Special Report

The Worst Statistic About Your State

CHUYN / Getty Images

Each of the 50 states is a product of its own unique history, laws, culture, and geography. Indeed, no two states are exactly alike, and many of the attributes that make each state unique are a point of pride. Other unique characteristics, however, are not. 

Across hundreds of measures related to governance, safety, personal finance, state finance, industrial output, environmental sustainability, climate, and more — every state has at least one area in which it excels, performing better than any other state. Conversely, every state also has at least one area in which it performs worse than most states. 

24/7 Wall St. reviewed a range of data sets and state facts to identify the worst statistics about every state. In compiling this list, we prioritized a diversity of measures. Data came from sources including the U.S. Census Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the FBI

In many cases, a state’s worst statistics is largely a product of governmental priorities. These statistics include measures like a poorly funded public pension system, low investment in education, and a near-junk credit rating status. While not necessarily an indictment of current state government leadership, measures such as these can be indicative of poor management — past or present. Here is a look at the best- and worst-run states

In many other cases, the worst statistic is largely out of the control of any state government or population. These statistics include measures related to extreme temperatures and the likelihood of destructive storms. Here is a look at every major U.S. city’s worst weather event.

Click here to see the worst statistics about your state
Click here to see the best statistic about your state

Source: Willowpix / Getty Images

Statistic: 91 mental health professionals for every 100,000 people

Alabama has the lowest concentration of mental health professionals of any state. Massachusetts, the state with the greatest concentration, has over six times as many mental health care providers per 100,000 people, according to County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute joint program.


Source: U.S. Air Force photo / Johnathon Green

Statistic: 885 violent crimes per 100,000 people

Alaska’s violent crime rate is higher than that of every other state and more than double the national rate of 369 violent crimes per 100,000 in 2018, according to the FBI.

Source: kzubrycki / Getty Images

Statistic: 169 days per year with temperatures of 90 degrees F and above

Phoenix is the hottest city in America with the most days per year with temperatures of at least 90 degrees. Tucson, Arizona, is the second hottest with 147 days of 90 plus degree temperatures, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

Source: dlewis33 / Getty Images

Statistic: 24.5% of adults are in fair or poor health

Adults in Arkansas are more likely to report being in fair or poor health than adults in every other state, according to County Health Rankings & Roadmaps.


Source: Paul Bradbury / Getty Images

Statistic: 83.8% of adults have a high school diploma

The share of adults in California with a high school diploma is the lowest of any state in the country and well below the 88.3% national high school attainment rate.

Source: HAZEMMKAMAL / Getty Images

Statistic: 7.5% e-cigarettes usage rate

According to the CDC, adults in Colorado are more likely to regularly use e-cigarettes or vaporizers than those in any other states.


Source: Niyazz / Getty Images

Statistic: $7,638 paid in state and local taxes per capita

Based on per capita payments, Connecticut residents have the highest state and local tax burden of nearly any other state, paying about $2,500 more than the national average.

Source: ablokhin / Getty Images

Statistic: 3,390,000 BTU per capita of renewable energy

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Delaware produced less energy from renewable sources on a per capita basis in 2017 than every other state.

Source: CHUYN / Getty Images

Statistic: 229 tropical storms and hurricanes

Florida has been hit with more tropical storms and hurricanes since 1851 than any other state.


Source: Sasiistock / Getty Images

Statistic: 65.6% of young children receive important immunizations

Children between 19 and 35 months in Georgia are less likely to receive immunizations to protect against such diseases as mumps, measles, and tetanus than those in every other state.

Source: ejs9 / Getty Images

Statistic: Median home value of $631,700

Hawaii has the most expensive real estate in the country, making homeownership less attainable for a larger share of residents.


Source: Tzido / Getty Images

Statistic: 25.0% of adults have some form of mental illness

Idaho has the largest share of adults who report having some form of mental illness in the United States. Nationwide, 18.6% of adults have a mental illness.

Statistic: Baa3 credit rating from Moody’s

With a woefully underfunded pension system and a chronic budget deficit, Illinois has by far the lowest credit rating from financial services firm Moody’s — just above junk status.

Source: Chimperil59 / Getty Images

Statistic: 11.8 PM2.5 per cubic meter of air

Indiana has the highest concentration of harmful air pollution of any state. Nationwide, the average daily concentration of PM2.5 — or particulate matter with a diameter less than 2.5 micrometers — is 8.6 per cubic meter.


Source: TheCrimsonRibbon / Getty Images

Statistic: Black residents 7 times more likely than whites to be arrested for drugs

The racial disparity in arrests for drug possession is higher in Iowa than in nearly every other state in the country.

Source: clintspencer / Getty Images

Statistic: 4,254 tornadoes

There were more tornadoes in Kansas between 1950 and August 2018 than in every other state besides Texas.


Source: shapecharge / Getty Images

Statistic: 33.9% of pension obligations have funding

Kentucky is facing a pension crisis — it has the smallest pension funding ratio of any state.

Source: peeterv / Getty Images

Statistic: 11.4 murders per 100,000 residents

Louisiana’s murder rate is higher than that of any other state and more than double the mational homicide rate of 5.0 murders per 100,000 people, according to the FBI.

Source: aimintang / Getty Images

Statistic: 20.6% of the population are 65 or older

Maine is home to the largest share of 65 and older residents in the country. This poses a unique set of problems, including a smaller working-age population, smaller tax base, and higher health care costs.


Source: tomwachs / Getty Images

Statistic: 49.1% of commuters drive alone for at least 30 min. to work

Workers in Maryland are more likely to commute by car — alone — for over a half hour to work than those in every other state.

Source: Anchiy / Getty Images

Statistic: $11,225 in outstanding debt per capita

No state has more outstanding government debt on a per capita basis than Massachusetts.


Source: TennesseePhotographer / Getty Images

Statistic: 1.1% projected population decline

Michigan is projected to have the largest population decline between 2020 and 2030 of any state. Over the same period, the U.S. population is projected to grow by 8.7%.

Statistic: 23 days with below zero temperatures

Of all major U.S. metropolitan areas, the Minneapolis metro has the most days per year with sub-zero temperatures.

Source: zodebala / Getty Images

Statistic: 19.7% of residents live below the poverty line

Mississippi has the highest poverty rate of any state — well above the 13.1% national poverty rate.


Source: Darwin Brandis / Getty Images

Statistic: 3,022 drug labs found since 2000

Police found more drug labs in Missouri over the last 20 years than in any other state. Oklahoma is in a distant second place with 2,357 drug labs, according to the DEA.

Source: Thinkstock

Statistic: 7.6 drunk driving deaths per 100,000 people

Montana has the worst drunk driving fatality rate of any state — more than double the national rate of 2.7 drunk driving-related fatalities per 100,000.


Source: FatCamera / Getty Images

Statistic: 75.2% of adults wear a seatbelt

Adults in Nebraska are less likely than those in the vast majority of other states to use a seatbelt when driving or riding in a car. Nationwide, 85.6% of adults always use a seatbelt.

Source: Krivinis / Getty Images

Statistic: 4.4 divorces for every 1,000 residents

There were more divorces per capita in Nevada in 2018 than in any other state.

Source: Scott Olson / Getty Images

New Hampshire
Statistic: 7.5 hate groups per million residents

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, New Hampshire has the highest concentration of hate groups of all states with at least 10 active hate groups.


Source: lmanire / Getty Images

New Jersey
Statistic: 129.5 Superfund sites per 50,000 sq. miles

New Jersey has by far the highest concentration of sites contaminated with hazardous waste of any state in the country.

Source: ivanastar / Getty Images

New Mexico
Statistic: 3,420 property crimes per 100,000 people

New Mexico has the highest property crime rate of any state — well above the national rate of 2,200 property crimes per 100,000 people, according to the FBI.


Source: PPAMPicture / Getty Images

New York
Statistic: Wealthiest 20% of households earn 5.7 times more than poorest 20%

New York has the worst income inequality of any state. For reference, the wealthiest 20% of households nationwide earn 4.9 times as much as the poorest 20%.

Source: jittawit.21 / Getty Images

North Carolina
Statistic: 14.0% of individuals under age 65 struggle with medical costs

North Carolina is home to the largest share of residents under age 65 who have high out-of pocket medical costs, relative to their annual income.

Source: grandriver / Getty Images

North Dakota
Statistic: 7.6% of adults have a graduate or professional degree

Adults in North Dakota are less likely than those in every other state to have a graduate or professional degree. Nationwide, 12.6% of adults have an advanced degree.


Statistic: 15.3% of juvenile prisoners are sexually victimized

Ohio has the highest rate of juvenile prisoners who report being forced into sexual activity with other prisoners or with prison staff members, more than double the 7.1% national rate.

Source: digicomphoto / Getty Images

Statistic: 20.0% of adults are without health insurance

Oklahoma has the highest uninsured rate among adults age 19 to 64. The comparable national uninsured rate is 12.0%.


Statistic: 76.7% high school graduation rate

The share of high school students who graduate within four years of enrollment is smaller in Oregon than every other state other than New Mexico. Nationwide, the on-time high school graduation rate stands at 84.6%, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Statistic: 197 winter driving fatalities

Pennsylvania had more winter driving deaths between 2013 and 2017 than every state except for Michigan. The state’s deadliest road in winter months is I-80.

Rhode Island
Statistic: 23.9% of bridges are in poor condition

The share of bridges in poor condition in Rhode Island is far higher than any other state. Nationwide, only 5.4% of bridges are classified as being in poor condition.


Source: tfoxfoto / Getty Images

South Carolina
Statistic: 20.4 motor vehicle fatalities per 100,000 people

There were more driving deaths per capita in South Carolina than every other state except for Mississippi in 2018. There were 11.5 driving deaths per 100,000 people nationwide the same year.

Source: LCBallard / Getty Images

South Dakota
Statistic: 24.0% gap between highly educated people who leave and who stay

So-called “brain drain” — more highly-educated people leaving than staying — is worse in South Dakota than in any other state other than Vermont.


Source: utah778 / Getty Images

Statistic: 5.4% of adults in Tennessee have had a stroke

A larger share of adults have had a stroke in Tennessee than in any other state. For reference, 3.4% of American adults nationwide have had a stroke.

Source: aimintang / Getty Images

Statistic: 18.6% of residents are uninsured

A larger share of the Texas population lacks health insurance than any other state. Nationwide, the uninsured rate stands at 10.0%.

Source: SDI Productions / Getty Images

Statistic: $7,179 per pupil expenditure

Utah spends less on public education per student than any other state in the country. On average, per student spending across all states totalled $12,201 in fiscal 2017.


Source: Kenishirotie / iStock

Statistic: 45.3% young adult drug use rate

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the share of 18 to 25 year olds in Vermont who reported using illicit drugs in the past month was by far the highest share of any state. The comparable national rate was less than 25%.

Source: GCShutter / Getty Images

Statistic: $7.25 minimum wage, 26% of what is needed to sustain a family

Virginia has the worst ratio of minimum wage to what is needed sustain a family of any state. The state also has no mandatory paid sick leave or guarantee for paid time off for a pregnancy and child birth.


Source: Brookz6 / Getty Images

Statistic: 152 days of rain per year

Seattle, Washington, has more days of rain per year, on average, than most major U.S. cities.



Source: Stas_V / Getty Images

West Virginia
Statistic: 48.3 drug overdose deaths per 100,000 people

West Virginia has the highest drug overdose death rate in the country — more than double the national rate of 19.2 drug overdose deaths per 100,000.

Source: ViewApart / Getty Images

Statistic: 26.2% of adults drink excessively

Wisconsin has the highest excessive alcohol consumption rate among states, well above the 18.0% national rate.


Statistic: 10.9 workplace deaths per 100,000 workers

Wyoming has the highest occupational fatality rate of any state — well above the national rate of 4.4 workplace deaths per 100,000 workers.

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