15 Worst States in America for Cultural Diversity

If you’re looking for a new place to live, one factor that might be important to you is a state’s cultural diversity. A diverse state can offer rich opportunities to experience different food, people, and cultural events.

We took a look at data provided by WalletHub, in addition to U.S. Census data, to discover the least diverse states. WalletHub analyzed each state’s diversity in five categories: socioeconomic diversity, cultural diversity, economic diversity, household diversity, and religious diversity. For our list, we focused on each state’s cultural diversity.

Here are the 15 worst states for cultural diversity, according to WalletHub. Do you live in one of them?

15. Minnesota

biking along lake

Minnesota is 85% white. | iStock/Getty Images

  • Cultural diversity rank (scale of 1 to 50; 50 is worst): 36

First up on our list is Minnesota. According to U.S. Census data, roughly 85% of the population is white, 6.2% is black or African American, 5.2% is Hispanic or Latino, 4.9% is Asian, and 1.3% is Native American.

Minnesota recently received national media attention for what many described as a racially motivated shooting. Communities of color in Minnesota were outraged by the fatal shooting of Philando Castile by a local police officer. The officer later decided to leave the police department and take a $48,500 buyout.

Next: Indiana

14. Indiana

Indianapolis skyline

There are 26 active hate groups in the state. | iStock/Getty Images

  • Cultural diversity rank (scale of 1 to 50; 50 is worst): 37

According to U.S. Census data, roughly 85.6% of the population of Indiana is white, 9.7% is black or African American, 6.8% is Hispanic or Latino, 2.2% is Asian, and 0.4% is Native American. And unfortunately, some people are fighting to keep Indiana free from diversity. The Southern Poverty Law Center found Indiana is home to 26 active hate groups.

One family wasn’t received very well when it moved to its Fishers, Indiana, neighborhood. When a family member went to retrieve the mail, he found a nasty letter from a neighbor telling him to trim his lawn because he wasn’t in the “ghetto.”

Next: Wyoming

13. Wyoming

Jackson, Wyoming

Over 92% of the state is white. | Town of Jackson via Facebook

  • Cultural diversity rank (scale of 1 to 50; 50 is worst): 38

According to U.S. Census data, roughly 92.8% of Wyoming’s population is white, 1.3% is black or African American, 10% is Hispanic or Latino, 1% is Asian, and 2.7% is Native American. When it comes to hate groups, Wyoming has just two, according to Southern Poverty Law Center.

A fatal shooting of two Native American men had people in one Wyoming town on edge. The shooter, Roy Clyde, received two life sentences as punishment.

Next: Missouri

12. Missouri

St. Louis downtown

There is a travel advisory for people of color headed to the state. | f11photo/iStock/Getty Images

  • Cultural diversity rank (scale of 1 to 50; 50 is worst): 39

According to U.S. Census data, roughly 83.2% of Missouri’s population is white, 11.8% is black or African American, 4.1% is Hispanic or Latino, 2% is Asian, and 0.6% is Native American. Diversity seems to be low on the list for some residents. The state has 24 hate groups, according to Southern Poverty Law Center.

Recently, the NAACP issued a travel advisory warning people of color to be careful when traveling in Missouri in response to the state’s revised laws making it more difficult to sue for discrimination. The notification also cited people of color traveling in Missouri are 75% more likely than whites to be pulled over by police. Missouri ranked No. 8 on our list of most dangerous states.

Next: Wisconsin

11. Wisconsin

State Capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin

The state has nine hate groups. | csfotoimages/iStock/Getty Images

  • Cultural diversity rank (scale of 1 to 50; 50 is worst): 40

According to U.S. Census data, roughly 87.5% of Wisconsin’s population is white, 6.6% is black or African American, 6.7% is Hispanic or Latino, 2.8% is Asian, and 1.1% is Native American. Wisconsin has nine hate groups.

One group aiming to put a stop to racism in Wisconsin is YWCA Southeast Wisconsin. On its website, it says the organization is “on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities.”

Next: Ohio

10. Ohio

cityscape

There are 35 hate groups in the state. | iStock/Getty Images

  • Cultural diversity rank (scale of 1 to 50; 50 is worst): 41

According to U.S. Census data, roughly 82.5% of Ohio’s population is white, 12.8% is black or African American, 3.7% is Hispanic or Latino, 2.2% is Asian, and 0.3% is Native American. It looks like many Ohio residents just aren’t feeling the love. Ohio has 35 hate groups, according to research by Southern Poverty Law Center.

Ohio received national media attention after 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot by Cleveland officer Timothy Loehmann. NPR reports Cleveland agreed to pay the family a $6 million settlement.

Next: South Dakota

9. South Dakota

A tourist takes a picture of Mount Rushmore National Memorial from outside the park on October 1, 2013 in Keystone, South Dakota. Mount Rushmore and all other national parks were closed today after congress failed to pass a temporary funding bill, forcing about 800,000 federal workers off the job. A bulletin issued by the Department of Interior states, 'Effective immediately upon a lapse in appropriations, the National Park Service will take all necessary steps to close and secure national park facilities and grounds in order to suspend all activities ...Day use visitors will be instructed to leave the park immediately...' (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Native Americans have been screened from getting jobs. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

  • Cultural diversity rank (scale of 1 to 50; 50 is worst): 42

According to U.S. Census data, roughly 85.2% of South Dakota’s population is white, 2% is black or African American, 3.7% is Hispanic or Latino, 1.5% is Asian, and 9% is Native American. South Dakota has 7 hate groups, according to research by Southern Poverty Law Center.

The South Dakota Department of Social Services got in some hot water back in 2015 for not doing its part to encourage diversity. The United States Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the department for racially screening prospective employees in an effort to keep Native American applicants from getting jobs.

Next: Montana

8. Montana

Montana, USA

Some students have said racism is rampant at Montana State University Northern. | PStieger/iStock/Getty Images

  • Cultural diversity rank (scale of 1 to 50; 50 is worst): 43

According to U.S. Census data, roughly 89.2% of Montana’s population is white, 0.6% is black or African American, 3.6% is Hispanic or Latino, 0.8% is Asian, and 6.6% is Native American. Montana has 7 hate groups, according to research by Southern Poverty Law Center.

Students at Montana State University Northern recently told The Washington Times racism is a problem on campus. And back in 2010 a hate group caused controversy when it began showing Holocaust denial films at a Montana library.

Next: Kentucky

 7. Kentucky

cityscape

Racist videos from the state have gone viral. | iStock/Getty Images

  • Cultural diversity rank (scale of 1 to 50; 50 is worst): 44

According to U.S. Census data, roughly 88% of Kentucky’s population is white, 8.3% is black or African American, 3.5% is Hispanic or Latino, 1.5% is Asian, and 0.3% is Native American. Kentucky isn’t all too welcoming when it comes to diversity. The state has 23 hate groups, according to research by Southern Poverty Law Center.

A Louisville mall made the news recently when a shopper was caught on video shouting racist comments at two Hispanic shoppers, telling them to “go back wherever they came from.” Mall representatives said they would ban the woman in the video from returning.

Next: North Dakota

6. North Dakota

Downtown Fargo city in North Dakota

Students posting racist images were not punished. | csfotoimages/iStock/Getty Images

  • Cultural diversity rank (scale of 1 to 50; 50 is worst): 45

According to U.S. Census data, roughly 87.9% of North Dakota’s population is white, 2.9% is black or African American, 3.6% is Hispanic or Latino, 1.5% is Asian, and 5.5% is Native American. The state has just one hate group, according to Southern Poverty Law Center.

The University of North Dakota made headlines after incidents of students posting racists images and comments on Snapchat. University officials decided not to punish the students, citing their First Amendment rights.

Next: Iowa

5. Iowa

farm

The state recently had to settle 10 discrimination lawsuits. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

  • Cultural diversity rank (scale of 1 to 50; 50 is worst): 46

According to U.S. Census data, roughly 91.4% of Iowa’s population is white, 3.7% is black or African American, 5.8% is Hispanic or Latino, 2.5% is Asian, and 0.5% is Native American. Iowa has just four hate groups, according to research by Southern Poverty Law Center. Recently Iowa’s state government paid more than $1.6 million to settle 10 lawsuits primarily based on discriminatory promotion and hiring practices.

Next: New Hampshire

4. New Hampshire

New Hampshire State House

Close to 94% of the state is white. | Scott Eisen/Getty Images

  • Cultural diversity rank (scale of 1 to 50; 50 is worst): 47

According to U.S. Census data, roughly 93.8% of New Hampshire’s population is white, 1.5% is black or African American, 3.5% is Hispanic or Latino, 2.7% is Asian, and 0.3% is Native American. New Hampshire has six hate groups, according to research by Southern Poverty Law Center. And a small town in New Hampshire was in the news recently after an 8-year-old biracial boy was nearly hanged by a group of teenagers.

Next: Vermont

3. Vermont

montpelier vermont

One school district was involved in multiple discrimination cases. | City of Montpelier City Government via Facebook

  • Cultural diversity rank (scale of 1 to 50; 50 is worst): 48

According to U.S. Census data, roughly 94.6% of Vermont’s population is white, 1.3% is black or African American, 1.9% is Hispanic or Latino, 1.8% is Asian, and 0.4% is Native American. Vermont has just one hate group, according to research by Southern Poverty Law Center.

A school district in Vermont was in the spotlight after it was accused of racism on more than one occasion. One case involved alleged hiring discrimination, and another involved an allegation that a student used a racial slur against a student of color.

Next: Maine

2. Maine

lubec, maine

Close to 95% of the state is white. | Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

  • Cultural diversity rank (scale of 1 to 50; 50 is worst): 49

According to U.S. Census data, roughly 94.8% of Maine’s population is white, 1.5% is black or African American, 1.6% is Hispanic or Latino, 1.2% is Asian, and 0.7% is Native American. Maine has just three hate groups, according to research by Southern Poverty Law Center. In a column for Portland Press Herald, Matthew Raymond recently wrote about Maine’s long history of institutional racism.

Next: West Virginia

1. West Virginia

charleston, west virginia

It’s the worst state for diversity. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

  • Cultural diversity rank (scale of 1 to 50; 50 is worst): 50

If you’re looking for diversity, West Virginia might not be the state for you. According to U.S. Census data, roughly 93.6% of the population is white, 3.6% is black or African American, 1.5% is Hispanic or Latino, 0.8% is Asian, and 0.2% is Native American. In addition, WalletHub found the state scored low when it came to linguistic diversity.

West Virginia received some unwanted attention in 2016 when Pamela Ramsey Taylor, director of the Clay County Development, made racist comments about former first lady Michelle Obama on Facebook. Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling joined in on the conversation, supporting Taylor’s comments. After news broke about the racist remarks, Whaling resigned and Taylor was fired.

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