New Jersey: The least liked state in America

July 04, 2015, 8:13 AM UTC

YouGov America reveals New Jersey is the only state that Americans tend to have a negative opinion of (and Hawaii is their favourite)

As America celebrates its 239th birthday this Saturday, YouGov compiled a 'State of the States', asking Americans how they feel about each and every one of the 50 states that form the country. 

This research shows that New Jersey is the only state in the country which people tend to have a negative opinion of. 40% of Americans have an unfavourable opinion of New Jersey while 30% have a favourable opinion of the state, giving the state a net favourability rating of -10%. In contrast, Alabama, the second least popular state in the country, has a net favourability rating of +8, as 39% of Americans have a favourable view of Alabama and 31% have an unfavourable opinion. After Alabama the least popular states are Illinois (+9), Mississippi (+9) and Indiana (+12). 

Hawaii is the most popular state in the union with a net rating of +56, with 67% of Americans having a positive view of the state and only 11% having an negative opinion. Hawaii is followed by Montana (+43), Wyoming (+42), Alaska (+42) and Maine (+42). 

Of the country's ten most populus states Illinois (+9) is the least popular, followed by California (+13). Pennsylvania and Florida (both +37) are the most popular large states. Texas has a net rating of +31 while New York has a +24 rating. 

What makes Jersey, Jersey?

With just under nine million residents New Jersey is the eleventh largest state in the country. Despite its relative heft New Jersey is in many ways the epitome of Northeastern suburbia, with much of the state's population living in the suburbs of two of the nation's largest cities (New York and Philadelphia) which happen to be in other states. The popular image of New Jersey often falls somewhere between the MTV show Jersey Shore, HBO's award winning mafia drama The Sopranos and the chemical plants and gray industrial landscape stretched along I-95 that inspired much of the work of Bruce Springsteen. 

Looking at people in New Jersey with YouGov's latest research tool YouGov Profiles we are able to see what makes people in New Jersey different from people in the rest of the country. 

When it comes to how people in New Jersey live their lives, a few things are particularly true of New Jerseyans compared to all Americans as a whole. People in New Jersey are unusually likely to take a hardnosed attitude towards life. They are unusually likely to say that they 'seek out challenging situations' and that they are willing to sacrifice their leisure time in order to get ahead in their career. Life isn't all challenge and work in New Jersey, however, as they're also unusually likely compared to Americans in the rest of the country to say that they enjoying going out drinking in bars. Family life in New Jersey may take a backseat to friendship, however, as they're particularly likely to say that their friends are 'more important' to them than their family. 

Asked to describe their own personality, people in New Jersey are likely to say that they keep their feelings to themselves, that they are unlucky and that they enjoy being by themselves instead of socialising. 

Full poll results can be found here and full state rankings here.