Variance in Personal Appearance by US State

Variance in Personal Appearance by US State - State Similarity Index

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. 20% of the index is based on demographics. 10% of a state’s demographic score (2% of the overall State Similarity Index) is based on statistics about the personal appearance of the people in the state. The following is an explanation on how the score was calculated.


There is not a massive difference between the average height from one state to another. In general, the shortest state’s average is two inches shorter than the tallest state’s average. The states with the tallest people seem to be located in northern portion of the Great Plains. This area of the country not only has a high percentage of White people, but many of their ancestors come are Germany, Sweden, and Norway. These countries are among the tallest on average in the world. In contrast, Hawaii has the shortest average height for both males and females in the United States. This is due to the fact that the state has the highest percentage of people with Asian and Pacific Islander ancestry and the lowest percentage of White people. Latinos tend to be shorter than average too, so states like New Mexico and California also have lower than average heights.

Source: Washington Post

States were grouped into the following categories based on both male and female average heights:
Tallest, Above Average, Slightly Above Average, Slightly Below Average, Below Average, Shortest


Body mass index is calculated based on a person’s weight and height. It is used to measure weight relative to height. The CDC regards an adult with a body mass index of 30 or greater as obese. The states with the highest percentage of obese people tend to have lower incomes and less education. West Virginia has the highest rate of obesity, but states located around the Mississippi River Delta also have high rates. In contrast, Colorado and Hawaii have the lowest rate of obesity. People in these states tend live an active lifestyle and do a lot of exercise in the outdoors.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

States were grouped by percentage of obese adults:
22.33-25, 25-27.66, 27.66-30.33, 30.33-33, 33-35.66, 35.66-38.33


Overall, the United States has slightly more women than men. Alabama and South Carolina lead the way with 51.4%. However, there are a few states where men outnumber women. Alaska has the highest percentage of males at 52.4%. Other states in the Rocky Mountain region and the Dakotas also have a high percentage of males. This is because major industries in these states, such as oil extraction, mining, agriculture, and fishing tend to attract more male workers than female ones.

Source: US Census Bureau

States were grouped by percentage of females:
48-48.66, 48.66-49.33, 49.33-50, 50-50.66, 50.66-51.33, 51.33-52


Currently in the United States, circumcision rates are approximately 55%, down from their peak of nearly 80% during the 1970s and ’80s. In contrast, Europe has a circumcision rate of only 10% for boys. The rate of male circumcision varies widely from state to state. West Virginia has the highest rate at over 90%. In contrast, states in the western portion of the country tend to have much lower rates. Nevada and Washington are only at 10%.

Source: World Population Review

States were grouped by percentage of circumcised males:
10-23.33, 23.33-36.66, 36.66-50, 50-63.33, 63.33-76.66, 76.66-90

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