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Old 01-23-2011, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Spain
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Ohio came to mind for me (though I do have family there and have spent a lot of time there so I'm biased towards it).

Popular culture also seems to have picked up on the idea that Ohio represents middle America. And I think Cleveland especially is portrayed as the most all-American city.
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:07 AM
 
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Missouri is the traditional "microcosm of America" state. Arguably, it contains a bit of all regions of the country: the East Coast (St Louis -- despite its location in the midwest it does feel a bit like an east coast city), the South (the southern part of the state is noticably southern), the Midwest (most of the state is midwestern, but the northern part particularly so). Traditionally, Kansas City is thought of as the easternmost "western" city, but that's a bit of a stretch by today's standards -- it's more "western" by the standards of the turn of the last century. Still, I suppose KC has some things in common with western cities like Denver or Salt Lake City, possibly it's railroad heritage and its location near the start of the Great Plains.

Today, Missouri has become more reliably Republican politically (went for McCain in 2008 -- a historically Democratic year), and it also has a miniscule Latino population in an era where Latino population is growing rapidly, so I'd say that it's a less "quintessential" American state than it once was. But the other candidates for the title, such as Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, all are somewhat imperfectly quintessential too.
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Old 01-25-2011, 03:15 PM
 
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While Ohio seems plausible, I think Illinois wins this poll..really just a microcosm of America in many ways..
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:19 PM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
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Originally Posted by DANNYY View Post
Illinois.

80% of America lives in urban centers. Illinois is a reflection of that. The demographics of the state and country are nearly identical. Chicagoland mirrors the national economy by 95% almost, and even has the same unemployment rate (or near it) as the country. There are hundreds of other parallels, but I'll stop it there for now.

Illinois is called the All American State, and I believe it.
Not only that, but it's broke too, just like the United States.
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Mexico City, formerly Columbus, Ohio
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Originally Posted by FreeStater View Post
Not when you look at race. The U.S. is 16% Hispanic. Indiana is 5% Hispanic, Illinois 15%, and Ohio 3%. You just can't call a state "quintessentially American" in this day and age if it's not at least 10% Hispanic. That rules out Indiana and Ohio, as well as Missouri.
How much of that 15% is in Chicago, though? It is not as if the whole state is higher, it's about one large city, which most of the other states mention have no comparison to. Maybe if we are arguing which city is more American, you'd have a point, but statewide, there's a good case to be made for other states.
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Mexico City, formerly Columbus, Ohio
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Originally Posted by nep321 View Post
Ohio seems a bit too rural, conservative and low income though.
Top 10 most populous state, and it is not concentrated in a single city or area like Illinois. It's not really that rural. It's certainly no Kansas. And politically, the state is pretty moderate down the middle, maybe leaning slightly conservative, which is similar to the US overall. I haven't seen income states by state so I can't comment on that one.
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Mexico City, formerly Columbus, Ohio
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Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
I'd also have to say Ohio. Columbus is often used by marketing firms for studies targeted toward "typical Middle America".
Yes, it used to be... but is losing that image. Columbus was so white-bread vanilla that companies loved to introduce new products here. The last 10-15 years have seen huge changes, though. Columbus has one of the fastest growing Hispanic and asian populations in the state and nation right now.
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:30 PM
 
Location: Land of Ill Noise
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I think it easily has to be Ohio. An even population spread throughout the state(unlike Illinois, which is heavily dominated by the Chicago area, and the vast majority of its population lives north of I-80, with a smaller concentration along a line from Danville that goes along I-74 from there all the way northwest to the Quad Cities), it's still a swing state in presidential elections(unlike Illinois and Missouri), has an even balance between farming/rural areas, small cities, big cities, has 3 major cities(Illinois only really has Chicago, and Peoria once had a lot more influence than it does today. guess barely, you can say IL has 2 well-known cities), and has both very flat areas of the state and areas within Appalachia(SE Ohio). Finally, it has areas with Northeast influence(Cleveland), Midwest influence(Toledo), and Southern influence(Cincinnati, Portsmouth, Ironton).

It has at least some percentage of most racial groups and ethnicities, though I'm sure overall on this aspect is less balanced than Illinois is(Cleveland is greatly overlooked by the rest of the country, due to of course Chicago). I do see why some picked Illinois instead of Ohio(since it has a more even balance between whites, blacks, Asians, and Hispanics), but I can't agree when it comes to this question. Ohio is definitely in my eyes, the answer to this question.
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Old 02-10-2011, 03:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by FreeStater View Post
When looking for a state that is quintessentially American, you have to first look at race and ethnicity and find a state that matches the U.S. percentages by race. Hispanics are 16% of the U.S., blacks are 12%, and Asians are 4.5%. So any state that has significantly more or less than 16% Hispanic, 12% black, and 4.5% Asian cannot be considered quintessentially American.

Missouri is 3% Hispanic, 12% black, and 2% Asian.

Illinois is 15% Hispanic, 16% black, and 4.5% Asian.

Ohio is 3% Hispanic, 13% black, and 2% Asian.

So, Illinois is more quintessentially American than Missouri or Ohio. Illinois' black population is higher than the U.S. average, but their Hispanic and Asian population is closer to the U.S. average.

A lot of the states in the deep south have too many blacks (over 12%). The southwest and Florida has too many Hispanics. The northwest, rocky mountains, and plains have too few blacks. A lot of the states in the Midwest have too few Hispanics, except for Illinois and Kansas. Some states in the south don't have enough Asians.

So, I would say Illinois is the most quintessentially American state when you look solely at race.

Then when you take into consideration other factors like rural vs. urban, centrality to the U.S., the economy, history, etc. Illinois definitely comes out ahead. It's a state with the third largest city but also has farm areas that look like Iowa. It has a lot of manufacturing, but also agriculture. It's in the middle of the country, not on the coasts. It's a Democratic state, but has Republican, conservative areas downstate and in the suburbs. Abraham Lincoln is from there, the president that saved the Union. Illinois is also very diverse from north to south. The southern tip is almost in the deep south, the northern tip is very upper-Midwest like Wisconsin.

Illinois all the way.

These are some of the links that I used for race/ethnicity percentages:

Demographics of the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

State and County Demographic Data - Pew Hispanic Center

Political divisions of the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Those "Hispanics" aren't a race. Those are likely Mestizos or short Ameri-Indians from Mexico.

By the way, more states are more like Missouri, or are at least closer to Missouri than Illinois. California's glut of third world "hispanics" drives the overall population percentages of them up, higher than they are in most locales.
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Maryland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stars&StripesForever View Post
Those "Hispanics" aren't a race. Those are likely Mestizos or short Ameri-Indians from Mexico.

By the way, more states are more like Missouri, or are at least closer to Missouri than Illinois. California's glut of third world "hispanics" drives the overall population percentages of them up, higher than they are in most locales.
Quantity of states does not substitute for an accurate portrayal of the country's population. I mean, heck, we could take a look at Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Hampshire, Iowa and Vermont...a lot of states, right? An accurate portrayal of the country's average population? Probably not.
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