I recently came across two very interesting articles, accompanied by maps:
The analysis raises several interesting questions one wouldn’t normally consider. For example, concerning debt:
There really isn’t a clear pattern on the map: there are low-debt states sitting right next to high-debt states. The lowest debt-burdened people live in Washington, DC ($1,611), followed closely by Alaskans ($2,286). What could these places possibly have in common? The one exception can be found in the Deep South, where a cluster of blue and dark blue states all group together. Louisianans have the third lowest debt burden in the country, averaging only $6,140 per person. Other than that, personal debt levels swing wildly from state to state.
Here’s the key insight. A few different factors explain the wide-ranging differences. For example, people living in New York City probably don’t own a car, and many still rent an apartment. Compare that to Texas and Oklahoma, where most people own a home in the suburbs from which they commute to work in vehicle they also own. Simply, put, lifestyle choices go a long way in determining debt levels.
There’s more at the link.
And concerning expenditure:
There are a few obvious trends when you map the data for each state. First off, there’s a cluster of pink and red states grouped in the Northeast. The most expensive place on our map is Washington, DC ($56,843), followed by Massachusetts ($51,981). As a matter of fact, six of the top ten most expensive places are in the Northeast. It’s cliché that housing is expensive in New York, but there are a lot of other expensive states in the region too.
There’s also a collection [of] green states across the Deep South to the Southwest, stretching all the way from North Carolina ($33,779) to Nevada ($36,177) and even up to Oregon ($39,742). The cheapest place is Mississippi, where it costs only $30,200 to pay for life’s most common expenses.
. . .
Here’s another interesting trend. This map is a close approximation of the results for the 2016 election. East of the Mississippi River, every expensive state voted for Hillary Clinton, and every inexpensive state went for Donald Trump. The situation is a little convoluted out West, but it’s remarkable how the political divide mirrors an economic reality.
Again, more at the link. Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.
I found it interesting that American’s expenditure was a direct correlation with/indicator of voting patterns, but not their indebtedness. Food for thought.