The US has been through plenty of changes – and not all of them are good. While we’re usually proud of our states, here is the worst thing about living in each state.
The United States of America. It’s the nation where 100 acres of pizza are eaten every day, where the flag was created as a school project, and has bought home the most Olympic medals. Yes, it seems the US has plenty of achievements under its belt. The best bit? The states are all so different from one another.
Believe it or not, but New York was once the capital of the US as leaders worked together to build a new nation. That’s not the only adaptation to happen over the years. The rest of the states have all become unique in their own ways, and millions of people around the world can’t wait to explore every single one of them.
Being a part of a state usually comes with a lot of state pride. After all, there’s no place like home, right? Sadly, it turns out that the states might not always be all they are cracked up to be thanks to the worst thing about living in each state.
Alabama: The poverty stats
The United Nations set about studying poverty and human rights across America back in 2017. While they learned about how many states have been working to set things straight over the years, it turns out that Alabama is a little behind the times. That’s because the state was named as having the worst poverty of any area in the developed world.
As if that wasn’t enough, there was a hookworm outbreak across Alabama back in 2017. This is an illness that is usually only found in nations with poor sanitary conditions, and the UN was quick to add this to the growing list of notes on the state.
Alaska: It’s expensive
If you live in Alaska, then you’re probably used to paying a pretty penny. The state is known to have some of the highest utility costs across the US thanks to the lengthy winters. To top it off, most people end up paying more for their groceries thanks to the fact that many are so remote.
The more isolated you are, the more you end up paying for food. This means that fruits and vegetables often come with a steep price tag, while the likes of milk can see people out of pocket. As if that wasn’t enough, Alaska has one of the highest rates of unemployment in the US.
Arizona: High teacher turnover
Believe it or not, but 42% of teachers who signed up to a new role in 2013 had quit the profession altogether in three years or less. This is because the worst thing about living in Arizona is the fact that the state has one of the highest teacher turnover rates across the nation.
In fact, the state regularly scores at the bottom of the leaderboard for the best state to be a teacher. It’s believed that one of the main reasons that teachers are so quick to leave is the pay while others think that it’s thanks to taking on a lot more duties and burning out quicker as a result.
Arkansas: Level of college grads
Forbes reported that in 2018, Arkansas had the lowest number of graduate degree holders across the US. This also means that landed the number 47 spot on the list of most educated states the same year.
Thankfully, Arkansas has seen a mild improvement in the last few months, but it still has a long way to go before it makes its way to the top of the list. It’s believed that one of the main reasons for so few people earning a college degree is all thanks to the fact that Arkansas’ education system started a long way behind many of the other states.
California: The quality of life
The Golden State has many people imagining stretches of beaches, glowing sunshine, and a life that’s happier than most other people in the world, right? Sadly, the state is often named for providing the worst quality of life across the nation. The water quality isn’t always up to standards, and the air quality is low.
In fact, they are both so low that the state was named as number 50 on the quality of life list back in 2018. Some of the many factors that affected the score were voter participation, social support, drinking water quality, air quality, and infrastructure. It turns out that Hollywood might not be so glamorous after all.
Colorado: High altitude
Most people don’t experience altitude sickness until they are up in the mountains. Sadly, you might have to get used to that feeling if you’re planning a trip to Colorado anytime soon. The state lies a lot higher above sea level than most others in the nation.
Yes, this really does mean that walking around the streets could be enough to see people come down with symptoms if they are easily affected by thin air and a lack of oxygen. Most people start to feel the effects in just a few hours as nausea, fatigue, and headaches are all common for visitors.
Connecticut: There’s high pay inequality
Connecticut has always been hovering near the top of the income equality list, and it was granted that title back in 2018. The state is now known to have the largest gap across the nation between the wealthiest 1% of the population and the poorest 99%.
However, New York still has the most significant pay inequality in the country – just. Taxes are becoming more of an issue across Connecticut as they continue to rise every year, and it’s thought that many of the leading names are to blame for the gap. Some have blamed keeping certain names happy over the quality of everyone else’s lives.
Delaware: It’s not too fun
Many of us love to head out and have some fun in our free time. Sadly, you might be searching far and wide when in Delaware as it ranked as the worst state for nightlife across the country. The 2018 Wallethub report ranked all of the states on their national parks, the cost of drinks, the number of attractions on offer in the state, and many other aspects.
Sadly, it looks as though Delaware needs to up its game. As if that wasn’t enough, the state also has the lowest number of movie theaters per person. Movie lovers may have to look elsewhere for now.
Florida: The tourists
When you think of Florida, what springs to mind? Perhaps it’s all the theme parks? It might be time to think again. Many believe that one of the worst things about living in the state is the number of tourists that flock there every year. That’s right; around 100 million people are thought to visit Florida every year thanks to the likes of Disneyworld and Universal studios, but that’s not all.
All of those extra people mean the airports, roads, and everything on offer are often clogged with people. Driving across town can take hours thanks to the bumper to bumper traffic while the high rate of pedestrian accidents slow things down even more.
Georgia: The traffic
Sure, sitting in traffic isn’t always the worst thing to happen. After all, it can be a chance to catch up on the news or sing along to our favorite songs. However, it starts to become a little less fun when we have to endure hours of it every day.
If you’re sick and tired of looking at someone’s taillights, then you might want to avoid a trip to Atlanta, Georgia. That’s because it was named as the worst place for bottlenecked trucks in the US. The junction, known as Spaghetti Junction, sees people move at an average of 20 mph as people crawl for hours just to get home.
Hawaii: Low returns on investment
Taxes. The word alone is enough to see many of us think about all of that money we have paid over the years. While some of us feel as though we never see any of it in return, the money often goes into the local community and the nation as a whole.
If you want to get the most from your taxes, then you might want to avoid moving to Hawaii any time soon. This is because the state was named as having the lowest return of investments for the taxpayer across the nation. They were judged on infrastructure and pollution, economy, safety, health, and education, yet Hawaii couldn’t match up.
Idaho: Difficulties for working moms
Many of us dream about settling down and starting a family. However, if you’re thinking about becoming a working mom, then you might want to move out of Idaho. This is because the state was named as the worst for working moms by Walletub.
Idaho is yet to evolve as far as other states when it comes to supporting working moms. It’s also believed to offer the worst daycare systems compared to the other states and has one of the lowest female executive to male executive ratios. While it might not have the most opportunities for women in the workplace, Idaho does have one of the best work-life balances across the US.
Illinois: High tax rates
Uncle Sam comes knocking every year, and millions of us are forced to pay over our taxes. It turns out that taxes have more of an effect on one state than others. It’s believed the average household in the US pays $7,800 in federal income taxes every year. Illinois?
They hand over an average of $8,162. Wowza. This means that residents often pay far more than anyone else across the nation. Property taxes continue to rise while salaries remain the same. This means that many families have felt crushed by the ever-growing amount of money they need to hand over every year.
Indiana: It can be miserable
There is a good reason that Indiana is often known as the Most Miserable State: it scores some of the worst marks in all aspects of well-being. That’s right; physical fitness, community pride, financial health, a social life, and a sense of purpose are all judged across the US, yet Indiana seems to be lacking in many departments.
It’s estimated that almost a third of adults in Indiana are obese, while nearly 30% don’t exercise at all. As if that wasn’t enough, households on average earn $5,000 less than the national average. People in Indiana even have a shortage of mental health professionals.
Iowa: A lack of innovation
Iowa has a number of strengths to its name. The state ranks high in industry cluster strength as well as science and math performance. Sadly, that’s kind of where the positives come to an end. The state ranked at number 44 on Forbes’ list of innovative states.
That’s all thanks to the low number of science and engineering graduates from Iowa every year teamed with the average federal small business funding and the share the state has in tech companies. Although some still travel to Iowa to study, most innovative thinkers head to the rest of the nation to join the race – not start one.
Kansas: The scenery
Some states are known for their beauty. After all, rolling hills, mountains, miles and miles of wildlife, and flowing rivers can often be enough to draw people to the land. Kansas earned the name The Sunflower State as the native flower often dominates areas of land.
Sadly, it seems as though many have seen more beautiful things in their lives, and the bleak landscape in between isn’t enough to inspire visitors. Americans came together to vote on a handful of names in 2013, and deemed Colorado to be “the prettiest.” Unfortunately, Colorado outshone its next-door neighbor as Kansas was voted as “the worst scenery.”
Kentucky: Retirement plans
While it might be a while away for some, many of us can’t help but spend our entire lives thinking about our retirement and what we will do with all that free time and money. Florida has become the home of many retirees as The Sunshine State provides weather that can be tough to beat.
Sadly, Kentucky falls far behind – very far behind. Wallethub named Kentucky as the worst state for retirement based on a number of factors. It’s thought that Kentucky could use a few adjustments when it comes to the age of retirement, taxpayer rankings, and the cost of all those in-home services.
Louisiana: An unhealthy diet
Many of us have learned the importance of eating our daily fruit and vegetable portions. Now, it looks as though that lesson might have skipped Louisiana. Only 69% of adults in the state admit they eat vegetables once a day which falls well below the national average.
The lack of fresh produce and high rate of obesity across the state means that people in Louisiana are thought to have the least healthy diet. There is a high poverty rate across the state while the cost of fresh food is often considerably higher than alternatives. To top it off, Louisiana residents earn, on average, $12,500 below the national household income.
Maine: The cost of living
Of course, some places across the US are more popular to live than others. That’s why some cities are always just a dream to many. However, it looks as though living in the entire state of Maine could be nothing more than a passing thought to most thanks to the high cost of living.
The annual cost of living is thought to be 14% above the national average. Plus, the high rent fees mean they are some of the most unaffordable homes in the nation. The low median wage doesn’t help this factor. All of this together means that Money Rates named Maine as the 7th worst state to live in 2018.
Maryland: Driving across the state
Many of us love to spend hours on the road as we watch the asphalt get eaten up, and the miles disappear. So what about when you spend all of your time stuck in traffic instead? Wallethub certainly doesn’t seem to like driving in Maryland as it was named as one of the worst states for driving.
It has some of the highest rush hour congestion across the nation. The poll also took the likes of the average price of gas and the quality of the roads into consideration. It’s likely that most gear heads will simply give Maryland a miss if they can.
Massachusetts: Strict drinking laws
Massachusetts has led the way for many changes when it comes to drinking. Sadly, not everyone is on board with the changes. Back in 1984, the state became the first to ban happy hour. Many of us have enjoyed cheaper drinks and promotions, but Massachusetts wanted to find a way to reduce the number of driving under the influence accidents.
Ever since, the state has worked hard to prevent people from making the most of drinking-related promotions. You are no longer allowed to order more than two drinks at one time – meaning rounds are out the window – and some stores only accept ID from Massachusetts.
Michigan: It’s not very open
The State Integrity Investigation is there to help conclude how open a state is being with the residents living in the area. The people of Michigan were in for a surprise in 2015 when the state was handed an F for its integrity. Factors such as access to information, accountability, and political financing were accused of being hidden from the public.
Some of the leaders in Michigan have revealed how far they will go to hide their secret system as they try to cover up their campaigns. Many worry that politicians could be hiding even more from the public, especially compared to other states across the US.
Minnesota: The winters
Some people long for winters. It might be worth getting used to the cold if you want to move to Minnesota. Why? The state is named as having some of the worst winters across the nation. Believe it or not, but some parts of Minnesota are known to get up to 170 inches of snowfall throughout the season.
Plus, it can reach -60 degrees Fahrenheit which could lead to frostbite in less than five minutes. The winters in Minnesota have been so harsh that the state now has a Winter Misery Index so that residents can compare their seasons to past winters to see if they are as severe.
Mississippi: Health care standards
The combination of cultures over the years means that Mississippi has a diverse background. Plus, the state is filled with some of the most beautiful natural regions across the nation. Mississippi now has a leading farm and agriculture industry. Unfortunately, that’s where most of the benefits seem to come to an end.
The state ranks low on the opportunity and economy lists compared to the other states. Mississippi has also been named as the worst state for health care, thanks to the lack of access and quality. It’s thought that 19% of adults in Mississippi forgo health care thanks to the cost alone.
Missouri: The number of tornadoes
We’re not sure there are many people who look forward to tornadoes, but some areas grow more used to them than others. Missouri doesn’t just get a lot of storms, but it is known as part of Tornado Alley thanks to the incredibly high number that pass through every year.
The state, on average, gets around 47 tornadoes each year. That’s not all. Researchers have tracked how many storms have passed through the state over the years. It turns out that 41 violent tornadoes have passed through in the last 70 years, earning the state number six on the list and Oklahoma the top spot.
Montana: Driving is extreme
Back in 2013, Montana earned a reputation for being the most dangerous state for driving in the US – and it seems as though the state has hung onto that reputation ever since. 24/7 Wall Street conducted a study where it found that the state has an unusually high number of people losing their lives in road accidents compared to the rest of the nation.
Plus, only 74% of people in Montana use their seatbelts compared to the 87% average across the US. The study showed that the most dangerous states to drive used rural roads more than suburban streets. Montana is no exception.
Nebraska: The flooding
Nebraska is annually greeted to pretty extreme weather. This means intense snowfall in the winter and warm summers throughout the middle of the year. While these extremes might sound relatively harmless, they often cause a lot of flooding. This is all thanks to the snow melting with nowhere to go.
Plus, the warmer weather can see a lot of rainfall. 2019 was a record-breaking year for floods across the state. In fact, the flooding was so bad that it caused at least one person to lose their life when they were trying to save a stranded motorist with their tractor only to get washed away with the water.
Nevada: A high divorce rate
Las Vegas sees more marriages than any other place in the world. That’s right; approximately 120,000 marriages take place in every year in Las Vegas alone. Want Elvis to perform your wedding? Fancy a drive-thru reception? Las Vegas has you covered. Just because the city is used to hearing wedding bells, doesn’t mean that it all ends in smiles.
In fact, it can often be the opposite. Nevada has the third-highest divorce rate across the US, according to 24/7 Wall Street. It’s believed more than 21 people were 1,000 married people end up getting divorced in the state.
New Hampshire: A lot of student debt
Heading to college can be an exciting time for many. However, it’s also filled with a lot of worries as there are exams to take and lectures to attend. Another concern? Money. More specifically, debt. Sadly, earning a degree comes with a price tag that often follows students around for many years to come.
Students in New Hampshire have an even tougher job as it’s reported they have the highest student debt out of anyone in the nation. The Institute for College Access and Success said that New Hampshire students have an average debt of $36,350 each. It might not be a surprise that the state also has the least affordable tuition fees.
New Jersey: It’s financially unstable
Fiscal health is all about government revenue, especially from taxes. Now that we know the lingo, it might be a little tougher to learn that New Jersey is ranked as having some of the worst fiscal health of any state. George Mason University reports that New Jersey’s revenue only covers around 89% of the costs.
This means the state is losing $798 per person every year. The state’s short-term financial health looks all set. Sadly, the long-term outlook for the state shows that it might not be long before New Jersey finds itself in a whole host of debt. In fact, their finances are described as “dire.”
New Mexico: Not good for kids
What do you look for when raising a family? Perhaps it’s the local schools? Maybe it’s the crime rate in the area? How about having plenty of ways to keep the little ones entertained? Whatever the case, it seems as though New Mexico comes in last for the majority of the factors people want for their family.
Yes, the state is the worst to raise kids, according to Wallethub. There are several factors that affect the result. New Mexico has some of the lowest average salaries for a family, the highest level of violent crime, family poverty, and a high divorce rate.
New York: The homeless population
New York. The state that sees thousands of people gather every year as they want to explore what this former capital of the US – yes, that really happened – has to offer. While the skyscrapers and string of elite families might sound appealing, it turns out that New York has the second-highest number of homeless people in the US.
It turns out there are 399 homeless people for every 100,000 people living across the state. As if that wasn’t enough, The Big Apple itself as the highest population of homeless people living in any city in the US. While the rest of the nation is seeing a decrease, New York’s homeless population continues to rise.
North Carolina: The food insecurities
Many of us are used to heading to the store and getting whatever food we have on the brain. It can be a great shame when we see the shelves are empty, but there’s always another store, right? Not in North Carolina.
The state is considered to be one of the most insecure when it comes to food as residents often have to go without or are limited to how much food they can buy at one time. A lot of the problems come thanks to a lack of resources while others are down to a lack of money. Either way, it’s lead to a hunger epidemic across North Carolina.
North Dakota: A lack of mechanics
Thankfully, it’s considered pretty safe to drive around North Dakota, and you won’t typically find yourself caught in traffic. However, you might want to check that your vehicle is in working order before you take a drive through the state or brush up on your mechanical skills if you’re a resident.
Why? North Dakota has some of the fewest repair shops per person compared to the rest of the nation. This isn’t because people don’t need them. No, it turns out there just aren’t enough to keep up with the demand on the streets. Just be prepared for a long wait if your car needs to go into the shop.
Ohio: Allergies and asthma
Millions of people are affected by all kinds of allergies throughout the year. The Natural Resources Defence Council named Ohio as the worst state for asthma and allergies. As if that wasn’t enough, seven of the top 35 cities worst for asthma and allergies were found in Ohio, meaning the state had more than any other.
Their findings were later backed up by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America who carried out its own test in 2018. Here, they named four of their top five worst cities in Ohio. The results were drawn from pollen score, the frequency of medication, and other factors.
Oklahoma: Health isn’t a priority
If you’re looking for a medical professional, then you might want to carry on driving straight through Oklahoma until you find another state. The state was placed in fifth place by US News on their list of the worst public health. Apparently, it sees some of the highest rates of people losing their life.
Some of this is due to people taking their own lives while others are thanks to obesity or other illnesses. In fact, the leading cause of people losing their lives in Oklahoma in 2017 was heart disease, with respiratory illness taking second place. As if that wasn’t enough, Oklahoma doesn’t score very high for their mental health either.
Oregon: Natural disasters
Living in Oregon is a little bit like living edge, only you’re on the edge of a normal day and a natural disaster. Earthquakes have gripped the state over the years, with many stating that there is one due any day now. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Oregon is also in a subduction zone.
This means the Earth’s plates are always moving and causing a host of natural disasters. That’s not all. As if earthquakes weren’t enough already, there are plenty of volcanoes across the state that could be waiting to erupt, and the shoreline has seen residue from tsunamis that have happened across the world.
Pennsylvania: Risk of deer
Car insurance is often a little more expensive in Pennsylvania compared to the rest of the world. You might be wondering what Pennsylvania has ever done to upset anyone, but it turns out that it’s all thanks to the stats. Reports show the state is one of the most likely places to hit a deer across the US.
Hundreds of thousands of accidents are reported every year, meaning Pennsylvania is now considered to be a “high risk” state. The insurance has risen as a result. People could now be paying up to $200 more a year all thanks to those antlered friends.
Rhode Island: The public transport
Getting around Rhode Island might be a little easier said than done. In fact, it’s often considered to be such a task, that US News has ranked it as the worst state for transportation. The state was also named as the worst for road and footbridge quality, but that’s not all that’s dragging it down.
Rhode Island’s public transport system isn’t rated very highly by people across the state. The buses frequently break down with a full load of passengers on board. That’s if they get to you as most are running late throughout the day. To top it off, Rhode Island’s public transport is thought to be some of the most expensive.
South Carolina: Not family-friendly
Many people argue that South Carolina is one of the most picturesque states. Others say that it’s the worst place to raise a family – and it looks as though they are winning. There are many factors that have earned the state its reputation. South Carolina is home to a native species of alligator and has been known to have some pretty extreme weather patterns – including hurricanes.
As if the storms causing damage and traffic wasn’t enough, heavy snowfall can be enough to see many state bridges close down for days on end while the summer brings a wave of tourists that fill the roads. South Carolina also ranked as one of the states with the highest crime rates.
South Dakota: Prison isn’t great
Heading to prison is never usually a fun time for many. It gets a whole lot less enjoyable in South Dakota as the state is accused of having some of the worst standards across the nation. Like many prisons across the nation, South Dakota is struggling to keep up with the number of cells and members of staff it needs to keep everyone behind bars.
Now, the state releases a handful of prisoners back into the public to try and free up some space. As if that wasn’t enough, the state is just one of five where they send people with mental health issues to jail cells instead of doctors as part of an involuntary mental health hold.
Tennessee: The dentists
There are many aspects to maintaining a healthy life with heading to the dentist being just one of them. Although it can be an annual event for many, that’s not always the case in Tennessee. Figures show that the state has one of the fewest number of adolescents booking in for a dentist appointment every year.
Although the dentist costs are some of the cheapest in the country, Tennessee has a lack of trained dentists per person in the state. Plus, the state consumes a huge portion of sugary drinks every year compared to other states. The best bit? The state has one of the highest percentages of elderly people without their natural teeth.
Texas: The lack of dreams
Ah, the American dream. It’s what many people spend their whole life working toward as they want the white picket fence, the truck, and financial stability. Surely Texas must have their stuff together and be living the high life, right? Sadly not. In fact, it seems as though that dream will only ever be a figment of the imagination to many people in the state.
It was based 47th on the list of ever being able to achieve the American dream. US News accessed affordability, equality, and economic opportunity. Sadly, Texas scored pretty low on all aspects and earned the state its place.
Utah: Melanoma rates are high
Would you believe that people in Utah were voted as some of the worst dressed in the country? That’s right; they have also been named as some of the nerdiest across the nation thanks to their social media habits. However, that’s not all that has got people talking about the state over the years.
It turns out that people in Utah also have the highest incidences of melanoma in the US. It’s reported that around 42.3 people out of 100,000 are diagnosed with the illness. It might be landlocked, but Utah is still more than 60% higher than the national average for melanoma.
Vermont: The infrastructure is falling
Infrastructure is the backbone of any state. Even so, it can often get overlooked until someone notices that things might not be working as they hoped. As soon as one aspect stops working, it can have a domino effect throughout the rest of the infrastructure in place.
Vermont’s infrastructure report card left little to the imagination when it came to the state of the state. Vermont barely passed with a C for their dams, with 8% of the dams being named as high-hazard potential. Sadly, the state was also awarded two Ds for their stormwater and wastewater management as well as a C+ for their crumbling roads.
Virginia: The snakes
If you don’t like snakes, then it might be time to move out of Virginia as one of the greatest problems that many people encounter is the number of venomous snakes living in the state. The varied landscape offers these slithering beasts plenty of places to hide.
Although there are many harmless snakes in the state, Virginia is still home to three venomous – and pretty dangerous – additions. The eastern copperhead can grow up to three feet long, rattlesnakes are known to be highly aggressive, and the northern cottonmouth prefers to hang out in the water as it waits for its prey to swim too close.
Washington: Car thefts
Do you love your car? You might want to hold onto it tightly if you plan on driving through Washington. That’s all thanks to the high car theft rates across the state. In fact, Wallethub named Washington as the fourth highest state for car thefts across the nation, with two Washington cities making the top ten list of cities for the crime in 2018.
It’s believed that the number of car thefts rose by 20% from 2017 to 2017 and it doesn’t look as though that number will be slowing down anytime soon. Just be sure to double-check that you locked up before you leave your vehicle.
West Virginia: The lack of fun
There are some titles that states love to earn. “The least fun state” probably isn’t one of them. Sadly, it has to go to someone, and West Virginia was the one to collect the prize according to Wallethub. There were many factors that went toward making the decision.
The weather and the quality of the beaches were just two of them. Sadly, West Virginia scored pretty low when it came to the number of performing arts theaters, fitness centers, and recreational establishments per person. To top it off, the state also spent the least on recreation services along with Mississippi.
Wisconsin: There aren’t many jobs
Keeping up with the changing times means that states often have to adapt to the new world. This means changing the types of jobs that are on offer. So what about if you live in Wisconsin? You might be waiting for a position for a pretty long time.
That is unless you want to sign up to one of the few existing roles and hope that no one else had got there first. There was a poll to see how many jobs have been created across Midwestern states. It showed that Wisconsin has had the smallest amount of new careers compared to any other state in the area.
Wyoming: The middle of nowhere
If you like to be isolated from almost everyone else in the world, then it could be time to move to Wyoming. If you don’t like to be miles away from your nearest neighbor, then it could be time to choose somewhere else.
The scenery isn’t considered to be the best in the world, with the exception of Yellowstone National Park, but that’s not all. The radio signal often leaves a lot to be desired when you are driving along the many rural roads found throughout the state, and it can be tough to get a signal on your cell phone either.