January 14, 2009

Passport holders in the USA

There is a running statistic that only half of the members of Congress hold passports. Whether that is true or not I cannot say. (It's always one of those things that bug me every now and then but never enough to go out and actually do the research.)

But, thanks to  GOOD magazine, we can easily see the percentage of passport holders state by state and nationwide.

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As expected, Washington, DC has the highest percentage of people with passports -- almost 30 percent. New Jersey is next at 6.37 percent. The national average (2006) is 4 percent.

Virginia is at 4.4 percent and Maryland at 4.86 percent.

Interestingly in the middle of the country Illinois (4%) and Minnesota (4.3%) lead the pack.

Story ideas I can see off the top of my head:
  • The obvious: How does proximity to a border affect passport issuance?
  • The next obvious: How does the presence of large immigrant communities affect issuance? (Americans -- new or otherwise -- wanting to visit relatives in the "Old Country.")
  • How does wealth in a state affect passport issuance?
  • How does foreign investment in a state affect issuance?
  • How does education levels in the state affect issuance?
  • How does the presence of the headquarters of US companies operating overseas in a state affect issuance?

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