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If variety is the spice of life, then Georgia should appeal to many tastes — not too spicy, but definitely not bland.
A new report by financial website WalletHub takes a look at variety, in the form of diversity, in each of the 50 U.S. states. Since diversity is more than just race, WalletHub factored in religion, culture, politics and three other factors.
“ ‘Diversity’ is a term that is commonly used as a euphemism to mean representation of people of color,” said Hephzibah V. Strmic-Pawl, assistant professor of sociology at Manhattanville College in New York, “but diversity, in an inclusive sense, can mean representation of any number of important social identities such as race, gender, class, sexual orientation, age, religion, ability and more.”
Georgia scored best in “industry diversity,” ranking No. 5.
Industry diversity is a subcategory of economic diversity. WalletHub considered “the civilian employed population” 16 and older in the following industries:
The state’s lowest rank was No. 44, for “generational diversity,” a subcategory of household diversity. WalletHub weighted the score based on:
After all the numbers were tallied, Georgia finished at No. 13, with a score of 67.45 out of 100.
What does this mean?
According to Marcus M. Stuart, associate professor of management at Bentley University in Massachusetts, a more diverse state would, theoretically, have “a more diverse economy and a wider array of talent and skill sets among the labor force. Such factors would seem to support entrepreneurship and other social and economic innovation.”
There can be a downside to diversity, however, Stuart notes: “Theoretically, the cons include factors such as difficulty finding common ground with regard to social and economic priorities (policy) due to divergent values. Socio-economic diversity can strain public resources, bring attention to economic disparity, and foster discord among groups.”
Which state was determined to be most diverse? That was California, with a score of 70.89. At the bottom of the list was West Virginia, scoring just 58.29.
Find out where other states landed on the WalletHub ranking here.