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 Vermont
Vermont is a Northeastern state located in the North New England region. The four most similar states to it all border the Atlantic Ocean, even though Vermont is landlocked. Their land is heavily forested and also quite mountainous, since they are in the Appalachian Mountains. In addition, these states have high snowfall totals. The majority of the people in these states are White. They are also some of the least religious states in the country.
- Maine is another state that borders both Quebec and New Hampshire. Neither state was one of the 13 original colonies, instead both became independent from other states. Still today they are sparsely populated and have no cities with over 70,000 people. Both states use hydropower, wind power, and even wood to create electricity. Both states are heavily forested and have the same climate. One difference is that Maine is slightly less well educated than Vermont. Maine also has a lot of coastline, while Vermont is landlocked.
- New Hampshire is located between Maine and Vermont. Both states predominately covered by Maple forests. A low percentage of their land used for agriculture and they mostly grow hay. In addition these states are well educated. 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. It is also slightly more conservative politically.
- Connecticut and Connecticut are quite liberal, although they have both had Republican governors recently. One big difference is that Connecticut’s gun laws are much more restrictive. Still, both states have laws that are friendly to immigrants. However, Connecticut is much more racially diverse than Vermont. It has far higher percentages of Latinos and African Americans. Connecticut is also far more wealthy.
- Massachusetts is directly to the south of Vermont. Both states have some of the lowest military enlistment rates in the country. Both states have banned smoking in public places and capital punishment. In addition, they have both legalized marijuana and surrogacy. Although both states are primarily Democratic, in the past four contested primary elections, they have never voted for the same candidate. Massachusetts tended to back candidates endorsed by the political establishment. Furthermore, a large percentage of its people are urban and live in Boston, in contrast to more rural Vermont.
- Wisconsin is the most similar state to Vermont outside New England. Both states produce a lot of dairy products. In addition, both states have had a long history of progressive politics. Their median income is about the same as well. Although they do not border each other, they do have a similar climate, since they are at about the same latitude. However, Wisconsin is not as mountainous and a lower percentage of its land is forested.
Top 5 States Least Similar to Vermont
The five least similar states to Vermont are all located at much lower latitudes, so they have hotter climates and get significantly less snowfall. They tend to have a far lower percentage of White people. They are also more religious and have more conservative laws than Vermont. Another difference is that football tends to be more popular in these states, while ice hockey is less popular.
- Texas and Vermont were both once independent republics before joining the United States, however they have little else in common. The demographics and culture of Texas are quite different from Vermont. Texas has far more Latinos and its population is on average much younger. Still, their average incomes are alike. The landscape of Western Texas is especially different from Vermont, since it is much dryer and hotter. In addition, a far higher percentage of the state’s land is used for agriculture and it grows different crops than Vermont.
- Louisiana is one of the hottest and rainiest states. It gets very little snowfall and is not nearly as mountainous as Vermont. One interesting similarity is that both states have many people with French ancestry. However, Louisiana has far more African Americans. Louisiana is also has one of the biggest ports in the country, while Vermont is landlocked. Due to its large industrial sector, Louisiana also uses far more electricity per capita than Vermont and it creates most of it using natural gas.
- Mississippi‘s demographics and culture also differ greatly from Vermont. Mississippi has the highest percentage of African Americans in the United States and it is also one of the least educated states. In addition, it is one of the most religious states, in stark contrast to Vermont. Football is also far more popular in Mississippi and few people are interested in ice hockey there. One similarity is that both states are quite rural and are sparsely populated.
- Oklahoma is a yet another conservative Southern state on this list. The state is much less liberal and even its urban areas tend to vote for Republicans. It has more restrictions on abortions and less restrictions on smoking in public. Still, both states have few restrictions on guns. Oklahoma is also less rural than Vermont, since a high percentage of its people live in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, although their population densities are alike.
- Florida is one of the warmest states in the country, while Vermont gets the most snow of any state. Furthermore, Vermont is landlocked, while Florida has an abundant amount of coastline. Another noticeable difference is that Florida’s population is much more diverse, since it has a higher percentage of Latinos and Blacks.
Vermont is like if Maine was more similar to New York
Maine and Vermont are quite similar. Few states are more similar to Vermont than to Maine. Interestingly enough, New York is one state that has a few characteristics of Vermont that Maine lacks. Both New York and Vermont have a higher percentage of college graduates and a higher average income than Maine. In addition, the governments of Vermont and New York spend more money per capita on education and welfare programs. Furthermore, Maine has far more coastline than these states.
All data accurate as of 2020.