has a higher minimum wage. Oregon also has a lower percentage of Latinos than other states on this list.
Top 5 States Least Similar to Nevada
- Mississippi has the highest percentage of African Americans and very few Latinos. In addition, it is a very conservative state that rarely votes for Democrats. Furthermore, its geography is quite different from Nevada since it gets a lot of rainfall and is relatively flat. It is also one of the poorest states.
- Alabama is similar to Mississippi. It is one of the most religious states and has a far higher percentage of Baptists and lower percentage of Catholics than Nevada. Furthermore, while Nevada has few restrictions on gambling, Alabama does not even allow the lottery.
- Louisiana gets the most rainfall of any state, in contrast to Nevada. As a result, it has a much higher percentage of farmland and has different crops. Louisiana also has one of the biggest ports in the country. One interesting similarity is that both states allow casinos and do not have restrictive gambling laws.
- South Carolina is another southern state on this list. It is one of the original thirteen colonies. South Carolina famous for its beautiful beaches, including Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head, while Nevada is landlocked. In addition, the state has far more mobile homes as well. Furthermore, it is primarily powered by nuclear energy, while Nevada also relies on natural gas to create electricity. It is also one of the most conservative states in the country.
- Vermont is one of the least diverse states. It is mostly White and has few Latinos. Although both states have tended to vote for Democrats in past elections, Vermont is also more liberal than Arizona. Another big difference between these states is their weather. Nevada is dry, while Vermont gets the most snowfall of any state. The air conditioning systems in their buildings are quite different, since most homes in Nevada use natural gas, while most homes in Vermont use fuel oil. Vermont also uses hydropower and wind to create electricity.
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