Winners & Losers – Episode 2: The 50 States of America

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Hello and welcome to episode 2 of Winners
and Losers, in which I’ll be looking at the 50 states of America. Once again, the first category will be size.
The largest of the 50 states is… Alaska. Now looking at a map like this, Alaska doesn’t
actually look that big. This is because maps like this don’t show Alaska to the same scale
as the rest of the states. In reality, Alaska is much, much bigger than
that. If you were to overlay Alaska’s most western
point over the San Francisco bay area, its most eastern point would be around Jacksonville,
Florida on the opposite coast. Alaska comprises 18% of the country’s total
area, and has nearly double the length of coastline as the other 49 states combined. If Alaska were a country, it would be the
20th largest in the world. And without Alaska, the USA would drop from
the 4th to 5th largest country, behind Brazil. Alaska is larger than the smallest 22 states
combined, and is more than double the size of the 2nd largest state: Texas. In 3rd place is California, less than a quarter
the size of Alaska. The 3 smallest states are: Connecticut, Delaware,
and Rhode Island. Comparing the largest and smallest states,
Alaska is 430 times the size of Rhode Island. Of course, size is a relative issue. While
Rhode Island may seem tiny compared to Alaska, compared to the 3 smallest countries in the
world – Vatican City, Monaco and Nauru – Rhode Island seems pretty huge. Even compared to larger countries, like Malta,
Singapore and Dominica, Rhode Island still seems pretty big. In fact, Rhode Island is larger than 29 independent
countries. Moving onto population now, and in first place
is California, home to more than 38 million people, nearly one eighth the population of
the entire country. California has 3 of the top 10 most populous
cities in the United States. If California were its own country, it would
be the 35th most populous. Once again, Texas takes 2nd place. Texas also
has 3 of the country’s top 10 most populated cities, and 6 of the top 20. But despite this, Texas has about 12 million
less people than California. In 3rd place is New York, which has the most
populous city in the USA. Its name-sake, New York City. New York City makes up about 43% of the state’s
population, yet less than 1% of the land area. New York City is by far the most populous
city in the state, with the next most populous city being Buffalo, the 73rd most populous
in the country. The 3 least populated states are: North Dakota,
Vermont and Wyoming. California has about 65 times as many people
as Wyoming. California has so many more people than Wyoming,
that 15 of California’s counties have more people than the whole state of Wyoming. California’s smallest county by area, San
Francisco, at just 122 square kilometres, has about a quarter million more people than
Wyoming, despite Wyoming being about 54 hundred times larger. But despite all this, the state of Wyoming
has more people than 33 independent countries. The next category we’re going to look at is
population density. The most densely populated state is New Jersey.
The 4th smallest, yet 11th most populous state. This is largely due to the state’s close proximity
to New York City and Philadelphia: the 1st and 5th most populous cities in the country. 2nd place goes to smallest state, Rhode Island,
and in 3rd place is Massachusetts. If the whole country were as densely populated
as New Jersey, the population of the United States would be more than 4.2 billion. The least densely populated states are: Montana,
Wyoming, and Alaska. If the whole country were as sparsely populated
as Alaska, the population of the USA would only be about 4.5 million. But what if the population densities of the
states were less extreme. What if the size of the states were appropriate for their population. For example, what if the 15th largest state,
was also the 15th most populous. And what if we did this for every state. This is how the 50 states would look if their
size and population rankings were the same. I can’t help but feel California got the raw
end of this deal. You may also notice Rhode Island, which is now literally an island state. And only one state stays in the same place.
2nd largest and 2nd most populous: it’s Texas. And now onto homicide rate, and I’ll start
with the states which have the lowest homicide rate. And they are: New Hampshire, Vermont
and Iowa. The 3 states with the highest homicide rates,
all 3 of which are in the Deep South, are: Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. In fact, most of the Southern states have
a higher than average homicide rate, which can be seen from this map, in which the darker
shades of red represent a higher homicide rate. Or, if you prefer. Here’s a map showing them
ranked from 1 to 50. Now… although this video is about the 50
states, in this category, it’s worth mentioning the nation’s capital – Washington DC. The District of Columbia is its own Federal
District, not part of any state. But DC has a homicide rate higher than that any of the
50 states. In fact, if the whole of the United States
had a homicide rate of its capital city, the USA would have more anual homicides than any
other country in the world. And sticking with the theme of death, the
next category is… suicide rate. The states with the lowest suicide rates are:
New York, New Jersey and Maryland. The states with the highest suicide rates
are: Montana, Wyoming and Alaska. Now, this bottom 3 may look familiar. That’s
because this is the exact same bottom 3 as population density. It’s possible there is a correlation between
population density and suicide rate. Here’s Here’s a scatter graph showing all 50 states. And if you remember from episode 1, Greenland
had the highest suicide rate of any country, and was also the least densley populated. And once again mentioning Washington DC, which
has a lower suicide rate than any of the 50 states, and is also more densley populated
than any of them as well. Here’s a colour map showing the suicide rates
of all the states. And… once again, here they are ranked in order. But moving away from death now, and onto Gross
Domestic Product, or GDP. Unsurprisingly, the top 3 are the 3 most populated
states. If California were its own country, it would have the 8th largest economy in the
world, with a similar GDP to that of Russia. This is despite Russia having nearly 4 times
the population of California. Here’s a map of all 50 states with a comparable
country in terms of GDP. Now… it’s worth noting that this is nominal
GDP, and doesn’t take population into consideration. So if we take… Missouri, for example, comparable
to Nigeria, both having a GDP of around 250 billion dollars. But Missouri has a population
of 6 million, while Nigeria has a population of 174 million, 29 times that of Missouri. If you’re not too good with flags though,
I also made a text version… it doesn’t quite look as good though. And here’s a world map showing the United
States and all 50 comparable countries, which have a combined population of nearly 1.9 billion,
6 times that of the USA. Now… today, the USA is made up of 50 states.
Hence way there’s 50 stars on the American flag. But this wasn’t always the case. So
what were the very first states… to become states? Well, the very first state was Delaware, admitted
to the Union on December the 7th, 1787. I know that because it says so on their flag. The next 2 states were Pennsylvania, and New
Jersey. But the very first American flag actually
had 13 stars, representing the original 13 colonies that declared independence from the
British Empire. So it could be argued that all 13 of these
states were first, since they were all part of the original United States, even though
they all officially became states at different times. The 13 stripes on the flag has remained constant,
again, representing the original 13 colonies, but the number of stars has changed every
time a new state has joined the Union. Over the years, the US obtained more land
through various means, and the number of stars on the flag kept increasing over time. In 1912, when New Mexico and Arizona became
states, this completed what is today known as ‘the lower 48’. And for 47 years, the American flag had 48
stars. The 2 most recent states to join the Union,
were Alaska and Hawaii. Alaska was purchased from Russia in 1867,
for $7.2 million, which equates to about 2 cents per acre. $7.2 million in 1867 is equivalent to about
$119 million today. As for Hawaii… Hawaii was its own country
for a long time: the Kingdom of Hawaii. And… very briefly, the Republic of Hawaii. This was until 1898 when the Hawaiin Islands
were annexed into the United States as organized incorporated territory. And on August the 21st, 1959, the same year
as Alaska, Hawaii became the 50th state, adding another star and completing what is the current
flag of the USA. The 50-star flag has now been in use for 54 years, making it the longest
used flag in the country’s history. Now, the final category I’m going to look
at is minimum wage. Minimum wage in the United States can be a very complex and often controversial
issue. But the states the highest minimum wages are
the 3 West Coast states: Washington, Oregon, and California. But that doesn’t mean that Washinton has the
highest minimum wage in the country… Because some individual cities or counties
can set their own minimum wage, the highest minimum wage in the country is actually San
Francisco, with a minimum wage of $10.74. But these are the minimum wages as of July
the 1st, 2014… but several states have passed bills to increase their minimum wage, to be
increased gradually over the next few years. Now, the Federal Minimum Wage is $7.25, but
there are actually 4 states that have a minimum wage lower than this: Arkansas, Minnesota,
Wyoming and Georgia. Although some states allow even lower minimum
wages than this, to small businesses. For example, in Montana, an employer grossing
less than $110,000 annually, can pay its employees as little as $4 per hour. But then there’s whole issue “tipped staff”,
which applies to jobs in which the employee is expected to get regular tips, such as waiters
and bartenders. For tipped staff, the minimum wage can be
as low as $2.13 per hour in many states, where staff are expected to make the rest of their
paycheck through customer tips. Although not all states pay tipped staff less
than other workers… there are 7 states that apply the exact same minimum wage to tipped
staff as they do to other workers. Well, that’s all for episode 2 of Winners
and Losers… and feel free to leave your suggestion for episode 3. Thanks for watching.

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