Monday, December 12, 2011

The United States of Extremes

On Friday, I posted a map from the New York Times with some fun facts about a few European nations. At the end of the post, I said that I'd set to work creating a similar map with respect to the United States--I didn't disappoint. My artwork may not meet the same standards as the NY Times crew, but I still thought the stats I came up with (many of them via the U.S. Census) were interesting.

Ever wonder which U.S. state produced the fewest female lawmakers? Or which state had the most structurally deficient bridges? Are you a meth addict who wants to know where to find the highest concentration of meth lab activity? Or are you just a poor high school kid who wants to land a job in the state with the highest minimum wage?

Whichever category you fall into (come on, you know you fell into one of those), this map is for you. What's your state the best (or worst) at?

P.S.- A few states turned up several "superlatives" to choose from. I thought it would be prudent to mention some of those highlights/lowlights in a postscript. Obviously there's more out there, but these are the ones I discovered.

Alaska: Lowest percentage of population over age 65; Lowest percentage of females

Minnesota: Highest high school graduation rate (tied w/ Wyoming); Highest homeownership rate

Mississippi: Highest poverty; Highest obesity; Lowest median household income; Lowest high school graduation rate... man, let's just leave it at that, we've picked on these guys enough, haven't we?

Nevada: Highest divorce rate; Highest unemployment

New Jersey: Highest population density; Highest ratio of federal taxes paid to federal taxes received

Utah: Highest percentage of population under age 18; Most average persons per household

West Virginia: Fewest college graduates (per capita); Lowest percentage of bilingual homes

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