Armed with Census data and an eraser, Neil Freeman redrew the U.S. map in a way that evenly distributed 308,745,538 people across 50 states.
If you draw the borders in this manner, each new state would end up with about 6,175,000 residents. That way, Freeman argued, in presidential elections the popular vote and electoral college would match up.
He also renamed everything, leaving us with states named for mountain ranges (Adirondack and Blue Ridge), rivers (Susquehanna and Willimantic), ecological regions (Tidewater and Firelands), bodies of water (Tampa Bay and Canaveral), songs (Temecula), cities (Chicago, Houston, and Newark), plants (Tule), and people (King).
Here’s a closer look at each half of the country:
Which state would your town wind up in?
If you like the idea of Neil’s map and would like to hang it on your wall, you can order a print for $35 on his site.
If you hate the idea and it’s making you nervous, don’t freak out.
“Keep in mind that this is an art project,” he writes on his site, “not a serious proposal.”
The inspirations for each state name
- Mountains or caves – Adirondack, Allegheny, Blue Ridge, Chinati, Mammoth, Mesabi, Ozark, Pocono, Rainier, Shasta, Shenandoah and Shiprock
- Rivers – Atchafalaya, Menominee, Maumee, Nodaway, Sangamon, Scioto, Susquehanna, Trinity and Willimantic
- Songs – Gary, Muskogee and Temecula
Cities – Atlanta, Chicago, Columbia, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington
Plants – Tule and Yerba Buena
People – King and Orange
- Historical regions – Big Thicket, Firelands and Tidewater
- Bays, capes, lakes and aquifers – Casco, Tampa Bay, Canaveral, Mendocino, Ogallala, Salt Lake and Throgs Neck
Bonus: How far your money goes in each state
As anyone who’s fled higher cost states can attest, your money goes farther in certain parts of the country. You’ll pay less for lots of things in some states and many rural areas. This could play a factor in where you decide to retire.
Continue reading: The real value of $100 in each state