The Most Hated States in America

The states were ranked, and the results are in! According to statistics — such as the number of people who have moved away and vocal pride of residents — each U.S. state was scored and ordered. These ten most-hated states are going to need to up their game! Did your homeland fall at the top or the bottom of the list?


01 New Jersey

New Jersey highway system

It seems strange that the state boasting the first brewery and the first baseball game would be the most maligned in the country. What happened between now and then to make this the most hated state in the nation?

The states' ratings incorporated many factors, including how many people have moved out. In 2020, 69 percent of the population of New Jersey left, and this number is expected to grow in the coming years. People have also expressed public dislike for the state, with New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut loudest in their protests. As New Jersey is a major entryway into New York City, some of the heaviest complaints regard the New Jersey highway system. Tolls are everywhere, and the main thoroughfare is constantly congested. This isn't necessarily New Jersey's fault, as the best access to Manhattan is through New Jersey, but it doesn't help.

Perhaps, if the state can sort out that highway system, New Jersey, and its long-time combination of city and country life, will begin to climb back up the list.


02 Texas

Love of country and state

At first glance, it seems that Texans aren't the reason this state is the second most hated state in the nation. Many Texans polled responded with positive thoughts about their state. How, then, did it make it to number two on the list?

The hatred comes from people outside the state. Texas has a proud cowboy culture that includes football, guns, and oil. California, a liberal state, leads the way when it comes to hating Texas. Additionally, when Texas does something, it goes big — good or bad. Dallas was once the murder capital of the world, and most people have heard of the Waco siege in the early 1990s. Other states like to claim that Texas has no culture, though many argue it has one of the most diverse populations in the country.

Luckily, though Texas may be hated by the rest of the nation, within its borders, there is a deep sense of happiness and state pride.


03 California

California's Wonderful Scenery

California has undeniable natural beauty and some of the nation's most liberal state laws, yet it ranks number three on the list of most-hated states. Ever-rising housing prices, worsening pollution, and increasing traffic could have something to do with it. However, the most-cited reason for hatred toward the state seems to be the aforementioned liberal laws. Politicians are blamed for the decline in the school system, the overcrowded highway system, the issues with homelessness, and much more.

California has one of the most beautiful coastlines in the nation. It houses some of the richest industries, such as Hollywood to the south and wineries to the north, and has a diverse topography. However, the perception of bad politics is giving the state an overall bad name. Perhaps the residents will replace their leaders, giving California a second chance.


04 Oklahoma

Talimena National Scenic Byway

Oklahoma City has been dubbed the nicest city in the nation. Why, then, is the state, as a whole, so hated? Religion may play a part in it, with many residents of the state expressing a distaste in its use in state-wide advertising. Extreme poverty, record prison breaks, and cuts in education create further tension in many areas. Add in the crazy weather, such as tornadoes, earthquakes, and wildfires, and it's easier to see why this state ranks low on popularity contents. However, with a low cost of living, beautiful lakes, and diverse cultural opportunities, Oklahoma may stand a chance at bouncing back.


05 Florida

Florida's amazing wildlife

Florida Man may have made Florida famous, but its popularity has plummeted. This peninsula state is covered in beaches and is home to Disneyworld, so we need to dig deeper to figure out why it's number 5 on this list.

A big reason is the weather. It is hot in Florida year-round, which has made the state a thriving habitat for a wide variety of bugs, reptiles, and other pests. Getting relief on one of Florida's overcrowded beaches isn't always an option, either. The state is beautiful, with beaches, swamps, and some of the most interesting wild animals in the nation. However, it is simply too small for everything packed into it. Many believe it's nice for a visit, but not the best place to live.


06 Michigan

The oldest lighthouse on the Great Lakes was the first lighthouse on Lake Huron grandriver / Getty Images

Ohioans are the most vocal about their dislike of the state of Michigan. The intense college football rivalry between the University of Michigan and Ohio State University isn't the only reason. The two states had a cold war battle between 1835 and 1836, called the Toledo War. Both sides claimed a small strip of land, the Toledo Strip. The only casualty was the stabbing of a Michigan deputy sheriff who attempted to arrest an Ohioan following a skirmish. The deputy recovered, yet the rivalry between the two states remains today. But some Michiganders aren't crazy about their state. State pride stands at a meager 28%.


07 Kentucky

Horses grazing in pasture, elevated view Eric Meola / Getty Images

The Bluegrass State falls in the top 10 most hated states in the U.S. Only 38% of those who live there feel a sense of state pride. It's not a great state to retire in, and younger residents complain that boredom is a key factor for their diminished loyalty. People living in the neighboring states of Indiana and Tennessee aren't fans of Kentucky, either. Both states' issues stem from fierce college sports rivalries dating back to 1893. There's no love lost between fans of the Indiana University Hoosiers and the University of Tennessee Volunteers, and they're pretty vocal about their dislike of University of Kentucky Wildcat devotees.


08 Indiana

Late afternoon light warms the skyline of Indianapolis, Indiana Ron and Patty Thomas / Getty Images

The Hoosier State and Illinois have a long tradition of back-and-forth hatred, bad-mouthing, and outright insults that goes well beyond their once-intense college basketball rivalry. Even the governors of both states get in on the action, with a history of taunting each other over taxes, border signs, fiscal regulations, and state debt. The state's low pride index of 34% is not a new occurrence. A 2013 study showed that less than 21% of Indiana respondents reported being "extremely proud" to be from their state, ranking it among the bottom three of the 50 states alongside Arizona and North Carolina.


09 Alabama

LeGrande park in Montgomery, USA during green spring in Alabama capital city during sunny day with large tree, bench, residential houses krblokhin / Getty Images

Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi share an intense contempt for the state of Alabama, according to the poll of the most hated states in America. Not surprisingly, the hatred stems from college sports rivalries. Calling out Alabama's college football powerhouse, the Crimson Tide, is a long-standing tradition among sports bloggers and pundits. ‘Bama fans loudly taunt opposing fans at games. Most descriptions about them include the adjective "rude." Despite the abundance of clothing available touting love for Alabama, the state pride hovers around 39%.


10 Kansas

Combines at work during the wheat harvest, Shields & Sons Farming, Goodland, Kansas USA Blaine Harrington III / Getty Images

The Sunflower State seems to have an issue with one state, in particular, Missouri. But the feeling is mutual. Kansas doesn't like Missouri, either. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, slavery, and squatters seem to be at the root of the issues between the two states. Even though the two states share the Kansas City metropolitan area, the rivalry between the University of Kansas Jayhawks and the University of Missouri Tigers has kept the longstanding differences between the two states alive and well. Pride levels among Kansans are an estimated 34%.


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