The States That Are the “Most Normal” Are . . . Illinois and Florida?

We’re always seeing reports about the U.S. states with the highest THIS and the lowest THAT.  Or the best states for THIS and the worst states for THAT.  But what about the middle-of-the-road?

The “Washington Post” set out to determine “the most NORMAL state in the nation” . . . the state that’s the most generic American . . . or the state that’s most similar to America as a whole.

They crunched a bunch of data:  Census variables and demographics . . . including race and religion . . . income . . . education . . . jobs (white-collar, blue-collar, service-sector) . . . and social issues, among other things.

In the end, they named Illinois the most normal state.  (Coincidentally, Illinois has a city named Normal with 53,000 residents, but that was not a factor.)

The second-most normal state is Florida.  (I’ve heard a lot of crazy things . . . but FLORIDA and NORMAL aren’t often in the same sentence.)

The study also grouped states, and looked at each state’s “closest match.”  Overall, the two most similar states are Ohio and Missouri.  Indiana and Missouri are also very close . . . as are Indiana and Ohio.

Other examples include:

The closest match for Colorado is . . . Washington.

The closest match for Connecticut is . . . Massachusetts.

The closest match for Florida is . . . Nevada.

The closest match for California is . . . Texas, believe it or not.

They also broke each COUNTY down by how “typical” or “unusual” it was compared to the rest of the country . . . and the more typical ones were generally in the northern half of the country, and the more unusual ones were more southern.

Except Florida, which again was found to be more typically American.

(Washington Post / NBC Chicago)