Which U.S. States Are The Most “American?” (Ranked 1-50 for Bald Eagles, Guns, Astronauts, and More)
Surely every single state in our United States is as American as apple pie, but what if you had to choose which state is the most American? It’s an impossible question, but one we at Estately went ahead and answered. Using only the most sophisticated mathematical formulas and data analysis we ranked each state using eight separate indicators that represent the uniqueness of the United States of America.
- Bald eagles per square mile (source: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)
- Olympic gold medals won, per capita (source: I.O.C)
- Astronauts born in each state, per capita (source: Wikipedia)
- Fast food restaurants, per capita (source: Yellow Pages)
- Total Major League Baseball players born in each state (source: Baseball Reference)
- Percentage of homes with firearms (source: BRFSS)
- Percentage of Facebook users in each state expressing interest in the “United States of America” (source: Facebook)
- Google searches for “Bin Laden dead” (source: Google Trends)
Want to learn more about what makes each state so American? We profiled all 50 of them below.
Alabama is home to 388,865 military veterans and 923 barbecue restaurants (most per capita in the country). On a scale of 1-10 Alabama’s Americaness is cranked way up to 11.
Bald eagles are so commonplace in Alaska the locals think of them more as large pigeons. If you want an Alaskan to get excited in a patriotic way over some wildlife then you’ll need to produce a Russian submarine for a pack of grizzly bears to rip apart like a sardine can.
Arizona came in second to last in our study, but our study didn’t factor in the Grand Canyon, the most beautiful and majestic of America’s millions of potholes.
You know which state Googles “Dancing with the Stars” more than any other? This one.
Some states out there may question whether Californians even know the pledge of allegiance, but the state cracks the top ten for astronauts and gold medals won per capita, and it’s home to America’s sweetheart—Olympic gold medal-winning ice skater Kristi Yamaguchi.
If John Denver wrote a song about you then you’re definitely American, and having the fifth most astronauts per capita doesn’t hurt either.
The brave beer drinkers of Connecticut never ratified the 18th Amendment (prohibition), which means this Bud’s for Connecticut. The rest of America will pick up the tab.
Not a single Olympic gold medal, Delaware? It’s a good thing you were the first state to ratify the constitution you patriotic trendsetters.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Since the District of Columbia isn’t a state, residents of our nation’s capital endure taxation without representation. You know who else did? George Washington and the rest of the Founding Fathers. That’s pretty damn American.
Every family has that one member who shows up drunk at family functions, makes a scene, and brings shame upon the family name. America is one big family, and Florida is that embarrassing family member. Sure, they botch elections and fill our news feed with the truly bizarre, but that hot mess is one of us, for better or worse.
Georgia only came in 26th on our list, but we didn’t have a metric for inspiring Civil Rights leaders like Atlanta’s own Martin Luther King, Jr, one our country’s greatest Americans.
Sure, Hawaii may be located thousands of miles away across the Pacific Ocean, but if anyone messes with it they’ll face the entire United States of America (note: see Pearl Harbor, WWII)
America wouldn’t have tater tots and french fries without potatoes, and Idaho is the country’s largest producer of potatoes. And an America without tater tots or french fries wouldn’t really be America at all, would it?
There are more miles of interstate highways passing through Indiana than any other state, and that long stream of cars and trucks just screams “America!” This is an encouraging statistic coming from a state that Googles “communism” more than other.
You know who’s number one? Iowa is. It’s where astronauts are born, and where the actual baseball field in the movie Field of Dreams is located. It produces the most bacon of any state, and Iowa corn farmers fuel our country’s obesity epidemic with sweet, sweet corn syrup. Instead of saying “It’s as American as apple pie” we should be saying “It’s as American as Iowa.”
Hard to believe that the state that gave us Amelia Earhart once had a law on the books that forbid ice cream from being served on cherry pie. That law was thankfully repealed, but let’s all agree to keep an eye on Kansas going forward.
American Pharoah, the first racehorse to win the Triple Crown in decades, was born and trained in Kentucky. You know who else was born in Kentucky? Hunter S. Thompson, Robert Penn Warren, Muhammad Ali, Florence Henderson, Lee Majors, and Loretta Lynn. That’s an all-American lineup.
Americans love a bargain, and there was perhaps no better bargain than the Louisiana Purchase. And even if hadn’t included all the other states, Louisiana was well worth the purchase price.
Some think Maine is just an isolated hunk of rock and forest gently tickling Canada’s underside. However, when it comes to the democratic process nobody rocks the vote like Maine, which votes in higher numbers than any other state. Compare that to Georgia, which simply can’t be bothered.
In Maryland, instead of skeet shooting, locals just throw a blue crab up in the air and let one of their 1,000+ bald eagles snatch it out of the air. The do it out of love, they do it for America.
Look, it’s got Plymouth Rock, and it saw some early Revolutionary war battles, and Paul Revere rode his horse around, and there was that Boston Tea Party, and lots of presidents were born there, and yada yada it’s as American as a 4th of July parade.
Due to its shape, Michigan’s lower peninsula is considered America’s fist, an uppercut just waiting to happen. And the upper peninsula is the club Michigan breaks off to beat America’s enemies with. No wonder Canada keeps to its side of the 49th parallel.
A recent study by Estately determined that the American dream is most attainable in Minnesota. So it’s got that going for it, which is nice. It’s also got a ton of bowling alleys, a bunch of lakes to fish at, and it gave us Prince.
Mississippi is the birthplace of a large number of legendary Americans, including Elvis Presley, Robert Johnson, William Faulkner, Oprah Winfrey, Walter Payton, Richard Wright, Faith Hill, Jim Henson, Tammy Wynette, and Jerry Rice. In addition, Mississippi has the fourth most Olympic gold medals per capita of any U.S. state. Not bad, Mississippi. Not bad at all.
Missouri gave America Mark Twain, a nice sendoff for the Lewis & Clark Expedition, and the second most Major League Baseball players per capita in the country (including Yogi Berra). And all they’ve asked in return is we don’t judge them for all their meth labs.
Don’t let Montana’s natural beauty fool you, it’s more than just a pretty face. It’s also one tough S.O.B, just like America.
Being home to the most cattle in the country means Nebraska is also home to most cowboys and cowgirls, and that’s about as American as Aretha Franklin singing the National Anthem at a rodeo.
Despite leading the country in fast food eateries the state of Nevada still came in last place in this study, and not just because Celine Dion performs in Las Vegas on a near daily basis. The state has produced zero astronauts, few Olympians, and avoids voting probably like it avoids apple pie. For all we know the whole state prefers two-hand touch football to tackle football. Get it together, Nevada.
It doesn’t get much more American than leading the nation in student loan debt. Every state is #1 in something—click here for proof.
Perhaps the greatest flaw in this study is that New Jersey didn’t receive any points for producing Bruce Springsteen.
According to the most recent Census data, 10.1% of New Mexico’s population are American Indian and Alaska Native—the highest of any state in the continental United States. It doesn’t get any more American than being descended from the original inhabitants of America.
If you took all 31 New York-born astronauts and stacked them on top of each other it still wouldn’t be as tall as America’s greatest symbol—The Statue of Liberty.
91 years before R Kelly sang “I Believe I Can Fly” a pair of brothers in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina just went ahead and did it, pulling off the first successful powered flight by man. Another first place-win for America.
Question: Which state buys more pickup trucks and works more hours per day?
Answer: North Dakota.
As an American, you’ve no doubt given or received a Hickory Farms gift basket, and if you haven’t you have a few short months to do so before the FBI shows up at your door with some questions. A holiday isn’t complete without tasty treats like smoked cheese and summer sausage, and all from a company that got its start in Ohio, just like the world’s best basketball player—Lebron James.
You know what’s a delicious American dish? Chicken fried steak. You know the best way to make chicken fried steak? Fry it in a cast iron skillet.You know what state is shaped like a skillet? Oklahoma. You know which state eats the most chicken fried steak? Oklahoma. Boom! America.
The Founding Fathers grew hemp and didn’t bath much either, okay?
What state produced the most Major League Baseball players per capita? The same one that’s home to Rocky, the Liberty Bell, the cheesesteak, and American hero Benjamin Franklin.
To make up for its zero Olympic gold medals Rhode Island can boast of local song writer George M. Cohan, who wrote “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” Okay, so let’s move on…
Thomas Edison created a lot of wonderful inventions, but shrimp and grits is probably America’s greatest invention, and South Carolina made it famous.
Mt. Rushmore has the faces of four presidents looking out on the state of South Dakota, which is American enough, but the state is also home to American legends like Crazy Horse (Oglala Lakota war leader), Laura Ingalls Wilder (author of Little House on the Prairie), Sitting Bull (Hunkpapa Lakota chief), and Tom Brokaw (news anchor).
The Volunteer State is home to Dollywood, named for country star Dolly Parton, possibly America’s greatest living treasure. In addition to her, the state is the home of the highest number of people in the Country Music Hall of Fame, which is also in Tennessee.
Sure, Texans daydream about seceding, and they’re constantly on the lookout for someone trying to mess with them, and millions of its citizens are convinced the feds are about to invade it, but we’re all a little on edge these days, right? Also, this is a state that saw “Super Size Me” and thought, “Mmmm, I’d like to try that diet.” And it’s home to the Dallas Cowboys—America’s Team. So all in all it’s pretty dang American.
Bigger is better in America, and Utah’s got one of the largest organisms in the world—an enormous grove of quaking aspens. The trees share a single root system, so they’re all clones of a single tree. The grove could be over a million years old, spans 107 acres, and weighs 6,615 tons.
Drinking beers with friends is supposed to be relaxing, but not the way they do it in Vermont. The state is tops for playing beer pong, a competitive drinking game growing in popularity.
Virginia is for more than lovers, it’s also for Founding Fathers like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Patrick Henry, and others.
Washington state is the only state named for an American president, so yeah, it’s American as hell. It’s still ranked 42nd, but American none the less. Does it belong in Canada? Possibly, but we’re not about to start redrawing borders now.
Are you thinking Arby’s? No? Well West Virginia is, and those folks are taking country roads to get there just as Thomas Jefferson planned. In addition, West Virginia watches more TV than any state, exercises the least frequently, and watches the most soap operas.
Guess which state has more bald eagles per square and Super Bowl trophies than Minnesota? Here’s a hint—it’s Wisconsin. And here are 29 reasons you should move there.
Rectangle-shaped Wyoming is a great example of American efficiency—all right angles, no squiggles. Not only that, it was also the first state where women gained the right to vote, and voting is pretty damn American, and so is fighting for the right to do it.
OTHER ARTICLES FROM ESTATELY