In recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month and all the diversity that comes with being Latinx, WalletHub released a new report on Tuesday (September 17) that examines how diverse American states are.
In “2019’s Most and Least Diverse States in America,” WalletHub compared the 50 states to see how they stack up in terms of race, ethnicity, occupation, language, income, education and birthplace. California ranked as the most diverse state in the country overall, with a 70.84 score out of 100. Meanwhile, West Virginia landed in last place, with a score of 58.32.
“The research literature is pretty clear in showing that diversity leads to increases in innovation and creativity. It is not always easier to be and interact with people who are diverse—they sometimes have different perspectives and exhibit different sets of behaviors, but this is probably why diversity is linked to creativity and innovation,” Michelle “Mikki” Hebl, Martha and Henry Malcolm Lovett Chair of Psychology and professor of management at Rice University, says in the report. “If there is space, resources and a niche for everyone (as there are more likely to be in diverse states), then violence and social unrest may be less likely.”
Other key findings:
Alaska has the highest household-income diversity (twice that of Mississippi, which has the lowest) and the most working-class diversity (Indiana has the least).
Hawaii ranks the highest for racial and ethnic diversity; Maine has the lowest.
California leads with language diversity at double the score for West Virginia, the lowest.
Nevada has the highest birthplace diversity, which is three times higher than in Louisiana, the state with the lowest.
North Dakota has the highest religious diversity; it’s twice that of Maine, the state with the lowest.