This Is the Meanest State in America

You better have thick skin if you live in this surly state.

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What makes someone mean? We know it when we see it—maybe they're dismissive of your work problems or say something rude about a friend of yours—but it can be hard to measure. Is not leaving a tip at a restaurant mean? Is driving badly mean? Is not giving to charity mean? And, is there a meanest state in the U.S.? At Best Life, we were determined to find out.

To create our Mean Index, we started with something that's indisputably mean: bullying in high school, as measured by Background Checks, which ranked each U.S state based on bullying on school grounds, online harassment, threats of violence, and more. Then we added Wired magazine's analysis of troll comments, which measures the percentage of toxic comments in the online messages of residents in each state. How people treat customer service workers can also be an indicator of meanness, so we included Stella Connect's analysis of how friendly (or not) customers are to service reps, with 91.82 being the most polite and 94.25 being the least polite. (This did not include Alaska or Hawaii.)

Next, we considered that kind people are more likely to volunteer their time for charity, so we used National Service data to find out what percentage of residents do volunteer work in each state. Finally, to track the extreme end of the meanness spectrum, we used the Southern Poverty Law Center's hate map to find out the number of hate groups operating per 100,000 residents in each state. We then gave all five metrics a weighted value and ran them through our exclusive algorithm to determine how they scored on our Mean Index.

The results paint a surprisingly rosy picture for the Northeast, where Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire all rank amongst the 10 least mean states, and the meanest East Coast state still only ranks 19th. By contrast, the South—famed home of hospitality—fares poorly: Seven of the meanest states are part of the Sun Belt. Read on to discover the meanest state in America and find out where your state falls in the mix. And to see which states other states are meanest to, check out This Is the Most Hated State in America.

Read the original article on Best Life.

50
Maine

townhouses and building behind a lake in Portland, Maine
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 43

Toxic internet troll comments: 5.5 percent

Customer politeness score: 93.53

Residents who volunteer: 38.7 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 1.49

Mean Index Score: 0.0

49
Minnesota

downtown minneapolis skyline
iStock

School bullying ranking: 47

Toxic internet troll comments: 6.6 percent

Customer politeness score: 92.94

Residents who volunteer: 45.1 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 2.14

Mean Index Score: 1.2

48
Utah

park city utah skyline
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 37

Toxic internet troll comments: 5.9

Customer politeness score: 93.14

Residents who volunteer: 51

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 1.59

Mean Index Score: 1.5

And for the place that will get you thinking about your mortality the most, This Is the Deadliest State in America.

47
North Dakota

cityscape photo Fargo, North Dakota in the afternoon
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 50

Toxic internet troll comments: 5.7 percent

Customer politeness score: 92.42

Residents who volunteer: 37.4 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 2.64

Mean Index Score: 7.1

46
Massachusetts

boston massachusetts state capitol buildings
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 48

Toxic internet troll comments: 6.8 percent

Customer politeness score: 93.74

Residents who volunteer: 32.6 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 2.18

Mean Index Score: 7.5

45
Kansas

buildings and the Cooper dome in the downtown area of Topeka, Kansas
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 34

Toxic internet troll comments: 6.0 percent

Customer politeness score: 93.06

Residents who volunteer: 36.5 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 1.03

Mean Index Score: 14.2

44
Oregon

Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 46

Toxic internet troll comments: 5.8 percent

Customer politeness score: 92.45

Residents who volunteer: 43.2 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 3.59

Mean Index Score: 14.9

And for more measures of a state's attitude, check out This Is the Unfriendliest State in the U.S.

43
New Hampshire

boats on a lake in the summer
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 36

Toxic internet troll comments: 4.7 percent

Customer politeness score: 93.66

Residents who volunteer: 35.7 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 2.96

Mean Index Score: 19.4

42
Oklahoma

U.S.A. Oklahoma, Elk City, shops on the Route 66
iStock

School bullying ranking: 41

Toxic internet troll comments: 5.2 percent

Customer politeness score: 92.60

Residents who volunteer: 32.0 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 2.54

Mean Index Score: 20.0

41
Washington

downtown kirkland washington
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 49

Toxic internet troll comments: 6.8 percent

Customer politeness score: 92.60

Residents who volunteer: 35.7 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 3.99

Mean Index Score: 21.8

40
Delaware

View from inside the Ashland covered bridge in Yorklyn, New Castle County, Delaware during the fall with colorful foliage in bright sunlight
iStock

School bullying ranking: 44

Toxic internet troll comments: 8.8 percent

Customer politeness score: 94.19

Residents who volunteer: 31.8 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 3.11

Mean Index Score: 25.3

And if you're curious about your location's connection to your lifespan, find out How Long You're Likely to Live in Every State.

39
Connecticut

Hartford Connecticut
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 32

Toxic internet troll comments: 6.9 percent

Customer politeness score: 94.25

Residents who volunteer: 31.8 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 2.24

Mean Index Score: 27.2

38
New Jersey

Morristown, New Jersey
iStock

School bullying ranking: 42

Toxic internet troll comments: 8.8 percent

Customer politeness score: 94.11

Residents who volunteer: 26.1 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 2.24

Mean Index Score: 27.4

37
New Mexico

Suburb in Albuquerque, NM
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 30

Toxic internet troll comments: 7.9 percent

Customer politeness score: 93.54

Residents who volunteer: 27.1 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 0.48

Mean Index Score: 27.5

And to find out where being inebriated is anything but uncommon, This Is the Drunkest State in America.

36
Hawaii

coastline of maui hawaii
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 38

Toxic internet troll comments: 5.7 percent

Customer politeness score: N/A

Residents who volunteer: 28.0 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 2.82

Mean Index Score: 31.7

35
Wyoming

sheridan wyoming
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 25

Toxic internet troll comments: 5.3 percent

Customer politeness score: 92.74

Residents who volunteer: 32.7 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 1.73

Mean Index Score: 33.6

34
Pennsylvania

erie pennsylvania overview, heart attack cities
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 33

Toxic internet troll comments: 7.5 percent

Customer politeness score: 93.48

Residents who volunteer: 34.2 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 2.81

Mean Index Score: 34.3

And for a measure of what each state looks like on the outside, here is This Is the Ugliest State in the U.S.

33
Vermont

Church Street in Burlington, Vermont in the afternoon
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 45

Toxic internet troll comments: 12.2 percent

Customer politeness score: 93.68

Residents who volunteer: 36 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 3.20

Mean Index Score: 35.8

32
California

Aerial photo of the Manhattan Beach California pier
iStock

School bullying ranking: 39

Toxic internet troll comments: 7.5 percent

Customer politeness score: 92.04

Residents who volunteer: 25.4 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 2.23

Mean Index Score: 36.9

31
Wisconsin

Scenic Small Town Nestled in Autumn Valley, Beautiful Rural Wisconsin Fall colors.
iStock

School bullying ranking: 26

Toxic internet troll comments: 6.6 percent

Customer politeness score: 93.10

Residents who volunteer: 37.4 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 2.58

Mean Index Score: 37.7

For more U.S. state and city ranking delivered to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

30
Florida

street and Hialeah Monument in downtown Hialeah, Florida
iStock

School bullying ranking: 40

Toxic internet troll comments: 8.6 percent

Customer politeness score: 93.27

Residents who volunteer: 22.8 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 3.15

Mean Index Score: 42.5

29
Iowa

marion iowa
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 21

Toxic internet troll comments: 10.3 percent

Customer politeness score: 92.77

Residents who volunteer: 41.5 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 0.95

Mean Index Score: 43.0

28
Virginia

aerial view of smith mountain lake in virginia
Clupton / Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 35

Toxic internet troll comments: 8.1 percent

Customer politeness score: 93.79

Residents who volunteer: 34 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 4.23

Mean Index Score: 43.3

27
North Carolina

Topsail Island North Carolina Enchanting Hideaways in the U.S.
iStock

School bullying ranking: 27

Toxic internet troll comments: 7.1 percent

Customer politeness score: 93.07

Residents who volunteer: 35.1 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 3.08

Mean Index Score: 44.1

And for an area where your money won't take you far, check out The State Where Your Money Is Worth the Least.

26
Idaho

cityscape photos of mountains, moving cars, buildings, and the state capitol in Boise, Idaho at sunset
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 23

Toxic internet troll comments: 5.6 percent

Customer politeness score: 93.71

Residents who volunteer: 37.9 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 4.00

Mean Index Score: 45.3

25
New York

new rochelle new york
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 29

Toxic internet troll comments: 8.3 percent

Customer politeness score: 93.42

Residents who volunteer: 25.3 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 2.25

Mean Index Score: 45.9

24
Illinois

the naperville illinois riverwalk
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 28

Toxic internet troll comments: 8.2 percent

Customer politeness score: 92.79

Residents who volunteer: 28.1 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 20.4

Mean Index Score: 46.1

23
West Virginia

the high arched bridge in fayetteville west virginia
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 18

Toxic internet troll comments: 5.4 percent

Customer politeness score: 93.49

Residents who volunteer: 28.1 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 2.22

Mean Index Score: 46.9

22
South Dakota

cityscape photo of downtown Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 31

Toxic internet troll comments: 6.3 percent

Customer politeness score: 92.45

Residents who volunteer: 36.3 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 4.55

Mean Index Score: 49.4

And if you want to know which state is just plain filthy, read up on The Dirtiest State in the U.S.

21
Texas

main street fredericksburg with shops lined up
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 24

Toxic internet troll comments: 58.2 percent

Customer politeness score: 93.22

Residents who volunteer: 28.4 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 2.20

Mean Index Score: 50.1

20
Ohio

city skyline and bridge in Columbus, Ohio
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 20

Toxic internet troll comments: 7.2 percent

Customer politeness score: 93.00

Residents who volunteer: 33.2 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 2.65

Mean Index Score: 52.2

19
Rhode Island

Light house and cliff
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 13

Toxic internet troll comments: 8.0 percent

Customer politeness score: 93.10

Residents who volunteer: 30.7 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 0.94

Mean Index Score: 52.7

18
Nebraska

trees, sand hills and a bridge overcasting Dismal River in Nebraska Sandhills, Nebraska
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 15

Toxic internet troll comments: 6.3 percent

Customer politeness score: 92.69

Residents who volunteer: 40.2 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 3.12

Mean Index Score: 54.7

17
Indiana

south bend indiana aerial scene, heart attack cities
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 14

Toxic internet troll comments: 6.5 percent

Customer politeness score: 93.05

Residents who volunteer: 34.9 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 2.99

Mean Index Score: 58.4

16
Alaska

docked sailboats in sitka alaska harbor
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 8

Toxic internet troll comments: 5.9 percent

Customer politeness score: N/A

Residents who volunteer: 40.6 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 2.72

Mean Index Score: 61.9

15
Michigan

Michigan
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 12

Toxic internet troll comments: 7.7 percent

Customer politeness score: 93.57

Residents who volunteer: 29.4 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 2.70

Mean Index Score: 65.1

And for the snooziest state of them all, check out The Most Boring State in the U.S.

14
South Carolina

charleston south carolina from above
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 19

Toxic internet troll comments: 9.8 percent

Customer politeness score: 93.70

Residents who volunteer: 30.8 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 3.34

Mean Index Score: 66.5

13
Montana

view from mountain in montana
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 16

Toxic internet troll comments: 5.6 percent

Customer politeness score: 93.55

Residents who volunteer: 38.8 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 5.66

Mean Index Score: 67.2

12
Missouri

chapel of the ozarks at sunset overlooking table rock lake in missouri
Donna Chance Hall / Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 17

Toxic internet troll comments: 7.3 percent

Customer politeness score: 92.22

Residents who volunteer: 31.9 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 3.43

Mean Index Score: 67.5

11
Colorado

skyline and mountains in Colorado Springs, Colorado at dusk
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 11

Toxic internet troll comments: 6.4 percent

Customer politeness score: 93.23

Residents who volunteer: 32.4 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 3.87

Mean Index Score: 69.9

10
Georgia

Aerial over Piedmont Park with Atlanta, GA Skyline
iStock

School bullying ranking: 22

Toxic internet troll comments: 9.5 percent

Customer politeness score: 92.48

Residents who volunteer: 26.5 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 3.62

Mean Index Score: 73.5

9
Maryland

baltimore skyline
iStock

School bullying ranking: 3

Toxic internet troll comments: 7.4 percent

Customer politeness score: 93.50

Residents who volunteer: 36.3 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 3.31

Mean Index Score: 74.9

8
Kentucky

cityscape photo of downtown Lexington, Kentucky at night
iStock

School bullying ranking: 7

Toxic internet troll comments: 5.9 percent

Customer politeness score: 92.72

Residents who volunteer: 28.1 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 3.36

Mean Index Score: 75.7

7
Arizona

phoenix arizona
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 7

Toxic internet troll comments: 5.9 percent

Customer politeness score: 92.72

Residents who volunteer: 28.1 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 3.36

Mean Index Score: 75.7

6
Alabama

bridge in glensdale alabama
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 9

Toxic internet troll comments: 9.6 percent

Customer politeness score: 93.43

Residents who volunteer: 27.4 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 3.27

Mean Index Score: 82.5

5
Mississippi

downtown jackson mississippi
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 6

Toxic internet troll comments: 7.5 percent

Customer politeness score: 93.38

Residents who volunteer: 23.8 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 4.03

Mean Index Score: 88.1

4
Arkansas

Downtown Little Rock, Arkansas, around sunset.
iStock

School bullying ranking: 2

Toxic internet troll comments: 6.1 percent

Customer politeness score: 93.59

Residents who volunteer: 30.0 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 4.98

Mean Index Score: 89.3

3
Nevada

reno nevada skyline
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 10

Toxic internet troll comments: 10.1 percent

Customer politeness score: 91.87

Residents who volunteer: 24.4 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 2.97

Mean Index Score: 91.2

2
Tennessee

city skyline and river in Nashville, Tennessee
Shutterstock

School bullying ranking: 5

Toxic internet troll comments: 7.2 percent

Customer politeness score: 93.37

Residents who volunteer: 31.3 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 5.61

Mean Index Score: 94.1

1
Louisiana

walking path along Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
iStock

School bullying ranking: 1

Toxic internet troll comments: 8.6 percent

Customer politeness score: 93.47

Residents who volunteer: 25.8 percent

Hate groups per 100,000 people: 4.51

Mean Index Score: 100.00

And if you're curious about where your nearest big city stacks up when it comes to safety, This Is the Most Dangerous City in America.

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