Are there states you’re not a fan of? If so, you’re not alone. A study looked at the most to least hated states in the U.S. These are the results.
It’s You, Not Me
Zippia conducted its study by analyzing data from Gallup, the American Community Survey, and an Instagram pull to compare three metrics regarding the states people dislike living in and how non-resident Americans feel about each state.
Three Metrics Is the Charm
The metrics Zippia used to determine the most hated states in America include:
- Percentage of residents who report their state is the “worst possible state to live in” (Gallup)
- States with the biggest population loss (American Community Survey’s data)
- Number of states that report hating another state (Instagram poll)
Illinois is the most hated state in America, according to Zippia’s findings. The Prairie State has a whopping 25% of residents who self-reportedly claim it’s the worst state to live in. Interestingly, most non-Illinoisans don’t share the same sentiment, with only one state reporting they dislike it.
#2: New Jersey
High taxes, traffic, and a reputation for blunt residents could be some of the reasons that New Jersey is the second-most hated state in the US. Five states report disliking the Garden State, while 10% of New Jerseyans loathe it.
#3: New York
Neighboring New York isn’t faring much better than New Jersey on the hatred front. The state is experiencing a -0.45% population decrease, and 12% of New Yorkers claim the Empire State is the worst place in the US to live.
#4: West Virginia
West Virginians are fleeing their state even faster than New York, with a -0.76% population loss rate. On the bright side, only one state reports hating the Mountain State more than any other state in the US.
The Golden State may have lots of sunshine, but a whopping nine states report hating it. California also receives internal backlash, with 6% of states reporting they believe their state is the worst in the nation.
Massachusetts managed to steer clear of the top five most hated states in the US. But with 6% of residents believing their state is the worst and four other states agreeing, Massachusetts remains one of the least loved states in America.
Michigan has among the lowest population decreases on this list so far, at only 0.09%. Nevertheless, even though only one other state reports hating it the most, nearly one-tenth of Michiganians believe their state is the worst in the country.
Mississippi is the first state in the southeastern US to make the unwanted most hated state cut. The Magnolia State is the worst state for business and has one of the poorest education systems in the country, which may contribute to people’s negative sentiments towards it.
Connecticut has a blessing and a curse in the hate department. The good news is that no state reports hating it. As for the bad news? A massive 17% of Connecticuters report their state as the worst to live in the US.
Based on Kentucky’s 0.02% population loss, it would appear that most residents are satisfied living there. But 6% of Kentuckians believe the Bluegrass State is the worst state in the US. Only two other states agree.
Zippia ranked the 11th to 50th most to least hated states based on the same data collection method as the top ten. However, it didn’t break down the data. So, we used statistics from the U.S. News & World Report to shed light on the remainder of the states.
Louisiana may be the 11th-most hated state in America because it ranks last in the nation for crime and corrections and is the second to last worst state for infrastructure.
Not everyone sees Ohio’s pleasant summers as enough to compensate for its brutal winters. The weather aside, Ohio is the 45th most polluted state in America. It also has a job growth rate of negative 0.7%, potentially contributing to people viewing it as one of the most hated states in the nation.
Alabama ranks 44th in the nation for education, with math scores ten points lower than the national average. If a lack of good-quality education isn’t enough to make residents resentful, there are nearly 3% more people without health insurance in the Yellowhammer State compared to other Americans.
It’s hard to hate Alaska’s natural beauty. But things get trickier from a resident standpoint. Alaska has a significant crime issue, with a violent crime rate of 838 per 100,000 residents compared to the national average of 399. Racism against native indigenous groups is also an issue.
Maryland is the 15th most hated state in the US, and traffic generated by commuters from Washington, DC, may have something to do with it. The Free State also has a net employee migration of -0.2%, while high taxes make living there financially stressful for many residents.
#16: Rhode Island
Despite Rhode Island’s low crime rates and above-average health care, it falls within one of the most hated states in America. A painful 48.1% of the Ocean State’s roads are in poor condition, making it unpleasant for residents and visitors alike to navigate.
It’s hard for many Americans to picture Hawaii in the top 20 most hated states in America. But despite the Aloha State’s number one ranking for health care, Hawaiians struggle with some of the worst opportunities, economy, and fiscal stability in the nation.
Older generations fondly think of The Wizard of Oz when they imagine Kansas. But not everyone views the Sunflower State lovingly. Many Kansans struggle with a higher-than-average population without insurance, and the state has more drinking water violation points than most other states.
#19: New Mexico
The Land of Enchantment isn’t seen as enchanting to many. Some people may hate New Mexico for ranking last in the country for education, with a cringe-worthy 0% job growth rate to match it.
Oklahomans likely aren’t proud to make the list of the top 20 most hated states in America, but they might know why. Violent crime rates are above the national average, and education is significantly worse in the Sooner State than in most other parts of the US.
Vermont ranks well for important factors that make it a pleasant place to live and visit, such as low crime and opportunities. However, many residents are frustrated by the state’s high cost of living and embarrassing short-term fiscal stability standing of 48 out of 50 in the nation.
Virginia isn’t one of the most expensive states to live and visit in the US, which might help keep it out of the top 20 ranking for most hated states in the US. But with a median income of $43,963, many Virginians struggle financially, especially those living in larger cities.
Missouri has below-average industrial toxins and above-average fiscal stability. But some people may dislike it because of its poor crime numbers and health care.
Nebraska is quite neutral in Americans’ feelings towards whether they hate or love it. The Cornhusker State offers outstanding infrastructure to its residents and visitors, with only 7.1% of its roads being in poor condition compared to the national average of 19%. However, it doesn’t rank as well for health care or crime and corrections.
Pennsylvania falls in the middle of the most hated states in America, according to Zippia. The Keystone State offers its residents above-average health care and retirement benefits. Meanwhile, Pennsylvanians and visitors alike struggle with the 45th and 47th worst internet access and transportation in the nation, respectively.
#26: South Dakota
South Dakota’s growing tourism industry, with the Mount Rushmore National Memorial being one of the top tourist spots, supports Zippia’s data that it’s among the top 25 most beloved states in the US.
It’s no secret that many retirees from northern states love spending the winters in sunny, warm Florida. But while Florida may be beloved for its beaches and no state income tax, not all residents love the state’s extra winter traffic and political atmosphere.
#28: South Carolina
The Palmetto State is among the least hated states in the US. With beautiful coastal towns like Charleston and mountainous escapes like Greenville, it’s easy to see why. That said, many South Carolinians struggle financially, which could stem from below-average education numbers compared to other states.
Arkansas may not be as big of a tourist hot spot as certain other states, but its residents know that its diversity of lakes, hot springs, and folk music makes it shine as much as the diamond mine that calls it home. That said, poor crime and health care numbers may be why the Natural State didn’t rank lower on this list.
Despite its small size, Iowa’s major role in US politics hasn’t stopped residents and non-residents alike from naming it one of the least hated states in America. The Hawkeye State excels in fiscal stability and opportunities for those who live and work there.
Indiana is the first state that enters the top 20 least hated states in America. From the Indy 500 to the University of Notre Dame, the Hoosier State offers noteworthy events and places between beautiful fields of corn and soybeans.
Americans don’t hate the entire midwest, for the Badger State earned a respectable low spot on Zippia’s most hated states list. Despite having harsh winters, Wisconsin is viewed favorably by most Americans. Perhaps its delicious cheese has something to do with it?
Country music fans, rejoice. Tennessee is the 33rd least hated state in the US. With stunning scenery like the Great Smokies, fun to be had with the state’s high-quality whisky, and excellent fiscal stability, it’s hard for many not to love Tennessee.
#34: North Dakota
Most Americans don’t seem to be hating on North Dakota’s beautiful Badlands. The Flickertail State offers residents among the best fiscal stability, opportunities, and infrastructure in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report.
#35: North Carolina
North Carolina ranks average across most categories for making it a pleasant state to live in. So, its mild climate, beautiful seashores, Great Smoky Mountains, and friendly people are perhaps some of the reasons that most Americans don’t hate the Tar Heel State.
The chance to win big at casinos and Las Vegas’ vibrant nightlife may help Americans see Nevada in a loving light. The Silver State keeps its residents happy by offering better-than-average road quality and lower-than-average commute times compared to most other states.
Fewer Americans hate Texas than most other states, with the Lone Star State offering a favorable tax climate for residents and the potential to earn big money in the oil and gas industry. Many tourists have memorable trips to the San Antonio River Walk and Space Center in Houston.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find outdoor enthusiasts hating on Oregon. The Beaver State is notorious for its forests, lakes, and all the recreational activities that come with them. That may help reduce the otherwise hatred more people may have felt towards Oregon in Zippia’s study, given that the state ranks low in U.S. News & World Report’s data for most livability categories.
Delaware is a tax-friendly state, with no state or local sales tax. Not only does that likely contribute to preventing residents and visitors from hating it, but the First State also is a haven for history lovers.
Georgia is a quintessential state offering southern hospitality, which likely contributes to other Americans’ perception of it being among the states they hate the least. Residents living in Georgia benefit from a 0.5% better job growth rate than the rest of the country.
Arizona marks the start of the top ten least hated states in the US. The Grand Canyon State’s nickname says it all in terms of a bucket list item on many visitors’ itineraries. Furthermore, residents of Arizona benefit from the fifth-best state economy in the US.
How can one hate Wyoming when it’s home to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks? It turns out most Americans don’t, with Wyoming being the 9th least hated state in the US.
Residents and non-residents alike have fond feelings about Washington. The Evergreen State has over half of its land forested by trees, which could contribute to it being so well-perceived by the nation; people usually don’t feel bitter about trees.
Maine is the second-best state in the US for crimes and corrections, making it safer than most for tourists and residents to explore. The Pine Tree State makes it easy to fall in love with it, given its beautiful lighthouses, delicious seafood, and stunning fall scenery.
#45: New Hampshire
New Hampshire ranks number one in the country for both opportunity and crime and corrections, making it a state that’s hard to hate for many residents. Visitors to New Hampshire can enjoy a vibrant arts and culture scene along with a deep dive into American history.
The Land of 10,000 Lakes is the fifth least hated state in the US. Minnesota brings happiness to shopaholics and nature enthusiasts alike with its Mall of America and hiking and camping opportunities.
Idaho has the second-best economy and fiscal stability in the US, making it a state that many residents love. Snow sports abound in the Gem State, with thousands flocking to its many ski resorts to see its mountainous gems for themselves.
Americans feel little hate towards Montana despite the state scoring average to poorly in most of U.S. News & World Report’s “best state” categories. But with the Rocky Mountains and a portion of Yellowstone National Park within its state borders, it’s hard to feel anything but admiration for the Treasure State’s natural beauty.
Utah is known for its large Mormon community, the Sundance Film Festival, and desert scenery so beautiful that it’s hard to put your camera away. The U.S. News & World Report ranked Utah as the number one state in overall rankings for many livability factors, which supports Zippia’s results of it being the second-least hated state in America.
It’s official: Colorado is the least hated state in the US. Not a single state reported hating the Centennial State, according to Zippia’s findings. Despite having a high cost of living in many cities, Colorado keeps its residents happy by offering an outstanding education and a thriving economy.
The “Why” Behind Hatred
According to psychologists, several factors can cause people to carry hatred, including:
- Cutural and societal influences
- Fearing “the other”
- Seeing fears in others that one has within themself
- Lacking self-compassion
- Filling a void (in the case of groups coming together to practice hatred)
The Good News
Hatred is a learned feeling. So, while it takes work for someone to change their hatred towards a state, if they choose to put in the time and adopt compassion, it’s possible for many people.
The Most Hated Food by State
Anchovies, beets, oh my! The data is in: There are certain foods Americans love to hate. But it turns out certain states really hate food that others consider scrumptious.
Do Boomers and Gen X Have It Easier?
Wish you were born in a different generation? Some millennials do. Millennials state their cases (and pent-up hatred feelings) of why baby boomers and Gen X have life so much easier.
18 Flat-Out Lies Americans Believe
From IRS inconsistencies to marrying the partner of one’s “dreams,” these are the lies that far too many Americans believe.
Hatred and rudeness often go hand in hand. Find out how your state’s rudeness ranking compares to the hate people feel towards it.
Walmart Went Woke
Walmart launched an LGBTQIA+ “support small businesses” campaign. Can it get any more contradictory? Americans debate it.