The more I learn about the US, the more it strikes me how badly the state borders reflect the real political, economic, physical or cultural boundaries.
For instance, the New York metropolitan area covers parts of New York State, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, while these states all contains bits of different metropolitan areas.
Given the American Constitution, it’s extremely unlikely the map of the US will ever be completely redrawn (the current states would all have to agree, which just won’t happen), but I still think it’s interesting to contemplate how the US would look if state borders were redrawn based on some more obvious criteria. I’ve found a few on the net:
- This one reduces the number of states to 38. It looks like a fairly well-designed proposal, although many of the proposed names are awful. It does appear, though, that the author has prioritised states with similar areas rather than similar population sizes.
- This one, on the other hand, creates states with similar population sizes. This means that some metropolitan areas are cut into pieces, but I quite like the rest of it. (To be fair, it’s not really designed to create new states, just new electoral regions.)
- Finally, this one claims to be based on research asking people what major town influences their area. This sounds good, but the resulting map looks messy.