The United States is often split into different regions. However, the lines between these regions can sometimes be blurry. Some states exhibit traits of two different regions.
Determining the Southern state most similar to the Northeast region of the United States requires considering a variety of different factors. One way to answer this complex question is by analyzing the data from the State Similarity Index. The index attempts to quantify how similar American states are to each other relative to other states, using a variety of statistics from five broad categories: demographics, culture, politics, infrastructure, and geography.
(Northeastern states defined as Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont)
Virginia borders Maryland, so it is no surprise that it has more in common with the Northeast region than other Southern states. Let’s analyze Virginia with respect to its demographics, politics, infrastructure and geography to show the reasons why it is the most similar Southern state to the Northeast region.
Virginia’s people tends more educated than the rest of the South. A significant portion of the population has a college degree. This aligns with the Northeast, the most educated region of the country. Virginia is also the wealthiest state in the South. It has the highest percentage of millionaires in the region.
Virginia has seen a shift in party alignment, with Democrats gaining ground in statewide elections. The state has elected Democratic governors and senators, and it voted for Democratic presidential candidates in recent elections. This aligns with the political trends observed in some Northeastern states. Northern Virginia, in particular, has a high concentration of highly educated and professional individuals. This demographic tends to be more progressive and is often associated with the political characteristics of the Northeast.
Since Virginia is wealthier than other Southern states, it has less mobile homes and better infrastructure. Furthermore, Virginia has the highest percentage of people with access to the internet in the South. The presence of suburban and urban areas in Virginia has prompted the development of public transit systems. Robust public transit is a characteristic often associated with Northeastern urban centers. Like the Northeast, Virginia has a lot of port infrastructure as well.
With the exception of West Virginia, Virginia is the northern most state in the South. As a result, it has colder weather than most Southern states. It experiences the four seasons, like states in the Northeast. Furthermore, Virginia a significant coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, like many Northeastern states.