Sprawling for thousands of miles coast to coast, the United States is the world's fourth-largest country. Each part of the country is a unique place that offers a very different quality of life -- do you know the averages that apply to these states?
Hawaii is a tropical paradise for a good reason -- it gets a lot of rain, more than any other state. It averages about 64 inches of rain per year.
Do you like babies? Do you live Boston? Good luck. Residents there average more than $16,000 per year for infant day care. So much for your lobster dinner habit.
Well-developed East Coast internet infrastructure works to Delaware's benefit. Its residents see the best average Internet speeds, at around 75Mbps.
Yeehaw, is right. In springtime, warm air from the Gulf of Mexico collides with cooler air from the Rocky Mountains, and Texas explodes in twisters. There are around 147 tornadoes in this state each year.
Florida, the "hanging chad" of the Union, dangles into the Caribbean, where things are downright comfortable. Its average annual temperature is around 70.7 degrees, a tad higher than Hawaii.
It seems that paradise agrees with human life expectancy. Hawaii leads the way in this category, with residents averaging more than 81 years worth of surfing and pina coladas.
Compared to Massachusetts, daycare in Mississippi is practically free -- residents pay less than $5,000 per year for infant daycare, about a third of Boston prices. The bad news? Daycare facilities are made of cardboard boxes.
Nevada, home to the neon mirage that is Las Vegas, is a dry, dry state. At about 9.5 inches of precipitation annually, it's mostly a barren desert landscape.
There are wonderful things happening in Vermont, like gorgeous fall leaves, maple syrup, and a notable lack of neighbors hacking each other to death. It's the least violent state in the country.
Bundle up! Alaska is (by far) the northernmost state in the country. Although it's often quite warm during the summer, that season is short, meaning that the average temperature is right around 26 degrees or so.
Southern states scrape the bottom of many undesirable categories, including life expectancy. In Mississippi, you can expect to live about 6 years less than people from Hawaii. But as it turns out, in Mississippi, you may not want to live to 75.
Do you like sunshine, beaches and bikinis? Yeah, so does everyone else, which is one reason Hawaii is so popular. It's also in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, making the cost of living exorbitant for most people.
Maryland, in general, is a pretty swanky state filled with people who have money. On average, residents have an income of just under $76,000 per year, better than Washington, D.C.
Louisiana struggles with poverty. That's one factor that contributes to this state's levels of violence, which is the highest in America.
Believe it or not, teachers in Alaska average more than $77,000 per year. But the cost of living (and lack of winter sunshine) are big drawbacks for many teachers.
If you love scooping snow, consider moving to New Hampshire. In some parts of this state, it snows roughly 118 days every single year. If you hate scooping snow and live in New Hampshire, sorry, eat this Prozac.
Snowboarding, hiking and mountains must be good for the body. Colorado has the nation's lowest average rate of obesity … but the rates are still significant, with 22% of grownups ranking as overweight.
Well, considering the crazy-high cost of living in Hawaii, perhaps it's no surprise that consumers there aren't big tippers. Tips average less than 15%.
In some parts of Mississippi, economic realities are tough. Average incomes here are the lowest in the country -- the median is under $41,000 per year, just below Arkansas and West Virginia.
Nerds! New Hampshire is home to a good number of promising scholars. The average ACT score is 25.5, which just beats Massachusetts (25.4) and Connecticut (25.2).
Mississippi is a very poor state. But for those who earn a reasonable income, it's a really cheap place to live -- it's the most affordable state in America, where housing alone is one-third less than the national average.
Care for seconds on that bacon? West Virginia is number one in adult obesity rates. Nearly 38% of the state's residents are obese, a category that's dominated by states in the Deep South.
For every 100,000 Wyoming residents, roughly 24 die every year in car wrecks. Low population, high-speed highways, drunken driving and a number of other factors statistically make this state a deadly one for drivers.
By median age, Utah is the youngest state in the Union -- residents are an average of 30.5 years old. Alaska is second-youngest but still much older (33.3 years old).
Kentucky is apparently stuck on dial-up. In terms of internet speeds, it's the slowest state in the country (34Mbps).
Stock up on moonshine to forget your miseries. If you love scraping by on a meager income, be sure to check out Mississippi, where the average median hourly wage is just over $14 per hour.
If you work in the service industry and rely on tips for your livelihood, Idaho is a good bet. At a rate of 17.4%, this is where tips are best.
It's a good thing the cost of living is so low in Mississippi, otherwise, teachers wouldn't make it. Their salaries average just over $42,000 per year.
By July, the mercury is finally shooting upward in Minnesota. That's why the Land of 10,000 Lakes averages the most tornadoes in July (11.2), more than second-place North Dakota (10.2).
If you don't mind the long, dark winters, Alaska is a good place to make a wage -- the average is just under $23 per hour.