Have you ever wondered how similar or different two states are? The index 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 Index
Similar to states in BOSWASH
BOSWASH is the name for the highly urbanized swath of land on the Atlantic Coast between Boston and Washington DC. The top five states most similar to Delaware are all located in this area. These states were all part of the original 13 colonies of the country. They tend to have more immigrants and are racially diverse. They are also some of the areas where the Democratic Party is the strongest.
Top 5 States Most Similar to Delaware
- Maryland is located directly to the west of Delaware. It is another state that stayed part of the union, although it was once allowed slavery. Their people have a similar midland accent. In addition, their agriculture is extremely similar, since both states have about the same percentage of farmland and grow mostly corn and soybeans, although Maryland is more mountainous. However, Delaware is less wealthy than Maryland. In addition, its taxation system is far different, since it has no sales tax, but also laws favorable to corporations.
- New Jersey is another state located along the Atlantic Coast with many beautiful beaches. Both states have a great deal of racial and ethnic diversity. Their governments are also very similar. Both states have policies favorable to unions and many gun restrictions. They also have well developed transit infrastructure. In addition, Delaware and New Jersey have a lot of wetlands and most of their land is close to the Atlantic Ocean.
- Pennsylvania borders Delaware to the north. The demographics in these states are quite similar. Most states are mostly White, but they also have many minorities. The amount of education and amount of income their people have is not that far different. Both states have many protections on the civil rights of their citizens. However Pennsylvania is more mountainous than Delaware and it is also landlocked.
- Virginia does not border Delaware, but it has many similar traits. Both states once allowed slavery and later mandated segregation of schools. Although Virginia tends to be more conservative than Delaware, recently these states almost always voted for the same presidential primary candidates. Virginia has more restrictions on abortions, but less restrictions on smoking. Virginia is also significantly less densely populated than Delaware. Still, their demographics are not far different.
- Rhode Island is yet another state located on the Atlantic Coast, but it is more northern than other states on this list. Neither state is especially mountainous. Both states heavily favor Democrats. Many people in these states use Amtrak to visit major cities in their vicinity. A high percentage of the households in these states have cable television. They also have fast internet speeds. However, Rhode Island is more densely populated and has a higher percentage of forested land.
The five least similar states to Delaware are all located west of the Mississippi River. They are among the last states to become part of the United States, in contrast to Delaware, which was the first state to join the union. These states are all less densely populated and more mountainous than Delaware. Furthermore, four of the five least similar states favor the Republican Party.
Top 5 States Least Similar to Delaware
- Wyoming is the least densely populated state, after Alaska. It is also landlocked and much drier than Delaware. Its infrastructure is also quite different from Delaware. Almost all of its electricity is created by coal power plants, while Delaware mostly uses natural gas. Wyoming also uses the most electricity per capita of any state, due to a high amount of mining. It has a far higher percentage of owners and hunters as well.
- Utah has a majority Mormon population and is much more religious than Delaware. Utah’s population is one of the least diverse in the country. Furthermore, Utah has the highest percentage of married people and families with children, in contrast to Delaware. Its geography is significantly different from Delaware as well since it is a dry landlocked desert.
- Idaho is one of the most conservative states. Its laws are far different from Delaware, since it has few gun restrictions and marijuana is still illegal there, even for medicinal use. In addition, photo ID is strictly required for voting there. It also is far less developed than Delaware. It has some of the slowest internet speeds in the United States and has few physicians per capita.
- Alaska is far colder than Delaware. Furthermore, while Delaware was the first American state, Alaska was the second last. It is also much less densely populated than Delaware. Another difference is that a far higher percentage of Alaskans have native American ancestry than Delaware. It also has the highest mountain in the United States, while Delaware is one of the flattest states.
- Hawaii is a group of tropical islands in the Pacific Ocean. It has a much higher East Asian population than Delaware. While many people in Delaware rely on Amtrak for transportation, Hawaii does not have freight or passenger railroads. Although most people in both states live close to the coast, Hawaii is much more mountainous and has active volcanos. Still, the people of both states do favor the Democratic Party.
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