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Just How Weird Is South Dakota?


OK, so you’ve lived in South Dakota all your life and, well, you feel like you’re a pretty average South Dakotan. Does that make you weird?

The website Businessinsider took a look at the United States as a whole, and then looked at each state to find out, what they called, if a state was average or weird compared to the nation as a whole.

Well, according to these guys, the ‘weirdest’ state is Hawaii:

What makes it weird: Like DC, Hawaii’s racial makeup is different from other states. Only 22.9% of Hawaii residents identified as non-Hispanic white alone, lower than any other state. Unsurprisingly, Hawaii had by far the largest percentage of Hawaiian Natives and other Pacific Islanders at 9.3%. At 18.9%, Hawaii also had the highest percentage of people identifying as two or more races.

What makes it normal: The median age of Hawaii residents at 38.1 years was slightly higher than the average median age among the states of 38 years.

Now then, the most normal and average state (some might call it ho-hum or bland)? That would be Indiana:

What makes it weird: The only metric we looked at where Indiana was particularly far from average was the proportion of detached single-family houses as a fraction of all housing units. Indiana’s 72.5% rate was the fifth highest in the country.

What makes it normal: Most of our metrics. Indiana was pretty close to average for most of the variables we considered. Two particularly close metrics were Indiana’s birth rate of 54 babies per 1,000 women between 15 and 50, just above the average birth rate among the states and DC of 53 babies per 1,000 women, and the 88.4% of Hoosiers with at least a high-school diploma, just below the average rate of 88.5%.

OK, and what about us proud South Dakotan’s? Are we all that different than anyone or everyone else? Let’s see what they said:

What makes it weird: South Dakota has a large American Indian population, with 7.9% of the state’s residents identifying as such, the third-highest proportion in the country.

What makes it normal: In 2014, 90.2% of South Dakotans had health insurance, just above the average rate among the states of 89.3%.

For a complete list of every state’s weirdness or nomalness, go here.

So I guess it’s all in the eye of the beholder. As for me, give me good ol’ South Dakota anytime. It’s the best state in the nation with the best people!

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