From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters, this land was made for you and me. Even still, there are many qualities that make all of us in each of the fifty United States of America unique from one another. Some of the maps that show our differences are knee-slappers and others are quite serious, but all of the items on this list illustrate what it truly is to be American.
Most of the highest-paid public employees are sports coaches
Baseball may be “America’s Pastime” but it seems like most states spend their money on football and basketball coaches. The next tier of highly-paid employees goes to professionals in education, whether high school or university-level. However, a big congrats to New Hampshire for being the only state to really invest in a hockey coach!
The HIGHEST-RATED Movie Set in Each US State
Attention movie lovers! Start popping the popcorn because it’s going to take some time to get through this list. Instead of taking a road trip through all of America, feel like you’ve visited them by watching the top-rated movies that take place in each state.
You can legally own a kangaroo in 13 states
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should! While most states that allow kangaroos as pets require the owner to hold a special permit, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and South Carolina do not. Before you adopt a joey, do thorough research on what rearing a ‘roo will be like. To put things in perspective, it’s not legal in all but one region of Australia.
Is your state Team Apple or Team Android?
Today, cell phones are integral to our identities and every person who purchases a phone has to answer one of the world’s most divisive questions, “Apple or Android?” Most people can make that decision right away because folks usually have strong feelings one way or another. Luckily, even though the Apple vs. Android debate is incredibly polarizing, we don’t let it get between friendships…unless you’re the one person in the group chat with an Android.
There are “blue states” and “red states” but most states are actually a shade of purple
Based on the way the majority votes, most stated get labeled as either “blue” or “red.” We usually think this way because there is only one winner, and there is usually a significant enough majority to recognize election patterns. However, if we could represent the states in shades of purple, this is what the map would look like.
The red districts have more bars than grocery stores
Whether the Midwest has too many bars or not enough grocery stores is all a matter of perspective. Someone might be able to look at this map and draw interesting conclusions about the distribution of resources and investments in infrastructure. I, however, see a map of the best places to party.
Prohibition never ended in the red counties
Although the Prohibition Era officially ended in 1933, more than 500 municipalities in the United States still ban the sale of alcoholic beverages. In these counties, residents have to drive outside of county lines to buy their booze. Counties that don’t prohibit alcohol sales are considered “wet,” and counties that have laws somewhere in between are considered “moist.”
If you love to visit new craft breweries, Mississippi is not the state for you!
Mississippi has four I’s, a couple of P’s, but not a lot of IPA’s, according to this map. In recent years, craft beers have skyrocketed in popularity, and more independent breweries open up each year. It seems, however, that the surge in craft breweries is mostly happening in the North. Maybe Southerners like to stick to the classics.
Everyone’s job is stressful, but some states experience more work-related stress than others
Unlike other maps that show a clear divide between North and South or East and West, workplace stress in the United States seems to occur much more randomly. While stress can occur in any industry and any state, there is something about seeing this map that makes me really happy I don’t live in Alaska.
The lighter the purple, the less state pride people feel
For some people, their home state is just the place they grew up. For others, it’s a deeply integrated part of their identity. If you live in one of the light purple states and are surprised by how you rank, don’t worry. You can love the place you call home, even if you don’t wear that title like a badge of honor.
This is what America looks like from above at night
New York is famous for being the city that never sleeps, but it looks like America has quite a few more night owls. The eastern half of the United States is much brighter at night than in the West, but you can still see a few western metropolitan areas shining brightly from space.
The Biggest Brands from Each State
Around the globe, the United States is known for its industrial nature and spirited capitalist enterprises. This business-minded quality is so much a part of the fabric of our country that a major international brand has emerged from every single one of the fifty states. In a way, this map represents the American Dream.
America, according to NBA team rivals
We don’t know if you’re also Lakers fans, but we were very surprised to see so much purple on this map of the Most Hated NBA Team by State. It’s also shocking to see that both the Lakers and the Heat were chosen by their home states. Well, as they say, “Jealousy is a disease. Get well soon!”
You might be living in the wrong place to find a relationship
According to this map of single men and women, there are multiple spots throughout the US with disproportionate amounts of matches. Of course, trying to find a girlfriend is no reason to uproot your life and move to Memphis, but if you’re a single man in Minneapolis, the odds aren’t stacked in your favor, unfortunately.
If the United States were on the moon, it would take up a huge portion of the surface area
We’re not sure if this makes us realize that America is much larger than we thought or that the moon is much smaller than we thought. Either way, knowing how much space the US would take up on the moon is truly mind-bending.
Most of America’s tall people are clustered in the north
The reason is unclear, but this map shows that a section of northern states has a taller height average, for both ben and women. On the flip side, the southern belt of the states is shorty central. Everyone sandwiched in between has an average height between the tallest and the shortest.
There are three major ways to address a group of people
Well, you guys, according to this map Americans can be grouped into three types of people. No one truly has a neutral accent, and no matter where you grew up, you all have a particular way of speaking. Now, when it comes to addressing two or more people, which group do y’all fall into?
According to polls, each state has a most-hated food
The information on this map is literally hard to swallow. I can get behind Florida’s disdain for licorice, but it’s mind-boggling to me that Ohioans hate pesto. And while I respect that everyone is entitled to not like the things they don’t like, I’m really curious about what people from Alaska have against Voss water specifically.
America’s missing persons cases compared with America’s cave systems
If you overlay a map of missing person cases with a map of the caves in the United States, you might see some spooky similarities. We don’t want to jump to any conclusions, but if you happen be hiking and find an interesting cave, admire it from the outside.
Jeans are an American staple, but each state has a preferred shade of blue
In the US, a pair of Levi’s 501s is a staple in almost every closet, but apparently denim culture is divided throughout the states. Seemingly, the West Coast and the Northeast are fans of the darkest shades and the rest of the states enjoy wearing a spattering of different types of blue.
The United States of America spans across six time zones
Anyone with family in a different part of the country knows how difficult time zones can make our lives. Sometimes it feels like we have to solve a calculus problem deciding if it’s too late to call a relative in Pennsylvania or make sure we get to the Zoom meeting on time. Still, it gets even more complicated if you’re trying to communicate with people who live in a zone without Daylight Savings Time.
What you’d need to make in each state to afford a two-bedroom apartment
We’ve known for years that the rent is too dang high, but this map really puts it into perspective. The federal minimum wage is only $7.25, which means that you’d have to work almost four and a half full time jobs at that rate to afford a two-bedroom home in Hawaii.
Based on the state you live in, chances are you can find your employer on this map
While Walmart is by far the largest employer in the country, there are some states where other companies have a wider reach. In most states where Walmart isn’t the largest employer, the title seems to go to university systems, typically with large medical facilities.
50 states and 50 frightening urban legends
In a country with so much history and unexplored nature, America is bound to have a few hauntings and creepy creatures lurking around. Some of these urban legends have spread across the entire nation. Others haven’t spread so far from their place of origin, perhaps because people are afraid to speak about these scary stories.
Most “sinful” or “saintly” states based on the seven deadly sins
Of course, we don’t know if the number of fast food restaurants per capita is exactly how the sin of gluttony is judged, but this is a really interesting social experiment. By pairing a social behavior (like average income compared with people living in poverty) with one of the seven deadly sins (like greed), it’s possible to collect data on how “sinful” each region is.
If you’d like to move someplace where commutes to work are shorter, look below
In North Dakota, most people can get to work quicker than you can microwave a couple of baked potatoes. Unsurprisingly, New Yorkers have the slowest average commute in the US. However, if you’d really move out of state for a faster commute, the most time you’d save on average is just 16 minutes and 30 seconds.
No one can be good at everything! These are each state’s worst quality
The key to being successful in life is knowing your strengths. However, you also need to know where you fall short in order to improve. As much pride as we each have in America and our home states, it’s important to recognize that there are things each of us can do to make our states more wonderful.
Football fans aren’t limited by state borders
As Americans, we love our NFL teams so much that we spend entire paychecks to sport our favorite player’s jersey, host a Super Bowl party, or get tickets to a game against a rival team. This map shows that many Americans have such a deep love for their favorite team that they even root for teams in other regions.
Your state’s contribution to the FAST-FOOD Nation
America is well known internationally as the country of fast food. Our greasy chains have been some of the most delicious (although the most unhealthy) innovations to spread throughout the world. Although each state has given rise to a decadent fast food chain, some have remained hometown heroes that rarely open shops outside their state.
If the US Were split up according to Craigslist regions
Craigslist is definitely the place to go when you need to buy a couch secondhand or you’re looking for a new apartment, but what if we divided our country according to these marketplaces? Would you still have hometown pride based on these zones?
An international rail system we wish would get built
In other parts of the world, the railway is the most popular way to travel. Since the US is so big and trains have historically gone at a moderate speed, the US hasn’t developed its modern rail system in the same way as Europe, for example. Today, we have high-speed train technology. Building a rail system like this would revolutionize the way people travel.
There are Iconic TV shows based in every state
American media is some of the best in the world and there are programs from all fifty states that have graced the silver screen. Perhaps not all of these shows are the best representation of life in the state or what residents would like their reputation to be known as, but hey, all press is good press!
Almost 5 million census blocks have a population of zero
If you’re looking to get some peace and quiet, look no further. While so many Americans flock to the cities, lots of others thrive in solitude (if not downright isolation). Every green point on this map is a census district where not one single person lives. If you move there, does it automatically make you the mayor?
Coincidentally, most UFO sightings happen in the Bible Belt
Is there something about being devoutly Christian that makes you more susceptible to seeing UFOs? Are aliens just more interested in observing religious people? Truthfully, we’ll never know the answer, but if you’re on the hunt to have your first UFO sighting, your chances might be better looking at the skies of one of these southern states.
Which horror movie took place in your state?
Like the map of TV shows based in each state, a map of each state’s most iconic horror film is perhaps not the most positive representation. Still, you can’t judge a state based on a work of fiction that took place there…unless it’s based on a true story.
If “I Didn’t Vote” Had Run for President
Just as most states are “shades of purple,” some could theoretically be judged based on their preference to sit the elections out. Not everyone eligible to vote actually casts a ballot, and if “I didn’t vote” ran for office in 2020, it would have won eleven states.
Get in, we’re going on a road trip from Poo Poo Point to Pee Pee Island
We’ve heard of lots of locations with funny names, but the spots on this map make us laugh so hard we…well…you get the point. If you’re looking for a creative cross-country road trip idea with friends, this map might give you some silly inspiration. You can drive from Poo Poo Point to Pee Pee Island in about three and a half days, and you’ll even get to take a pit stop at Pee Pee Creek.
Many states have oddly specific laws about driving
All of these laws must have a wildly entertaining backstory. Why is whales the only animal you can legally shoot from your car in Tennessee? Who was the unfortunate horse that made it illegal to ride an ugly horse in Washington? Do town squares in Ohio all have cops to count if each person has ridden around it a hundred times?
Planning on visiting all 50 states? You’ll want to check these attractions off your list
Even though lots of people say they don’t like to do “touristy” things when they travel, there is usually a reason why certain things are so popular! Traveling is such an eye-opening experience, and there is so much to see even just within the US. Most of these attractions get over a million visitors each year.
Does your state give more tax money than it receives?
If there is one thing that every American has in common, it’s that we’re supposed to pay our taxes each April. That money goes to the federal government, and then portion of it get distributed to states in certain programs. The green states pay more in taxes than they receive in federal funding. The darker red a state is represented on this map the more they receive on average compared to their contribution.
The coasts aren’t the only megaregions
The US is ever-expanding, and this map shows the largest growing regions in the country. There are so many more metropolitan areas than just Los Angeles and New York. One day, one of these regions could be home to the most bustling part of the country.
Disney’s Map of the US from the 1930s
We had no idea that Mickey Mouse was so well-traveled, but here he is in all of the 48 states. Yes, 48. This map is from the 1930’s before Alaska and Hawaii entered the Union. If you zoom in, you can see Mickey and friends exploring all over the country, perhaps scoping out where to eventually build the Disney theme parks.
20% of America lives on the left of this line and 80% lives on the right
The vast majority of the population lives on the eastern half of the country. This might come as a shock considering that there are so many major cities on the West Coast, but since settlers arrived from the East and have moved West over the centuries, the eastern half got a head start.
Poverty rates seem to correlate with education levels
There are many reasons why someone might slip into poverty, and lots of folks are born into difficult situations. However, this map illustrates that having a high school education might be a good indicator of whether or not someone lives in poverty. Stay in school if you can!
The most people born out of state in each state
Not everybody lives their entire life in the same city or even the same state. For a variety of reasons, lots of people pick up their lives and move to different states. This map shows that, for example, of all the people living in Texas who were born in another state, most were born in California.
Before 1969, there were two football leagues in the USA
This might not be major news if you’re a football fan, but football wasn’t always synonymous with the NFL. Before 1969, the US had 26 football teams divided between two leagues, the American Football League and the National Football League. Eventually, the two leagues merged and today all teams are under the NFL.
Hawaii has the most roundabout borders
We’re not sure what to do with this map, but here’s a visual representation of who has the most square and least square borders. Not every state can be as clean-cut as Colorado or Wyoming, and so many borders are dictated by natural boundaries like rivers and mountain ranges. As a collection of islands, Hawaii has the least square-like shape of all the states.
This map shows which churches are most packed on a Sunday
According to this map, nearly half the residents of Utah attend weekly religious services, and Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi are close runners up. Interestingly, the major religious regions split Louisiana in two, with more Protestants living in the north of the state and a Catholic region toward the south.
Which states get the most sunlight over the course of a year?
Florida is known as “The Sunshine State” but maybe that title should be given to Arizona. On this map, the deeper the red, the more hours of sunlight each region gets in a year. There is no part of Arizona that has fewer than 3,500 hours of sunlight, which is at least 500 more hours than the range that Florida gets.
Each state’s name has a special meaning
Whether the names of each state developed naturally or were chosen carefully, each of these names holds a special meaning. Some, including Alaska, have poetic meanings like “That Which the Sea Breaks Against.” Others, like Montana are named more for simple descriptions of their landscape.
How much snow does it take for students to get a snow day?
You may think that schools in the southern regions of the country are overreacting to close for any amount of snow, but think about how much more frequently it snows in the north of the country? In colder, snowier states, the roads and schools are much more equipped to handle snowy weather than they are in warmer states.
Border cities that have mash-up names
Sometimes when you can’t decide between two things, the best choice is not to decide. In the US, many towns are built right on the border of two states, and they formed their names by putting together the names of each state. Dakoming, for example, is a portmanteau of Dakota (South Dakota) and Wyoming.
Find how many states your fruits and vegetables traveled through to get to your supermarket
There’s nothing quite like fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables. Still, the ability to find whatever you want at the market at any time of the year is super convenient. In order to make that happen, those crops need to be grown where the climate is just right, and it often means shipping produce across the country.
This is how pilots think about the regions of our country
The sky is the limit for so many things on this earth, but not for Air Traffic Control. In fact, there are very specific zones that they divide the country into that might not make sense to anyone else. Parts of West Virginia, for example, are in the Atlanta zone.
Circular intersections are much more common in Washington and Wisconsin
Unless you’re from one of these darker blue states, you’ve probably entered a panic before when you happen upon the occasional roundabout. These traffic-regulating devices are actually safer than regular, two-way intersections, as long as you avoid getting stuck in a loop going around and around.
The Indigenous people of the Americas had rich and diverse language systems
This map illustrates the “linguistic stocks” of the indigenous peoples of our country. As you can see by how colorful the map is, there was great diversity in the languages spoken before the arrival of English and Spanish.
The pink spots on this map indicate the USA’s uranium resources
This feels illegal to know, considering how dangerous uranium can be if in the wrong hands, but a map of the country’s uranium resources is publicly available. Uranium is toxic and naturally radioactive. However, if you live in one of these pink zones, don’t be too alarmed. After a quick internet search it seems like the greatest radiation-related health risk occurs during the process of uranium mining.
The majority of American Counties are named after a person of significance
Based on the namesakes of all the counties in the US, it seems like Americans really love to pay tribute to meaningful people. Every county in blue is named after a person (or people) of significance. The red counties were named after a native people, tribe, or saying in a native language. The green counties got their names because of a natural landmark.
Do you identify with your cultural region?
Sometimes state lines are mostly symbolic, especially when it comes to culture. People who live near state borders are often more similar to each other than they are to people who live on the other side of the state. In addition to fifty states, the country can be broken up into fifty “cultural regions.”
Is your furry friend among your state’s most popular dog breed?
Now, often times our pets can feel like our children, so it may sting a bit if your state doesn’t agree that your dog is the best pupper on the planet. Regardless, America has spoken and these are each state’s favorite breed of dog.
This is how small the United Kingdom is compared to the United States of America
The United States of America famously began as a settlement of the British Empire. What once was 13 small colonies has grown to 50 expansive and robust states with unique identities. The orange spot above is a map of the United Kingdom today, and seeing it next to America today really puts into perspective how far we’ve come.