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 to arrive at the conclusions.
Top 5 States Most Similar to New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a Northeastern state in North New England. Relatively few states are like it. The five most similar states are all located in New England. These states tend to have the highest percentage of White people. They are also some of the least religious states. In addition, states in New England have some of the highest snowfall totals in the country. Their land quite mountainous, since they are all located in the Appalachian Mountains. They are also heavily forested.
- Maine borders New Hampshire to the northeast. Both states border the Atlantic Ocean as well. They are two of the most forested states, so a low percentage of their land used for agriculture. Their laws are also similar, since these states have few restrictions on both guns and abortion. Their homes are most often heated by fuel oil and almost never heated by electricity, since they have such a cold climate. One big difference is that New Hampshire uses mostly nuclear power to create electricity.
- Vermont is another state that borders both Quebec and Massachusetts. Both states are heavily forested and have the same climate. Their demographics are extremely similar. Both states have many college graduates. These states also have high home ownership rates and many of their properties have their own septic systems. However, New Hampshire is slightly wealthier, although it has a lower minimum wage than Vermont.
- Connecticut does not border New Hampshire, but the states also have a lot in common. Both are original colonies that border Massachusetts and the Atlantic Ocean. In addition, very few people in these states are in the military, although they both have naval bases. Although both states are heavily forested, Connecticut has a much higher population density. Another difference is that Connecticut has far stricter laws restricting guns than New Hampshire.
- Massachusetts is just to the south of New Hampshire and both states border the Atlantic Ocean. The accents of their people are practically the same. Both states have low rates of homicide and incarceration. However, their sources of electricity are far different since Massachusetts relies on natural gas. Another difference is that Massachusetts has more restrictions on abortion than New Hampshire, despite the fact the state is more favorable to Democrats than New Hampshire.
- Rhode Island is yet another state in New England that borders the Atlantic Ocean on this list. Rhode Island is also more densely populated and less mountainous than New Hampshire. It also has far more coastline. Still, relatively few people in these states have guns or hunting licenses. In addition, these states often vote for the same presidential primary candidates. Both states also require a photo ID to vote.
Top 5 States Least Similar to New Hampshire
Four of the five least similar states to New Hampshire are located in the southern portion of the United States. These states have a much warmer climate and get far less snowfall. In addition, the people in these states tend to be much more religious. In addition, the five least similar states do not often vote for Democrats in presidential elections, since their people tend to be more conservative.
- Texas has a hotter climate and gets far less snowfall than New Hampshire. Furthermore, their demographics and culture are also quite different. Texas has far more Latinos and its population is on average much younger than New Hampshire’s. Although both states have many Catholics, people in New Hampshire are far less religious. The homicide rate and incarceration rate in Texas is much higher too.
- Louisiana is one of the hottest and wettest states. It gets very little snowfall and is not nearly as mountainous as New Hampshire. One interesting similarity is that both states have many people with French ancestry. However, Louisiana has far more African Americans. Due to its large industrial sector, Louisiana also uses far more electricity per capita than New Hampshire and it creates most of it using natural gas.
- Mississippi‘s demographics and culture also differ greatly from New Hampshire. Mississippi has the highest percentage of African Americans in the United States. It is also one of the poorest and least educated states. In addition, it is one of the most religious states, in stark contrast to New Hampshire. Furthermore, Mississippi is not nearly as mountainous. Still, one similarity is that both states are quite rural and are sparsely populated.
- Oklahoma is just to the north of Texas. A far higher percentage of the state’s land is used for agriculture and it is significantly less mountainous than New Hampshire. Far more people in Oklahoma have guns and hunting licenses. Another difference is that very few people in Oklahoma are Catholic. Furthermore, these states do not often vote for the same presidential primary candidates.
- Arizona is a landlocked state that has a far drier climate than New Hampshire. It is also less densely populated. Another difference is that Arizona’s laws are much more conservative than New Hampshire. It has more restrictions on abortion and gambling. It also does not restore voting rights to its prisoners upon their release. Another big difference is that Arizona has a much higher percentage of Latinos.
New Hampshire is like if Maine was more like Connecticut
According to the Index, Maine is the most similar state to New Hampshire. However, the analysis shows Connecticut has some traits of Maine that New Hampshire lacks. They also have less coastline and are located further to the south. These states are more densely populated. Connecticut and New Hampshire also have a significantly higher percentage of college graduates and their people tend to have higher incomes.
All data accurate as of 2020.