Which States are Most Similar to Missouri?

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 states that border the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers

Missouri is like many states in the Midwest and the South. The most similar states tend to be conservative and favor Republicans. Their climate is also fairly similar. In addition, these states do not have a huge amount of racial diversity. Since Missouri has a mix of farmland with relatively flat terrain in the north and mountainous and heavily forested land in the south, it is similar to states with a wide variety of landscapes.

Top 5 States Most Similar to Missouri

  1. Kentucky is to the west of Missouri. Both states border the Mississippi River. They have about the same population density. They also have a similar average temperature and rainfall. Both states primarily rely on coal to create electricity. In addition, the people in both states tend to smoke more than average. Their governments have also not banned smoking in public places. They also have a similar history. Even though these states once allowed slavery, they were not a part of the Confederacy.
  2. Tennessee is just to the south of Kentucky. It also borders the Missouri River. The people in both states prefer listening to Country music. Although Tennessee is more famous for its music, Missouri does have Branson, an entertainment destination for live music. However, Missouri is not nearly as mountainous or forested as Tennessee, since Northern Missouri is quite flat and has more farmland.
  3. Ohio does not border Missouri, but it does have many similarities. The racial background of their people are nearly identical. Both are mostly White and have few Asians or Latinos, while they have a significant percentage of Blacks in their major cities. German ancestry is most common in these states, but Irish ancestry is also widespread. However, the state favors Democrats more than Missouri. It is also more densely populated.
  4. Kansas is directly to the west of Missouri and it was originally part of Missouri Territory. Its climate is very similar since they are at the same latitude, but it gets slightly less rainfall. In fact, Missouri’s largest city is named Kansas City and is on the border between the two states. One difference is that Missouri allowed slavery, but Kansas did not, still neither state was part of the Confederacy. However, the homicide rate in Missouri is much higher than in Kansas. In addition, Kansas has a much lower percentage of forested land. It is also less mountainous.
  5. Indiana is another state on this list that borders the Ohio River. The states have a similar climate, so their agriculture is similar as well. Both states primarily grow a mix of corn and soybeans. The accent of their people tends to be similar as well. In addition, their people tend to do a low amount of exercise compared to other states. Both states have few restrictions on guns but many restrictions on abortion.

Top 5 States Least Similar to Missouri

  1. Hawaii has far different demographics, culture, politics, infrastructure and geography from Missouri. It has a much higher percentage of Asian people and a lower percentage of White people. Hawaii is also one of the most liberal states and in recent years almost always votes for Democrats. It is also the farthest state from Missouri. Its climate is much hotter than Missouri’s since it is so far south.
  2. California has far different demographics, culture, and geography from Missouri. It has a much higher percentage of Latinos and a lower percentage of White people. A far greater percentage of its people rely on public transportation. California is also one of the most liberal states. Its people earn more money per capita and it also has a higher minimum wage. A lower percentage of its land is used for farming and it tends to grow fruit and vegetables, not soybean and corn like Missouri.
  3. Alaska is colder, far more mountainous, and has much more coastline than Missouri. It is also far less densely populated and developed. While Missouri has a many farms, Alaska is too cold to be farmed commercially. Alaska’s Native American population is significantly higher than Missouri’s as well. 
  4. Massachusetts is more diverse than Missouri. It has a higher percentage of Asians and Latinos. In addition, it has many immigrants. Its people are also less religious and more educated. The state heavily favors Democrats, unlike Missouri. Not only do most people live close to the ocean in contrast to Missouri, but it is also much more densely populated.
  5. Vermont is much colder than Missouri and gets far more snowfall. In addition, it is an extremely mountainous and rural state, since it has not large metro areas within it. Although both states have few restrictions on guns, Vermont tends to vote for Democrats and its people are far more liberal.

Full Ranking of States Most Similar to Missouri

Do you agree with the list?
Please leave any thoughts in the comments section.

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