Which States Are Home to the Grumpiest and Happiest Travelers? from Which States Are Home to the Grumpiest and Happiest Travelers?
Which States Are Home to the Grumpiest and Happiest Travelers?
It’s human nature to form opinions concerning the nature and disposition of tourists according to where they call home. RewardExpert set out to answer the question: Which state’s residents are the grumpiest when traveling? It analyzed a data set of over 875,000 user reviews to determine which state’s residents are the grumpiest while they are traveling. The hard data also includes user reviews of a total of 4,333 hotels that comprise of both the reviewer’s location and a numerical rating.
Grumpiest: Washington, D.C.
The nation's capital takes first place as the home of the grumpiest tourists nation-wide. While its license plates may read “taxation without representation,” D.C. is the most over-represented in the set of negative hotel reviews, with 882 more than we estimated based on its 0.2%share of the population. D.C. also has the second lowest average hotel rating, with 14.25% of all reviews being one- or two-star.
Second to D.C. in crankiness are tourists hailing from the state of Colorado, who are distinguished by having the lowest average hotel rating in the country (3.82 on a five-point scale out of 4696 reviews). Coloradans ranked third in terms of the total percentage of reviews that were negative, and came in sixth for the number of negative reviews over the number expected based on its population share.
Coming in at number 3 on the list is Oregon. With 14.98% negative reviews, 33% more negative reviews than expected, and an average rating of 3.88, Oregon ranked consistently high on all three indicators that were evaluated. The Left Coast as a whole is home to a sizable number of disgruntled travelers.
With the third highest excess negative review rate of 44.47% over the number expected based on its 12.15% share of the population and the total number of reviews in the data set, California only comes in fourth due to its lower scores on our other two metrics. With “only” 14.40% of the 42,111 reviews by Californians were negative, with the average review modestly higher than D.C., Oregon & Colorado, at 3.91, California ranks seventh and sixth by these measures.
Barely edged out by California, Arizona is 5th in the nation for less-than-happy tourists. While Arizona’s 14.81% grumpy reviews beats California (and Nevada as well) for number 5 on this metric, its average review rating of 3.93 (8th) and its 281 excess 1 and 2-star reviews (4th with 39.37% of an expected 755) keep its composite ranking below that of California.
While Nevada is only modestly over-represented in the excess negative reviews category (ranked 11th), it comes in at number six due to its relatively high percentage of poor reviews (14.78% grumpy of 2,509 total reviews; ranked sixth) and an average review of 3.89 (lower than both California and Arizona, ranked fifth).
Despite middling marks for average hotel review (3.97) and negative reviews proportionate to the number of reviews in the data set (12.65% of 10,769 reviews), Massachusetts ranked second in number of one- and two-star reviews over and above the number expected by population (a whopping 1,362 grumpy reviews, as opposed to the 742 expected).
Ranked eighth in the country for discontent travelers is Washington State, with an average hotel rating of 3.93 over 7,575 reviews (9th), a 13.31% negative review rate (13th), and 28% more negative reviews than expected.
Grumpiest: New York
Unsurprisingly, New York makes the top ten. Yet some may be surprised that the Empire State comes in at a perhaps unexpectedly low number nine. New York is modestly overrepresented in the data set, with the eighth most one- and two-star reviews over the baseline expected for its population share (6.11% of the total US population), and an average rating of 3.97.
Last on the list, but not the least grumpy – at least on one metric – is Kentucky. With one of the highest average hotel ratings of 4.09 (eighth highest), and fewer total one- and two-star reviews than expected in the data set proportional to population (ranked 23rd), it is on the strength of sheer crankiness that Kentucky appears at number 10. With fully 19.10% of the 2,047 reviews in our data set, Kentuckians rank first on this metric.
Louisiana earned its place at the top on the strength of its highest national average hotel rating of 4.18. Louisiana sealed the deal with its low number of negative reviews authored by its residents, both in proportion to its population share and the total number of reviews authored by Louisianans in the data set – both of which ranked 44th nationwide.
With the second highest average rating (4.125), the fourth lowest percentage of negative reviews in the data set (9.84%), and the second lowest rate of negative reviews than expected, Mississippians appear to be quite content when away from home.
Happiest: New Hampshire
Tourists from New Hampshire come in third on the list, primarily on the strength of their lowest national rate of one- and two-star reviews in the data set we analyzed (8.76%), supported by their sixth highest average hotel rating (4.095). While there were fewer negative reviews than expected for New Hampshire’s population, the state was in the middle of the pack on this metric.
Delaware comes in closely behind New Hampshire as number 4. Travelers who call Delaware home have the second lowest rate of negative reviews, and rank third on average hotel ratings (4.099). Again, like New Hampshire, Delaware was only modestly underrepresented in terms of expected negative reviews.
As with their northerly rivals, Minnesotans, Iowans are known for their “nice” temperament. The data bears out this tidbit of cultural-geographic knowledge: Iowa ranks fifth on two metrics (average review numerical rating, and fewest negative reviews vs. population-expected), and sixth on the third, with only 9.98% of Iowans’ reviews being one- or two-star, versus the national average of 12.64%.
Like Louisiana and Mississippi, Alabama performed consistently on all three metrics, ranking fourth in average hotel review rating, third in fewest negative reviews as compared to what is projected for its population, and eighth lowest percentage of reviews from state residents that were negative.
Happiest: North Dakota
At number seven, North Dakota makes the top ten on the merits of its third highest average hotel rating (4.1), and its third lowest number of one- or two-star reviews as compared to the population-based estimate. North Dakota did not rank higher due to the percentage of negative reviews authored by North Dakotans being only 0.53% below the national average.
Happiest: New Jersey
While some cultural stereotypes about New Jersey don’t shine its residents in a favorable light, they glide over the fact that New Jersey is both the most highly educated and the wealthiest state in the country (as well as the most densely populated). Tourists who call New Jersey home are among the most content, with the third lowest rate of negative hotel reviews, nearly 3% below the national average of 12.64% at 9.75%, and an average rating that ranks in the top ten, nationwide.
Coming in at number nine is the state of Wisconsin. On the measure of negative reviews relative to all reviews by its inhabitants, Wisconsin ranks just behind its neighbor to the southwest, Iowa, at sixth least grumpy (while the number of poor reviews lies closer to that which would be expected for the state’s population), and 11th highest average hotel rating, 4.066 (above the national average of 4.015).
Completing the list of states home to tourists with sunny dispositions is the Sunshine State. Edging out Wisconsin on this metric, Floridians have the ten highest average hotel review rating, 4.07. There were 657 fewer one- or two-star reviews than the 2,246 we expected to find in a data set of this size, based on Florida’s 6.38% proportion of the total U.S. population. Only 10.87% of reviews by Floridians were negative, well below the national average.