Following on from our recent article showing the best of these United States, it’s time to look at the worst.
[div class=attrib]From Frank Jacobs / BigThink:[end-div]
The United States of Shame again gets most of its data from health stats, detailing the deplorable firsts of 14 states (9). Eight states get worst marks for crime, from white-collar to violent (10), while four lead in road accidents (11). Six can be classed as economic worst cases (12), five as moral nadirs (13), two as environmental basket cases (14). In a category of one are states like Ohio (‘Nerdiest’), Maine (‘Dumbest’) and North Dakota (‘Ugliest’).
All claims are neatly backed up by references, some of them to reliable statistics, others to less scientific straw polls. In at least one case, to paraphrase Dickens, the best of stats really is the worst of stats. Ohio’s ‘shameful’ status as nerdiest state is based on its top ranking in library visits. Yet on the ‘awesome’ map, Ohio is listed as the state with… most library visits.
Juxtaposing each state’s best and worst leads to interesting statistical pairings. But with data as haphazardly corralled together as this, causal linkage should be avoided. Otherwise it could be concluded that:
A higher degree of equality leads to an increase in suicides (Alaska);
Sunny weather induces alcoholism (Arizona);
Breastfeeding raises the risk of homelessness (Oregon).
Yet in some cases, some kind of link can be inferred. New Yorkers use more public transit than other Americans, but are also stuck with the longest commutes.
[div class=attrib]More from theSource here.[end-div]