Alabama has the worst commuter traffic
All of Alabama’s top industries are in the primary sector. They chop trees, mine iron, and build trucks to drive all that stuff around. A lot of Alabamanites drive trucks, and in total 93.8% of workers drive their personal vehicle to work. That means a morning drive to work so congested you’ll think it was allergic to peanuts.
Arkansas – The worst at teenage pregnancy
It’s Arkansas state policy that any sex education taught in schools must stress an “abstinence first” approach. We know based on decades of research this does not work to prevent anything, from the spread of STIs and unwanted pregnancies. Their rate of teenage births sits at 43.5 per every 1000 recorded 15-19 years old.
Arizona – The worst rates of dementia
A study 2022 study by the Alzheimer’s Association found that rates of dementia have been climbing at a rapid pace, expected to rise to 200,000 cases by the end of 2025. Around 260,000 family members are working unpaid to care for a relative with the disease, and the cost of care only increases as the demand rises.
Alaska – The highest violent crime rate
Clearly this isn’t a case of those in the north just being born different. The vast majority of violent crime in the state is property crime, often due to poverty or substance abuse. Not to mention the temperature and long periods of darkness, which is enough to drive one to make some questionable choices on its own.
Colorado – The highest state
While Colorado was one of the first states to legalize recreational cannabis, that’s not the kind of high we’re talking about. As the humble home of some of the world’s most incredible mountain ranges, the mean elevation of Colorado sits at 6,800 feet. That’s enough to make the air on average 20% thinner than the sea level.
California – Lowest high-school graduation rates
It’s clear where the financial priorities are in California… and it is not in the schools. As one of the richest states in the union, California’s economy focuses on media, tech, and wasting water to grow things to make milk out of. Around one in six Californians have no high-school qualifications. Maybe, because they live in California, they think they’ve already made it.
Delaware – The lowest state
The natural rival of Colorado, Delaware’s average altitude sits at 60 feet below sea level. That wouldn’t be a huge issue but, as carbon dioxide accumulates in the ozone layer and sea levels rise, the Delaware Bay will start swallowing back up all those crabs you guys stole. Philadelphia will probably be fine.
Florida – The most hurricane-friendly
A significant number of the US’s 292 recorded hurricanes have hit Florida. Because of it’s geography and climate, you get a mix of strong ocean currents and tropical winds colliding, dragging in storms from the North and South Atlantic Ocean. They named it the Sunshine State to hide their secret passion, windsurfing.
Georgia – Lowest her immunity to measles
Public health policy is extraordinarily complicated, the people communicating the science have to be as good at their job as the scientists are. In reality, things are much messier than they first may seem, which leads to situations like Georgia. Fewer than two-thirds of the state’s children have been given the MMR vaccine, landing lower than is required for herd immunity.
Hawaii – The most homeless citizens
While Hawaii seems like one of the nicer places to spend a night under the stars, ultimately shelter is a human need. A mixture of fires and a lack of affordable housing and employment have left the island with the highest homeless rate in the US. There are five times as many homeless people in Hawaii than in Mississippi and Kansas.
Idaho – The state with the most cyberbullies
If you’re thinking about raising some social media-savvy children in Idaho, think again. The Youth Risk Behaviour Survey found that one in five school children had been cyberbullied, with around 11% of boys and 33% of girls experiencing some form of online abuse. There have also been complaints from parents about a lack of mental health support.
Illinois – The worst to try and have money in
Illinois has been ranked lowest on everything from racial income disparity to being the worst state for both the middle class and retirees. Their local and state income tax rates have also been the highest in the country for the past few years. One day scientists will find out who or what truly thrives in Illinois, and the IRS will come a’ knocking.
Indiana – Some of the worst childcare
A CNBC report on the worst states to live in ranked Indiana pretty high on the list. It only ranked second to last on childcare standards behind Louisiana, but they have other things they can be the worst at. There are fewer than ten licensed childcare facilities per 100,000 residents, which makes virtually all parent’s lives infinitely more complicated.
Iowa – The state with the worst drivers
A 2021 analysis of over 2 million insurance quotes found that Iowa drivers were the most dangerous in America. The Hawkeye state had the 12th-highest number of accidents, the fifth-highest number of speeding tickets, the sixth-highest number of DUIs, and the second-highest number of citations.
West Virginia – The most accident-prone
While West Virginia has at times been the state with the highest rates of obesity and heart disease, it seems something they’re also quite accident-prone. Maybe it’s twisted ankles from all those unmaintained country roads, but the state has frequently had the highest fatality rate from accidents, with over double the US average.
Kentucky – The highest rate of cancer
Kentucky leads the nation in the overall number of new cancer cases. Sadly, that’s just the beginning. When you focus on specific types, you also come to find that they also have the highest rate of lung cancer, and the second highest of both pancreatic and colon cancers. The reasons behind this are a combination of poor health education and lack of access to healthcare.
Kansas – The most geographically boring
It sounds like a minor complaint when placed alongside actually fatal reputations, but Kansas’ largely flat land is more of a psychic wound to the state. Mountains are awesome. The ground we walk on is a result of billions of years of natural processes, the summits are squeezed from the very Earth itself. Not even time and space find Kansas notable.
Maine – The most Lyme’s disease
This is likely because Maine is one of the most dog-friendly places in the country. They have no laws restricting breed ownership and over 76 dog-friendly beaches. Ticks are the most common source of Lyme disease in humans, and you will never guess who ticks happen to love hanging out with?
Maryland – Worst for older people
If you’re thinking about settling down in another state for your well-earned retirement, Maryland is probably worth vetoing. They score low on the kinds of things older people in particular are looking for, like culture and weather, and infamously poor with financial and regulatory policy. They do imprison old people at half the rate of the country though, so swings and roundabouts.
Nevada – The most divorced state
Divorce is a very messy topic, but a Nevada divorce makes for great content. One of their main cultural exports is express chapel weddings, so there aren’t many legal obstacles to jump over to get married, thus a lot of spontaneous mistakes are made. To accommodate this, it’s also very easy to get divorced.
Massachusetts – The least fun state
There is a state in the union with the gall to cancel happy hour, and the populace has been bravely fighting for their right to party ever since. Massachusetts first forbade the sale of discount alcohol in 1984, which is pretty prophetic. It was instituted to curb a spike in drunk driving accidents and stayed in the books ever since.
Michigan – The worst on your car
Infrastructure is a hot-button topic, what with how tax dollars are actually implemented in the US, so you can see why some people react poorly to rate hikes. Michigan has proved how essential proper public maintenance is, between their water crisis and the number of potholes, crumbling bridges, and highways.
Minnesota – The hipster’s state
It’s hard to bully Minnesotans. Something about the dialect is very agreeable, it makes you think they’re super chill about all the gentrification and craft beer breweries hogging the much-needed real estate. “It’s fine they can just go take a walk in the woods when they get a month of sunshine then get eaten by bugs!” – You being wrong just now.
Missouri – The state that hates puppies the most
For around 11 years in a row, Missouri, particularly Kansas City, has been the puppy neglect capital of America. Just after World War II, smaller farmers lost a lot of money and space to larger corporate entities. Puppy breeding was a side hustle, and now the state has 26 of the nation’s most abusive mass breeders.
Mississippi – The highest number of STDs
There are quite a few staggering statistics surrounding the state of sexual healthcare in Mississippi. There are around 2,000 cases of sexually transmitted disease per 100,000 people. They also lead to cases of most specific diseases, like chlamydia and syphilis. Take a guess what Mississippi mandates in its sex education policy.
North Dakota – The most DUIs
Alcohol consumption in general is quite a big issue in North Dakota. They’re near the top in overall consumption and also have the most binge drinkers with around 25% of adults drinking weekly. Their rate of drunk driving reports is so high that around 6% of all licensed drivers have a prior incident.
Ohio – The deadest horse
Ohio is a lot of people’s first thought when they need to attach a random state to a joke that won’t be too controversial. They’re generally around the bottom of the list for life expectancy, infrastructure quality, and wealth inequality, and Reddit voted them as the worst state. The latter alone means it’s time for a new target – Oregon, look out.
Oregon – The most depressed young people
A PBS analysis of depression and anxiety rates among younger people found that even pre-pandemic, Oregon was experiencing a crisis. The state had the highest rates of depressive episodes and scored high for youths at risk of substance abuse. This problem is made worse by the state’s rural nature and lack of access to support.
New Jersey – The poisoned state
New Jersey has been a key player in US history since its founding. A lot of foundational industries have their home here, as does the truly obscene amount of toxic waste they produce that infects the earth, the people, and the water. They lead the nation with an impressive 114 super fill sites, providing crabs with a rich diet of mercury and Agent Orange.
New Hampshire – Hates kids the most
Despite its strong economy and reputation for diverse job opportunities, you wouldn’t want to be a child or a teacher trying to compete in this marketplace. The state has ranked dead last, behind even Florida, on opportunities, security, and job satisfaction for teachers. They also have zero federal funding for pre-K activities.
Montana – Worst download speeds
Ajit Pie got away with his crimes far too easily. He was the biggest villain on the internet during the net neutrality fervor, then we found another insufferably uncharismatic rich person to bully instead. Montana’s poultry choice of service providers can expect to shell out download speeds almost half the national average
Nebraska – The dumbest college footballers
As a caveat, The Cornhuskers are performing fine, and they organized the largest crowd of attendees for a women’s sporting event in history. Thank you, Cornhuskers. Very cool. They did also rank dead last in the US News and World Report study, in partnership with The Big Ten and their monitoring of academic and athletic scholarships.
New Mexico – Highest rate of child poverty
This title is contested, with Mississippi and Louisiana having similar rates of under-18s living in poverty. The national rate (how many starving children are considered fine) is 13.4%, and New Mexico’s is just over double. When looking at children under five in particular, that figure shoots up to 28%.
New York – The most worm-filled apple
Thanks to New York City alone, the most populated city in the country, New York comes out with quite a few best of the worst trophies. Residents face living in one of the most expensive cities on the planet. An individual is expected to spend around $5,300 a month in living expenses, which yearly is around $15,000 above a teacher’s salary.
South Dakota – Can’t let go of Mt. Rushmore
South Dakota is a very sparsely populated state. Generally, if you want people to come to visit, you all come together and build something cool, but that’s a lot of effort and gas still ain’t cheap. The appeal of Mount Rushmore seems to be fading with time as tourism dries out, probably because they’re just normal guys. They should put a cool hat on them maybe.
Vermont – Least fertile state
You would think what with how picturesque much of the state can be that people would be breeding like rabbits in a sugar maple forest. Perhaps they are, but there aren’t many babies being born that’s for sure. Vermont has the lowest fertility in the United States, at 44.9 per 1,000 people. They also have the fastest aging state, which is likely correlated.
Oklahoma – Least healthy diet
This is likely due to Oklahoma’s favorite fast-food giant Sonic Drive-In, which has a cultural and culinary stranglehold on the state. 57% of children aged one through five were not eating a single vegetable as part of their daily diet. A further 72% had drank a sugar-sweetened beverage within the week, with similar figures found among adults.
Pennsylvania – The worst bridges
The fine people of Pennsylvania are encouraged to do a bit of reading on any bridges they might drive across. They’re pretty easy to spot since the state has 22,660 of them, but around a quarter of them are considered structurally deficient. Several devastating collapses have happened in the past few decades alone.
Rhode Island – Most absent teachers
If the students attending the state’s schools missed as much time as their teachers, there would likely be some very concerned phone calls to their parents. More than half of the teachers in Rhode Island have missed more than ten days of the school year. One in five missed at least 20 days of school.
Tennessee – The worst legislature at hiding how racist they are
A few states are trying their hardest to earn this title, but Tennessee seems like the most ruthlessly open about it. Their state legislature has codified discrimination into law, rushing through vaguely worded, dogma and dementia-fuelled bills. Many human rights organizations (and Madonna) have spoken out in protest against their anti-drag laws.