When you spend time in different states across the country, you realize how unique each one really is. Different cultures, different environments, different historical pasts. Sure, we're all Americans, but each state does life their own way. So what does each state do best?
Back in 2017, the folks over at Thrillist put together this map that shows the unique strengths of every state. They used a hodgepodge of sources from census data to academic studies.
The map reveals some interesting tidbits about the Southern states. Mississippi, for instance, gets more sleep per night than any other state. Alabama has the most concealed carry licenses. Florida has the most 4-year-olds in preschool. Arkansas agrees that dog is man's best friend. Kentucky's students really do get above their raising. We know about Georgia peanuts from the state fair, but how about those North Carolina sweet potatoes? There's no better place to take in the great outdoors than Missouri. And here in Texas, we create the most wind energy. If you've ever driven through West Texas, that shouldn't come as much of a surprise.
Elsewhere in the United States, California's big statistic has nothing to do with your favorite movies or TV shows and other products of the Los Angeles area. New Mexico gets credit (or blame) for the ruler of the free world, while Massachusetts claims more than the Celtics' trophy case full of NBA titles (hint: driving there is safer than maneuvering the roads of Hawaii, though Indiana's king of the DMVs and Maryland residents are less accident prone). Pennsylvania's fact is about casinos and Nevada's isn't. Alaska (the largest state) is blessed with pilots and Nebraska's kind to plumbers, while there's plenty of opportunities to run for public office in Illinois (hopefully with funding from your well-paid supporters in New York and a grass root following in Kansas). And what about the three-state cluster of Idaho, Montana and North Dakota?
This story originally ran on March 28, 2017.