Every state in the U.S. has it’s own claim to fame. Iowa has the lowest divorce rate and Maine has the least violent crime. Idaho is a cheap place to buy groceries. Arizona prides itself on being the sunniest state. Rhode Island had the lowest energy consumption per capita while Texas has the most wind energy.
Of course, none of them talk about what’s really important. What are their most distinctive ways to die? The biggest killers in the United States are still heart disease and cancer. But it seems that some more unusual causes of death are actually much more typical in certain states compared with the nation as a whole. Tuberculosis in Texas? Plane and boat accidents are problems in Alaska and Idaho! Legal intervention, deaths caused by law enforcement officers, excluding legal executions, seem to be the most distinctive cause of death in New Mexico, Nevada and Oregon.
Remember, these are just statistical anomalies. It doesn’t mean that people are falling over from the flu in Wyoming. But, if you’re looking for just the right way to steer people away from an ugly political discussion, these facts may be the perfect icebreaker. You’ll thank me later.