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I was browsing around Facebook the other day and someone had posted one of “those Facebook things” where it asks you to put a checkmark on the number of states that you’ve been to

a screenshot of a phone

I find these types of things to be generally harmless but vapid, but what caught my eye was the claim that the average American has only been to EIGHT states!  I’m typically skeptical of claims like this, so I did a bit of research

How many states has the average American been to?

According to a 2016 survey by Livability and Ipsos, the average American has only been to 12 states.  The most popular states for people to have been to are Florida, California, New York, Georgia, and Nevada.

A few more surprising facts from the survey

  • North Dakota is the least visited states
  • 10% of Americans (!) have only been to the state they currently live in
  • Somehow 15-20% of people have been to Maine, but less than 15% of people have been to New Hampshire (the only state that borders Maine). I guess there’s either a LOT of cruise traffic or some Americans are really bad at geography (or both 😀 )
  • Households with no children are more likely to want to visit Alaska, but people with kids are slightly more likely to have Florida on their wish list

My stats

In January 2023, I visited my final state (Hawaii), but I am not content with visiting states – I am trying to visit every COUNTY in the United States – I’m about 60% of the way there

a map of the united states

Looking through my family’s county spreadsheet (of COURSE I keep one!), in addition to my 49 states, my wife has been to 41. My kids have been to 37, 39, 38, 33, 30 and 29.  So with a family average of 37, we’re doing our part!

How about you?

Now I want to hear from you! How many US states have you visited?  Do you have plans to visit more or goals to visit all 50? Leave your thoughts in the comments

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