How Much Free Time People Have in Each State, Mapped

g-stockstudio/iStock via Getty Images
g-stockstudio/iStock via Getty Images

You may know to look at average salaries and housing costs when planning to move to a new state, but there's another factor to consider: the amount of free time you'll have when you get there. Having some extra spending cash suddenly seems a lot less appealing if you need to spend most of your day in the office or in traffic to earn it. Luckily, sacrificing a work-life balance isn't the only way to make a decent living. The map below shows the states where workers get the most free time for themselves.

The resume builder site Zety calculated the ranking by looking at how much time the average person spends working and commuting in each state. They determined that Utah residents have the most leisure time, topping the list at 127 hours a week. It's followed by Rhode Island with 126.52 hours of free time per week and Montana at 126.42.

All that time off the clock does come with some downsides. The average U.S. salary overall is $49,577, while the average salary for the top 10 states with the most free time is $47,531. On the other end of the spectrum, people living in states with longer work hours and commute times generally take home higher paychecks. In Alaska, where residents devote the largest portion of their weeks to work with just 123 hours of free time, the average salary is $58,710. Washington, the runner-up for the most overworked state, also has a high average salary of $59,410.

Along with economic health, activities, and public safety, the amount of disposable time you get per week is just one factor to consider when looking for a new place to live. If you need help narrowing down the field, here are some of the best options in the U.S.

Each State’s Favorite Romantic Comedy of the Century

Bridesmaids (2011)
Bridesmaids (2011)
Universal Pictures

The nation might be divided when it comes to choosing between three-hour superhero blockbusters and even longer (albeit slower-moving) mob epics, but there’s one thing we can all agree on: Everybody loves a good 90-minute romantic comedy.

Having said that, states do have differing opinions about which one reigns supreme. After asking 4629 Americans to choose their favorite 21st-century movie from Rotten Tomatoes’s list of 150 best romantic comedies of all time, House Method found that a staggering 19 states love 2005’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin above all others. In second place, with 11 states, was Kristen Wiig’s oft-quoted modern classic Bridesmaids from 2011. According to those stats, we simply can’t get enough of Judd Apatow—not only did he direct and co-write The 40-Year-Old Virgin, but he also produced Bridesmaids.

favorite romantic comedies map
House Method

Apart from those two riotous romps, the votes were scattered across many other movies. 13 Going on 30 (2004) and 500 Days of Summer (2009) won four states each, and 2005’s buddy comedy Wedding Crashers came in fifth place with three states.

Amy Adams’s tour de force as a fairytale princess-to-be battling the terrors of present-day Manhattan in 2007’s Enchanted was adequately appreciated by just one state—Nebraska—and Delaware went with 2001’s Amélie, a movie almost as hard to describe as Delaware itself.

Certain quintessential flicks are surprisingly scarce on the map. Only Montana chose 2001’s Bridget Jones’s Diary, and 2003’s Love Actually is exalted by Hawaiians and evidently no one else.

favorite romantic comedies by state
House Method

Since the study just included movies released in 2000 or later, The-40-Year Old Virgin and the rest of the contenders didn’t have quite as much competition as they could’ve had. Meg Ryan-led classics When Harry Met Sally... (1989) and Sleepless in Seattle (1993) came out before the turn of the century, as did other top rom-coms like My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997), Say Anything (1989), and 10 Things I Hate About You (1999).

In the mood for more talk of love and laughter? Find out 40 fun facts about your favorite romantic comedies here.

[h/t House Method]

The One-Day Record Snowfalls In Each State

Greenseas/iStock via Getty Images
Greenseas/iStock via Getty Images

Long after you’ve grown out of believing in magic, every thick, whirling snowstorm still seems to have been cast upon your town by a winter warlock (or Frozen’s resident ice queen, Elsa).

It’s also pretty magical when those inches of stacked snowflakes add up to a message from your manager telling you not to come into the office. In southern states like Georgia or Florida, sometimes all it takes is a light dusting.

But even those characteristically balmy places have hosted some serious snowstorms over the years, and David Cusick for House Method crunched the numbers to find out which ones made the record books. Using data from the National Centers for Environmental Information, Cusick created a map showing the one-day record snowfall for each state.

Florida finished in last place with a scant total of 4 inches, which occurred in Santa Rosa County on March 6, 1954. About two years before that, on January 14, 1952, Colorado had a staggering 76 inches—that’s more than 3 inches per hour—a national record that’s remained unchallenged for nearly 70 years.

Made with Flourish

But other states have come close. The snowstorm that hit Colorado in 1952 wreaked almost as much havoc in California, whose record from the same day was 75 inches. And Washington saw 70 inches of snow in November 1955, beating its 52-inch record from 1935 by a full 18 inches.

Though Midwestern states have gained a reputation for harsh, snowy winters, their one-day record snowfalls are surprisingly moderate. The Illinois and Indiana records are 24 and 26 inches, respectively, both slightly lower than Ohio’s 30-inch snow day from 1901. In 1993, North Carolina bested Ohio’s record by 6 inches.

Wondering how your individual county’s record compares to the overall state one? Cusick created a map for that, too, which you can explore below.

Made with Flourish

[h/t House Method]

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