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Old 03-17-2011, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Manila
744 posts, read 741,695 times
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Default Minnesota has the Midwest's highest passport ownership rate! What do you think?

It sounds like compared to the rest of the Midwest, Minnesota has always had a higher rate of passport ownership! And this even dates back to before the US imposed border restrictions such as forcing Americans returning from Canada, Mexico, etc. to get a passport. (will dig up the older passport ownership issuance statistics from the State Dept when I have the time and post it here), and look at this page with regards to the most recent statistics, in percentage terms...


Quote:
How Many Americans Have a Passport? The Percentages, State by State « Grey's Blog

How Many Americans Have a Passport? The Percentages, State by State


One of the things I’ve often heard while living in the European Union is the meme that only 10% of Americans own a passport. This assertion is usually followed by the quazi-urban legend that George W. Bush never had a passport before becoming president. This I’ve never been able to prove or disprove any satisfaction Which, it turns out, is not true.

Such a low number wouldn’t have surprised me. After all, the United States is nearly thrice the size of the EU and borders only two foreign countries, while the EU is made of 27 countries and – depending on how you want to count them – borders another 19.

I wondered aloud about this in my previous post, ‘Work in Progress: The United States Explained‘ and a commentor, Alison, was nice enough to bring this data set about passports from the ever-awesome data.gov to my attention.

The data was only for the past four years, so I had to do some estimates based on issue rates and the 2000 census numbers, but the result is the above infographic and the table below:

State Population with Passport
NEW JERSEY 68.36%
DELAWARE 67.05%
ALASKA 65.01%
MASSACHUSETTS 63.42%
NEW YORK 62.47%
CALIFORNIA 60.19%
NEW HAMPSHIRE 59.39%
CONNECTICUT 58.50%
WASHINGTON 57.28%
VERMONT 56.32%
MARYLAND 56.21%
MINNESOTA 56.14%
COLORADO 54.88%
RHODE ISLAND 54.40%
FLORIDA 52.83%
ILLINOIS 52.06%
MAINE 51.62%
ARIZONA 51.24%
HAWAII 49.94%
UTAH 49.36%
VIRGINIA 49.16%
TEXAS 48.80%
NORTH DAKOTA 48.30%
NEVADA 46.84%
MONTANA 46.63%
PENNSYLVANIA 45.11%
WISCONSIN 43.70%
OREGON 43.39%
MICHIGAN 42.89%
WYOMING 41.40%
IDAHO 41.24%
IOWA 39.34%
NEBRASKA 38.97%
GEORGIA 38.73%
KANSAS 38.18%
SOUTH DAKOTA 37.69%
NEW MEXICO 37.11%
OHIO 35.71%
MISSOURI 35.32%
NORTH CAROLINA 34.18%
OKLAHOMA 33.23%
INDIANA 32.73%
SOUTH CAROLINA 32.09%
LOUISIANA 29.47%
TENNESSEE 28.78%
ARKANSAS 25.14%
ALABAMA 25.03%
KENTUCKY 24.94%
WEST VIRGINIA 20.43%
MISSISSIPPI 19.86%
Is this surprising or not? I know MN's foreign born population rate is average at best (based on more recent US Census Bureau stats) so I don't think immigrants that are naturalized could be driving the rate alot higher unlike it would in many coastal states...

Please let me know what you think.... Thanks!

Last edited by mrconfusion87; 03-17-2011 at 07:58 PM.. Reason: Incomplete Title...
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:32 PM
 
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Interesting. I'd never thought to look up that statistic before. Everyone in my family has one. Most of my family and friends have traveled internationally, for reasons ranging from work, to visit family, for pleasure, or for all three reasons. I think the people I know here travel more frequently abroad for fun at a greater rate than did the people I knew in the other places we've lived; some of that is probably just chance, and some is (I theorize) due to (a) overall cost of living is a little lower here, so there's more money to travel, and (b) there are fewer options for vacations (or at least less variety of types of places) within short travel distance of here, anyway, so if you're going to get on a plane you might as well go farther away. In years past I've found better deals on airfare to foreign countries than to many other American cities, and once you're in some of those places (even in more expensive European countries) it was often possible to get by on less money once I was there. Obviously the dollar isn't so strong these days, but at some point if I'm going to shell out a lot of money for airfare I want to go somewhere that feels really far away.

As an aside, Minneapolis now has a passport center of its own. We had some issues with my son's passport, and ended up going there. I think the website says that you need to have formal travel plans for within the next 14 days to use their services, but the representative told me that that's not true for the Minneapolis office. It's fabulous -- no lines, no hassles. Just make an appointment in advance and show up downtown. It costs a bit extra -- counts as expedited -- but if you need a fast passport or have other complicated issues it's a great option to have this in-state. Before I think the nearest was in Chicago.

Last edited by uptown_urbanist; 03-18-2011 at 07:18 AM..
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Old 03-18-2011, 04:43 AM
 
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Well, a lot of people think we are backwater hicks in MN but the reality is that we are a highly educated population that travels extensively. We also have several very large international corporations headquartered here where employees frequently travel around the world. Many school groups travel internationally as well as many college kids doing study abroad programs. I would say for every family I know, at least ONE person in that family has traveled internationally.
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Old 03-18-2011, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Edina, MN
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If you graph out population centers in the top five states in the Midwest, they are all a fair distance north of those in most of the other states in the same area. Very possible that the extra month of winter has something to do with it. I'd guess the difference is made up in fat, pasty people laying on a beach in Mexico or Jamaica more than it is by the well educated touring Eastern Bloc museums.

4 of the top 5 also have the lion's share of their populace huddled around one or more of the busiest airports in the region, so convenience could certainly be a factor.

Last edited by DirtMagurt; 03-18-2011 at 07:07 PM..
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:16 PM
 
Location: MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtMagurt View Post
If you graph out population centers in the top five states in the Midwest, they are all a fair distance north of those in most of the other states in the same area. Very possible that the extra month of winter has something to do with it. I'd guess the difference is made up in fat, pasty people laying on a beach in Mexico or Jamaica more than it is by the well educated touring Eastern Bloc museums.

4 of the top 5 also have the lion's share of their populace huddled around one or more of the busiest airports in the region, so convenience could certainly be a factor.
Hilarious

I agree though. When I was in Mazatlan a few years back I was speaking with a gal who was working at the resort who was from the States. She was telling me it was pretty incredible how they saw so many people from Canada, Wisconsin and most of all Minnesota. I can name a handful of families and people I know that head to Mexico every March.

I also think that being a border state has much to do with it now that it's required for Canada. I don't own one, but I am considering getting one, just to have. It's always nice to have an ID other than the cheeseball MN drivers license

To Golfgal's point, MN isn't some backwater midwestern wasteland. There are international companies here as well as a very prominent University and a very well educated and hard-working class of citizens.
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:44 PM
 
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I would be curious to know just how much being a border state matters for passport rate. I admit -- I've never been to Canada. Not that I wouldn't love to do so, but the parts of Canada bordering Minnesota are very low on my travel priority list. It's also a long drive from the Twin Cities, and the portion of Minnesota within close distance to Canada has a relatively low population. If a city like Montreal or some other major city were just due north of the state then I can see proximity to Canada driving passport rates, but as it stands now, just how often do people in Minnesota go there? I'd guess (for most people) it's not that often.

And just a personal complaint: how come airfare to Canada is SO expensive from MSP? That's part of the reason I haven't been; when we've priced out tickets to Montreal or Vancouver it has been astronomically expensive. Are there any airlines that offer good deals? Places like Winnipeg, for example, are a long drive for many Minnesotans, but tickets often run $700 or more! That's the main reason we haven't explored Canada; for that kind of money I'd rather just go with the latest good deal that gets me to somewhere that feels more exotic, or at least is on another continent.
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Old 03-20-2011, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
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I'd say proximity to Canada is a big reason for so many Minnesotans having passports. Parts of Minnesota are very close to Canada. Kittson County is less than an hour from Winnipeg, and about 6 hours from the Cities.

Plus, Minnesotans and Wisconsinites have a more "Canadian" outlook than many Americans -- we're not afraid to travel to foreign countries, where many Americans would rather go to Disney World or Mt. Rushmore.
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Old 03-20-2011, 07:12 PM
 
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Yeah, but the parts of Minnesota don't have many residents; I don't think they'd be enough to raise overall percentages much. Kittson County has fewer than 5,000 residents, for example. I just have a tough time believing that proximity to Canada makes much of a difference in overall numbers. Perhaps it does by overall county percentages -- I would assume that most of Kittson County's residents DO have a passport, and presumably the county's overall percentage of those with passports is higher than many counties -- but that's a very small drop in the bucket of Minnesota's overall population numbers.
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:31 PM
 
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We have such a high rate of passport ownership because of the thousands of seniors that go to Canada for affordable medications
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Manila
744 posts, read 741,695 times
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Now that this thread has been buried now that no one has been answering this for over 5 months now, I'd love to thank you guys for the input on this! But anyone who has yet to answer this thread but stumbles upon it later is welcome to add their input on this topic!

Anyway on an interesting side note, Minnesota is definitely in the top 10 of US states when it comes to residents I encounter most frequently outside the North American continent (this is from experience living and travelling around the Asia-Pacific region). Perhaps I should not be surprised at the passport ownership stats after all!
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