East Coast, West Coast, Where In America should you live?

Awhile back you may remember me constantly asking for you to take my survey regarding the best place to live in the United States. Well after over 400 of you wonderful people taking the survey I finally made it to analyzing the data and making some colorful maps to show the results. So without further ado, let’s find out where everyone wants to live.

First off, I wanted to get participants from all 50 states so I could get a relatively accurate representation of the country. I was lucky enough to get people who were born or live in 49 states to take the survey, the one state I didn’t get any takers from was Hawaii. Granted for some states like Alaska I only had one participant, whereas my home state of Ohio made up about 25% of the surveys so I’ll keep that in mind when looking at the data later. My hope is that if I ever try something like this again I have more success reaching people from all 50 states more evenly.

A map of the preferred top 5 states.

A map of the states people would most like to call home.

The darker shade of blue indicates the most popular states. California, Florida, and New York made sense as choices but what surprised me is the amount of people who chose Washington and Oregon. I’ve been told people love the Pacific Northwest so this kind of gives some validity to those. If it’s really as green as they say it is up there I do believe living in the Pacific Northwest would be pretty grand!

A map depicting the states in which people would least like to live.

A map depicting the states in which people would least like to live.

I found myself surprised yet again looking at the results of this map. Once again the darker the shade of blue represents the more votes for it being one of the five least preferred states to live in. I was amazed to see Florida and Texas among the leaders as a least preferred state to call home. Everybody seems to always love Florida, I mean year round warm weather is a pretty nice perk and lots of beaches. I think the one piece of information I’d really like to request with another round of surveys is the reason why a person chooses the states that they choose.

The United States divided into regions.

The United States divided into regions. In order of most preferred to least: Pacific (Yellow), Mid Atlantic (Gold), New England (Brown), Midwest (Light Blue), South (Dark Blue), Deep South (Purple), West (Maroon), and Plains (Red)

After having people select the states they most preferred to live I thought it would create some interesting choices to look at their preferred choices regionally. Judging from what we saw above with California, Oregon, and Washington all being considering highly desirable places to live seeing the Pacific region come in at number one wasn’t all that surprising. What did surprise me was to see the Mid Atlantic states come in second above New England and the South. Maryland and Pennsylvania, both states in the Mid Atlantic region, pulled in solid support as a state to live in but I for sure thought with New York and Massachusetts in the New England region and Virginia and North Carolina in the South region they would pull ahead but once again I was met with a surprise!

The most preferred cities to call home in the United States.

The most preferred cities to call home in the United States.

The final colorful map I have is one depicting the cities that received the most votes as places to call home. Once again Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon, two major cities in the Pacific Northwest made a strong showing. Clearly the Pacific Northwest is a desirable place is definitely a point I’ve learned here. Of course, you had strong showings for your traditional big cities: Washington D.C., Chicago, New York, Boston, and San Francisco. I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to my favorite, Cleveland, which made a decent showing in the numbers to make it on this map!

One question I think is fair to ask is how much of the country have the people who took this survey seen. If they haven’t seen a great deal of it, I think it can make it kind of hard to judge where you want to live. Over half the survey participants have been to anywhere between 11 and 30 states. The breakdown looks like this:

  • 67 people said they visited anywhere between 1 to 10 states
  • 123 people said they visited anywhere between 11-20 states
  • 87 people said they visited anywhere between 21-30 states
  • 68 people said they visited anywhere between 31-40 states
  • 56 people said they visited anywhere between 41-50 states

So I’d like to think that these survey participants had a fair amount of knowledge of the United States, at least enough to make educated decisions on where to live in the United States. I did ask one final question in which I asked which coast of the United States would you prefer to call home using the Mississippi River as the dividing line. A resounding 237 chose the East Coast over 152 who chose the West Coast. At least for now, East Coast wins.

I want to thank everyone who took the time to take this survey, you were all greatly helpful! I’d like to do a follow up survey in the future and hopefully you’ll leave me some tips about what questions to ask this time around and please feel free to give any insight you might have from looking at the data.


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