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Articles in North America

Mixed Election Returns in Arizona: The Trump Effect?

By Martin W. Lewis | December 3, 2022 |

The take-home message of the 2022 Arizona election is that close association with Donald Trump, along with a reputation for extremism, often proves harmful for Republican candidates. In the Arizona U.S. House contest, the Republican candidates received 56.4 percent of the vote statewide, whereas the Republican Senate candidate received only 46.5 percent. These are striking numbers.

Geographical Patterns in the 2022 Election, Part 1, The North-Central United States

By Martin W. Lewis | December 2, 2022 |

As can be seen on the first map below, the Democratic Party thus established “trifecta” control in Minnesota, just as it did in Michigan, Massachusetts, and Maryland. But the metropolitan/non-metropolitan divide continues to deepen, as can be seen in maps of the Minnesota State House of Representatives. In 2022, the Democrats triumphed here because they dominated the vote in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul metropolitan region. Peripheral Minnesota, on the other hand, is almost entirely red. Even the mining country of the northeast, historically one of the most solid Democratic strongholds in the country, supported Republican candidates in the 2022 state legislative elections.

Hispanic Vs. Non-Hispanic White Life Expectancy in Texas

By Martin W. Lewis | August 19, 2022 |

In Texas, Hispanics can be expected to outlive non-Hispanic whites by 2.8 years. The gap between the two groups, however, varies widely by county, as can be seen in the map posted here (derived from this data source). The patterns are clear, and intriguing.

The Importance of the County in U.S. Geography

By Martin W. Lewis | August 16, 2022 |

The role and significance of counties varies significantly across the country. Wikipedia categorizes U.S. counties into three types: minimal scope, moderate scope, and broad scope. In most of New England, county scope is minimal indeed

Voting Patterns and Population Density – and “State of Jefferson” Exception

By Martin W. Lewis | August 15, 2022 |

In a few parts of the country, this linkage between population density and voting behavior disappears. Consider, for example, far-northern-interior California, a white-dominated region with strong anti-California sentiments associated with the “State of Jefferson” movement.

Cross-Class Connectedness in the Pacific Northwest and the Proposed State of Jefferson

By Martin W. Lewis | August 13, 2022 |

Although the fertile Willamette Valley in the northwest was settled heavily by New Englanders, most of the rest of western Oregon was substantially settled by people from the upper south. Many rural areas still have an Appalachian feel.

Mapping Cross-Class Social Connectedness

By Martin W. Lewis | August 11, 2022 |

A much larger although less populous area of high socio-economic connectedness is found the north-center-west portion of the country, centered on the western Great Lakes, northern Great Plains, and northern Rockies regions. This is, contrastingly, a largely rural and mostly agricultural area, although it does contain a few major cities, including Denver and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

The Income of the One Percent Across the United States (and in Montana)

By Martin W. Lewis | August 10, 2022 |

Sioux Falls has emerged as an important financial hub, particularly for credit-card companies, owing largely to South Dakota’s relaxed usury laws. South Dakota’s extraordinarily relaxed residency and taxation laws help explain its other centers of wealth.

Economic Disparities in Montana (and the Rest of the United States)

By Martin W. Lewis | August 9, 2022 |

It is not surprising that Madison County in southwest Montana has a strikingly high GINI figure. This particularly scenic rural county has been attracting high-income earners for several decades, driving up housing prices and forcing many local people out of the market.

Demographic Patterns in Montana (and the Rest of the United States)

By Martin W. Lewis | August 8, 2022 |

This penultimate post on county-level maps of Montana and the rest of the United States examines some basic demographic patterns. We begin with sex ratio, as measured by males per females in the population. The national map shows some clear patterns, but they are not always easy to interpret. Sex ratios are high (more males than females) in the interior …

The Geography of Health and Longevity in Montana (and the Rest of the U.S.)

By Martin W. Lewis | August 7, 2022 |

Although life expectancy tends to correlate with income, the correlation collapses in many of these areas. Hidalgo County, Texas is over 91 percent Hispanic and has a per capita income of only was $12,130, making it “one of the poorest counties in the United States,” but it ranks in the highest category on this map.

The Geography of Education in Montana (and the Rest of the United States)

By Martin W. Lewis | August 6, 2022 |

What stands out is the high percentages of bachelor’s degrees in three different geographical categories: affluent urban and suburban countries, especially those associated with tech hubs; non-metropolitan countries with major universities (typified by adjoining Whitman County in eastern Washington and Latah County in northwestern Idaho); and affluent high-amenity rural counties in the West (typified by Pitkin County, Colorado).

The Geography of Religion in Montana (and the Rest of the US)

By Martin W. Lewis | August 5, 2022 |

The map of religious adherence in the United States defies some common perceptions. Membership in a religious organization, for example, is shown as higher rate in southern New England than in the eastern part of the so-called Bible Belt. The data used to make these maps, however, are not necessarily accurate, and they do not measure the intensity of religious …

Cannabis Legalization and the Electoral Geography of Montana

By Martin W. Lewis | August 3, 2022 |

Only two reliably Republican-voting states have fully legalized cannabis: Montana and Alaska.  It is not coincidental that both are in the West. Western conservatism leans in a more libertarian direction than Southern or Midwestern conservatism, with the important exception of the deeply religious LDS (Mormon) region centered on Utah and eastern Idaho.

The Geography of Drug Use in Montana – and in the Rest of the United States

By Martin W. Lewis | August 2, 2022 |

If there is a take-home message from these maps, it is that drug use tends to be higher in rural areas than in major metropolitan zones, particularly their suburban counties. This pattern is mostly clearly evident on the methamphetamine map. Many rural areas of the United States are experiencing economic and social distress, which is often associated with heightened drug use.

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