As we approach the election and expect to hear a lot of talk about red states vs. blue states, I thought it useful to look at them.
A trend in recent election years is to categorize conservative states as red states and liberal states as blue states. Everyone believes that the cultures and values of red states are different from those of blue states. I decided to research how different red states are from blue states relative to specific parameters. The statistics I cite can be found through a computer search of various government websites.
Red states claim that religious and family values are more important to them than blue states. The data suggest this is the case because the top 10 states with the highest percentage of regular church attendance are all red states and the 10 states with the lowest rates are all blue states.
Never miss a local story.
The people in red states tend to exhibit animus toward the federal government and preach states’ rights. That is ironic since, with the exception of Texas, every red state gets more tax dollars back from the federal government than they pay in; Kentucky gets back about $2.18 for each dollar paid in federal income tax.
So what good does that extra tax money do to improve the lives of the citizens of red states?
The red states all have significantly lower life expectancy than blue states, owing to much higher incidences of diabetes, obesity, stroke and heart disease.
Red states have much higher rates of uninsured citizens, death, food stamp recipients and Medicaid recipients.
The 10 poorest states in the nation are all red states and 97 of the 100 poorest counties are in red states.
The median income is much lower in red states than in blue states.
State funding per student is much lower in in red states.
The top 10 states that practice corporal punishment are red states.
The percent of the population with college degrees is lower in red states than in blue states.
Red states have a higher percentage of population abusing drugs.
The rate of traffic related fatalities is higher in red states.
The incidence of alcohol-related driving fatalities is higher in red states.
Of the 12 states with the highest murder rates, 10 are red states.
Of the top 10 states with the highest teenage pregnancy rates, nine are red states.
Of the top 15 states with the highest per capita execution rate, 13 are red states.
The incarceration rate is much higher in red states.
Property crimes rates are higher in red states than in blue states.
Divorce rates are significantly higher in red states.
Abstinence-only sex education is more prevalent in red states, which accounts for the fact that of the states with the highest teenage pregnancy rates, nine of the top ten are red states.
Deaths from firearms are higher in red states and red states export more firearms than blue states.
There are significantly more white supremacists hate groups in red states than in blue states.
Most professional athletic championship titles are won by teams in blue states, probably because the blue states have larger populations and more disposable income to support them.
The cynical, independent observer might characterize the citizens of red states as impoverished, poorly educated economic parasites with violent tendencies, poor health habits, drug and alcohol addiction issues, with criminal records, who shoot each other, cheat on their spouses, beat and impregnate their children before they get caught in the death chamber express.
However, I am not a cynical independent observer, as I prefer to see the good in people.
At least the people in red states go to church.