This Is the Friendliest State in the U.S.

Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name and this friendly state might just be it.

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In 2020, you've heard the phrase "America has never been more divided" time and time again. These days, it can seem particularly hard to find friendliness toward one's neighbors, let alone strangers. But some parts of the country are warmer and more welcoming than others. To find out where you're more likely to get a wave and a smile rather than a scream and a honk, we've gathered some statistics—four in particular—to determine the friendliest state of them all. And for the other side of this coin, This Is the Unfriendliest State in the U.S.

We started with the reported population change in each state over the past decade, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, figuring that states that welcomed more residents than they lost were friendlier than others. We also factored in the Friendly Ranking according to Big 7 Travel, which drew on recent survey results from their 2.5 million social media followers. Thirdly, we looked at the number of volunteer opportunities per 100,000 people, according to VolunteerMatch, which reflects the "community spirit" of a state. And lastly, we considered what could be considered the opposite of "community spirit," each state's violent crime rate, per the latest FBI data. When put through our algorithm, we determined a Friendly Index score for each state. The lower the score, the friendlier you can expect that state to be.

And it turns out, the friendliest state of them all might surprise you. It has a high number of volunteer opportunities per capita at more than 13 and its violent crime rate is fairly low. But what really pushed this state to the top of the list in terms of its friendly factor is its population growth. You may not have heard that people are flocking to this state, but its population quietly grew an impressive 14 percent over the past decade.

Looking at the scores, the friendliest states in the country run the gamut from the West to Midwest and down to the South—though it seems no northeastern states cracked the top 10. Read on to find out where your state falls as we rank every state from the least welcoming to the one where everybody may just know your name. And for an area you may want to avoid, check out This Is the State Where Your Money Is Worth the Least.

50
New Mexico

new mexico state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +1.80 precent

Friendly Ranking: 17

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 856.6

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 9.87

Friendly Index: 118.79

And to find out where the Land of Enchantment ranks in terms of cleanliness, check out This Is the Dirtiest State in the U.S.

49
Arkansas

arkansas, state welcome sign
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Population Change in the Past Decade: +3.50 precent

Friendly Ranking: 49

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 543.6

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 6.40

Friendly Index: 114.46

48
New York

new york state welcome sign
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Population Change in the Past Decade: +0.40 precent

Friendly Ranking: 50

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 350.5

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 4.08

Friendly Index: 113.97

And for the states that tend to be a bit of a snoozefest, check out The Most Boring State in the U.S.

47
Michigan

michigan state welcome sign
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Population Change in the Past Decade: +1.00 precent

Friendly Ranking: 28

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 449.4

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 1.30

Friendly Index: 101.64

46
West Virginia

west virginia state welcome sign
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Population Change in the Past Decade: –3.30 precent

Friendly Ranking: 30

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 289.9

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 12.83

Friendly Index: 97.66

And for another reason West Virginia's not lookin' so hot right now, see where it ranks on our list of The Worst States If You're Out of Work Now.

45
Alaska

alaska, state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +3.00 precent

Friendly Ranking: 37

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 885

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 49.35

Friendly Index: 96.15

44
Connecticut

Entering Connecticut
iStock

Population Change in the Past Decade: –0.20 precent

Friendly Ranking: 38

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 207.4

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 5.82

Friendly Index: 88.92

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43
New Jersey

new jersey state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +1.00 precent

Friendly Ranking: 46

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 208.1

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 8.93

Friendly Index: 87.88

42
Alabama

welcome sign for alabama
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Population Change in the Past Decade: +2.60 precent

Friendly Ranking: 21

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 519.6

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 7.67

Friendly Index: 87.29

41
Rhode Island

rhode island welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +0.60 precent

Friendly Ranking: 41

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 219.1

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 11.52

Friendly Index: 83.39

40
Louisiana

louisiana state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +2.50 precent

Friendly Ranking: 12

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 537.5

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 6.95

Friendly Index: 81.30

39
Missouri

missouri state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +2.50 precent

Friendly Ranking: 22

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 502.1

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 14.84

Friendly Index: 79.87

38
Massachusetts

Welcome to Massachusetts road sign.
iStock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +5.30 precent

Friendly Ranking: 47

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 338.1

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 12.16

Friendly Index: 77.15

And if you're willing to put up with some attitude, then head to Massachusetts, which is among The States Where You Can Make the Most Money.

37
California

california state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +6.10 precent

Friendly Ranking: 40

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 447.4

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 14.60

Friendly Index: 74.64

36
Mississippi

mississippi state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +0.30 precent

Friendly Ranking: 23

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 234.4

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 5.85

Friendly Index: 74.09

35
Maryland

maryland state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +4.70 precent

Friendly Ranking: 27

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 468.7

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 13.17

Friendly Index: 72.20

34
Illinois

illinois state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: –1.2 precent

Friendly Ranking: 14

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 404.1

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 11.78

Friendly Index: 71.63

33
Pennsylvania

pennsylvania state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +0.80 precent

Friendly Ranking: 18

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 306

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 14.92

Friendly Index: 64.68

32
New Hampshire

new hampshire state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +3.30 precent

Friendly Ranking: 44

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 173.2

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 15.37

Friendly Index: 64.45

31
Kansas

kansas state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +2.10 precent

Friendly Ranking: 8

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 439

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 15.31

Friendly Index: 61.09

30
Iowa

iowa state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +3.60 percent

Friendly Ranking: 29

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 250.1

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 10.90

Friendly Index: 60.11

29
Wisconsin

Wisconsin state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +2.40 percent

Friendly Ranking: 26

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 295.4

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 18.96

Friendly Index: 59.58

28
Maine

maine state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +1.20 percent

Friendly Ranking: 31

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 112.1

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 13.76

Friendly Index: 57.45

27
Tennessee

tennessee state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +7.60 percent

Friendly Ranking: 2

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 623.7

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 7.60

Friendly Index: 53.77

26
Vermont

vermont state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: –0.30 percent

Friendly Ranking: 34

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 172

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 34.94

Friendly Index: 52.76

25
Nevada

nevada state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +14.10 percent

Friendly Ranking: 43

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 541.1

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 8.90

Friendly Index: 52.71

24
Montana

montana state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +8.00 percent

Friendly Ranking: 36

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 374.1

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 17.68

Friendly Index: 50.73

23
Oklahoma

oklahoma state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +5.50 percent

Friendly Ranking: 9

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 466.1

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 12.46

Friendly Index: 50.65

22
Ohio

ohio state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +1.30 percent

Friendly Ranking: 11

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 279.9

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 16.96

Friendly Index: 50.53

21
Kentucky

kentucky state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +3.00 percent

Friendly Ranking: 19

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 211.9

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 10.14

Friendly Index: 50.05

20
Indiana

indiana state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +3.80 percent

Friendly Ranking: 6

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 382.3

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 13.12

Friendly Index: 47.11

19
Virginia

virginia state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +6.70 percent

Friendly Ranking: 35

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 200

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 13.43

Friendly Index: 43.07

18
North Carolina

north carolina state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +10.00 percent

Friendly Ranking: 33

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 377.6

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 13.42

Friendly Index: 42.34

17
Arizona

arizona state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +13.90 percent

Friendly Ranking: 39

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 474.9

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 10.33

Friendly Index: 41.66

16
Delaware

delware state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +8.40 percent

Friendly Ranking: 48

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 423.6

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 43.50

Friendly Index: 39.86

15
Hawaii

hawaii state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +4.10 percent

Friendly Ranking: 10

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 248.6

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 11.58

Friendly Index: 37.78

14
Washington

washington state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +13.20 percent

Friendly Ranking: 45

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 311.5

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 7.55

Friendly Index: 37.60

13
South Dakota

south dakota state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +8.70 percent

Friendly Ranking: 20

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 404.7

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 16.62

Friendly Index: 35.35

12
Florida

florida state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +14.20 percent

Friendly Ranking: 42

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 384.9

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 10.57

Friendly Index: 33.92

11
Wyoming

wyoming state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +2.70 percent

Friendly Ranking: 5

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 212.2

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 16.93

Friendly Index: 30.79

10
Nebraska

nebraska state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +5.90 percent

Friendly Ranking: 13

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 284.8

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 17.83

Friendly Index: 29.15

9
Georgia

georgia state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +9.60 percent

Friendly Ranking: 16

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 326.6

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 14.95

Friendly Index: 20.71

8
Oregon

oregon state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +10.10 percent

Friendly Ranking: 24

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 285.5

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 18.33

Friendly Index: 18.72

7
South Carolina

south carolina state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +11.30 percent

Friendly Ranking: 3

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 488.3

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 13.36

Friendly Index: 16.97

6
Minnesota

minnesota state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +6.30 percent

Friendly Ranking: 1

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 220.4

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 14.27

Friendly Index: 12.27

5
North Dakota

north dakota state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +13.30 percent

Friendly Ranking: 25

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 280.6

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 15.22

Friendly Index: 6.34

4
Colorado

colorado state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +14.50 percent

Friendly Ranking: 7

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 397.2

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 5.67

Friendly Index: 3.55

3
Utah

utah state sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +16.00 percent

Friendly Ranking: 32

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 233.1

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 8.80

Friendly Index: 1.51

2
Texas

texas state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +15.30 percent

Friendly Ranking: 4

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 410.9

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 10.08

Friendly Index: -6.49

1
Idaho

idaho state welcome sign
Shutterstock

Population Change in the Past Decade: +14.00 percent

Friendly Ranking: 15

Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 people): 227.1

Volunteer Opportunities (per 100,000 people): 13.09

Friendly Index: -10.38

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