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Does Countryside readership show the best places to homestead? Nope.

M. B. Allen of Graham, N.C. writes, "I would like to see a list of the states with the most COUTRYSIDE readers. What place is North Carolina?"

We too wondered where our readers live, hoping there might be a pattern suggesting good places to homestead.

Unfortunately, there isn't any.

With a few exceptions, we have the most readers where there are the most people. That makes sense, but it isn't much help in our research.

Here are the top 1 0 states where Countrysiders live, with the percentage of our total circulation in each, and the state's ranking in U.S. population:
Where COUNTRYSIDE readers live
Rank/state % of readers Pop. rank
1. California 8.25% 1
2. Wisconsin 5.6% 16
3. New York 5.39% 2
4. Texas 5.16% 3
5. Illinois 4.88% 6
6. Pennsylvania 4.85% 5
7. Ohio 4.43% 7
8. Michigan 3.8% 8
9. Missouri 3.69% 15
10.Florida 3.46% 4


The only top 10 states (in population) missing are New Jersey (9) and North Carolina (10). Wisconsin's high rank might be due to COUNTRYSIDE's location there... or it and Missouri might be giving us some clues about good, or at least popular, states for homesteading.

Conclusion #1: Most homesteaders live where there are the most people.

However, there's another way to look at this. If it stands to reason that a state with more people is going to have more readers, what about readers as a percent of population? In other words, if one state has more people per 1,000 residents who are interested in COUNTRYSIDE, might that mean something?

The results were different, and interesting. Montana's first-place showing isn't too surprising: we hear from many future homesteaders who would like to live there. It ranks 48th in population, but it has more readers per capita than any other state.

Missouri isn't on this list. Wisconsin is still in evidence, but for the most part, the states with the most COUNTRYSIDE readers per resident are those with the lowest populations.

Here are the top 10 states in COUNTRYSIDE readers per capita, the number of readers you're liable to meet among every thousand residents, and the state's rank in U.S. population:
Readers per capita
Rank/state readers/1000 Pop.rank
1. Montana 2.64 48
2. Idaho 2.54 47
3. Vermont 2.35 50
4. Wyoming 1.92 49
5. South Dakota 1.44 46
6. Alaska 1.33 45
7. Maine 1.32 42
8. Wisconsin 1.12 18
9. Iowa 1.10 31
10. Arkansas 1.02 32


Of the 10 states with the lowest populations, those missing from this list are North Dakota, Delaware, and New Hampshire.

Conclusion #2: Homesteaders are most common where there are the fewest people.

The numbers don't tell us much, if anything,about the best places to homestead. Even if they appeared to, a statistician would point out that you don't necessarily have to be a homesteader to read COUNTRYSIDE, and we have no idea how many of these readers who are homesteaders want to move elsewhere.

But we think the numbers do contain one clear lesson. Highly populated states, industrial states, sparsely populated rural states, it doesn't matter: you'll find people who are, or want to be homesteaders just about anywhere you go.

North Carolina has just over 2% of the country's people, and about 1.9% of our readers. It ranks 10th in population, and 18th in COUNTRYSIDE readers.
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Copyright 1994 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Finding Your Homestead: Some "Best Places" in the United States
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Jan 1, 1994
Words:585
Previous Article:Wonder Valley, California offers desert living.
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