California Dreamin’: Boom or Bust


After the wild midterm elections, some of you may be looking to move to a different state or, at the very least, take a vacation away from your fellow voters. Either way, Gradient has you covered with a compilation of state superlatives. Like a high school yearbook, you can come back in 10 years to see how "the most likely to succeed" squandered their potential.


If you’re in the mood to reenact The Revenant, a plurality of Americans (27%) name Colorado the best place to hike in the U.S. With 58 mountain peaks above 14,000 feet, there are now multiple ways to get higher than a kite in Colorado.


For those looking to drown out the political noise by drowning themselves in beer, 12% of Americans will join you in California. With roughly 3.5 million barrels of craft beer produced every year, there's a good reason Americans view California (more than any other state) as the best destination for beer—as long as you can handle the high volume of IPA guys.


After a few beverages, the beer munchies (Bunchies™) are likely to set in. Fear not, more Americans (16%) chose California as the best destination for food than any other state. It was a close battle with New York, but since we last checked, burrito beats pizza in every game of pizza, burrito, cheeseburger, especially when the burritos are filled with french fries (i.e., the California Burrito). In fact, while you’re already a beer and burrito deep, you might as well hire that moving van because 12% of Americans chose California as the best place to live, more than any other state.



Naturally, we also asked Americans to treat the states as personified high school teenagers: Time to find out who’s hot and who’s not. California tops the lists again, but this time they probably would have preferred to be the forgotten teen who eats lunch in the hallways: A plurality of Americans think California would be most likely to become a father or mother before graduation (19%) and most likely to end up in jail (15%). Florida was equally likely to be voted as the most likely to end up in jail. Next Trendlines question: What crime is California and Florida most likely to commit together?