Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Bad Stripe Continues: Human Development Index

The largest contiguous area (8 states) of lowest-category development index is found in the Bad Stripe, and this tracks many other health, education and economic indicators (play with the map and data yourself.) One very ineresting mismatch: violent crime per capita absolutely does not track the Bad Stripe. Neither does property crime.

Gini coefficient is highest in the southern U.S. and California. Guess: different causes for the South and California. In California it's ongoing immigration from a developing country, and in the South it's a holdover from agriculture. It would be interesting to see this same map, but only for people born in the U.S. California would probably blend into the rest of the country, and the South would remain. Thesis topic if it hasn't already been done: relationship between caste-system agrarianism and high Gini, two centuries later, in multiple countries (India, slavery areas in the U.S., Russia's serf system, etc.) Countries could serve as their own controls by comparing parts of the country with similar agrarian output but different caste traditions.

Other interesting trend: western states have more women legislators in their state legislatures than eastern states. This seems to be true regardless of whether the states are left- or right-leaning. Why? That these states were founded later when women's suffrage was a reality or close to it, and that value was fixed in political habits through the generations? In any event it seems less strange in light of this to contemplate that Wyoming was the first state which gave the franchise to women.

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