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This Is the Most Selfish State in America

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The new year is the perfect time to reflect on what we’ve achieved in the past 365 days and what we want to accomplish in the year ahead. Of course, some new year’s resolutions are about tangible gains, like job promotions or weight loss, but the close of one year and the start of another is also a time for reflection on our own virtues, too. What you may not realize is that where you live could be playing a role in where you fall on the naughty or nice list. At Best Life, we crunched the numbers to determine where folks are more concerned with their own lives than those of others—and we’ve found the most selfish state in America.

America’s Quietest Town

For our Selfish Index, we started with the Fraser Institute’s generosity index, which scored each state based on the charitable giving trends of its residents on a scale from 1 to 10. Then we looked at the most recent data from AmeriCorp to establish what percentage of residents in each state volunteer in a given year.

Finally, we used a recent study published in the Journal of Research in Personality, which scored each state based on its capacity for empathy—the closer the empathy score is to 4, the less selfish the state is considered. We then gave each metric a weighted value and ran them through our exclusive algorithm to see how each state scored on our Selfish Index.

Utah came out as the least selfish state, with the largest generosity index score and the highest volunteer rate. But generally, states in the Northeast ranked as less selfish, while the South, Midwest, and West were more varied. The most selfish state was notable for both its low volunteer rate and low empathy score. Read on to discover which state it is, and find out where yours falls in the mix. And for the place the runs rampant with a similarly distasteful quality, This Is the Most Dishonest State in America.

50
Utah

Fraser generosity index score: 8.8

Volunteer rate: 51.0 percent

Empathy score: 3.74

Selfish Index Score0.00

49
Oregon

Fraser generosity index score: 5.7

Volunteer rate: 43.2 percent

Empathy score: 3.76

Selfish Index Score25.75

48
Minnesota

Fraser generosity index score: 5.6

Volunteer rate: 45.1 percent

Empathy score: 3.67

Selfish Index Score29.47

47
Montana

Fraser generosity index score: 4.5

Volunteer rate: 38.8 percent

Empathy score: 3.78

Selfish Index Score34.12

46
Connecticut

Fraser generosity index score: 6.8

Volunteer rate: 31.8 percent

Empathy score: 3.72

Selfish Index Score42.43

45
Massachusetts

Fraser generosity index score: 5.9

Volunteer rate: 32.6 percent

Empathy score: 3.74

Selfish Index Score42.44

44
Rhode Island

Fraser generosity index score: 4.5

Volunteer rate: 30.7 percent

Empathy score: 3.78

Selfish Index Score43.89

43
Maryland

Fraser generosity index score: 7.7

Volunteer rate: 36.3 percent

Empathy score: 3.67

Selfish Index Score44.00

42
North Carolina

Fraser generosity index score: 5.1

Volunteer rate: 35.1 percent

Empathy score: 3.74

Selfish Index Score45.02

41
Washington

Fraser generosity index score: 4.9

Volunteer rate: 35.7 percent

Empathy score: 3.74

Selfish Index Score45.69

40
Georgia

Fraser generosity index score: 7.5

Volunteer rate: 26.5 percent

Empathy score: 3.71

Selfish Index Score46.59

39
Vermont

Fraser generosity index score: 3.4

Volunteer rate: 36 percent

Empathy score: 3.77

Selfish Index Score47.84

38
Maine

Fraser generosity index score: 3.2

Volunteer rate: 38.7 percent

Empathy score: 3.76

Selfish Index Score48.64

37
Virginia

Fraser generosity index score: 6.1

Volunteer rate: 34.0 percent

Empathy score: 3.70

Selfish Index Score49.98

36
Illinois

Fraser generosity index score: 5.0

Volunteer rate: 28.1 percent

Empathy score: 3.75

Selfish Index Score51.50

35
Wisconsin

Fraser generosity index score: 4.5

Volunteer rate: 37.4 percent

Empathy score: 3.72

Selfish Index Score51.75

34
California

Fraser generosity index score: 5.7

Volunteer rate: 25.4 percent

Empathy score: 3.74

Selfish Index Score52.52

 

33

New York

Fraser generosity index score: 6.0

Volunteer rate: 25.3 percent

Empathy score: 3.73

Selfish Index Score53.20

32
Arkansas

Fraser generosity index score: 5.4

Volunteer rate: 30.0 percent

Empathy score: 3.72

Selfish Index Score54.38

31
New Jersey

Fraser generosity index score: 6.3

Volunteer rate: 26.1 percent

Empathy score: 3.71

Selfish Index Score55.45

30
Colorado

Fraser generosity index score: 5.2

Volunteer rate: 32.4 percent

Empathy score: 3.71

Selfish Index Score: 55.54

29
Nebraska

Fraser generosity index score: 4.6

Volunteer rate: 40.2 percent

Empathy score: 3.69

Selfish Index Score55.65

28
Idaho

Fraser generosity index score: 5.2

Volunteer rate: 37.9 percent

Empathy score: 3.68

Selfish Index Score56.88

27
Iowa

Fraser generosity index score: 4.5

Volunteer rate: 41.5 percent

Empathy score: 3.68

Selfish Index Score57.43

26
South Carolina

Fraser generosity index score: 5.2

Volunteer rate: 30.8 percent

Empathy score: 3.70

Selfish Index Score60.13

25
Oklahoma

Fraser generosity index score: 4.2

Volunteer rate: 32.0 percent

Empathy score: 3.72

Selfish Index Score60.36

24
Hawaii

Fraser generosity index score: 4.1

Volunteer rate: 28.0 percent

Empathy score: 3.74

Selfish Index Score60.56

23
South Dakota

Fraser generosity index score: 3.4

Volunteer rate: 36.3 percent

Empathy score: 3.72

Selfish Index Score60.76

22
Arizona

Fraser generosity index score: 4.8

Volunteer rate: 30.0 percent

Empathy score: 3.71

Selfish Index Score61.23

21
Missouri

Fraser generosity index score: 4.4

Volunteer rate: 31.9 percent

Empathy score: 3.71

Selfish Index Score61.74

20
North Dakota

Fraser generosity index score: 2.6

Volunteer rate: 37.4 percent

Empathy score: 3.73

Selfish Index Score62.37

19
Michigan

Fraser generosity index score: 4.3

Volunteer rate: 29.4 percent

Empathy score: 3.72

Selfish Index Score62.79

 

18

New Hampshire

Fraser generosity index score: 3.9

Volunteer rate: 35.7 percent

Empathy score: 3.70

Selfish Index Score63.30

17
Tennessee

Fraser generosity index score: 3.8

Volunteer rate: 31.3 percent

Empathy score: 3.72

Selfish Index Score63.99

16
Mississippi

Fraser generosity index score: 4.7

Volunteer rate: 23.8 percent

Empathy score: 3.73

Selfish Index Score64.09

15
Kansas
Fraser generosity index score: 4.4

Volunteer rate: 36.5 percent

Empathy score: 3.68

Selfish Index Score64.16

14
Pennsylvania
Fraser generosity index score: 4.2

Volunteer rate: 34.2 percent

Empathy score: 3.69

Selfish Index Score65.67

13
Texas

Fraser generosity index score: 4.4

Volunteer rate: 28.4 percent

Empathy score: 3.71

Selfish Index Score65.96

 

12
Wyoming

Fraser generosity index score: 4.4

Volunteer rate: 32.7 percent

Empathy score: 3.69

Selfish Index Score66.08

11
Ohio
Fraser generosity index score: 3.7

Volunteer rate: 33.2 percent

Empathy score: 3.70

Selfish Index Score67.72

10
Alaska

Fraser generosity index score: 2.5

Volunteer rate: 40.6 percent

Empathy score: 3.69

Selfish Index Score69.84

9
Louisiana

Fraser generosity index score: 3.7

Volunteer rate: 25.8 percent

Empathy score: 3.72

Selfish Index Score71.32

8
Indiana

Fraser generosity index score: 3.5

Volunteer rate: 34.9 percent

Empathy score: 3.68

Selfish Index Score72.38

7
Florida

Fraser generosity index score: 4.7

Volunteer rate: 22.8 percent

Empathy score: 3.70

Selfish Index Score73.27

 

6
Delaware

Fraser generosity index score: 4.9

Volunteer rate: 31.8 percent

Empathy score: 3.65

Selfish Index Score74.30

5
Alabama

Fraser generosity index score: 5.6

Volunteer rate: 27.4 percent

Empathy score: 3.65

Selfish Index Score74.72

4
New Mexico

Fraser generosity index score: 3.2

Volunteer rate: 27.1 percent

Empathy score: 3.71

Selfish Index Score75.91

3
West Virginia

Fraser generosity index score: 1.8

Volunteer rate: 28.1 percent

Empathy score: 3.73

Selfish Index Score79.17

 

2
Kentucky

Fraser generosity index score: 4.0

Volunteer rate: 28.1 percent

Empathy score: 3.67

Selfish Index Score79.74

 

1
Nevada

Fraser generosity index score: 4.4

Volunteer rate: 24.4 percent

Empathy score: 3.60

Selfish Index Score100.00

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