US States with the Least Similar Infrastructure

map of states with the least similar infrastructure

According to the State Similarity Index‘s infrastructure category, Massachusetts and Wyoming are the states with the least similar infrastructure. The analysis shows that they have big differences in their electrical, water, communication, and transportation infrastructure. Moreover, their buildings, emergency services, and industries also have notable differences. New Jersey and Wyoming are another pair of states with relatively dissimilar infrastructure. Many of their differences are a result of the large disparity in population density.

Massachusetts & Wyoming

Massachusetts is a small, densely populated state in New England, while Wyoming is a vast, sparsely populated state in the Rocky Mountain region. Therefore, in many respects, the infrastructure in Massachusetts is much more developed than in Wyoming.

When it comes to transportation, Wyoming’s vast size and low population density have led to an extremely limited public transit options. Therefore, most people in Wyoming rely on personal vehicles. They have the second most vehicles per capita in the United States. Massachusetts, on the other hand, has a well-developed public transportation system, including buses, subways, and commuter rail lines. While many people in Massachusetts use Amtrak, there are no Amtrak stops in Wyoming.

Since Wyoming is home to many energy intensive mining industries, despite its small population, the state consumes far more energy per capita than Massachusetts. Wyoming is the largest coal-producing state in the country, and coal generates most of the state’s electricity. Most of the power in Massachusetts is created by using natural gas. The state has set a goal of having at least 40% of its electricity generation come from renewable energy sources by 2030.

Their water usage is also vastly different. Wyoming has a lot of farms that rely on irrigation, since the state has a relatively dry climate. In addition, water is used in the coal mining process to cool and lubricate equipment, as well as to wash coal and remove impurities. Massachusetts uses far less water per capita.

Wyoming’s mining and extraction industries are a significant part of the state’s economy. The state is home to several large coal, trona, and uranium mines. In contrast, Massachusetts has no active mines. However, the state has a much greater manufacturing output than Wyoming. The state produces a lot of medical devices and equipment.

Their buildings are different as well. Nearly 15% of people in Wyoming live in mobile homes. In Massachusetts, just 52% of people live in single family homes with only 1% living in mobile homes. Furthermore, the houses in Massachusetts tend to be older on average than those in Wyoming. Another difference is that there are no skyscrapers in Wyoming, but Boston has more than 25.

In terms of emergency services, Massachusetts has more professional firefighters and a lower percentage of volunteer firefighters than Wyoming. Massachusetts also has better hospitals and significantly more physicians per capita. However, Wyoming has more military personnel per capita, despite only having one air force base.

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New Jersey & Wyoming

New Jersey is the most densely populated state, while Wyoming is the least densely populated. Furthermore, Wyoming is a landlocked state in the Western United States, while most people in New Jersey live close to the Atlantic Ocean.

Port Jersey and Port Newark–Elizabeth are two of the busiest ports in the country, helping to serve the New York City metropolitan area. New Jersey also has a dense railroad network, so it relies on semi-trucks less than Wyoming. However, Wyoming transports more tonnage per capita on its railroads, since it exports a lot of its coal. Another difference in their transportation infrastructure is that New Jersey has two different subway systems, one connecting to Philadelphia and the other connecting to New York City.

Wyoming relies heavily on coal for its electricity generation. In contrast, New Jersey uses a combination of natural gas and nuclear power. However, it’s worth noting that over 80% of the energy consumed in New Jersey is imported from sources outside the state.

Furthermore, unlike most states, New Jersey has several desalination plants that are used to treat seawater and produce drinking water. This was necessary because salt water was leaking into the groundwater in some areas of the states. Another difference in the water supplies of Wyoming and New Jersey is that fluorinated drinking water is not mandatory in New Jersey. Still, more people in Wyoming rely on private wells for their drinking water compared to New Jersey, where most homes are connected to public water supplies.

New Jersey has far better internet speeds than Wyoming. It also has much better cell phone coverage. Furthermore, a higher percentage of people in New Jersey have cable television. Since Wyoming is sparsely populated, it is more difficult and expensive for cable and telephone providers to extend their network and infrastructure to reach a small number of potential customers spread across a large area.

Like Massachusetts, a relatively low percentage of people in New Jersey live in single family homes and there are very few mobile homes compared to Wyoming. Furthermore, New Jersey’s infrastructure tends to be older on average than Wyoming’s. Another difference is that there are no skyscrapers in Wyoming, but New Jersey has more than 15, mostly in Jersey City and Atlantic City.

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