Special Report

The States With the Most McDonald's

4. Maryland
> McDonald’s locations per 100,000 residents: 6.33
> Obesity rate: 28.3% (22nd lowest)
> Pct. consuming vegetables less than daily: 22.8% (25th lowest)
> Median household income: $72,483 (the highest)

Maryland residents are exceptionally wealthy compared to other states with the most McDonald’s locations. The median household in Maryland earned $72,483 in 2013, the highest income in the nation. Residents were well educated, with more than 37% of adults having attained at least a bachelor’s degree, the third-highest rate in the country. There were three Starbucks stores per 100,000 Maryland residents, the eighth-highest proportion and exceptionally high compared to other states with the most McDonald’s. McDonald’s, as well as many other fast food restaurants, is popular among customers looking for inexpensive food, but high incomes in Maryland have not prevented numerous fast food restaurants from opening throughout the state. Chick-fil-A, KFC, and Wendy’s are all also quite common. Unlike most states with large numbers of McDonald’s restaurants, Maryland residents reported relatively healthy habits and outcomes, with better-than-average fruit and vegetable consumption, and an obesity rate of 28.3% — one of the lower percentages in the country.

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3. Kansas
> McDonald’s locations per 100,000 residents: 6.36
> Obesity rate: 30.0% (19th highest)
> Pct. consuming vegetables less than daily: 22.2% (19th lowest)
> Median household income: $50,972 (24th lowest)

An estimated 26.4% of Kansas residents had little access to grocery stores in 2010, the ninth-highest percentage in the country. This might help explain the prevalence of fast food restaurants in the state. Fast food chains thrive in Kansas. The state leads the nation with 39 major fast food chain restaurants for every 100,000 residents. McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Subway, and Pizza Hut are all among the most common in Kansas compared to other states. About 30% of Kansas residents were obese, tied with Pennsylvania and ahead of 30 other states. Kansas, a major U.S. beef producer, supplies McDonald’s

2. Michigan
> McDonald’s locations per 100,000 residents: 6.38
> Obesity rate: 31.5% (11th highest)
> Pct. consuming vegetables less than daily: 23.2% (23rd highest)
> Median household income: $48,273 (20th lowest)

Michigan has about 6.4 McDonald’s restaurants per 100,000 residents. The state is one of the most popular for fast food chains. In addition to McDonald’s, Michigan is in the top 10 for the number of Burger King, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, KFC and Subway locations per 100,000 residents. McDonald’s and other fast food restaurants are often frequented by customers looking for affordable food. As in many other states with the most McDonalds, Michigan had a relatively high poverty rate of 16.8%. High concentrations of fast food restaurants are also tied to relatively poor health outcomes. Michigan’s obesity rate, 31.5%, was higher than all but 10 states, and its heart disease death rate was higher than all but seven states.

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1. Ohio
> McDonald’s locations per 100,000 residents: 7.10
> Obesity rate: 30.4% (16th highest)
> Pct. consuming vegetables less than daily: 26.0% (12th highest)
> Median household income: $48,081 (19th lowest)

Ohio has more McDonald’s restaurants, 7.1 per 100,000 residents, than any other state and almost twice as many as Burger King’s 3.7 locations per 100,000 residents. There are far fewer McDonald’s outlets than Subways, which has 10.9 shops per 100,000 residents, more than in any other state. Ohio has the second-highest concentration of all major fast food restaurants. Only 15 states had an obesity rate higher than Ohio’s 30.4% in 2013. Ohio also has among the highest cardiovascular and cancer death rates, 274.6 per 100,000 and 207.7 per 100,000 respectively. Ohio has one of the two McDonald’s still serving pizza that were introduced more than 30 years ago. McPizza is still sold at a McDonald’s outlet in Pomeroy, Ohio. The other McDonald’s that sells pizza is about an hour away, in Spencer, West Virginia. In all other outlets, McDonald’s abandoned pizzas about 10 years after they were introduced because of their longer cook times.