Can You Believe That Maine Isn’t the Least Diverse State?
Maine is known for many things; however, it isn't exactly recognized for its diversity. What might surprise you is that there is still a state less diverse than ours.
Recently, WalletHub, the personal finance website, unveiled its report on the diversity landscape across American states in 2023. The findings give us an understanding of which states have lively exchanges of ideas and identities, and where the population is relatively similar. WalletHub analyzed the 50 states across six key categories: socio-economic, cultural, economic, household, religious, and political diversity.
According to projections by the U.S. Census Bureau, by the year 2045, the United States is expected to transition from having a single ethnic majority, currently held by non-Hispanic whites, to embracing a period of heightened diversity. This ongoing shift has become increasingly apparent, notably during the decade between the 2010 and 2020 censuses.
One measure of this transformation is the diversity index, indicating the probability that two randomly chosen Americans would come from distinct racial and ethnic backgrounds. Between 2010 and 2020, this index surged from 54.9% to 61.1%, underscoring the accelerating pace of diversification within the nation.
Maine, just barely, conceded the 49th position in this ranking, edged out by West Virginia, which clinched the 50th spot - the least diverse state in the nation.
When discussing racial and ethnic diversity, Maine stands out as the least diverse state, while Hawaii shines brightly at the other end of the spectrum as the most diverse. The difference between these two states is significant, highlighting a threefold gap in diversity, ranging from the most diverse in Hawaii to the least diverse in our Pine Tree State.
In New England, Connecticut stands out, firmly securing the 14th position in the statewide ranking. Its diverse makeup reflects a demonstrative history of cultures and communities, contributing to its status. Conversely, its northern counterparts in the region, specifically New Hampshire and Vermont, grapple with the challenge of achieving similar levels, resulting in their respective standings at the 48th and 47th positions in the ranking.
Massachusetts also emerges as a significant player, earning 19th in the overall diversity ranking. On a similar note, Rhode Island, while slightly trailing, should not be overlooked, securing the 22nd position.
While Maine is renowned for various attributes, diversity is not typically at the forefront. Surprisingly, there are states even less diverse than ours. Well, at least one.