In a poll asking Americans to rank their preferred states in head-to-head match ups, the results showed that the most popular state was the one that is primarily tropical paradise, and that people's least favourite happened to be the seat of the federal government.
According to the poll, conducted by YouGov and drawn from 1,211 responses from US adults, Hawaii is Americans' favourite state, and Washington DC – not a state, but a district – is Americans' least favourite.
The poll found that respondents, when asked about their favourite state, tended to favour their home states or their current place of residence. They selected their home state 77 per cent of the time and their current state of residence 79 per cent of the time.
According to the report, only one-third of Americans are living in a state that is not their home state.
Among the lowest ranked states were Alabama and Mississippi, which both suffer from low median income and limited access to health care.
Five of the 10 lowest ranked states are located in the south; Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Arkansas and Washington DC.
The other five lowest ranked states are Midwest states, with the exception of New Jersey, perennially the butt of jokes, being ranked 48th worst state. Indiana and Iowa are also ranked low, at 45 and 46, respectively, as were Missouri and South Dakota.
On the other side of the list, the top five rated states were Hawaii, Colorado, Virginia, Nevada and North Carolina, with Florida, Arizona, New York, Georgia and Texas rounding out the bottom half of the top 10 states.
Respondents could not include context with their votes, so the rationale behind why certain states fell where they did is not available.
It is likely Washington DC fared the worst because it is the seat of power of the federal government and because it is not technically a state. The district is otherwise a world-class city with top restaurants, music venues, galleries and historical attractions unlike anywhere else in the country.
In the same way, Hawaii may have come out on top because of its image as a welcoming, tropical paradise, earning it votes as "best" even if a respondent has never been there.
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