This Is the Smelliest State in America

While some states keep it fresh and clean, other states really stink.

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Some states are known for their crisp air and pine tree scent (looking at you, Vermont). But not all are so lucky—many smell like rotten eggs or sewage when you're driving through. So why are some foul-smelling and others fresh? We decided to find out for ourselves by parsing through the data to rank each state from freshest to stinkiest.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), high emissions of methane, ammonia, and hydrogen sulfide are the main culprits behind the stench. Using the EPA's Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program, we calculated the methane emissions per capita, as well as the percentage of each state that's covered in landfills, from the EPA's Landfill Methane Outreach Program. We then factored in the natural gas plant liquid production for each state, with data provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture's Major Land Uses Survey.

This left us with one final important metric: cropland. According to the USDA Agricultural Air Quality Task Force, roughly 60 to 85 percent of ammonia emissions in the United States are estimated to come from agricultural sources. Agriculture is also a major source of methane emissions (36 percent) followed by oil and natural gas systems (31 percent), according to the EPA.

Together, we compiled and analyzed these numbers through our exclusive algorithm to determine the Smelliness Score for each state. While the stinkiest state had the second highest amount of landfills (phew!), the runner-up had the most methane emissions. Keep reading to discover which state is really the smelliest and learn where your state stands. And for more places that aren't so fresh and clean, This is the Dirtiest State in the U.S.

50
Nevada

red rocks and a butte at Red Rock Canyon in Clark County, Nevada
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.14 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0016

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 0.8

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: N/A

Smelliness Score: 0.01

And for more places that aren't very pleasant, This Is the Rudest State in America.

49
Maine

Lighthouse in Portland, Maine during the evening
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.19 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0013

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 2

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: N/A

Smelliness Score: 1.15

48
Utah

a field of pink, orange, and purple wildflowers and mountains in Alta, Utah
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.31 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0019

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 2.8

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: 301

Smelliness Score: 4.43

And for more areas you may not enjoy, This Is the Most Hated State in America.

47
Arizona

Arizona
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.24 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0038

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 1.6

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: N/A

Smelliness Score: 5.44

46
Vermont

red farmhouses, orange trees, and rural land in Reading, Vermont at sunrise
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.1 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0026

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 7

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: N/A

Smelliness Score: 7.21

45
Oregon

red stratovolcano and green trees in Broken Top, Oregon at sunset
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.23 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0019

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 7.6

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: N/A

Smelliness Score: 7.88

44
Idaho

Idaho
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.32 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0008

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 11

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: 2.6

Smelliness Score: 10.05

43
New Hampshire

a townhouse next to trees, a lake, and canoes in Grafton County, New Hampshire
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.26 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0079

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 1.6

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: N/A

Smelliness Score: 12.48

42
Montana

landscape photo of Glacier National Park, Montana in the afternoon
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.32 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0004

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 17.8

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: 136.6

Smelliness Score: 16.03

41
Hawaii

the Wailua falls and green trees in Kauai, Hawaii
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.25 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.006

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 9.1

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: N/A

Smelliness Score: 16.36

40
New Mexico

new mexico
iStock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.82 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0013

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 2.5

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: 8115.9

Smelliness Score: 16.82

39
Wyoming

the reflection of glaciers and tress in a lake in Teton, Wyoming
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.75 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0004

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 3.2

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: 9511.4

Smelliness Score: 16.93

38
Connecticut

landscape photo of Shelton, Connecticut in the morning
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.09 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0111

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 4

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: N/A

Smelliness Score: 18.56

37
Washington

Washington state
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.19 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0038

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 17.7

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: N/A

Smelliness Score: 20.17

36
Alaska

purple flowers and mountain in Valdez, Alaska
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.76 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.01

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: N/A

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: 2,714.4

Smelliness Score: 22.48

35
Colorado

Colorado
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.41 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0039

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 16.1

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: 2485.7

Smelliness Score: 23.79

34
Mississippi

bridge on gulf coast ocean springs ms
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.8 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0035

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 17.2

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: 0.2

Smelliness Score: 25.22

33
South Carolina

lake jocassee at sunset
Dave Allen Photography / Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.36 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0105

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 9.9

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: N/A

Smelliness Score: 25.73

32
Arkansas

green trees and Hamilton Lake at sunset in Garland County, Arkansas
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.63 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0035

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 24.7

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: 8.5

Smelliness Score: 30.65

And for more places that aren't very pretty, This Is the Ugliest State in the U.S.

31
Alabama

cityscape photo of Birmingham, Alabama at dusk
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 1.87 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0058

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 8.7

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: 64.6

Smelliness Score: 31.57

30
California

California
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.22 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0153

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 9.6

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: 22.2

Smelliness Score: 32.18

29
Georgia

Georgia
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.57 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0122

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 11.9

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: N/A

Smelliness Score: 32.53

28
North Carolina

city skyline of Asheville, North Carolina at twilight
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.44 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0119

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 14.4

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: N/A

Smelliness Score: 33.1

27
Massachusetts

boston Massachusetts skyline from harbor
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.13 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0205

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 3

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: N/A

Smelliness Score: 33.73

26
Michigan

cityscape photo of Kalamazoo, Michigan in the afternoon
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.51 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0079

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 21.5

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: 11.2

Smelliness Score: 33.81

25
Tennessee

city skyline and river in Nashville, Tennessee
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.44 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0095

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 19.9

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: 0.2

Smelliness Score: 34.29

24
Florida

cityscape photo of the downtown area of Orlando, Florida
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.36 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0166

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 8.3

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: 1.4

Smelliness Score: 34.49

23
New York

Poughkeepsie, New York skyline
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.16 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0146

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 14.1

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: N/A

Smelliness Score: 34.67

22
Wisconsin

Wisconsin
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.28 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0058

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 29.1

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: N/A

Smelliness Score: 35.26

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21
Texas

city skyline of and buildings in downtown Houston, Texas
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.51 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0083

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 17.5

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: 4116.1

Smelliness Score: 35.32

20
Virginia

city skyline with a bridge, buildings, and the Kanawha River in Charleston, West Virginia
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.7 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0136

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 11.8

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: 0.6

Smelliness Score: 36.09

19
South Dakota

yellow flowers and rocks at Badlands National Park in South Dakota at sunrise
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.3 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0007

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 39.9

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: 0.1

Smelliness Score: 37.07

18
Louisiana

a pier over and trees next to Lake Pontchartrain in Mandeville Louisiana at sunset
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 1.35 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0072

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 16.6

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: 1121.5

Smelliness Score: 37.53

17
Missouri

Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.27 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0046

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 35.5

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: N/A

Smelliness Score: 39.17

16
Oklahoma

tulsa oklahoma
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.72 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0034

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 25.7

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: 7212.2

Smelliness Score: 40.4

15
Kentucky

wooden and stone fence on green grass in Lexington, Kentucky
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.83 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0086

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 25.2

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: 114.1

Smelliness Score: 41.78

14
Minnesota

Minnesota
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.35 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0028

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 44.1

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: N/A

Smelliness Score: 45.12

13
Nebraska

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

Methane emissions per capita: 0.64 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0016

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 44.5

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: N/A

Smelliness Score: 46.28

12
Pennsylvania

Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Mira / Alamy

Methane emissions per capita: 0.94 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0191

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 15.8

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: 746.2

Smelliness Score: 52.32

11
Kansas

field of wheat in central Kansas is nearly ready for harvest.
iStock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.62 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0032

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 54.6

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: 531.4

Smelliness Score: 58.96

10
Maryland

city skyline and Chesapeake Bay in Annapolis, Maryland in the afternoon
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.21 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0263

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 22.2

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: N/A

Smelliness Score: 62.47

9
Rhode Island

A view of downtown Providence, Rhode Island on a sunny day.
iStock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.23 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0375

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 3.8

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: N/A

Smelliness Score: 64.09

8
Ohio

autumn trees and the Roadway Bridge over the Little Miami River in Ohio
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.51 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0165

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 41.4

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: 444.7

Smelliness Score: 67.63

7
New Jersey

city skyline and the Passaic River in Newark, New Jersey
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.22 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0421

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 9.5

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: N/A

Smelliness Score: 77.09

6
Iowa

marion iowa
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.54 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0045

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 74.7

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: N/A

Smelliness Score: 78.77

5
Indiana

Indianapolis Indiana skyline
Shutterstock/Real Window Creative

Methane emissions per capita: 0.89 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0174

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 55.4

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: N/A

Smelliness Score: 85.67

4
North Dakota

university of north dakota
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.9 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0007

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 61.4

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: 21082.5

Smelliness Score: 86.97

3
Illinois

Open country road in rural Illinois as the sun sets
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.51 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.016

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 67.4

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: 0.3

Smelliness Score: 90.93

2
West Virginia

buildings and church in the town of Harper's Ferry, West Virginia
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 7.22 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0067

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 5.1

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: 10497.7

Smelliness Score: 93.8

1
Delaware

a bridge over and water flowing into Silver Lake in Dover, Delaware
Shutterstock

Methane emissions per capita: 0.45 tons

Percentage of state occupied by landfills: 0.0399

Percentage of state occupied by cropland: 35.1

Natural gas plant liquid production per capita: N/A

Smelliness Score: 99.91

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