The State Similarity Index attempts to quantify how similar American states are to each other relative to other states. The index is a statistically-based way to measure this. It weighs equally five major aspects of states: their demographics, culture, politics, infrastructure, and geography. The methodology is exactly the same for each state.
The data from the State Similarity Index was used to cluster American states into different regions. Some unique states, like Alaska and Hawaii, are very difficult to group with other states. Therefore, it was necessary to make the largest regions still have a great deal of variation within them. This resulted in 6 distinct macro-regions:
However, these macro-regions still have very significant differences within them. States as different as Utah and California are still grouped together. To account for this, the 6 macro-regions were further divided into 12 sub-regions. Some individual states are their own “region” because they have many traits that make them especially unique.
Most states neatly fit into one of these regions. However, Missouri could be grouped with the Great Plains or the Southeast region, while Pennsylvania could be grouped with BosWash or the Great Lakes region. Therefore, these states are split between both regions. The states in each region and their individual pages are as follows:
— Texas, Oklahoma
— Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, South Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee
— Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia
— West Virginia
A larger, high resolution version of the United States regions map: