One of the advantages of social media is that folks with different views post their different opinions. One of the disadvantages is that those different opinions come from different – often very different – locations.
Let’s take climate change opinions for a simple example – I live just a touch south of the 49th parallel and a little over 3,000 feet above sea level. Simple facts are that raising the sea level by a couple hundred feet isn’t going to affect my place. Getting another three weeks of growing season is a positive thing for my garden. If I were living in Paramaribo, just a little north of the equator and about 6 feet above sea level, my perspective would be different. My greatest risk is wildfire – in Paramaribo even the dry season is rainy.
One of the readily available measurements of population is the percentage of foreign-born residents in a community. In San Francisco, 34.4% of the population were born outside the United States. Statewide, 26.9% of California residents were born outside the US. Here in Lincoln County, Montana 2.6% of our population are foreign born (and I suspect half of those are Canadian). It makes for a different point of view.
Race? I live in a state where most of the population is white, and the second largest group is American Indian (6.6%). Contrast that with Washington DC, where the Black population is 46.4% (compared to Montana’s 0.6%). West Virginia somehow has the lowest percentage of foreign born residents and the lowest percentage of American Indian population. Maine (94.6%) is the whitest state. I have a hunch that who your neighbors are might affect your viewpoint.
18.7% of Montana’s population is over 65 – and five states are even higher. Just 11.1% of Utah’s population is over 65. (29.5% of Utah is under 18). Who you see around you affects your perspective. More information is available at indexmundi.com
Washington DC has the nation’s highest median household income – $92,266 . . . but it is skewed by race. The median for Black households is $42,161, while the white median is $134,358. Montana’s median household income was $65,712. Mississippi came in last at $45,081.
West Virginia has the highest home ownership rate – 74.6%, while Montana’s rate is 69.7%. Home ownership rate in Washington DC is around 42.5%.
Just a few spots where we can look at how our locality affects how we perceive the universe.