New Norms Found in Study of American States

Billboards in Los Angeles reflect the area's diverse demographics. i i

Billboards in Los Angeles reflect the area's diverse demographics. David McNew/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption David McNew/Getty Images
Billboards in Los Angeles reflect the area's diverse demographics.

Billboards in Los Angeles reflect the area's diverse demographics.

David McNew/Getty Images

How "average" or "American" is your state? The Associated Press has produced an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data that ranks the 50 states and the District of Columbia according to how closely they resemble the country's demographics.

They looked at 21 demographic factors — from race, age, income and education to immigration and the percentage of residents living in urban and rural areas.

Illinois came out on top, because the state's racial, urban, and rural characteristics almost match that of the nation, as the AP's Stephen Ohlemacher tells NPR's Michele Norris.

The state least like the rest of the nation: West Virginia.

How 'Average' Is Your State?

The Associated Press ranked each state and the District of Columbia on how closely they match national averages on a combination of 21 demographic factors, including race, age, income, education, industrial mix, immigration and the share of people living in urban and rural areas.

Below is a ranking of how each state fared, with Illinois ranked No. 1 as the state that best mirrors the country, and West Virginia ranked 51st as the most atypical:

State and Rank

Illinois 1

Oregon 2

Michigan 3

Washington 4

Delaware 5

Georgia 6

Kansas 6

North Carolina 8

Missouri 9

Ohio 10

Pennsylvania 11

Rhode Island 11

Texas 13

Utah 14

Arizona 15

Nebraska 16

New York 16

Indiana 18

Florida 19

New Jersey 19

Oklahoma 21

Minnesota 22

Connecticut 23

South Carolina 24

Colorado 25

Hawaii 25

Virginia 27

New Mexico 28

Wisconsin 29

Idaho 30

Tennessee 31

California 32

Nevada 33

Massachusetts 34

Alaska 35

Maryland 36

Louisiana 37

Maine 38

Wyoming 39

South Dakota 40

Iowa 41

Montana 41

District of Columbia 43

Alabama 44

Arkansas 45

North Dakota 46

Kentucky 47

Vermont 47

New Hampshire 49

Mississippi 50

West Virginia 51

Source: AP analysis based on Census Bureau data.

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