America's Bible Belt is also the region that uses the most prescription drugs


[Read the post]


Diabetes seems like a more likely culprit than Satan. Except that that’s probably how He works, of course.


And? Sooooo??? What’s the point?


Tennessee*, perhaps, but I’ve never thought of Kentucky or W. Virginia as “Bible Belt.” I always thought of it being further south than that, and (definitely) stretching west to Dallas/Fort Worth. Other than that latter caveat, I think @silkox1’s graph more properly overlaps the Bible Belt.

*IIRC Nashville has a very high number of churches per capita, plus being the home of numerous religious publishers and the SBC’s Sunday School Board.


I was thinking there could be a correlation with states where weed is least likely to become legal in the forseeable future, but there’s only <a href=““target=”_blank”>some overlap.


I looked but didn’t see a map of retirees, which I’m thinking would also correlate to this. As one ages one typically ends up taking greater amounts of prescription drugs as well.


Not exactly your parameters but kind of close. % of pop aged +65. I thought it might be a close match as well. Nope


Wow! Thanks for finding this. I had no idea so many were clustered in the middle like that with a weird empty slice south of Michigan. It’s interesting that the South has so few retirees given the low cost of living down there and how everyone around me claims they’re moving there when they retire.


Ever seen a distribution map for prescriptions of ADHD drugs to minors?



Insert obligatory “opiate of the masses” joke!


Hasn’t the american southeast been operationally part of the ‘developing world’ for ages now?


Yeah, I could see some sort of charge of hypocrisy with regard to legal vs illegal drugs, but without knowing the breakdown of prescription types you can’t even take that kind of cheap shot.

I just find the whole premise false. It’s a subjective call, but OK, MO, NC, SC, GA, TX and KS are also in the “bible belt”, and those states are the same (or less) as a broad swath of the North, not to mention CA.

I don’t expect every BB post to be brilliant, but this is pretty pointless and lazy.


To be fair Florida, Texas, and New Mexico seems to have plenty of retirement age folk. Maybe that’s what they mean when they say they are moving south. It seems no one wants to retire in the ‘Old South’ like Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. But it looks like New Mexico has an oncoming age war where the elderly have flanked the last remaining young county and are massing to attack from the south…


Maybe someone from Florida can correct me, but I think there’s a tax reason for Florida snow birds to maintain a primary residence elsewhere.


These sorts of geographic maps are always interesting for generating exploratory hypothesis, but you have to keep in mind the potential for “ecological fallacy” (, issues with correlation vs. causation, confounding by Satan (as @silkox1 suggests), yadda yadda…


No state income tax, but plenty of sales taxes and such. I think the snowbirds go there mostly so they can wear black socks with sandals and a speedo on the beach, especially if the beach is 60 degrees or colder.


“The Bible Belt” is anywhere in the US that someone wants to make fun of, or falsely correlate with some statistic or other. It extends horizontally and/or vertically and/or diagonally according to the available data.

“The buckle of the Bible Belt” is anywhere that a teenager is from who is questioning their parents’ religion and starting to think for themselves, but in a particularly angsty way.

Both regions may extend from Florida to Maine and across to Hawaii, and occasionally include Alberta. The buckle is not necessarily located on the belt itself.



I agree. I live in WV, and while there is plenty so say about the state, I definitely wouldn’t characterize it as “bible belt.” I can remember, probably a few decades ago now, a gay couple I know that lived in the state, because it was the only state in the are that didn’t have sodomy laws on the book (not that, say, Maryland was enforcing those laws, but it was the principle ).


Somebody likes Spurious Correlations, maybe?