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Every State Ranks Worst in Something: What’s Your State Guilty Of?

Updated on January 26, 2011

I recently came across an infographic called The United States of Shame. It shows all fifty states based on what they are ranked worst in compared to all other states. That’s right; every single state ranks last in something even those states like Hawaii where life seems ideal; (it may be but the state ranks last for cost of living). Take a look at each of the 50 states and what they rank worst in according to various stats and surveys (like the census):

1. Alabama: Most Likely to Have a Stroke. A higher percentage of people in this state have strokes compared with any other state (except Oklahoma which ties for dead last in this category).

2. Alaska: Most Likely to Commit Suicide. That’s right, the dark and dreary and isolated state of Alaska has the highest suicide rate of all of the states in the U.S. Go figure. It may be beautiful but it’s a lonely, lonely place.

3. Arizona: Where The Drunks Are. Growing up in Arizona I always heard that we were one of the worst states when it come to education. We aren’t last in that category but we are the state with the highest rate of alcoholism.

4. Arkansas: Where Debt is Terrible. People in this state don’t seem to have their debt and spending under control, which is why Arkansas has the worst average credit score of any state.

5. California: Dirtiest Air. The state that I live in now ranks worst in air pollution. I like to blame Los Angeles and pretend that it’s not a problem up here in Northern California but the truth is that the whole state needs to make some changes and clean up its act!

6. Colorado: Where the Cocaine Addicts Are. That’s right; this gorgeous state where the hiking is wonderful and life is beautiful is also the state with the most cocaine use. Nearly four percent of the state’s population uses cocaine.

7. Connecticut: Breast Cancer Is a Serious Problem. This New England state has the highest rate of breast cancer compared to all other states. Scary.

8. Delaware: Where Women Are Getting Abortions. Regardless of whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, abortion is a difficult experience for anyone to go through. Apparently in Delaware women have it tough since the state has the highest abortion rate in the country.

9. Florida: Most Likely to Have Your Identity Stolen. That’s right; you might think that this elderly-filled state would have some type of ranking related to illness but actually it’s the state with the highest rate of identity theft.

10. Georgia: Most Likely to get the Flu. This Florida neighbor is actually where the sickness seems to spread. It’s the place with the highest rate of influenza.

11. Hawaii: Too Expensive To Live Here. This pretty state has the highest cost of living.

12. Idaho: A State No One Cares About. This state has the lowest level of “Congressional clout”.

13. Illinois: Where You Are Most Likely To Get Robbed. Nearly 300 people of every 100,000 in Illinois will get robbed.

14. Indiana: An Eco-Friendly Nightmare. California might have the worst air pollution by Indiana ranks highest for being the most environmentally unfriendly of all states.

15. Iowa: Where Everyone is Near Death. That’s because they are old. This state ties with 3 other states for the largest amount of the population being older than 85.

16. Kansas: Where No One Exercises. This state has the highest number of days per calendar year in which people are inactive. Get on the treadmill Dorothy!

17. Kentucky: Tobacco and Cancer. Connecticut has the highest rate of breast cancer but Kentucky has the highest number of cancer-related deaths. This could be related to the fact that this state also has the highest rate of people who smoke tobacco.

18. Louisiana: An STD-Rich State. More than 250 out of every 100,000 people in Louisiana have gonorrhea.

19. Maine: Failing the SATs. This New England state has been named among the dumbest because it has the lowest SAT scores in the nation.

20. Maryland: The AIDS State. Louisiana has a claim on gonorrhea but Maryland has the highest AIDS rate in the nation, clearly a more frightening situation.

21. Massachusetts: Most Likely to Get in a Car Accident. Based on personal experience, I’m sure that the traffic situation in Boston doesn’t help the auto accident rate here.

22. Michigan: Most Likely to Be Jobless. This state has the highest rate of unemployment.

23. Minnesota: Most Likely to be Caught in a Tornado. Kansas has nothing on this state that had 123 tornadoes in 2010 alone.

24. Mississippi: Most Problems. This state ranks worst in obesity rates, child poverty rates, infant mortality rates, teen birth rates, overall STD rates and median household income.

25. Missouri: Most Likely to Go Bankrupt. 700 out of every 100,000 people in Missouri have filed for bankruptcy.

26. Montana: Most Likely to Die in a Drunk Driving Accident. Kind of ironic since there are relatively such few drivers in general here compared to other states.

27. Nebraska: Where Women Get Killed. If you want to limit your chances of becoming a murdered woman then apparently you should avoid this Midwestern state.

28. Nevada: 2 Huge Problems. Nevada has the highest rate of violent crime as well as the highest foreclosure rate in the nation.

29. New Hampshire: Corporate Taxes Are Too High. That’s not too terrible compared to some of these other states. Maybe we should all think about moving to New Hampshire!

30. New Jersey: Where People Get Taxed. This state has the highest rate of citizen taxation.

31. New Mexico: Where Social Health Doesn’t Matter. This Southwestern state ranks worst of all in terms of social health policies.

32. New York: Where You’re Stuck in Traffic Every Day. The average daily commute is more than half an hour each day here, higher than any other state. Remember that this is an average so it means a lot of people are spending a significantly higher amount of time commuting each day.

33. North Carolina: The State That Doesn’t Care About Teachers. Teachers in North Carolina have the lowest average salaries in the nation compared to other teachers.

34. North Dakota: Where People Are Ugly. I don’t know about this one – seems too subjective. Is North Dakota not ranked last in anything else?

35. Ohio: Most Likely to Visit a Library. Wait a minute – how is that a bad thing? I’ve spent a significant amount of time in this state and I’d guess that there are a lot of other things in the state that are much worse. That said, the large number of colleges in this state makes it totally unsurprising to me that it ranks highest for most library visits.

36. Oklahoma: Where Women Go to Prison. This Midwest state has the highest rate of women in prison.

37. Oregon: Where the Homeless Stay Homeless. Apparently Oregon has the highest rate of homeless people who are long-term vs. short-term homeless. I’m not sure what qualifies as “long term” in this study, though.

38. Pennsylvania: Most Likely to Die by Fire. This state has the highest rate of arson fires in the country.

39. Rhode Island: The Drug Capital. Colorado may take the cake for cocaine use but Rhode Island has a higher rate of drug use in general. Nearly thirteen percent of the Rhode Island popular is engaged in illicit drug use.

40. South Carolina: Where People Live in Trailers. Nearly one in five people in this state live in mobile homes.

41. South Dakota: The Rape State. Women are more likely to get murdered in Nebraska but they are more likely to be forcibly raped in South Dakota. Awful.

42. Tennessee: The Corrupt State. This is another one that seems a bit subjective.

43. Texas: Least Likely to Graduate. Students in Maine may be getting the lowest SAT scores but at least they are taking their SATs. People in Texas are just dropping out. Nearly one quarter of Texas students don’t graduate.

44. Utah: Obsessed with Porn. This state may be famous for its Mormons but it also has the highest rate of online porn subscriptions.

45. Vermont: Where It’s Hard to Have a Baby. This New England state has the lowest birth rate of the nation. This may mean that infertility rates are high although it could also mean that people are just choosing not to have kids here.

46. Virginia: Most Likely to Die Drunk on a Motorcycle. Enough said.

47. Washington: Most Likely to Have Sex with an Animal. That’s right, Washington state has the highest rate of bestiality in the nation. Luckily this is still a small number with 4 cases reported in 2010.

48. West Virginia: Most Likely to Have a Heart Attack. Nearly seven percent of the West Virginia population will have a heart attack.

49. Wisconsin: Where More Drunks Are. Arizona has the highest rate of alcoholism but Wisconsin has the highest rate of binge drinking. Nearly one in four people in this state are guilty of this dangerous action.

50. Wyoming: Most Likely to Die in a Car Crash. You may be more likely to die in a drunk driving accident in Montana (and a drunk driving motorcycle accident in Virginia) but you’re more likely to die in a car crash in general in the state of Wyoming.

What do you think of your state now?!


Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    Expliteron 19 months ago

    On one state it was: least government intervintion. That's actually a good thing, it promotes wealth. Just wanting to help!

  • profile image

    Amanda 3 years ago

    December 24, 2012 at 8:33 amMy friend just oeerffd me a job on social media marketing, I don't know too much about it but I could definitely use a second job to get more money. I was told that I could have a 8-9 (1 hour) job which is very puzzling so someone fill me in on it.

  • profile image

    Roxanna 3 years ago

    Deadly accurate answer. You've hit the buyeslle!

  • americanidle7 profile image

    americanidle7 5 years ago

    guess i'd better stay away from matches...didn't know pennsylvania had pyromania

  • profile image

    radiantwriting 5 years ago

    As a former resident of the state of Idaho, I can honestly say that the Idaho State Tax Commission is absolutley the closest thing to the Hilter Regime this side of the year 2000! The IRS are sweet and pliable in comparison. The state of Idaho will send out a request to make payments and with no further notice, levy your bank account if that form is not returned to them within two weeks. The entire two week process includes the mailing time for the form to reach you as well as returned to them by mail. Furthermore, the tax commission will not send out the notice that you have been levied until the very day that levy hits your bank! Basically, the only notice you have is that your bank account has been wiped out!! As for Oregon, yes, the homeless issue is huge, I live in Ashland, Oregon and there is a huge homeless problem!!! This is a highly informative Hub! Very interesting!

  • jackscott profile image

    jackscott 6 years ago from Bodrum, Turkey

    It might be fun to do this for countries - more likely to be an alcholic in Russia, most likely to commit suicide in Sweden, most likely to die of boredom in Belgium, etc!


  • literary_hack profile image

    literary_hack 6 years ago

    Wow! I'm from VT and I find that statistic so odd considering my town, where most women have multiple children by 21 years old. In fact, I substitute teach in my local elementary and middle school and have been asked at least four times if I had a child in the school. When I answered, "No, I'm 23," the response sounded something like, "Well, that's old enough to have children."

    This was really interesting! Thanks for a great Hub!

  • J.S.Matthew profile image

    JS Matthew 6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA


    Great Hub! Very interesting. There's an irony here for me. I am from Massachusetts (#21 above) and I have to agree that there are a lot of accidents...I just had one the other day and it was scary!

    I actually wrote a HubPage about that experience! Please check it out and comment!

    Thanks for the great Hub!

    I always enjoy reading yours!


  • Brutus Orkney profile image

    Brutus Orkney 6 years ago from AZ

    Seriously on the alcoholism? I'm somewhat surprised at that. The most guns (think Tombstone), maybe I can see that....

  • amybradley77 profile image

    amybradley77 6 years ago

    Absolutely true of Oregon, we have always been one of the, if not the highest state for unemployed people in our Nation. Yet, we do make up for it just a bit by having one of the greatest employment departments that do all they can humanly possible to assist all of these people with there unemployment needs. Unlike some other states I have been in, the department people seem to know and understand more just how hard it is in our job market in today's world. I have seen them do very great things out here in the country land of Oregon, and in the Portland City limits both. A.B.

  • VINCENTB profile image

    Vincent Brice 6 years ago from Columbia S.C

    Your states on south carolina are a bit inacurate but overall good hub

  • Barbara Kay profile image

    Barbara Badder 6 years ago from USA

    Michigan has finally lost its title as the state with the most unemployment. I think it's New Jersey that now has that title.

    This was an interesting hub. Good job.

  • sligobay profile image

    sligobay 6 years ago from east of the equator

    Highest taxes in NJ isn't a bad worse. Ohio doesn't have a "worst" status from what I can see. Very interesting info and Hub.

  • ocbill profile image

    ocbill 6 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

    Wow. your list is spot on but I'd argue that So Cal has worse traffic than NY and AZ is home to people using trailer hitches on vehicles (albeit in the fast lane) more than anywhere else.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

    Wow, that was en interesting read.

  • lovelypaper profile image

    Renee S 6 years ago from Virginia

    I don't have a motorcycle and I don't drink anymore....wheeew!

  • Pamela N Red profile image

    Pamela N Red 6 years ago from Oklahoma

    I live in Oklahoma and new about that statistic. I guess that makes us home of the bad girls.