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Whitest States

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Introduction

Understanding the demographic landscape of the United States is a complex endeavor, primarily due to the country's historical diversity and ongoing shifts in population. Among the various racial and ethnic groupings, White Americans or those identifying as White, which encompasses origins in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, form the majority. According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates dated July 1, 2022, around 75.8% of the U.S. population identified as White alone, while those classifying as Non-Hispanic whites made up 59.3% of the populace.

When considering the distribution of this demographic, some regions stand out for their higher concentration of White residents, pointing to particular historical, migratory, or residential preferences for various reasons. Our dataset, which lists the percentage of the White population across U.S. states, paints a telling picture of these regional differences.

From our research, we have derived the following key insights:

  • West Virginia leads the pack as the state with the largest percentage of White residents, at 97.12%.
  • The Northeastern and Midwestern states of Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, and Iowa also feature in top spots, demonstrating above 90% white demography.
  • The ethnic identity in states shows a high concentration of White population, consistent with historical European immigration trends to these regions.
  • There is regional clustering visible in the data, with most states featuring highly on this list situated in the Northeast and Midwest. The Western states of Oregon, Wyoming, and Colorado, as well as southern states like Kentucky, emerge as notable exceptions.
  • Presenting a contrast at the end of the spectrum is Hawaii, with the smallest percentage of residents identifying as White at just 42.19% - significantly divergent from the national average.

States with the Most White Population

The whitest state in the U.S is West Virginia, where 97.12% of the population identifies as White.

The second state closely following this demographic trend is Wyoming with a White population percentage of 93.79%, closely trailed by Vermont with 92.80% and Maine with 92.69%. These states are also noticeably distinctive in population distribution, demonstrating over 9 in 10 residents identifying as white.  

Furthermore, the northeastern states of New Hampshire, has 91.53% of its residents identifying as White. Likewise, Iowa, a midwestern state, has a high White population percentage of 90.36%.

While the majority of states on this list are situated in the Midwest and Northeast, Kentucky breaks the pattern, showing a high concentration of residents identifying as white in the South at 87.77%. Similarly, the Western states of Oregon, possessing a White population percentage of 87.42%, and Kansas and Nebraska, each with 86.79% White population, indicate a break from the Northeast and Midwest pattern, as does the southern state Kentucky. 

States with the Highest White Population:

  1. West Virginia - 97.12%
  2. Wyoming - 93.79% 
  3. Vermont - 92.80% 
  4. Maine - 92.69% 
  5. New Hampshire - 91.53% 
  6. Iowa - 90.36%
  7. Kentucky - 87.77% 
  8. Oregon - 87.42%
  9. Nebraska - 86.79%
  10. Kansas - 86.79%

States with the Least White Population

Hawaii leads the list with the smallest proportion of White residents, with a mark as low as 42.19%. This is considerably lower than the national average, which accentuates the unique demographic composition of this Pacific Island.

On the Eastern Seaboard, Maryland follows next with 56.90% of its population identifying as White, with the Southern state of Georgia not far behind at 57.57%.

Mississippi, with its white population standing at 60.55% emerges next, preceding California, the nation's most populous state. With a white population percentage of 63.79%, California's demographic profile is largely reflective of its history as a destination for immigration from across the globe.

Nevada and Louisiana, with White population percentages of 64.83% and 65.18% respectively, are next in this lineup, ahead of South Carolina at 65.55%. In the Northeast, New York, despite its high overall population, has a White demographic percentage of 66.14%, rendering it one of the less 'white' states when looked at from a purely numerical viewpoint. Finally, closing this list is Delaware with a white population percentage of 66.36%.

10 States with the Least White Population:

  1. Hawaii - 42.19%
  2. Maryland - 56.90%
  3. Georgia - 57.57%
  4. Mississippi - 60.55%
  5. California - 63.79%
  6. Nevada - 64.83%
  7. Louisiana - 65.18%
  8. South Carolina - 65.55%
  9. New York - 66.14%
  10. Delaware - 66.36%

By State

Full Data Set

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