The Most Hated States, According To Its Neighbors And People Who Live There

By Kathy Morris - Jan. 26, 2021

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Hate is a harsh word. So is abhor, detest, loathe, and despise.

But there is no denying some people really dislike the state they live in. Whether its job opportunities, cost of living, or recreation some states just don’t stack up.

Of course, some states also make crummy neighbors. Or practice “outreach” with smug sports teams and bad drivers cutting off unfortunate drivers nationwide.

We set out to find the most unlikable states nationwide. The results? Some states might need to send some fruit baskets.

Most Hated States

  1. Illinois
  2. New Jersey
  3. New York
  4. West Virginia
  5. California
  6. Massachusetts
  7. Michigan
  8. Mississippi
  9. Connecticut
  10. Kentucky

These 10 states aren’t very well liked- even by themselves. Keep reading to see the full list and what makes them so detestable.

How We Figured This Out

We looked at 3 metrics to determine which states are the most hateable:

  • The percent of residents who say the state is the “worst possible state to live in”
  • The states with the biggest decrease in population
  • Nationwide, the number of other states who say the hate a state the most

To turn hate into a science, we started by looking at the percent of residents who told Gallup their state is the “worst possible state to live in.” Ouch, talk about harsh. However, since they live there it seems like they would know best.

From there, we decided to look at “foot” votes. Basically, is the population growing? Who hates the state so much they pack up for greener pastures? Who likes it enough to be willing to box up and carry all their possessions? The larger the population decrease, the more hated the state. We used handy data from the ACS to compare the two most recent years of population numbers.

Finally, we decided to see what the rest of the country thought of them. After all, while it’s important what you (or the people who live in a state) think, it also matters what the rest of the country thinks. After all, there’s a whole country full of people who might find your state deeply unlikable.

To find out the state each state hates the most, we used numbers from an Instagram poll where a user asked his 300,000 followers to spill the dirt. The more states in the US that hate a specific state, the more hated the state.

We then rounded and ranked all these numbers together to find the most hated states.

1. Illinois

illinois class=Population Decrease: -0.54%
% Of Residents Who Say It’s Worst State: 25%
States That Hate It: 1

Illinois is one of the fastest shrinking states in the nation. Overall, in recent years the state saw a .54% decrease in population. With that number, perhaps it isn’t too surprising that 1-in-4 Illinoisans say their state is the absolute worst place to live. Yikes.

2. New Jersey

new jersey class=Population Decrease: -0.30%
% Of Residents Who Say It’s Worst State: 10%
States That Hate It: 5

New Jersey is often the brunt of the country’s jokes. Turns out, some of those jokes may not always be so kind hearted…. 5 states report hating New Jersey the most.

3. New York

new york class=Population Decrease: -0.45%
% Of Residents Who Say It’s Worst State: 12%
States That Hate It: 1

New York, New York what a wonderful place…. except for the 12% of people who say it’s the absolute worst state to live. Or Massachusetts who have taken all those beating by the Yankees pretty hard and hates New York more than any other state.

4. West Virginia

west virginia class=Population Decrease: -0.76%
% Of Residents Who Say It’s Worst State: 6%
States That Hate It: 1

West Virginia has a population problem. Many people just don’t want to live there anymore. Year over year the state lost .8% of their residents, with many deciding the grass is greener in Ohio and Virginia.

5. California

california class=Population Decrease: -0.11%
% Of Residents Who Say It’s Worst State: 6%
States That Hate It: 9

A staggering nine of California’s western neighbors hate their guts. Is it the water stealing thing? Whatever is, California doesn’t have a lot of friends around. Maybe a fruit basket would help.

6. Massachusetts

massachusetts class=Population Decrease: -0.14%
% Of Residents Who Say It’s Worst State: 6%
States That Hate It: 4

Massachusetts may hate New York, but 6% of folks living in the Bay State hate themselves more. Maybe that’s contributing the slow population decrease in the state.

7. Michigan

michigan class=Population Decrease: -0.09%
% Of Residents Who Say It’s Worst State: 9%
States That Hate It: 1

Michigan more like “Meh-chigan.” At least to the 9% of residents who say it’s the worse place to call home.

9. Connecticut

connecticut class=Population Decrease: -0.21%
% Of Residents Who Say It’s Worst State: 17%
States That Hate It: 0

No states hate Connecticut the most. However, Connecticut hates Connecticut enough to make up for it.

10. Kentucky

kentucky class=Population Decrease: -0.02%
% Of Residents Who Say It’s Worst State: 6%
States That Hate It: 2

When you think Kentucky, you might think strong bourbon and fast horses. However, Tennessee and Indiana just think, “Those guys suck.” They aren’t alone, though. 6% of people in Kentucky get what they mean.

Don’t Listen To The Haters

Don’t let the haters get you down. Maybe they’re just peanut butter and jealous. However, if you hate where you live, that sounds like a bigger problem. Maybe it’s time for a change of scenery. Consider one of the 10 best states for job seekers or cast a wide job search net and see where that takes you.

What states are hated the least?

  1. Colorado
  2. Utah
  3. Montana
  4. Idaho
  5. Minnesota
  6. New Hampshire
  7. Maine
  8. Washington
  9. Wyoming
  10. Arizona

Most (And Least) Hated States

Rank State
1 Illinois
2 New Jersey
3 New York
4 West Virginia
5 California
6 Massachusetts
7 Michigan
8 Mississippi
9 Connecticut
9 Kentucky
11 Louisiana
12 Ohio
13 Alabama
14 Alaska
15 Maryland
16 Rhode Island
17 Hawaii
18 Kansas
18 New Mexico
20 Oklahoma
20 Vermont
22 Virginia
23 Missouri
24 Nebraska
24 Pennsylvania
26 South Dakota
27 Florida
27 South Carolina
29 Arkansas
30 Iowa
31 Indiana
31 Wisconsin
33 Tennessee
34 North Dakota
35 North Carolina
36 Nevada
37 Texas
38 Oregon
39 Delaware
40 Georgia
41 Arizona
41 Wyoming
43 Washington
44 Maine
44 New Hampshire
46 Minnesota
47 Idaho
48 Montana
49 Utah
50 Colorado

Never miss an opportunity that’s right for you.
Kathy Morris


Kathy Morris

Kathy is the head of content at Zippia with a knack for engaging audiences. Prior to joining Zippia, Kathy worked at Gateway Blend growing audiences across diverse brands. She graduated from Troy University with a degree in Social Science Education.

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