This Is the Unluckiest State in America, According to Data

Ted Lang
·10 min read

Luck is a tricky concept to get a handle on. Some people seem to always manage a free ride on their way to striking gold, while others appear to forever be walking under a raincloud. Why is that the case? Could where a person lives possibly be a factor? To find out, at Best Life, we crunched the numbers to determine the unluckiest state in America.

To quantify how much—or how little—luck each state has, we looked at five key metrics, which we gave a weighted value, and then applied to our proprietary algorithm to see how each state scored on our 100-point scale Unlucky Index.

First, we looked at accident mortality by state according to the most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The rate of accidental death measures death from unintentional injuries stemming from incidents like drug overdoses, vehicular accidents, and falls—which as a category is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, researchers found.

Next, we turned our focus to natural disasters, using data gathered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the number of official natural disasters that have occurred in each state since 1953.

And, since you just can't analyze luck without mentioning the lottery, we gathered data on the number of Powerball jackpot winners in all 45 states where the game is available—from 1992 to the most recent winning jackpot in Florida on March 27, 2021. (The five states that don't participate were not penalized, as we adjusted the weighted algorithm to account for their lack of data in this category.)

Finally, we collected and analyzed data on each state's unemployment rate as tracked by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of February 2021. Of course, we recognize that there are myriad contributing factors to a state's unemployment rate, but we can't imagine that anyone in the unfortunate position of being unemployed wouldn't question whether plain old dumb luck didn't have something to do with it.

Read on to discover the unluckiest state in America, and see if your state measures the way you expect it would. And for the places where people aren't lucky enough to give less to Uncle Sam, This State Has the Highest Taxes in America, According to Data.

50

Utah

Rate of accidental deaths: 45.2 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 47

Number of Powerball winners: N/A

Unemployment rate: 3 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 0.00

49

Indiana

Rate of accidental deaths: 56 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 51

Number of Powerball winners: 39

Unemployment rate: 4 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 8.02

48

Nebraska

Rate of accidental deaths: 40.1 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 72

Number of Powerball winners: 10

Unemployment rate: 3.1 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 12.11

47

Minnesota

Rate of accidental deaths: 44.9 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 74

Number of Powerball winners: 22

Unemployment rate: 4.3 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 15.47

46

Iowa

Rate of accidental deaths: 42.3 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 72

Number of Powerball winners: 9

Unemployment rate: 3.6 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 17.03

45

Kansas

Rate of accidental deaths: 48 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 79

Number of Powerball winners: 11

Unemployment rate: 3.2 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 20.16

44

Idaho

Rate of accidental deaths: 51.2 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 50

Number of Powerball winners: 5

Unemployment rate: 3.3 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 20.37

43

Maryland

Rate of accidental deaths: 36.6 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 36

Number of Powerball winners: 3

Unemployment rate: 6.2 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 20.79

42

Missouri

Rate of accidental deaths: 61 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 74

Number of Powerball winners: 31

Unemployment rate: 4.2 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 23.05

41

New Hampshire

Rate of accidental deaths: 58. 8 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 55

Number of Powerball winners: 11

Unemployment rate: 3.3 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 24.27

40

Georgia

Rate of accidental deaths: 42.2 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 70

Number of Powerball winners: 6

Unemployment rate: 4.8 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 24.28

39

Wisconsin

Rate of accidental deaths: 61.1 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 54

Number of Powerball winners: 18

Unemployment rate: 3.8 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 24.33

38

South Dakota

Rate of accidental deaths: 53.3 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 64

Number of Powerball winners: 3

Unemployment rate: 2.9 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 24.43

37

Alabama

Rate of accidental deaths: 54.1 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 93

Number of Powerball winners: N/A

Unemployment rate: 4 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 25.24

36

Vermont

Rate of accidental deaths: 56.4 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 50

Number of Powerball winners: 0

Unemployment rate: 3.1 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 26.64

35

Michigan

Rate of accidental deaths: 50 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 42

Number of Powerball winners: 5

Unemployment rate: 5.2 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 27.09

34

Hawaii

Rate of accidental deaths: 39.2 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 58

Number of Powerball winners: N/A

Unemployment rate: 9.2 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 28.15

33

North Dakota

Rate of accidental deaths: 45 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 64

Number of Powerball winners: 0

Unemployment rate: 4.7 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 28.31

32

Virginia

Rate of accidental deaths: 43.8 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 69

Number of Powerball winners: 1

Unemployment rate: 5.2 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 30.34

31

Arkansas

Rate of accidental deaths: 48 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 78

Number of Powerball winners: 1

Unemployment rate: 4.5 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 32.34

30

South Carolina

Rate of accidental deaths: 62.1 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 38

Number of Powerball winners: 6

Unemployment rate: 5.2 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 35.67

29

Montana

Rate of accidental deaths: 55.4 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 91

Number of Powerball winners: 4

Unemployment rate: 3.9 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 36.63

28

Rhode Island

Rate of accidental deaths: 56.4 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 25

Number of Powerball winners: 8

Unemployment rate: 7.3 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 37.35

27

Nevada

Rate of accidental deaths: 44.1 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 96

Number of Powerball winners: N/A

Unemployment rate: 8.3 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 38.03

26

New Jersey

Rate of accidental deaths: 49.2 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 53

Number of Powerball winners: 11

Unemployment rate: 7.8 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 38.36

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25

Wyoming

Rate of accidental deaths: 63.1 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 37

Number of Powerball winners: 30

Unemployment rate: 5.3 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 40.32

24

Alaska

Rate of accidental deaths: 62.2 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 71

Number of Powerball winners: N/A

Unemployment rate: 6.6 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 40.32

23

North Carolina

Rate of accidental deaths: 56.1 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 70

Number of Powerball winners: 6

Unemployment rate: 5.7 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 40.34

22

Illinois

Rate of accidental deaths: 45 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 63

Number of Powerball winners: 2

Unemployment rate: 7.4 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 40.42

21

Massachusetts

Rate of accidental deaths: 53.3 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 54

Number of Powerball winners: 6

Unemployment rate: 7.1 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 41.44

20

New York

Rate of accidental deaths: 34.3 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 101

Number of Powerball winners: 12

Unemployment rate: 8.9 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 41.63

And for the place where you better have plenty of cash to spend, This Is the Most Expensive State in America.

19

Kentucky

Rate of accidental deaths: 68.1 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 80

Number of Powerball winners: 18

Unemployment rate: 5.2 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 42.98

18

Pennsylvania

Rate of accidental deaths: 61.2 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 62

Number of Powerball winners: 18

Unemployment rate: 7.3 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 43.72

17

Delaware

Rate of accidental deaths: 73.9 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 23

Number of Powerball winners: 10

Unemployment rate: 6.3 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 45.27

16

Connecticut

Rate of accidental deaths: 56.2 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 36

Number of Powerball winners: 8

Unemployment rate: 8.5 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 45.65

15

Ohio

Rate of accidental deaths: 67.7 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 59

Number of Powerball winners: 3

Unemployment rate: 5 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 45.80

14

Maine

Rate of accidental deaths: 66.8 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 62

Number of Powerball winners: 0

Unemployment rate: 4.8 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 46.49

13

Tennessee

Rate of accidental deaths: 67.8 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 76

Number of Powerball winners: 7

Unemployment rate: 4.9 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 46.82

12

Oregon

Rate of accidental deaths: 46.1 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 133

Number of Powerball winners: 5

Unemployment rate: 6.1 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 48.72

11

Colorado

Rate of accidental deaths: 51.9 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 96

Number of Powerball winners: 3

Unemployment rate: 6.6 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 48.95

10

Florida

Rate of accidental deaths: 55.6 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 160

Number of Powerball winners: 15

Unemployment rate: 4.7 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 49.76

And for the place where people are the most upset overall, check out This Is the Angriest State in America, According to Data.

9

Arizona

Rate of accidental deaths: 58.7 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 98

Number of Powerball winners: 13

Unemployment rate: 6.9 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 50.65

8

Louisiana

Rate of accidental deaths: 62.3 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 90

Number of Powerball winners: 17

Unemployment rate: 7.6 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 52.99

7

Mississippi

Rate of accidental deaths: 61.2 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 83

Number of Powerball winners: 0

Unemployment rate: 6.3 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 54.04

6

Washington

Rate of accidental deaths: 43.4 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 177

Number of Powerball winners: 1

Unemployment rate: 5.6 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 56.19

5

Oklahoma

Rate of accidental deaths: 58 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 210

Number of Powerball winners: 4

Unemployment rate: 4.4 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 67.94

4

West Virginia

Rate of accidental deaths: 96.9 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 73

Number of Powerball winners: 9

Unemployment rate: 6.2 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 75.68

3

New Mexico

Rate of accidental deaths: 77.8 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 100

Number of Powerball winners: 5

Unemployment rate: 8.3 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 78.71

2

California

Rate of accidental deaths: 35.9 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 336

Number of Powerball winners: 9

Unemployment rate: 8.5 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 95.34

And for the states suffering another misfortune at the moment, These 9 States Are Seeing the Worst COVID Spikes Right Now.

1

Texas

Rate of accidental deaths: 39.7 percent

Number of federally declared natural disasters: 360

Number of Powerball winners: 2

Unemployment rate: 6.9 percent

Unlucky Index Score: 100.00

And for the place where other serious risks abound, check out This Is the Most Dangerous City in America, According to Data.