The Financial States of America

If you want to buy a house for cheap, buy one in Arkansas or Mississippi–those are among states in the center strip of the USA with the least costly houses. In fact, the swath extends from Nebraska to West Virginia–the flyover states. Houses in New York and California cost lots more. In fact, average home listings in the low-cost states are about four times lower than the averages in the highest states. That’s a large swing.

Here’s the map, a snapshot of a wonderful interactive map called The Financial States of America, published by


Same website, same interactive map, but this time, I selected Well Being, and the results surprised me (of course, the site explains how they define and quantify well-being). No surprise that people in New Hampshire and Vermont are doing well. The surprise is that the every one of the “wellest” states is in the north–except Hawaii. The least well–the lowest ten states–are almost all connected in and beyond the Appalachians, with Oklahoma and Arizona in that group, too.  Here’s the snapshot (the interactive map would not translate to this blog, so I’m offering a few snapshots to encourage you to explore the map on your own).


The Minimum Wage map is fascinating because it shows how states that are near one another tend to make similar laws and accept similar rules. The states in the Deep South have no minimum wage. The states in the Pacific Northwest offer the highest minimum wage in the nation. Minnesota, Georgia and Wyoming offer the nation’s lowest minimum wage–an unjustifiable $5.15 to $6.20 per hour.


This is really interesting, to see American states behaving so differently from one another. One more, and then, you’re on your own. This one shows California with the nation’s highest GDP–the most productive economy, by far. Texas is second, and New York is third, and then, most other states don’t even come close. California’s GDP is now nearly $2 trillion dollars. If it was a country, it would compete with Italy and Spain, only about 10 percent smaller than the GDP of India. The state of New York competes, roughly, with South Korea. Texas’s economy is about the size of Mexico’s economy. By comparison, Michigan’s GDP is about the size of Denmark’s GDP–surprisingly small. Pakistan is slightly more productive than Connecticut. Tiny Delaware could fight it out with equally tiny Luxembourg. These match-ups are interesting enough to rate a Wikipedia article. Off the map, but NYC’s GDP is bigger than Spain’s. and Tokyo’s GDP is largely than Russia’s GDP (all GDPs are nominal). More GDP city data  here.


Enough of this. I could play with interactive maps all day long.

One more thing I found on the moneychoice site: an infographic about global money. This will keep me busy until bedtime…
The Future of Money: A Global Currency
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