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.
Georgia is a Southeastern state. Many states in the region are similar to Georgia. The top five states once allowed slavery and were all part of the Confederacy during the Civil War. They tend to be conservative politically and favor Republicans. With the exception of Mississippi, the Appalachian Mountains run through all of these states as well. Furthermore, these states have subtropical climates. They also have a predominately White population, but also a large percentage of Blacks.
Top 5 States Most Similar to Georgia
- South Carolina and Georgia are actually the two most similar states according to the Index. It is another state on the Atlantic Coast, just to the north of Georgia. The states have a similar population density. South Carolina is also politically similar to Georgia. Neither has had a Democratic governor in the past 16 years. They almost always vote for the same candidates in presidential primaries as well. They also do not have bans on smoking in public places. Both states have major colleges in both the SEC and the ACC.
- North Carolina is further to the north of South Carolina. The demographics of North Carolina and Georgia are extremely similar, although it has a higher percentage of White people and fewer Black people. Most people in these states are quite religious and a vast majority of them are Protestant. Their people tend to have a similar accent as well. In addition, union membership is extremely low in these states.
- Alabama used to be part of Georgia’s territory until 1802. Their people tend to have a similar accent and national origin, although Georgia is more diverse. Due to Atlanta’s recent growth, Georgia is more educated and affluent than Alabama as well. Their laws are extremely similar. Both states have few restrictions on guns. They also allow marriage to first cousins. They also require photo IDs to vote in their elections as well.
- Mississippi is another state considered that borders the Gulf of Mexico on this list. Mississippi has the highest percentage of Blacks, while Georgia has the second highest percentage. One big difference is that Mississippi is more rural and far less affluent. The average income in Georgia is higher and more people have college degrees. Still both states have quite conservative laws that do not favor immigrants or unions.
- Tennessee borders Georgia to the north. It is another deeply religious state, where a vast majority of its people are Protestants. Many top musicians come from these states as well, although Hip-Hop is more popular in Georgia than Tennessee. Their infrastructure is very similar as well. They get most of their electricity from coal, natural gas, and nuclear power. In addition, most of the communities have fluorinated public water.
Four of the five least similar states to Georgia are located in the Western portion of the United States. These states have a far lower percentage of Blacks than Georgia. With the exception of Hawaii, the five least similar states are significantly less densely populated than Georgia. The laws in these states are also less conservative. They do not use the death penalty. Furthermore, they encourage unionization.
Top 5 States Least Similar to Georgia
- Hawaii and Georgia both have hot and humid climates, but their similarities largely end there. While Georgia is one of the original colonies, Hawaii is the 50th state added to the nation. Their demographics are far different. Hawaii has by far the highest Asian population in the United States and has relatively few Black people. It is also one of the most liberal states and Democrats are heavily favored there, in contrast to Georgia.
- Alaska‘s climate is far colder and gets more snowfall than Georgia. The state is also less densely populated and has a much lower percentage of agricultural land. It is one of the newest states, while Georgia is an original colony. The state also has a much larger Native American population than Georgia. However, both states do tend to be run by Republicans and have more conservative laws.
- Vermont is another state located in the Eastern United States, but the two states are still far different. Vermont’s climate is colder and it gets much more snow. While both states have the Appalachian Mountains running through them, Vermont’s terrain is more hilly. Vermont’s population is also less diverse than Georgia’s. Furthermore, like Hawaii, its people tend to be more liberal and favor Democrats and independent candidates.
- New Mexico has a much higher percentage of Latinos than Georgia. As a result, the state also has a higher percentage of Catholics. It also has a higher percentage of Native Americans. Another big difference is that New Mexico’s climate is significantly drier than Georgia’s. Although both states are about the same latitude, their flora and fauna is quite different.
- Montana is another state with an extremely low population density on this. It also has a colder and drier climate. Furthermore, it borders Canada and is landlocked. It is also less diverse than Georgia, since the vast majority of its people are White and relatively few minorities (except Native Americans) live there. A much lower percentage of people attend church regularly than Georgia as well.
Georgia is like if South Carolina was more like Florida
According to the State Similarity Index, Georgia and South Carolina are the most similar states, so there is little difference between them. Still, Florida has some characteristics of Georgia that South Carolina lacks. Like Florida, many people from the North have migrated to the Atlanta metropolitan area. Unlike South Carolina, both states have non-partisan elections for their judges. They also have less mobile homes and more skyscrapers. Furthermore, Georgia and Florida have a lower percentage of smokers than South Carolina.
All data accurate as of 2020.
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