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How Family Friendly Are Washington’s 20 Biggest Cities?


The number of parents opting to start their families in the city has been a rising trend of the last few decades. But choosing which city to call home can be a difficult decision. What makes for a good place to settle down is of course subjective, but at Estately we believe there are a number of objective factors that can help to measure a city’s family friendliness. With this in mind we set out to rank Washington’s 20 most populated cities using ten criteria:

  1. Youth population: The population of persons under 18 as a percentage of the over-all population (US Census)
  2. Commute time: The mean travel time to work for workers 16 and up (US Census)
  3. Preschools: The number of preschools per capita for the population of people 5 years and under (US Census and greatschools.org)
  4. Public education: The average school rating for public elementary, middle and high schools (greatschools.org)
  5. Crime: The composite crime rate for violent crime, murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, property crime, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson per capita (FBI)
  6. Libraries: Public libraries per capita (publiclibraries.com)
  7. Open space: Public parks per capita (each city’s department of Parks and Recreation)
  8. Housing affordability: the number of houses on the market for $266,034 or less. This is the price of a home affordable to a family earning the median income in Washington state of $59,374 a year. (Estately).
  9. Daycare: The number of daycare centers per capita (The Yellow Pages)
  10. Cost of living: The yearly salary a family needs to earn to be considered earning a living wage (MIT)


The cities:

  1. Kennewick: This southeastern local is the largest of three cities collectively called the tri-cities. With the third biggest child population, the third most affordable housing market and the third lowest cost of living it certainly lives up to the tri-city name.
  2. Bellingham: Acclaimed for its outdoor opportunities such as easy access to the San Juan Islands and the North Cascades, Bellingham has the shortest commute time. It also ranks in the top five for public schools and preschools.
  3. Redmond: Redmond is the second smallest on the list. Home of Microsoft, it also holds the title for the lowest crime rate and the best public school ratings. However, it has one of the highest costs of living and an expensive housing market.
  4. Spokane: The second largest city in Washington, what Spokane lacks in safety it makes up for in cost of living, public libraries and parks. Spokane has the second highest crime rate, but its schools are ranked in the top 10 and it has the fifth most preschools per capita.
  5. Spokane Valley: Located along the Spokane river, The Valley has a much lower crime rate than its larger cousin and has the most affordable real estate market. It is tied with Spokane for the lowest cost of living, however it has the least parks and second lowest number of libraries.
  6. Bellevue: Across Lake Washington from Seattle, Bellevue has the third highest rated public schools and the second lowest crime rate. It also features the highest number of parks per capita and the fourth highest number of daycare facilities.
  7. Kirkland: The namesake of Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand, this city is tied with Redmond for the top public schools. However, it also has the second most expensive housing market and one of the highest costs of living. Kirkland has the third lowest crime rate.
  8. Pasco: The second of the tri-cities to make the list, Pasco has the number one children’s population. It also ranks top three for housing affordability and cost of living, as well as claiming the fourth lowest crime level.
  9. Marysville: Marysville’s workers may have the longest commute, but they live a city with the fifth lowest crime and the sixth most day care facilities per capita.
  10. Shoreline: North of downtown Seattle, Shoreline has the fourth best-rated public schools and it ranks number one for day care facilities per capita. It ranks in the top 10 for lowest crime rates, but is one of the more expensive areas to call home.
  11. Everett: Home to one of Boeing’s major assembly plants, Everett is home to top five ranking public schools and has the sixth highest number of preschools per capita. However, it’s crime rate is the fourth highest.
  12. Federal Way: Between Seattle and Tacoma, Federal Way ranks top two for per capita preschools, but bottom six for public schools and public libraries.
  13. Renton: Located at the mouth of Cedar River, Renton ranks top five for per capita day care and public libraries. It isn’t doing so great in the commute and affordability categories though.
  14. Tacoma: Home to Washington’s largest port, this city has the most libraries per capita and the fourth most affordable housing market. However, it has the highest crime rate and its public schools rank in the bottom five.
  15. Lakewood: Number one for preschools per capita, Lakewood is lacking in other areas such as highly rated public schools and public parks.
  16. Vancouver: Forming part of the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area, this city ranks top 10 for shortest commute, but lacks a well-rated public school system.
  17. Yakima: Located in the Yakima valley, this agricultural giant has the second shortest commute and the fifth lowest cost of living. However, it has the lowest rated public schools.
  18. Seattle: Though Seattle is the biggest city in Washington, it has the lowest percentage of kids. What it lacks in young people, day care and living cost, it makes up for in parks and public libraries with the third most per capita.
  19. Auburn: This city just makes it into the top 10 for preschools and day care facilities. But don’t expect to have a short commute or a lot of parks to roam in.
  20. Kent: The home to REI headquarters, Kent has the fifth biggest child population, but the second lowest number of preschools per capita and the lowest number of libraries. It’s workers also have the third longest commute.

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Estately is a national online real estate search site whose articles have been featured in the The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, CNET, San Francisco Chronicle, Time, GeekWire, The Denver Post, and more.

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The Most Barbecue-Crazed States In America


America is home to millions of passionate barbecue fans, people who love the marriage of smoke, fire, and meat. It’s also filled with poor, misguided souls whose idea of barbecue is an annual McRib from McDonalds. The difference between these two largely comes down to geography. For those barbecue aficionados deciding where to buy a home, Estately has created this handy map charting which states are home to the most barbecue enthusiasts, and which states are prime habitat for people who cook turkey dogs over high heat on gas grills. Choose your neighbors wisely, otherwise you’ll endure some truly miserable neighborhood block parties.

To determine which states are the most barbecue crazed in America we used five sets of data…

  1. Barbecue restaurants per capita (source: Yellow Pages)
  2. Facebook interest in barbecue (source: Facebook)
  3. Percentage of restaurants that are barbecue (source: Yellow Pages)
  4. Google searches for “barbecue” (source: Google Trends)
  5. Barbecue accessory stores and charcoal producers (Yellow Pages)

Snapshot 7:28:14 10:22 AM


Alabama believes in the sanctity of the marriage of meat and smoke, a love so pure it burns low and slow for eternity. What Alabama lacks in fame for a uniquely Alabama barbecue style it more than makes up for with unrivaled barbecue enthusiasm. A whopping 8.27% of all eateries in Alabama are barbecue restaurants, the highest percentage in the nation, and the state is tops for expressing their love for barbecue on Facebook.


The air quality in Oklahoma may suffer from all the smoke, but locals wouldn’t have it any other way. The state is home to the most barbecue restaurants per capita, with a barbecue joint for every 5,000 residents.


Tennessee is in the top seven in all categories, and it’s home to the iconic barbecue city of Memphis. The state loves its barbecue so much it’s dedicated over 6.59% of all eateries to barbecue.


If it weren’t for all the delicious Tex-Mex and Mexican food, Texas just might have claimed the top spot. The Lone Star State has the sixth highest percentage of barbecue restaurants, and it’s home to some of the most iconic barbecue joints in the whole country. Styles vary across the state, but beef is king and brisket is the holy grail of Texas barbecue.


Anchored by Kansas City in the west and St. Louis in the east, Missouri is a true barbecue state. It has the highest number of charcoal producers in the country, and some say it consumes more BBQ sauce than any other state.


Arkansas has the second highest percentage of barbecue restaurants of all its eateries—6.9%. There are no stats on what the percentage of tailgating meals consist of barbecue, but it’s high. Very high. Very, very high.


North Carolina may have more of a reputation when it comes to barbecue, but South Carolina appears to have more enthusiasm. It was in the top ten in all but one categories, and it has the fifth highest number of barbecue restaurants per capita.


Barbecue is abundant in the Peach State, with the second most barbecue restaurants per capita of any state. That doesn’t even include all the barbecue being cooked while tailgating.


Kansas is a state consumed with thoughts of barbecue, especially when they’re online. The state has the most barbecue-related Google searches over the past decade, and the second most barbecue interest expressed on Facebook.


One of the barbecue capitals of America, North Carolina may have been the birthplace of barbecue, and it’s home to a variety of local styles. It was surprising to find it so on this list, but we couldn’t find stats on which states cook the most whole hogs.


Kentucky features a variety of barbecue styles, particularly in regards to meat, making use of mutton, turkey, as well as all the other usual suspects. What it lacks in total number of barbecue restaurants it more than makes up for with the enthusiasm of its home cooks.


Over 6.36% of all eateries in Mississippi are barbecue restaurants—fifth highest in the country. If there was data available showing the frequency with which residents host a backyard barbecue the state might have been listed even higher.


Cajun and Creole restaurants still outnumber barbecue joints in Louisiana, but there are still plenty of both.


Barbecue is big in Florida, with hundreds of competitive teams across the state. Florida doesn’t have its own distinctive style, but there’s plenty to go around.


Overshadowed by Kansas City, Memphis, Texas, and North Carolina, Chicago is considered the fifth Beatle when it comes to the great barbecue capitals of America. And it doesn’t use mustard-based sauces, so that’s a plus.


Colorado’s style of barbecue is a blend of other American barbecue traditions, but in the state’s early years it featured more lamb than beef or pork. Not so anymore.


Hawaiians were slow-roasting whole hogs hundreds of years before there even were any pigs in the rest of America. This obviously is worth something.


California actually has a strong and unique barbecue tradition that’s rooted in its Spanish cowboy past. Tri-tip is king, typically cooked over red oak coals and served with beans.


With the third most beef produced per capita, Montana has plenty of meat to put on the grill.


With the seventh most barbecue joints per capita, Nevada’s got barbecue for days.


Because man cannot live on barbecue alone, Wyoming combines its barbecue with a bluegrass festival.


For decades, Wisconsin has guzzled gallons of beer in preparation for the coming barbecue renaissance. Is it here yet?


Located on the edge of America’s Barbecue Belt, Indiana has the potential to grow into a barbecue power if it can keep up with its neighbors.

24. MARYLAND (tie)

Maryland is probably going to use its plethora of blue crabs as an excuse for not being barbecue fanatics.

24. MINNESOTA (tie)

When Minnesota residents put their head to the pillow at night they dream of pastries and baked goods because Minnesota is a land with three times more bakeries than barbecue joints.


If you dig through the internet search histories of West Virginians you won’t find many barbecue-related searches (6th fewest), but you’ll discover they search for these terms more frequently than any other state:  ferrets, meat loaf recipe, and belly button piercings. Seriously, there’s proof.

27. UTAH

There’s nothing like washing down a plate of ribs with a cold glass of milk… if you’re in Utah.

28. MICHIGAN (tie)

Michigan has the fifth fewest barbecue restaurants per capita of any state in America.

28. NEBRASKA (tie)

Nebraska produces the second most beef per capita of any state, but the locally produced brisket seems to all wander off to Texas.

28. OREGON (tie)

If Oregon chefs can figure out how to incorporate pulled pork into their brunch menus then there will be a dramatic increase in the amount of barbecue consumed in Oregon.


Dry cleaners probably have significantly less business than in other states due to the lack of barbecue sauce dripping on people’s shirts.

32. IOWA

For a state that produces more pigs than any other they sure aren’t converting them into much local barbecue.


Newcomers lament the lack of barbecue in Washington state, but locals are getting curious about it. Washingtonians Google “barbecue” as much as Oklahoma.

34. OHIO (tie)

Ohio may not be known for its barbecue, but luckily it’s got Kentucky right across the border if it gets hungry.


Freddy’s Barbecue on “House of Cards” is fictional, but there is still some good barbecue to be had in our nation’s capital.

34. SOUTH DAKOTA (tie)

Out of all the Dakotas, South Dakota is the most enthused about barbecue, which isn’t really saying much.


The only state south of the Mason-Dixon Line that ended up in the bottom half of this list. That’s shameful, Virginia. Shameful.


There are more soup restaurants in Pennsylvania than barbecue restaurants.


Most people order a pulled pork sandwich with a side of fries. In Idaho they apparently order a side of fries with a side of fries.


Maybe all those people sneaking across the border into Texas are actually people from New Mexico trying to find some barbecue?


The weather isn’t conducive to year-round grilling, but Alaskans still find time to smoke tons of fish.


Nobody is saying New York is lacking in fantastic food, we’re just saying they have the lowest percentage of barbecue restaurants in the entire country.


You’ll see a lot of tramp stamps in New Jersey, but you won’t see one depicting a rack of ribs.


What’s small, shaped like a hangnail, and suffering from an utter lack of barbecue? Delaware.


There are 18 pizza places for every barbecue joint in Massachusetts, and most of them wouldn’t even consider putting pulled pork on a pizza.

45. NORTH DAKOTA (tie)

The state has three times more steakhouses than barbecue joints, so it’s not that North Dakota’s vegetarian or anything.


Maine gets a pass on this one because the state is in danger of being overrun by lobsters. Their only option is to eat them as fast as they can to ward off an invasion.  Also, the whoopie pie is the state’s official treat.


How can the residents of New Hampshire drink the most beer of any in American state when they’re not even using it to wash down a plate of ribs? That’s called alcoholism.


There are a number of recipes for Vermont-style maple syrup barbecue sauce, which is the kind of thing you’ll find in the third least enthused state for barbecue.


There are more than two hot dog stands for every barbecue restaurant in Rhode Island. It’s an island of sadness.


There are seven times more donut shops in Connecticut than barbecue joints. Seven. It also has the second fewest barbecue restaurants per capita of any state. No state has ever been kicked out of America, but this might be grounds for it.

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Estately is a national online real estate search site whose articles have been featured in the The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, CNET, San Francisco Chronicle, Time, GeekWire, The Denver Post, and more.

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The Geography of Each U.S. State’s Favorite Food

US-DELICIOUSFrom all-you-can-eat buffets to cooking-themed reality TV shows, America is a nation obsessed with food. While this obsession obviously influences where Americans eat out, it’s also a factor in where people choose to buy a home. Many a Texan has moved away only to return after discovering their new home lacks good barbecue and Tex-Mex.

With this in mind, Estately crunched the numbers for each state’s Urbanspoon page to find out what type of restaurants each state has in abundance. We discovered every state is filled with restaurants in these categories—American, fast food, burgers, sandwiches, and pizza. We left those out because they’re common to all states and just focused on the differences. Each state is represented by the category of food which had the most restaurants, not counting the five previously mentioned.

The results showed some broad geographical trends. Coastal states in the South are obsessed with seafood, and not just because shrimp and grits is glorious. The Northeast clings to its Italian food traditions, except Massachusetts, which has gone all in on donuts. The Midwest is a land of pub food, and beef is what’s for dinner in the Dakotas. Most of the West is devoted to Mexican food, while brunch is king in the whitest of states. Minnesota is getting a large percentage of its calories from cake and pastries, Hawaii shows its pride with an abundance of Hawaiian restaurants, and fortune cookie companies are making a fortune in South Carolina.

Barbecue:  Alabama

Bakery:  Minnesota

Breakfast/Brunch:  Montana, Oregon, Vermont

Chinese:  South Carolina

Diners:  Missouri

Donuts:  Massachusetts

Hawaiian:  Hawaii

Italian:  Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia

Mexican Food:  Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington state, and Wyoming

Pub Food:  District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wiscosin

Seafood:  Alaska, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, New Hampshire, and North Carolina

Steakhouse:  North Dakota and South Dakota

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Estately is a national online real estate search site whose articles have been featured in the The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, CNET, San Francisco Chronicle, Time, GeekWire, The Denver Post, and more.

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The United States of Fear: Which American States Are the Scariest?


America’s skies may be beautiful and spacious, but there’s a multitude of dangers found from sea to shining sea. From the snake and spider-infested American Southwest to the volcano strewn West Coast to the tornado and meth-scarred Midwest, this is a land that scares the stuffing right out of our Thanksgiving turkeys. As if that isn’t enough, the rest of the country is packed with even more of America’s most common fears—clowns, bears, sharks, murderers, and dentists.

Here at the real estate search site Estately we know there are hundreds of worries when choosing where to buy a home, so to help house hunters make a more informed decision we’ve mapped out where Americans’ darkest fears are most readily found. We used these 15 common fears as criteria, and then we ranked each state from 1-50 from most scary to least scary.



  1. Bears:  Estimated black bear population per 10,000 square miles (source: Black Bear Society).
  2. Clowns:  The number of clowns per capita available for hire (source: National Clown Directory).
  3. Prison:  Incarceration rate per capita (source: U.S. Department of Justice).
  4. Flying:  Total airline passenger boardings among the 62 largest U.S. airports in 2013 (source: F.A.A.)
  5. Hurricanes:  The number of direct hurricane hits for individual states from 1851-2004 (source:  N.O.A.A.).
  6. Shark Attacks:  Total number of unprovoked shark attacks from 1837-2013 (source: Florida University International Shark Attack File).
  7. Spiders:  Total number of venomous spider species (source: Venombyte).
  8. Snakes:  Total number of venomous snake species (source: Venombyte).
  9. Dentists:  Active dentists per capita (source: Center for Disease Control).
  10. Tornadoes: Average number of tornadoes per 10,000 square miles (source: N.O.A.A.).
  11. Heights: Combined rankings for total number of skyscrapers over 700 feet and number of topographically prominent American mountain summits on list of top 50 (sources:  Wikipedia and Wikipedia).
  12. Meth Labs:  Total meth lab busts and seizures in 2012 (source: Huffington Post).
  13. Lightning:  Total number of injuries and deaths caused by lightning between 1959 and 1994 (source:  N.O.A.A.).
  14. Volcanoes:  The highest number of active and inactive volcanoes per 10,000 square miles (Wikipedia).
  15. Murderers:  Murder rate (source: F.B.I.).



The odds of being bitten by a poisonous snake while doing pushups in a prison cell are probably highest in Alabama.

Snakes—3rd, Prison—4th, Murderers—4th, Spiders—5th,  Hurricanes—6th

ALASKA (42nd)

A uniquely Alaskan way to train for a marathon is to fill your pockets with hamburger and run down an exploding volcano while grizzly bears chase you.

Bears—1st, Volcanoes—5th, Dentists—6th

ARIZONA (13th-Tie)

When the sun rises in Arizona each morning it shines down on millions of venomous spiders and snakes, and they are probably forging a terrifying alliance for their march on Phoenix.

Snakes—1st, Spiders—3rd, Prison—6th

ARKANSAS (18th-tie)

A believable Arkansas comic book super villain would be a deranged clown who develops weird powers after being bitten by a venomous spider.

Spiders—5th, Clowns—6th, Prison—8th


Movie plot:  Keanu Reeves skydives over shark infested waters in California AND his parachute is packed with venomous snakes and spiders. Somebody in start a Kickstarter for this project.

Snakes—2nd, Heights2nd, Shark Attacks—3rd, Spiders—3rd


If you don’t like being high then Colorado is not a state for you.

Heights—1st, Flying—3rd


The odds of being struck by lightning while in the dentist chair are incredibly low, but they are highest in Connecticut.

Dentists—5th, Lightning—7th


Delaware’s dangers descend from the sky, but so does rainfall, which nurtures the state’s small, but substantial soybean crop.

Lighting—6th, Tornadoes—8th


The most dangerous state in America is the most likely place to experience a real life Sharknado. Or even a Sharkicane. Both are sometimes accompanied by Sharkning, which is terrifying.

Hurricanes—1st, Shark Attacks—1st, Tornadoes—1st, Lightning3rd, Spiders—5th


If Samuel L. Jackson ever stars in Snakes & Spiders on a Plane, it definitely will be set in Georgia.

Flying—4th, Spiders—5th, Snakes—5th, Hurricanes—7th

HAWAII (33rd)

From the ocean to the mountain tops, there is no where to hide from danger in Hawaii.

Volcanoes—1st, Flying—1st, Shark Attacks—2nd, Dentists—2nd, Spiders—5th

IDAHO (38th)

Idaho is located in the center of the American Bear Belt.

Bears—4th, Volcanoes—7th


Which is a better name for an Illinois punk band, “The Flying Meth Users” or “The Tornado Murderers?”

Flying—7th, Meth Labs—8th, Murderers—9th, Tornadoes—9th

INDIANA (22nd)

If only Indiana’s law enforcement agencies could harness the power of tornadoes to suck up every meth lab into the sky.

Tornadoes—3rd, Meth Labs—3rd

IOWA (39th)

While Iowa resides in America’s “Tornado/Meth Belt,” it’s still a relatively safe state.

Tornadoes—4th, Meth Labs—6th

KANSAS (35th)

Basically, Kansas is just like Iowa, except with a few more snakes and spiders, and few less twisters and meth labs.

Tornadoes—11th, Meth Labs—11th


Before allowing a clown to perform at a child’s birthday party, make sure he or she’s been drug tested.

Meth Labs—4th, Clowns—9th


The best part of hurricane parties in Louisiana’s prisons is the grape-flavored prison hooch secretly fermented in one’s jail cell. Totally worth the wait.

Prison—1st, Murderers—1st, Hurricanes—3rd, Spiders—5th, Tornadoes—5th

MAINE (40th)

If you come across a bear in the woods of Maine do not run. Instead, make lots of noise and hopefully it will scurry off. Same goes if you come across one of Maine’s clowns.

Clowns—2nd, Bears—3rd


At least there are no bears in Baltimore.

Lightning—5th, Murderers—7th, Dentists—8th


Most dentists in Massachusetts have stopped using metal fillings because they can act as lightning rods.

Dentists—1st, Lightning—1st


The slogan “Pure Michigan” is not an ode to the quality of local meth.

Murderers—5th, Meth Labs—10th, Heights—14th


At first glance, Minnesota seems like a safe place… until you realize it’s in the heart of America’s Clown Belt!

Clowns—4th, Heights—8th, Flying—10th


If Mississippi were a murder mystery party, the killer would definitely be Mr. Clown in the tornado with a poisonous spider.

Murderers 2nd, Going to Jail—2nd, Clowns—5th,  Spiders—5th, Tornadoes—6th


In Missouri, even the spiders and snakes are on meth.

Meth Labs—1st, Spiders—5th, Snakes—8th, Murderers—8th

MONTANA (46th)

Montana’s bear population is growing, but the state’s clown numbers are down. Is global warming to blame?

Bears—5th, Spiders—15th, Clowns—22nd


Nebraska is one of the most fear-free states in America, unless you’re the paranoid type who suspects your dentist implanted a device in your fillings that attracts tornadoes.

Tornadoes—10th, Dentists—14th


For those who have fears of heights and flying, the ultimate nightmare is being an indentured servant for Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas.

Flying—2nd, Heights—3rd


It’s been 200 million years since New Hampshire’s last volcanic eruption, so the danger is the equivalent to an attack by a bear posing as dentist.

Volcanoes—4th, Bears—11th, Dentists—14th


In New Jersey, dental school graduates who refuse to join the state’s powerful dentist cabal get fed to the sharks.

Dentists—2nd, Lightning—4th, Shark Attacks—8th


In New Mexico, the only thing we have to fear itself… and also poisonous spiders and snakes, and also human killers.

Spiders—4th, Murderers—5th, Snakes—5th

NEW YORK (13th-tie)

Few things in this world are as frightening as having your wisdom teeth in a dentist office located high up in a sky scraper just as a hurricane rolls into town.

Dentists—4th, Heights—6th, Hurricanes—9th


Humanity’s worst fears are everywhere in North Carolina, except for dentists, which is odd.

Hurricanes—4th, Shark Attacks—5th, Lightning—10th


North Dakota is the second least-scary state in America, and if you’re one of the few Americans who doesn’t fear clowns then it’s a place where you can truly live without fear.


OHIO (26th)

In 26th place, Ohio is right in that sweet spot that Goldilocks would like so much.

Meth Labs—9th, Lightning—9th


The odds of a clown also being a cold-blooded killed is extremely low, except in Oklahoma.

Tornadoes—2nd, Murderers—3rd, Clowns—3rd

OREGON (30th)

If you’re in Oregon, and a bear chases you into the ocean, your only hope is that the sharks devour the bear first.

Volcanoes—2nd, Bears—6th, Sharks—7th


Pennsylvania is a bad state to hang out on the roof during a thunderstorm, even if you’re fleeing a pack of murderous dentists.

Heights—7th, Lightning—8th, Murderers—16th, Dentists—6th

RHODE ISLAND (44th-tie)

There’s little to fear in Rhode Island, provided you stay indoors during lightning storms.



The only thing we have to fear in South Carolina is just about everything.

Murderers—3rd, Shark Attacks—4th, Hurricanes—5th, Spiders—5th, Meth Labs—7th


South Dakota has the least to fear of any U.S. state. Think of it as a little slice of North Dakota, but devoid of  clowns.

Volcanoes—16th, Tornadoes—19th


If you don’t want to see clowns on meth you better stay out of Tennessee.

Meth Users—2nd, Clowns—7th, Murderers—9th

TEXAS (3rd)

Basically, Texas is a preview of the apocalypse, and this study doesn’t even take into account alligators, chupacabres, global warming, or zombie attacks.

Spiders—1st, Hurricanes—2nd, Snakes—2nd, Heights—3rd, Prison—5th

UTAH (32nd)

What do you call an airplane full of dentists that’s crashed into a long extinct volcano? A tragedy. It’s a tragedy.

Flying—6th, Volcanoes—10th, Dentists—11th

VERMONT (48th)

If all the state’s went to a slumber party it would be Vermont’s mom who would insist they not watch any scary movies.



Much like a meal made from ingredients found in the back of the fridge after a month-long power outage in August, Virginia’s a state filled with a plethora dangers worthy of fear.

Hurricanes—9th, Volcanoes—11th, Shark Attacks—12th, Flying—12th


Newcomers to the state are most fearful of Washington’s substandard drivers, but then they realize all the mountains go boom every few hundred years and they readjust their fears accordingly.

Volcanoes—3rd, Heights—5th, Dentists—9th, Bears—10th


You never know who or what you’ll run into when you step into a forest in West Virginia, but it will likely be Smokey The Meth Clown. You’re advised to run.

Bears—9th, Meth Labs—15th, Clowns—19th


Packers fans may not fear the Bears the way they did in the 1980s, but they still have an all time losing record against their NFC North rivals.

Bears—8th, Tornadoes—17th

WYOMING (44th-tie)

Residents in Wyoming aren’t afraid of anything, even their bears, which the state’s game officials don’t even bother to count.


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Estately is a national online real estate search site whose articles have been featured in the The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, CNET, San Francisco Chronicle, Time, GeekWire, The Denver Post, and more.

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States Most/Least Likely to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse

The Nerdiest States in America

This Is What Each State Googles More Than Any Other State

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Top 10 Coastal States for Spending Summer by the Shore


As the sun sets later over the horizon and the familiar song of the ice cream truck returns to suburban streets we at Estately are day-dreaming about long, lazy days at the beach. With this in mind we set out to find the best coastal states for lounging ocean-side. We researched where sharks seem willing to share the water limb-tax free, where the waves are warmest, but the rain is scarce and, of course, where the tastiest ice cream awaits.
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  |  Maps

10 U.S. States Where Life Is Most Like A Country Song


Estately set out with the simple mission—to determine which U.S. states have a lifestyle most similar to the themes in country music songs. To do this, we researched where people are most likely to drive pickups down dirt roads, have their heart broken by a cowboy or cowgirl, or sip cold beers or whiskey by the river after a long day of work. Here’s the criteria we used to find our results…

  1. Pickup Trucks:  Pickup truck sales for January-April 2014. (Source: Auto experts at Edmunds.com provided analysis of Polk registrations (January-April 2014), which measures all large truck vehicles registered to a retail buyer (excluding fleet sales).
  2. Drinkin’:  Per capita beer and liquor consumption (source: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism).
  3. Baby Done Left:  Percentage of men and women who are divorced or separated (source: U.S. Census).
  4. Most religious:  Percentage of population that says religion is an important part of their daily life (source: Gallup Poll).
  5. Cowboys and Cowgirls:  Since there’s no cowboy directory we simply measured the number of cattle and calves per square mile (source: CattleRange.com).
  6. Hall of Fame Country Musicians:  Number of country musicians in the Country Music Hall of Fame who were born in each state (source: Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum).
  7. Dirt Roads:  Miles of unpaved roads managed by the Federal Highway Administration (source: Federal Highway Administration). Does not include private roads or Forest Service/BLM roads.
  8. Supports the Troops:  Active military personnel in each state (source: Census.gov).
  9. Works Until the Day Is Through:  Ranked from lowest unemployment rate to highest (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).


Profiles of Each State:

ALABAMA (10th):  Sweet home Alabama is the second most religious state, but that doesn’t mean it’s honoring its wedding vows (6th highest divorce rate).

ALASKA (31st):  If you replace dirt roads with ice roads, and cowboys with commercial fishers, Alaska’s ranking probably comes out a lot higher.

ARIZONA (33rd):  Arizona’s country singers probably write more songs about a woman leaving her man after the air conditioner broke than any other.

ARKANSAS (5th):  The great state of Arkansas might have come in first if it didn’t fill its red Solo cups primarily with non-alcoholic grape juice (50th for boozing).

CALIFORNIA (42nd):  You’re far more likely to spot a celebrity in California than to see a pickup truck with a cooler of beer in the back (48th for pickup sales and 42nd for beer/liquor purchases).

COLORADO (27th):  High on the mountain top, the rest of the world’s just a little bitty spot, so perhaps altitude is the reason Colorado has nobody in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

CONNECTICUT (50th):  Connecticut’s ideal form of country music would be Carly Rae Jepsen performing her one hit over and over while wearing Daisy Duke’s.

DELAWARE (41st): The state may be 3rd for beer and liquor purchases, but all that boozing has so far failed to inspire any iconic country music drinking songs.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (46th):  Pickup trucks are none too popular with the fine lobbyists who reside in our nation’s capital (51st in pickup truck sales).

FLORIDA (21st):  For every jacked up truck in Florida driven by someone with cut-off sleeves there’s a retired investment banker strolling through town in yellow thong that really hurts the state’s ranking here.

GEORGIA (24th-tie):  Do not rock the jukebox in Georgia. This is Alan Jackson country.

HAWAII (45th):  If by “country music” you mean “Taylor Swift,” then yes, Hawaiians do love country music.

IDAHO (29th):  All of Idaho’s rowdy friends are living the country life in Montana and Wyoming.

ILLINOIS (35th):  Man, if you want to meet a bunch of people who know all the words to Sheryl Crow’s “All I Wanna Do Is Have Some Fun” then you need to go to Illinois.

INDIANA (26th):  Southern Indiana is resenting the northern part of the state even more for this low ranking.

IOWA (17th):  The state is thick with cowboys and cowgirls (3rd), and has miles of dirt roads (5th), but that setting hasn’t put any locals in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Those corn maizes make it too hard for locals to find their way to Nashville!

KANSAS (6th):  Chillin’ on a dirt road is always an option in Kansas since it’s got the most miles of dirt road per square mile of any state in America.

KENTUCKY (8th):  The odds of you being an unemployed cowboy whose wife just walked out are very high in Kentucky.

LOUISIANA (4th):  When you’re sad and lonely and got no place to go you can always go honkey tonkin’ in Louisiana. Always.

MAINE (38th):  Mamas in Maine don’t have to worry about their babies growing up to be cowboys because the state is largely devoid of any cows (49th in beef production). However, all hope is not lost as country music is still waiting for songs about the hard lives of America’s lonesome blueberry farmers.

MARYLAND (37th):  In Maryland, most locals still believe Dolly Parton was one of the actresses on the TV show Trading Places.

MASSACHUSETTS (48th):  The only country band anyone will admit listening to in Massachusetts is the Dixie Chicks.

MINNESOTA (23rd):  Someday the artist formerly known as Prince, and now once again known as Prince, is going to make an awesome country album and nobody will question Minnesota’s surprisingly high 23rd place ranking.

MICHIGAN (34th):  Big belt buckles are commonly stolen in Michigan.

MISSISSIPPI (16th):  Mississippi is the most religious state in America, but it’s also the state where someone is most likely to sell their soul to the devil at a crossroads in exchange for music success.

MISSOURI (3rd): It’s fifth for cowboys/cowgirls and it’s got the sixth most performers in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

MONTANA (15th):  Many a cooler of beer can be found in back of a pickup, but few of those pickup trucks are found in church parking lots.

NEBRASKA (11th):  In Nebraska, baby’s got her blue jeans on because she works on a ranch (first for cowboys and cowgirls).

NEVADA (39th):  Nevada is fifth for beer and liquor consumption, and it’s first for divorce. Perhaps if Nevada was more familiar with the works of Loretta Lynn they wouldn’t come home a drinkin’ with lovin’ on its mind.

NEW HAMPSHIRE (44th):  Someday, Toby Keith is going to cause a riot in New Hampshire when he sings about giving beer to his horses. Beer is sacred in New Hampshire, and certainly not something given to livestock.

NEW JERSEY (51st—last place):  Eventually, when the whole world’s gone country, New Jersey will still be playing that one cassette tape filled with Paula Abdul songs recorded off a Top 40 radio station.

NEW MEXICO (19th):  The odds of your husband driving off in your pickup truck and never returning are quite high in New Mexico (16th for pickup sales and 9th for divorce).

NEW YORK (47th):  You won’t hear much country outside of rural New York, unless you’re in a Brooklyn bar filled with hipsters ironically singing it at karaoke.

NORTH CAROLINA (22nd): North Carolina’s residents could dramatically increase their state’s ranking on this list by trading in their sedan for a pickup, and then filing for divorce.

NORTH DAKOTA (7th):  The average day in a North Dakota person’s life involves driving the pickup (1st for sales) along dirt roads to the oil fields, working all day (1st for employment), drinking all night (1st for beer/liquor consumption), and then waking up alone because he/she never got married.

OHIO (24th-Tie):  Ohio is home to the ninth most members of the Country Music Hall of Fame, and a good number of coal miners’ daughters.

OKLAHOMA (1st place): Even though they don’t drink much beer and liquor in the land of Garth Brooks, the state is still in the top fourteen in all other categories, which makes it the number one state on this list.

OREGON (40th):  Loretta Lynn may drink sloe gin fizz by the bucket in Portland, but that’s about as country as that state gets.

PENNSYLVANIA (32nd):  Wow, it’s hard to believe that Eagles fans would would allow Pennsylvania to be home to so many cowboys (12th most).

RHODE ISLAND (49th):  Is the rumor true that the only country station in Rhode Island just plays an old Hootie & the Blowfish album on repeat 24/7?

SOUTH CAROLINA (13th):  How come nobody in South Carolina has written a country song about the roof on the mobile home collapsing under the weight of the DIRECTV satelite dish?

SOUTH DAKOTA (9th): Carpooling to work is a challenge in a state where everyone owns a pickup truck (fourth most).

TENNESSEE (12th):  Tennessee coming in 12th place was the most surprising finding on this list. Despite being a center for country music and home to the most residents in Country Music Hall of Fame, the Volunteer State came up in short in a number of other key categories.

TEXAS (2nd):  Texas was country before country was cool, including back when Texas was its own country.

UTAH (43rd): Folks in Utah mate for life (50th in divorce rate), so there’s little heartbreak to croon about. Could be one factor in why it’s in last place for local residents in the Country Music Hall of Fame, and probably partly responsible for the lowest rate of alcohol intake.

VERMONT (27th):  The maple syrup life ain’t a good life, but it’s Vermont’s life.

VIRGINIA (20th):  Virginia is home to the third most members of the Country Music Hall of Fame, but locals probably toast to this accomplishment with sweet tea (49th for beer and liquor consumption).

WASHINGTON (36th):  Willie Nelson music career began by singing about loggers in Washington state, but it has yet to inspire the Evergreen State to go country. However, 100.7 The Wolf is working on it.

WEST VIRGINIA (18th):  Some say when West Virginians talk about having friends in low places they’re talking about having friends in Ohio.

WISCONSIN (28th):  Wisconsin isn’t known for its country scene, perhaps because it inspires lyrics like this, “Somebody will buy another round / and with every drinks are free / what made Milwaukee famous / has made a fool out of me.”

WYOMING (14th):  In Wyoming, an alleged 30% of all marriages start in traffic jams because there’s just something women like about a pickup man (2nd for pickup sales).

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Estately is a national online real estate search site whose articles have been featured in the The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, CNET, San Francisco Chronicle, Time, GeekWire, The Denver Post, and more.

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States Most/Least Likely to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse

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Which U.S. States Have The Most American Pride?

Here in America, the flame of liberty is lit in each and every one of our 50 states. However, that light does not glow equally bright in all of them. With this in mind the real estate search site Estately set out to determine which corners of our great land are the most enthusiastically American, and which ones just sort of hum along when “The Star-Spangled Banner” is played. This exhaustive study relied on eight somewhat questionable measurements. We leave it up to the reader to decide if their state is proudly American or whether it is not. move-canada Read more

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The Most Soccer-Enthused States In America


When it comes to soccer, America is a country divided. Some states are downright European in their embrace of the beautiful game, while others have shunned it like it was blood sausage in an English breakfast. In Washington State, it’s completely acceptable to leave work early to watch the World Cup at a nearby pub. In Alabama, that just might get you tossed off the side of the oil rig.
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Which Springfield Is Most Like The Springfield On “The Simpsons?”

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You Can Learn A Lot About America From Each State’s Internet Search History

google-search-map2 America’s fifty states have a lot in common, but if their internet search histories are any indication they also have significant differences. Estately ran hundreds of search queries through Google Trends to determine which words, terms, and questions each state was searching for more than any other. The results ranged from mildly amusing to completely disturbing. No doubt this information will come in handy for anyone trying to decide which state they want to buy a home in, especially for those curious how their potential neighbors spend their time online. The results on the map above are just the tip of the online search iceberg. Check out what other search queries each state performed more of than any other in the list below…
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