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 other landlocked Southern states
Many states are similar to Oklahoma. It is part of the Bible Belt, the most religious area of the United States. Because of this, states like Oklahoma tend to be very conservative politically and heavily favor Republicans. Fewer people have graduated from college and have advanced degrees than in most states. Furthermore, these states are also all landlocked.
Top 5 States Most Similar to Oklahoma
- Arkansas is to the east of Oklahoma. It is another state with portions of both the Ozark and Ouchita Mountains. The states have similar demographics and culture. Most people in both states have either Irish, German, or English ancestry, and many just identify as just American. However, Arkansas has a lower percentage of farmland. Furthermore, it grows less wheat and hay. It also gets more rainfall.
- Kentucky is another relatively poor, landlocked state in the South. The states are especially similar politically. Both have a low minimum wage. They also have few restrictions on guns but many restrictions on abortion. However, Kentucky’s climate is colder and it gets more snowfall. Although both states were not part of the Confederacy during the Civil War, they both historically allowed slavery.
- Tennessee is yet another state located along the Mississippi River on this list. It is another state, where the majority of its people are Evangelical Protestants. Both states have an army and an air force base. While people in both states have about the same access to the internet, Oklahoma tends to have slower internet speeds. Tennessee is also much more mountainous than Oklahoma.
- Kansas is just to the north of Oklahoma. The states have similar geography. They are both mostly farmland and not especially mountainous. They are also relatively sparsely populated. However, Kansas did not allow slavery when it was admitted into the union, unlike other states on this list. It also has a slightly higher percentage of Catholics. Although they are fairly similar politically, Kansas has significantly more bans on smoking in public places.
- Missouri also has the Ozark Mountains in its Southwestern corner, but other than that both states are relatively flat and have a lot of farmland. However, Missouri tends to grow more soybean and corn. Few people in both states do not believe in God. They also have many Evangelical Christians. However, one difference is that Missouri gets most of its electricity from coal power, while Oklahoma relies on natural gas.
Top 5 States Least Similar to Oklahoma
- Hawaii is one of the most liberal states. Few republicans are elected there. Furthermore, its demographics are extremely different from Oklahoma, since it has by far the highest percentage of Asian Americans of any state. In addition, it has a high percentage of military personnel. Its tropical climate and agriculture is also quite different from Oklahoma. While Oklahoma is landlocked and relatively flat, Hawaii is a group of mountainous islands.
- Massachusetts is another extremely liberal state, like Hawaii, however it is located on the opposite side of the United States. It is also one of the most well educated and affluent states. Many of its people are Catholic, while in Oklahoma, less than 10% are. Massachusetts is also one of the least religious states. Its climate is also much colder and it gets a lot more snow.
- New York‘s culture and politics are extremely different from Oklahoma. It has many restrictions on guns and few restrictions on abortion. New Yorkers are also more interested in hip-hop music than country music. A much larger percentage of its people use regularly use mass transportation as well. Furthermore, it is much more racially diverse than Arkansas. Even its White population is quite different, since a majority are in New York are Italian in origin and few people identify as just being “American”.
- Rhode Island is yet another state on the East Coast on this list. Unlike Oklahoma, it is the state with the highest percentage of Catholics. Furthermore, the state has a lot of coastline and most people live in relatively close proximity to a beach. The state also has a much higher percentage of people in unions. They also have different laws. In Rhode Island, grocery stores are not allowed to sell alcohol.
- New Jersey is somewhat like New York, since a large portion of its population is in the New York metropolitan area. New Jersey is one of the wealthiest states in the country. While both states aren’t especially mountainous, most of New Jersey’s land is close to the ocean, unlike landlocked Oklahoma. Like other states on this list, its people are also much less conservative as well.
Do you agree with the list?
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