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Is Your State a Land of Hippies or Is it Full of Squares?

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The United States of America is a far out place, a groovy country full of all sorts of different people, but what about the hippies? Here at the venerable real estate search site Estately we sought to seek out which state is home ot the largest concentrations of hippies. Since “hippie” isn’t a box you can check on the Census, we had to create a special set of criteria to determine who the hippies are and where they are located. To do this, we measured these four variables.

  1. Number of communes and intentional communities per capita in each state (source:  Fellowship for Intentional Community)
  2. Number of food co-ops per capita in each state (source: Coop Directory)
  3. Number of local Etsy stores per capita selling hemp, patchouli, and tie-dye products (source:  Etsy)
  4. Percentage of Facebook users who express interest in the following: Grateful Dead, Phish, cannabis, tie-dye, peace, LSD, Bob Dylan, and hippies (source:  Facebook)

For these four criteria we ranked each state (and the District of Columbia) from 1-51, with one being the most hippie and 51 being the least. In the end, Vermont was declared Hippie Heaven and Mississippi earned the title of Hippie Hell. Keep in mind that the numbers below for each category indicate the state’s rank, not its score.

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Obviously, there are a few surprises with our rankings. Notably, two important states to hippie culture were in the lower half of the rankings. New York, which is home to Woodstock, came in 29th, and California came in at 32nd. As Bob Dylan once said, “the times they are a changing”, and that means hippies are getting priced out of some of their favorite places. Where should a hippie reside now that the median home price in San Francisco ($1,000,000) is equal to the cost of 1,000 used VW microbuses? Perhaps in one of the our ten most hippie-friendly states…

Profiles of the 10 Best U.S. States for Hippies

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1. VERMONT

The home state of Phish, and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, it’s no surprise Vermont is America’s hippie Mecca. It has the most communes (24) and co-ops (16) per capita of any state, and it has highest concentration of Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan and Phish fans. Basically, Vermont is not only a massive hippie retirement community for the original hippies, but it’s also a haven for the next generation of flower children.

2. MAINE

If you’re thinking of selling your patchouli-scented soap in Maine you better be prepared for some stiff competition because the market is saturated. Overall, Maine residents expressed the most interest in hippie things, particularly peace (2nd), Grateful Dead (2nd), Phish (3rd), Cannabis (6th), Bob Dylan (2nd, and hippies (4th). The state is basically one big drum circle.

3. NEW HAMPSHIRE

Some of the pot and patchouli to be smelled in New Hampshire is no doubt wafting over the border from Vermont, but The Granite State is still very much a hippie stronghold. Per capita, it has the third most Grateful Dead fans, the second most patchouli products for sale on Etsy, the fifth most co-ops, and the 7th most communes. It’s basically Vermont with deodorant on.

4. OREGON

Much of Oregon will be shocked and insulted they aren’t #1, but before they abandon their belief in non-violence, let us explain. Oregon still sells more homemade tie-dye per capita than any other state, has the third most communes per capita, and it’s home to the city of Eugene, which holds the title of the #1 U.S. City for Hippies. Oregon remains a hippie haven, but perhaps it doesn’t let its freak flag fly as proudly as it once did.

5. COLORADO

Not only is Colorado home to legal weed, it’s also home the second highest concentration of Phish fans in America, the eighth highest concentration of communes, and the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. The question though is whether Colorado will remain a hippie state or whether its growth and changing demographics will cause it to lose its hippie cred the way California has?

6. MONTANA

The state isn’t going to change its slogan from “Big Sky Country” to “Good Vibe Country” anytime soon, but Montana has quietly become a haven for hippies. With plenty of land and a policy of leaving the neighbors alone to do whatever they want, Montana is fast becoming a destination for another wave of hippie settlers.

7. NEW MEXICO

New Mexico has more interest in tie-dye and cannabis than any other state, it’s fifth in selling hemp products on Etsy, and it boasts a high population of hippie artists wearing turquoise jewelry. Some say you can hear the drum circles in Taos as far away as Texas.

8. WISCONSIN

A midwestern hippie oasis, Patchouli-soaked Wisconsin has the sixth most co-ops per capita, the 12th most communes, and the 10th most Phish fans. Wisconsin’s hippiedom extends far beyond its hippie capital of Madison, and could be spreading even into neighboring Iowa. How else can you explain why Iowa residents do more online searches about the topic of legalizing marijuana?

9. WASHINGTON

Residents of Washington state don’t express their hippie values on Facebook the way the other states in the top ten do, but the state is littered with communes and intentional communities (108), marijuana is legal (and plentiful), and green values are commonplace.

10. IDAHO

Honestly, this came as a surprise. We triple checked the numbers and it all adds up. Thought for sure it would be Hawaii. So confused.

Profiles of the 10 Worst U.S. States for Hippies

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51. MISSISSIPPI

When it comes to nearly every category of measurement, Mississippi is the opposite of hippie. However, according to Google Trends, Mississippi is the most interested in “free love”, which might explain its ridiculously high gonorrhea rates.

50. LOUISIANA

If you’re looking to enjoy some great Cajun food and never see some longhairs braiding a hemp bracelet in a parking lot then Louisiana is your sanctuary.

49. TEXAS

There are pockets of hippiedom in Texas, and even 75 communes and intentional communities, but the number of hippies per capita is tiny in The Lone Star State. Also, Texas has fewer Grateful Dead fans per capita than any other state.

48. NEW JERSEY

Peace and love has never really been Jersey’s thing, and residents express little interest in anything hippie-ish on their Facebook pages.

47. GEORGIA

Like Mississippi, Georgia dislikes all things hippie, but it is curious about how this whole “free love” thing works.

46. ALABAMA

The odds of meeting an earth mama at the local co-op, falling in love over some steamed tofu, and then settling down together on a commune is pretty low in Alabama.

45. NEVADA

The state is known most for gambling, prizefighting, and gluttony, so perhaps it’s not surprising the hippies steer clear. Also, local Facebook users have a low interest in peace (51st) and Bob Dylan (49th).

44. SOUTH CAROLINA

Some say that South Carolina residents would cut down every one of their beloved palmetto trees just to spite the tree huggers and hippies in Charleston.

43. OKLAHOMA

It came as no surprise that Oklahoma isn’t a hippie haven. After all, these are the lyrics to Merle Haggard’s famous song “Okie From Muskogee”…

We don’t smoke marijuana in Muskogee / We don’t take no trips on LSD / We don’t burn no draft cards down on Main Street / We like livin’ right and bein’ free…

42. NEBRASKA

Nebraska has zero communes, despises tie-dye, and offers little to the American handmade hemp products market. Those who move their are sure to wear deodorant and avoid drum circles at all costs.

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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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OTHER ARTICLES BY ESTATELY

States Most/Least Likely to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse

The Nerdiest States in America

17 Best U.S. Cities for Hippies

  • Bill Catz

    All of Colorado’s are gathered in the Denver/Boulder metro areas. 99% of the state remains pretty much hippy free.

  • Jen Esty

    Very true about Maine and soap. Happy Hippie is a perennial favorite for us at Human Nature of Maine. And yes, the market IS saturated; it seems like EVERYONE is making soap????!

  • Lee Smith

    Is it just me or is the list set up backwards? The lowest ranking states are at the top of the list as being hippie haven. From their list (Number of communes and intentional communities per capita in each state, Oregon 3 Texas 49) I read that as Texas has more than Oregon. So Texas should be hippie nirvana shouldn’t it?

  • Ryan_Estately

    “For these four criteria we ranked each state (and the District of Columbia) from 1-51, with one being the most hippie and 51 being the least. In the end, Vermont was declared Hippie Heaven and Mississippi earned the title of Hippie Hell. Keep in mind that the numbers below for each category indicate the state’s rank, not its score.”

  • Banjofoot

    Texas is close to the bottom in more areas than just hippiedom. Social services, income, education, etc

  • Kevin

    while texas is towards the bottom in income, it also has a much lower cost of living than other places. You can have a nice house in a nice neighborhood for 10 times less than you would pay for an apartment in california, or new york. also Texas is one of the leaders in medicine, and the citizens have hospitality.

  • tinyheiny

    While I think it’s great that NH is #3; it kills me when it’s compared to VT. Anyone who lives or has lived in VT & NH knows the two states are nothing alike.

  • Banjofoot

    I’m a 7th generation Texan and live in Austin. Yes, Texas is a leader in the areas of research and cost of living but my once great state is leading the race to the bottom when it comes to social issues. I lived in Sonoma county, California for 8 years and was able to buy, then sell my house and move back home and pay almost in full for a house in Austin. We are much friendlier than the people in Ca. I couldn’t hide when I opened my mouth and talked because of my accent and people constantly made fun of my “hillbilly” way of talking even though I have a degree in Anthropology and taught at Sonoma State. I’m glad to be where I belong now but I miss the climate out there.

  • LostinIA

    Iowa’s interest in pot legalization has nothing to do with hippy leanings or second hand bong smoke from WI. It is cold hard capitalism. Iowa is an ag product factory, but corn has nothing on the market value of dank. Simply put IA farmers look at pot and think “I could grow acres and acres of the best hash ever and be rich!” Never mind that ALL of their neighbors would do the same resulting in a market glut and price drop. Iowans are greedy little weasels like that, but not real bright about economics. See corn prices and crop choice in the state.

  • IDmidwife

    All of the hippie states have the highest home birth rates and lowest c-section rates as well. All of the square states have low home birth rates and high c-section rates, with New Jersey having the highest c-section rate in the US. I’m sure this is no coincidence.

  • ratbas

    As a Masshole I agree. I think the big difference is that the non-hippies in Vermont are still good people whereas the a lot of the non-hippies in New Hampshire are conservative Massholes doing the white-flight thing.

  • http://whitenoiseinsanity.com/ KayInMaine

    I love Human Nature of Maine! :D

  • Scott MacKay

    In Texas like 25 percent of kids have NO health insurance. Medicine much better in New England states

  • lambwood

    Missouri, we have hippies and legal fireworks.

  • James Maynard

    Agreed. I was born in NH, and live in Vermont. The two states are far different. New Hampshire has come under control of the corporations. Vermont passes “FU corporations” laws every six months or so, just to keep the bastards at bay. Sure, we don’t have cell service anywhere in the state ;) but what are ya gonna do? lol.

  • Jeremy Noyes

    Yes but it’s still Texas…..how many years ago did it rain?

  • bbbozzz

    I’m dismayed. That seems to be a pretty ethnocentric view of what constitutes hippie culture. It seems to overlook the roots of both the the term and hippie culture’s relationship to black culture. Given how you’ve defined things,t’s no surprise that the state with the highest percentage of white people is also called the land of the hippies.

    Next time, maybe consider a more ethnically and culturally diverse set of markers for what makes a hippie?

  • Ryan_Estately

    Such as?

  • bbbozzz

    It’s nice of you to ask. I’d suggest you go read about the origins of the term in Harlem first (no heavy lifting needed – Wikipedia will do), then reconsider your musical choices. I mean, really, nothing against Phish – I love them – but a band from Vermont who first gigged in the 89s, while leaving out Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone, Buddy Miles, and George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic? I don’t know, man. Or consider Hawaii – is there a state more interested in weed or that has a bigger commune culture? There is no island culture in your list, but what about Rasta or Bob Marley? Or pick a white act – if Janis Joplin had made your list, I think it likely Texas would have moved up your rankings. Back to Hawaii – the reason there are fewer “communes” is because people can choose to live for extended period on any public beach. Your list is a strong proxy for the percentage of white people of a certain age in a state – it doesn’t have that much to do with hippies. The more ethnically diverse states where hippie culture is strong have no chance in your rankings because of how you calculated things.

    I don’t mean to hassle you – I just think a lot of hippie stuff has been whitewashed in recent years.

  • la veta yogini

    Colorado has plenty of hippies in the south central and southeast corner. It’s not only Boulder/Fort Collins. We love alternative energy and growing our own…and our kids and grandkids will come to this in their own time. We are definitely not like CA. In fact persons from both coasts flock here to get away from their ethos.

  • Lee Smith

    No my state is over run by pot smoking brain damaged liberals.

  • Ebony in Hartford

    Great response.

  • veggiegrrrl

    if you’re 100% vegan and want to live 15 minutes from san francisco in a 100% vegan house, contact me. amyvegan@ that evil company who streetviews our homes dot com