Louisiana hardly ever gets mentioned in the national news, and when it does, it’s almost always something bad. We’re usually leading the nation in high school dropouts, cancer deaths, obesity, and illiteracy. Growing up, I could always take comfort in knowing that no matter how bad off Louisiana was, Mississippi was usually slightly worse. Sure, Louisiana might rank 49th in income, but Mississippi was almost surely 50th.
Maybe it’s a misery loves company attitude. No matter how low you are on the totem poll, there’s always some fool under you that you can feel superior to.
Now I’m not saying it’s true that Louisiana is better than Mississippi (despite what my gut keeps tellin’ me). In fact, while fact gathering for this post, I found the opposite to be true. Mississippi beats Louisiana about as much as Louisiana tops Mississippi. In the same way we only remember the true things in a horoscope, we tend to have selective memory when it comes to Mississippi.
Now I usually just pull information from my butt, but I decided it was only fair to back up my claims. In doing that, I was surprised by some of what I found. Here are a few interesting statistics I pulled from here.
Obesity Rate: Mississippi is fatter – 26% vs 23%
Tobacco Use: Mississippi smokes more – 18% vs 16.9%
Higher Education: Louisiana beats Miss by a hair – 21.2% vs 21.1%
8th grade math, reading, writing: Louisiana wins.
Mortality Rates: Louisianians live longer – 994.5 deaths per 100k vs 1010.6
% of houses that are mobile homes: Louisiana has fewer mobile homes – 11.7% vs 13.8% (Probably doesn’t include Katrina Trailers)
Teen Pregnancy: Louisiana has a lower teen birth rate – 56 vs 62.5 births per 1000
High School Graduation Rate: Mississippi wins – 81.1 to 79.7
Violent Crime: Mississippi has significantly less violent crime (because of ‘dem fools in New Orleans)
Drunk Driving: Cajuns like to drink and drive – 46% traffic deaths are alcohol related vs 38%
Cancer death rate: Louisiana is higher – 222.8 vs 217.8 (Oil refineries?)
Infant mortality: Louisiana edges out Mississippi (only Washington DC is worse)
Toothless Residents: Louisiana has more toothless residents (almost every old relative I know has false teeth)
So next time you want to go bashing Mississippi, keep in mind what we learned here today. Mississippi folk are a bunch of smoking, eating, knocked-up-gettin’ bastards, while Louisianians are a bunch of drunk driving, cancer dyin’, no-teeth-having fools. In the future, instead of bashing Mississippi every chance we get, we should join them…in making fun of Arkansas!