Which States are Most Similar to Indiana?

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 in Midwest

Indiana is like many other states in its region. It is located in the Rust Belt, an area of the United States that was once dominated by the manufacturing industry, before its recent decline due to outsourcing. These states also tend to have an ample amount of farmland. They are neither extremely densely populated nor are they sparsely populated. In addition, the four of the five most similar states to Indiana never allowed slavery and were part of the Union during the Civil War.

Top 5 States Most Similar to Indiana

  1. Ohio is just to the east of Indiana. Both states were part of the Northwest Territories, until it was split up into Ohio and Indiana territory in the early 1800s. They both border the Ohio River and the Great Lakes. The states have a similar climate, so their agriculture is similar as well. They both grow a mix of corn and soybeans. Furthermore, their demographics are alike. Both states are mostly White, but have small populations of Blacks and Latinos as well.
  2. Missouri does not border Indiana, but the states have a lot in common. Unlike most states in the Midwest, these states heavily favor Republicans. In addition, both states do not have restrictive alcohol laws, since they even allow hard liquor to be sold in grocery stores. They also have few restrictions on smoking in public. Their average incomes are about the same. However, Indiana has a lower percentage of college graduates.
  3. Wisconsin and Indiana both border Lake Michigan. However, since it is more northern, it gets much more snowfall and has a colder climate. Although Wisconsin favors the Democratic party more, both states have right to work laws and few restrictions on guns or abortion. In addition, these states only allow a limited amount of medical marijuana, but have few restrictions on the sale of alcohol. These states also have a similar population density.
  4. Michigan borders Indiana to the North. Both states have land in the Eastern and Central time zones. Their demographics are quite similar as well, except that Michigan has a higher percentage of Blacks. Another difference is that Michigan leans more towards Democrats than Republicans, although these states have voted for the same Democratic presidential primary candidates in the most recent elections. In addition, Michigan has far more coastline than Indiana, since it borders four of the five great lakes. Like Wisconsin, it gets much more snowfall and has a colder climate than Indiana.
  5. Iowa is another state in the Midwest that has a lot of farmland and has relatively flat terrain. Their climates are also alike, even though Iowa is further west. The farms in both states tend to grow a mix of soybeans and corn. They are also fairly similar in regards to religion, although Iowa has more Lutherans and Indiana has more Baptists. However, Iowa is less densely populated than Indiana. It also votes for Democratic candidates more often in state-wide elections.

Top 5 States Least Similar to Indiana

  1. Hawaii has far different demographics, culture, politics, infrastructure and geography from Indiana. 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 Indiana. Its climate is much hotter than Indiana’s since it is so far south.
  2. California also has far different demographics and culture from Indiana. 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 Indiana.
  3. Alaska is colder, far more mountainous, and has much more coastline than Indiana. It is also far less densely populated and developed. While Indiana has a lot of farmland, Alaska is too cold to be farmed commercially. Alaska’s Native American population is significantly higher than Indiana’s as well. While cell phone coverage is nearly ubiquitous across all parts of Indiana, an extremely low percentage of Alaska’s land has coverage.
  4. Massachusetts is one of the wealthiest and most well-educated states, in contrast to Indiana. Furthermore, a much higher percentage of its land is mountainous and forested. It is also significantly more densely populated. Furthermore, Massachusetts has a higher percentage of Catholics and Atheists. Their laws are extremely different. Massachusetts has less restrictions on abortion and more restrictions on guns.
  5. Utah‘s culture and geography are extremely different from Indiana. Utah’s population is mostly Mormon. In addition, it is the youngest state on average. Furthermore, it has a higher percentage of married people. In addition, much of Utah is a desert. Although both states favor Republicans, Utah and Indiana do not often vote for the same presidential primary candidates.

Full Ranking of States Most Similar to Indiana

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

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