Social Question

longtresses's avatar

In your experience, which states are most accepting/tolerant/friendly?

Asked by longtresses (1332points) March 16th, 2011

I know this is a gross generalization, as we’re talking about each state as a whole, but my friend and I had a discussion. She came from Minnesota and she thought that Minnesotans are the most accepting, tolerant, and friendly people on earth. The kind of people that wouldn’t ban books like Harry Potter just because there’s witchcraft in it. You could live however you want and people would leave you alone.

In contrast, it was when she moved to California that she learned the words she had never even heard before!

…so I’d like to hear thoughts on this. In your opinion, which states do you find most friendly and least friendly?

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35 Answers

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I’ve only been to 26 of the states, so I can’t really say. Of those, I’d have to agree with your friend. I lived in Minneapolis for two years, and every Minnesotan encountered was exceptionally friendly and tolerant.

Blueroses's avatar

As you said, generalizations are difficult and I’ve had my preconceived notions smashed in several states. In what I thought was the intolerant Bible Belt, I met people who would give you their last dollar if they knew you were hungry. In contrast, a very liberal college town in CO has very restrictive ordinances preventing any freedoms they don’t happen to agree with.

I think that wherever you go, you tend to attract people who are like you. So if you are open, friendly and tolerant, you’ll find that attitude reflected everywhere.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

New South Wales. But then I am biased.

Judi's avatar

I haven’t lived in to many states, but Oregon (especially Eugene and Portland) are pretty accepting and open minded, especially compared to central California.

saintDrew's avatar

New York city, we have quite the melting pot in this state.. People may say we’re mean but…I really don’t see it!

Least friendly? umm maybe Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) to be exact

deni's avatar


@saintDrew hey! totally not true. Pennsylvanians are great, unless you happen to stumble upon some rednecks. Then in that case they are not so great at all.

12Oaks's avatar

Indiana, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Iowa, amd Arizona.

Most UNinviting are Louisiana, New York, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Washington.

starsofeight's avatar

West Virginia gets my vote.

janbb's avatar

Aw – Fuggeddaboudit!!

Tuesdays_Child's avatar

I think @Blueroses hit it on the head, if you are friendly and open to people they generally reciprocate. :~)

blueiiznh's avatar

I have hit every state cept Hawaii.
There is something about that Minnesota Nice!
Everyone says Good Morning to Everyone!

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I’m biased and it’s difficult to make generalizations like this, but after living here all my life, and traveling all over (which actually takes some work, since the state is so big), I think Texans are pretty friendly. I meet the occasional “stereotypical gun totin’, bible thumpin’, white trash, filth spewin’ redneck”, but most of the “rednecks” I know are very friendly and welcoming to newcomers.

MacBean's avatar

I haven’t found anyplace that I feel is especially tolerant, but that’s probably because I’m riddled with traits that require “tolerance” (I hate that term. I’d like to be accepted, not just tolerated.) and the only places I’ve lived are Idaho where half the population is wearing a cowboy hat and the other half just forgot theirs at home, and a county in NY that went red for the last Presidential election. I haven’t stayed anywhere else long enough to form an opinion based on personal experience. (Though my two days in Wyoming were enough to make me vow never to stop foot within state lines again, even if it means going hundreds of miles out of my way while traveling. Lovely safe place, Wyoming, especially Laramie, where everybody loves everybody else.~)

crazyivan's avatar

You addressed this in the question itself, but I think that regions within states should be taken into consideration for a meaningful answer. I live in NYC and it is extraordinarily tolerant. If I go 50 or 60 miles north I might as well be in a different country, but I’m still in the same state.

The most tolerant of the many cities I’ve lived in is probably Ashville, North Carolina, though I would not say the same for the state writ large.

crisw's avatar

@crazyivan is absolutely right- you have to look at areas rather than a whole state. I don’t think any entire state has a reputation for tolerance- except maybe Vermont. As Oregon was mentioned earlier- yes, Portland is very liberal, but southern and eastern Oregon are most definitely not liberal.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Well, it’s not like I judge tolerance by whether people think Harry Potter promotes withcraft, becuase anyone that thinks so is completely bat-shit, in my mind, anyway. I like NYC for certain things but only in certain spaces.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir You mean I can’t use Harry Potter as an excuse for liking all things “witchy”? Shit, I need a new scapegoat.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate It’s okay, they’ll come up with one soon.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir It’s funny- my own mother told me I shouldn’t let my kids watch Harry Potter, because it will “put those kinds of things into their minds”. WTF? What things? Does she think my kids are gonna jump off the roof on broomsticks chasing little golden balls, develop the ability to speak to snakes and start brewing potions in our dungeon? She’s uber conservative though, and occasionally a little bat-shit crazy.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate dude, that’s what I’m hoping happens to my kids.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Ha! Yes, that would be neat!

Harold's avatar

@longtresses – From my experience, your friend saying that people from Minnesota are the friendliest on earth probably means friendliest in the USA, because most (not all) Americans I’ve met in my travels believe that the world ends at their borders…....................

awacting's avatar

well least friendly: new jersey. they’re jerks.

12Oaks's avatar

@awacting I was in New Jersey once and got screamed at for trying to buy cigarettes from a store that sells cigarettes. They lady screamed at me, saying not to go near her store but the competition next to hers. I don’t understand that business model…. not at all. Or that might have been New York, as was a part of the same trip and, really, they’re both the same. That was like 20 years ago. I never been back to either place, and I quit smoking over a decade later.

MacBean's avatar

Ah, New Jersey and New York. Exactly the same, yes, just like Coke and Pepsi. (As in, “similar, sure, but you have to be a freakin’ idiot to think they’re actually the same.”)

janbb's avatar

@MacBean I completely agree! :-)

12Oaks's avatar

@MacBean I’m from Indiana and meant no disrespect. I’d bet if a New Yorker/New Jerseyer (?) ever came here, they couldn’t tell the difference between Indiana and Illinois from a simple, drive-thru visit. Heck, you culd drive I-94 from Michigan into Indiana to Illinois and into Wisconsin, and for the exception of Chicago, you really won’t see a lick of difference. Tourists, huh? Don’t know their Ellis Island from their Jersey Shore. :-)

Blueroses's avatar

@12Oaks I visited Illinois and Indiana and found good people in both places but Indiana is where I found the most friendly, outgoing and generous folks I’ve found anywhere as a traveler.

longtresses's avatar

Yes the question is kind of overboard, and the Harry Potter book ban is just an example of things we discussed, but are there not places where people are perpetually in a bad mood, display wary incomprehension as to why you don’t attend church, or inform the authorities to shut down your meditation studio (I have heard this happened)?

Also, I’m not advocating generalization, of course not, but I still think there’s such a thing as city/state/group personality. I’m sure you can tell a difference between, say, Californian boys versus Alaskan boys. The road rage, for one.

Blueroses's avatar

Hmmm. I’ve been in both CA and AK and I think I see your point re. road rage… there is none in Alaska, for sure. On the other side, there is a difference in how women are treated in CA and AK. “Just another” vs. “omg a GIRL”

I exaggerate, of course, but that is really what your question comes to, isn’t it? Exaggeration of a locale?

longtresses's avatar

@Blueroses Which one is “Just another girl”??

Blueroses's avatar

@longtresses in CA, beautiful girls are just a part of the scenery. The boys become immune.
In AK, I did exaggerate but not by much… There is a huge inverse ratio of male/female and absolutely no excuse for a woman to put up with bad behavior from a boy. There are 40 more where he came from.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Hard to tell in a country founded on stealing the lands of countless other cultures, killing them, subjecting their children to forced assimilation, and relegating them to barren scraps of land so the general public can pretend they don’t exist except as charicatures and stereotypes.

Crashsequence2012's avatar


Home of Atlanta.

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