Are America's Fattest States Also the Most Jobless?

More

Fat People Can't Get Jobs, announces Gawker this afternoon. The evidence? Two maps that "show" that the South is fat and jobless, and plains states are svelte and job-secure. This is not a reasonable observation.


First let's look at the maps. This juxtaposition doesn't make a lot of sense. The unemployment map on the left comes from a time-lapse slide show you can follow here -- but the still is from October 2008, when the unemployment rate was still under 7 percent. Today the unemployment rate is 10 percent. Updated, the unemployment color scheme has rendered the country totally black and blue.

fatandunemployed.png
Moreover, I don't see much overlap in these graphs in the first place. California and Oregon are slim and dead out of work. Nebraska is fattish and happily employed. In fact, if you look at the top ten fattest states and the ten states with the worst unemployment rate, the overlap is just three: Michigan (not in the south), South Carolina and Kentucky. None of those qualify as Deep South. In fact, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas have three of the country's 20 best employment rates.

I'm sure there's good evidence for weight discrimination in the workplace. These maps aren't a part of that evidence.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Did I Study Physics?

In this hand-drawn animation, a college graduate explains why she chose her major—and what it taught her about herself.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Video

How Is Social Media Changing Journalism?

How new platforms are transforming radio, TV, print, and digital

Video

The Place Where Silent Movies Sing

How an antique, wind-powered pipe organ brings films to life

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In