Have you ever wondered how similar or different two states are? The State Similarity 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.
Top 5 States Most Similar to Delaware
Delaware is located in the BosWash region of the Northeast United States. The five most similar states were all part of the original 13 colonies of the country. They tend to have more immigrants than the rest of the country and are racially diverse. They are also some of the areas where the Democratic Party is the strongest. Four of the top five states most similar to Delaware border the Atlantic Ocean.
- 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 laws protecting the civil rights of their citizens. 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 about the same. Furthermore, people from these states are known to have a temperamental and uninhibited personality. Both manufacture many industrial chemicals, but Delaware has less mining than Pennsylvania. Another difference is that Pennsylvania is more mountainous and 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.
- Connecticut is yet another state located on the Atlantic Coast, although it is more northern than other states on this list. Both of their state legislatures have slightly more Democrats than Republicans. 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, Connecticut 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 far less densely populated and more mountainous than Delaware. Furthermore, the five least similar states favor the Republican Party and as a result have more conservative laws.
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 is mostly Mormon and is much more religious than Delaware. Utah also has the youngest population of any state. 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 its climate is much drier. A far lower percentage of its land is used for agriculture. It is also landlocked and more mountainous.
- 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.
- Montana is another state with a cold climate that borders Canada. In contrast to Delaware, it has extremely few Black people and more Native Americans. Like other states on this list, it has a lot of mining and less manufacturing than Delaware. The state also uses a far higher amount of water per capita due to irrigation of its farmland. While Delaware uses mostly natural gas to create electricity, Montana relies on hydropower and coal.
Delaware is like if Maryland was more like Florida
Maryland is by far the most similar state to Delaware. Because there is little difference between these states, few states are more similar to Delaware than Maryland. Florida is one state that has a few more characteristics in common with Delaware. Both states are not as wealthy as Maryland. They also have more mobile homes. In addition, most homes in both states were built after 1980. Delaware and Florida have many coniferous forests and are also quite flat, while Maryland is more mountainous and has more broadleaf forests.
All data accurate as of 2020.
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