8 Least Popular States in the U.S. as Voted by Americans

Each US state has a lot to offer. However, each one also has its downsides. Recent data revealed the least popular states, with reasons ranging from climate to crime.

1. Illinois

JaySi // Shutterstock.

The call is coming from inside the house — 25% of people in Illinois believe their state is the worst in the nation. Interestingly, only one other state shares this opinion.

However, Illinois is also one of the fastest-shrinking states, suggesting not many people want to move there.

2. California

eddie-hernandez.com // Shutterstock

Though home to beautiful scenery, California irritates many Americans.

Between Silicon Valley’s nonstop hustle and Hollywood’s glitzy facade, California epitomizes “keeping up with the Joneses” for some.

With stratospheric housing costs and nightmarish traffic, the Golden State feels more gilded than golden to its detractors. And don’t get them started on avocado toast and kombucha.

3. New Jersey

Eric Dale // Shutterstock

Few states earn more universal contempt from their own residents than New Jersey.

Between environmental pollution, political corruption, and some of America’s rudest drivers, New Jersey residents have plenty to complain about.

Outsiders also scoff at the New Jersey accent and direct communication style, which many consider aggressive and obnoxious. But hey, at least they have good pizza and diners.

4. Florida

Mia2you // Shutterstock

Florida boasts tourism-friendly weather and beaches yet remains surprisingly unpopular.

Some blame the odd headlines that emerge from the Sunshine State, which lead to “Florida Man” memes. Others criticize exploitative politicians and a large retired population stubbornly clinging to outdated ideals. And then there are the hurricanes. 

Between the oppressive heat, swirling storms, and questionable culture, many Americans prefer Florida to remain the butt of jokes.

5. Alabama

Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

College football fandom approaches religious fervor in Alabama, which can test outsiders’ patience. Crimson Tide fanaticism leaks into everyday culture with Roll Tide battle cries and houndstooth wardrobe choices. 

Some also consider Alabama stubbornly regressive, clinging to outdated policies and social attitudes. On the other hand, the storied barbecue tradition found there is pretty tough to hate.

6. Kentucky

Sean Pavone // Shutterstock.

Best known for horse racing and bourbon, Kentucky irritates many Americans.

Some deride Kentuckians as self-righteous “good ol’ boys” resistant to progress, and with an economy centered around cigarettes, coal, and casinos, the state has some of America’s poorest health outcomes.

Outsiders also balk at Kentucky’s conservative politics and fundamentalist Christianity. But the fried chicken remains delicious.

7. Michigan

Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

The decaying industrial hub of Detroit drags down Michigan’s reputation. Urban blight, high crime, and failing city services characterize parts of Detroit.

Many outsiders paint the entire state with the same brush. Michigan also earns scorn for its intense lake effect winters and fanatical allegiance to sports teams like the Lions and Wolverines.

Many Americans consider Michigan a cold, dying relic of America’s manufacturing past. But hey, at least they have cherries!

8. Texas

Carlos Bruzos Valin // Shutterstock

The Lone Star State is high on the most-hated list for multiple reasons. Some perceive Texans as aggressive and “larger than life.” The climate also earns ire, with scorching summers and droughts few want to endure.

Politically, critics characterize Texas as rebellious and regressive. Fans approach sports like high school football with an almost religious devotion. This cocktail of factors earns Texas widespread scorn beyond its borders.

All in All

Asti Mak // Shutterstock

Perceptions about hated states come from multiple fronts: abrasive residents, insufferable weather, corrupt politicians, and even sports obsession. 

Regional cultural differences stoke resentment between states. But often, these perceptions simply reveal prejudices, not reality.


Author: Christopher Alarcon

Title: Journalist

Expertise: personal finance, side hustles, time management


Christopher Alarcon is a journalist with a deep passion for personal finance. He has contributed to major online publications, including MSN, Wealth of Geeks, and Business Insider.