Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Defender of Utah Series

In our last installment here, we learned that Utahns are extraverted, agreeable, creative and intelligent, conscientious, and not at all nuerotic ... unlike New Yorkers, Connecti-cuties, and Californians. In today's installment, we'll compare Utah to the South and New England.

Someone out there created a chart comparing how 'religious' the people of a state are with a bunch of things the author thinks are bad. How is religion being measured? I don't know. But if you have a Southern drawl, your state is probably in the Top 13, and if you live in the Northeast or Northwest, you're probably ... not. The point of the chart is to show that, by and large, the more religious states have more bad stuff and the less religious states have less.

The difference in average IQ is not statistically significant, given that a standard deviation is 10 and the difference between Vermont and Mississippi is 10. So color code it however you like, that's not significant.

The 12 most religious states (plus New Mexico and Arizona) have the highest levels of poverty. They also have some unhealthy murder and theft rates. There's a real question of causation here - are some people more likely to turn to religion and others to violence when they are poorer? I think there's a good case to be made there. Health and contentment are also low in poorer states. Gee, I wonder why?

How is generosity measured? I don't know. But neither the least religious states nor the most religious states fare particularly well.

Religious states are also much more conservative. Now I call that a good thing, but whether you like it or not, there it is: another correlation.

What one state breaks most (but not all) of these patterns? Let's hear it for UTAH! The 14th most religious state, it is the SINGLE MOST generous and SINGLE MOST healthy and content of any state. It has the SECOND LOWEST murder rate, but average theft and divorce. Utah also has the THIRD LOWEST level of poverty and insignificantly above-average intelligence. And yes, Utah is highly conservative.

Breaking Utah Stereotypes since 2009.

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