2016 Electorate Representation Index: Which States Most Closely Resemble The U.S.? by Richie Bernardo, WalletHub

The first two elections in the primary cycle are complete, yet the lid remains open on one controversial topic that surfaces every primary season: the apparent “whiteness” of Iowa and New Hampshire. The matter usually is boiled down to a single question: How could two mostly rural states with majority-white populations fairly represent the national electorate?

Under that logic, handing the earliest positions in the presidential primaries to the Hawkeye and Granite states would understandably seem undeserved and bring into question whether candidates are dropping out of the race simply because of a flawed system. But as it turns out, the issue is a bit more complicated. Many experts have argued that entitlement to the earliest position in the primaries should be based on multiple factors, not solely on a state’s racial composition.

Earlier this year, WalletHub’s analysts compared the likeness of the U.S. with Iowa and New Hampshire and found that these states — to the expected surprise of many — mirror the nation by 89.39 percent and 82.11 percent, respectively. This time, we sought to identify which of the 50 states are truly representative of the U.S. population and thus truly worthy of the top primary-election spot. Scroll down for the results, expert political commentary and our detailed methodology.

Source: WalletHub

Electorate Representation Index – U.S. Snapshot

Electorate Representation Index – Sociodemographics

  • Gender
    1. % of Male:49.19%
    2. % of Female:50.81%
  • Age
    1. % of Population Aged 19 & Younger: 26.30%
    2. % of Population Between Ages 20 & 24: 7.10%
    3. % of Population Between Ages 25 & 34: 13.40%
    4. % of Population Between Ages 35 & 44: 13.00%
    5. % of Population Between Ages 45 & 54: 14.10
    6. % of Population Between Ages 55 & 64: 12.30%
    7. % of Population Aged 65 & Older: 13.80%
  • Race
    1. % of White Population: 63.13%
    2. % of Hispanic Population: 14.46%
    3. % of Black or African American Population: 10.78%
    4. % of American Indian or Alaskan Population: 0.68%
    5. % of Asian Population: 4.28%
    6. % of Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Population: 0.17%
    7. % of Other Population: 6.50%
  • Household Makeup
    1. % of Family Households (Families): 66.20%
    2. % of Non-Family Households: 33.80%
  • Family Relationship
    1. % of Population Who Are Householders: 38.00%
    2. % of Population Who Are Spouses (in Households): 18.40%
    3. % of Population Who Are Children (in Households): 30.50%
    4. % of Population Represented by Other Relatives (in Households): 7.20%
    5. % of Population Represented by Nonrelatives (in Households): 5.90%
  • % of Foreign-Born Population: 13.10%
  • % of Population with Health Insurance Coverage: 85.80%

Economy

  • % of Population with the Following Household Income Levels
    1. Less than $25,000: 23.20%
    2. $25,000 – 34,999: 10.20%
    3. $35,000 – 49,999: 13.50%
    4. $50,000 – $74,999: 17.80%
    5. $75,000 – $99,999: 12.20%
    6. $100,000 – $149,999: 13.10%
    7. $150,000 or More: 10.00%
  • % of Families Below Poverty Line: 11.50%
  • Wealth Gap: 15.93
  • % of Households Receiving Food Stamps: 12.98%
  • Number of Part-Time Employees for Every 100 Full-Time Employees: 59.61
  • Unemployment Rate: 6.20%
  • Length of Average Workday: 7.68 hours
  • Civilian Employed Population Aged 16 & Older by Industry
    1. Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting, and Mining: 2.00%
    2. Construction: 6.20%
    3. Manufacturing: 10.40%
    4. Wholesale Trade: 2.70%
    5. Retail Trade: 11.60%
    6. Transportation and Warehousing, and Utilities: 4.90%
    7. Information: 2.10%
    8. Finance and Insurance, and Real Estate and Rental and Leasing: 6.60%
    9. Professional, Scientific, and Management, and Administrative and Waste Management Services: 10.90%
    10. Educational Services, and Health Care and Social Assistance: 23.20%
    11. Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation, and Accommodation and Food Services: 9.50%
    12. Other Services, except Public Administration: 5.00%
    13. Public Administration: 4.90%

Education

  • Educational Attainment
    1. % of People Aged 25 & Older with a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher: 29.30%
    2. % of People Aged 25 & Older with Some College Experience or Associate’s Degree: 29.10%
    3. % of People Aged 25 & Older Who Are High School Graduates: 28.00%
    4. % of People Aged 25 & Older Who Did Not Complete High School: 13.60%
  • % of Population Aged 3 & Older Enrolled in School: 27.35%

Religion

  • Religious Composition of Adults
    1. Evangelical Protestant: 25.40%
    2. Mainline Protestant: 14.70%
    3. Historically Black Protestant: 6.50%
    4. Catholic: 20.80%
    5. Mormon: 1.60%
    6. Orthodox Christian: 0.50%
    7. Jehovah’s Witness: 0.80%
    8. Jewish: 1.90%
    9. Muslim: 0.90%
    10. Buddhist: 0.70%
    11. Hindu: 0.70%
    12. Unaffiliated: 23.30%
    13. Other Religions: 2.20%
  • Belief in God Among Adults
    1. Belief in God; absolutely certain: 63.00%
    2. Belief in God; fairly certain: 20.00%
    3. Belief in God; not too/not at all certain: 5.00%
    4. Belief in God; don’t know: 1.00%
    5. Do not believe in God: 9.00%
    6. Other/don’t know if they believe in God: 2.00%
  • Importance of Religion in One’s Life Among Adults
    1. Very important: 53.00%
    2. Somewhat important: 24.00%
    3. Not too important: 11.00%
    4. Not at all important: 11.00%
    5. Don’t know: 1.00%

Public Opinion

  • Party Affiliation Among Adults
    1. Republican/lean Rep.: 37.00%
    2. No lean: 19.00%
    3. Democrat/lean Dem.: 44.00%
  • Political Ideology among Adults
    1. Conservative: 36.00%
    2. Moderate: 33.00%
    3. Liberal: 24.00%
    4. Don’t know: 7.00%
  • Views about Size of Government among Adults
    1. Smaller government; fewer services: 51.00%
    2. Bigger government; more services: 42.00%
    3. Depends: 3.00%
    4. Don’t know<:>
  • Views about Government Aid to the Poor among Adults
    1. Does more harm than good: 44.00%
    2. Does more good than harm: 50.00%
    3. Neither/both equally: 4.00%
    4. Don’t know: 2.00%
  • Views about Abortion among Adults
    1. Legal in all/most cases: 53.00%
    2. Illegal in all/most cases: 43.00%
    3. Don’t know: 4.00%
  • Views about Homosexuality among Adults
    1. Should be accepted: 62.00%
    2. Should be discouraged: 31.00%
    3. Neither/both equally: 4.00%
    4. Don’t know: 3.00%
  • Views about Same-Sex Marriage among Adults
    1. Strongly favor/favor: 53.00%
    2. Oppose/strongly oppose: 39.00%
    3. Don’t know: 8.00%
  • Views about Environmental Regulation among Adults
    1. Stricter environmental laws and regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy: 38.00%
    2. Stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost: 57.00%
    3. Neither/both equally: 2.00%
    4. Don’t know: 3.00%
  • Views about Human Evolution among Adults
    1. Evolved; due to natural processes: 33.00%
    2. Evolved; due to God’s design: 25.00%
    3. Evolved; don’t know how: 4.00%
    4. Always existed in present form: 34.00%
    5. Don’t know: 4.00%
  • Should able-bodied, mentally capable adults who receive welfare be required to work?
    1. Yes: 74.00%
    2. Yes, adults who receive government benefits should be required to work: 4.00%
    3. Yes, and eliminate welfare all together as it is not authorized in the Constitution: 1.00%
    4. No: 6.00%
    5. No, but in order to receive benefits they should be looking for a job or enrolled in education and job training programs: 13.00%
    6. No, but their benefits would expire after two years of unemployment: 1.00%
    7. No, “workfare” is a form of slave labor: 1.00%
  • Do you support increased gun control?
    1. Yes: 39.00%
    2. Yes, require strict background checks, psychological testing, and training: 6.00%
    3. Yes, and ban all guns from public use: 1.00%
    4. No: 43.00%
    5. No, only for individuals with mental health issues and convicted felons: 6.00%
    6. No, only for assault weapons: 2.00%
    7. No, but increase penalties for gun-related crimes: 2.00%
    8. No, and the federal government should pass national “stand your ground” laws: 1.00%

2016 Electorate Representation Index

2016 Electorate Representation Index
Electorate Representation Index
2016 Electorate Representation Index
Electorate Representation Index

2016 Electorate Representation Index: Which States Most Closely Resemble The U.S.?

With the results of the earlier primary-election states greatly affecting which candidates stay in the presidential race — raising the question of which state truly deserves the top spot in the primaries — the personal finance website WalletHub today released its 2016 Electorate Representation Index.

To determine which states fairly represent the U.S. electorate, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states to the U.S. across five key categories: 1) Sociodemographics, 2) Economy, 3) Education, 4) Religion, and 5) Public Opinion.

States that Most Resemble the U.S. States that Least Resemble the U.S.
1 Illinois 41 Maine
2 Florida 42 Tennessee
3 Michigan 43 Arkansas
4 Arizona 44 New Hampshire
5 Pennsylvania 45 Utah
6 Ohio 46 Massachusetts
7 Indiana 47 Alabama
8 Delaware 48 West Virginia
9 Missouri 49 Mississippi
10 Virginia 50 Vermont

 

States with the Most Sociodemographic Resemblance with the U.S. States with the Least Sociodemographic Resemblance with the U.S.
1 Illinois 46 California
2 Connecticut 47 North Dakota
3 Virginia 48 Vermont
4 North Carolina 49 Maine
5 Oklahoma 50 Hawaii

 

States with the Most Economic Resemblance with the U.S. States with the Least Economic Resemblance with the U.S.
1 Illinois 46 Montana
2 Pennsylvania 47 Hawaii
3 Texas 48 Wyoming
4 Missouri 49 Maryland
5 North Carolina 50 Alaska

 

States with the Most Educational Resemblance with the U.S. States with the Least Educational Resemblance with the U.S.
1 North Carolina 46 Colorado
2 Georgia 47 Wyoming
3 Illinois 48 Massachusetts
4 Rhode Island 49 Utah
5 Florida 50 West Virginia

 

States with the Most Religious Resemblance with the U.S. States with the Least Religious Resemblance with the U.S.
1 Florida 46 Utah
2 Michigan 47 Vermont
3 Indiana 48 Massachusetts
4 Arizona 49 Mississippi
5 Ohio 50 Alabama

 

States with the Most Public-Opinion Resemblance with the U.S. States with the Least Public-Opinion Resemblance with the U.S.
1 Michigan 46 Wyoming
2 Florida 47 Massachusetts
3 Pennsylvania 48 Mississippi
4 Illinois 49 Vermont
5 Iowa 50 Alabama