Angry coworkers.

Being Hangry Is Awfully Common in These 10 States

Your meeting runs past lunchtime. Your know-it-all coworker continues with their monologue, and after two more minutes, you snap at them.

Being hangry happens to the best of us. But according to a Zippia study, residents in certain states may be more predisposed to it than others.

Do you live in one of the hangriest states in America?

What Is Hangry?

Man looking into an empty refridgerator.
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Hangry is a newer word that stems from “hunger” and “angry.” It happens when an otherwise good-natured person lashes out irrationally over something that normally wouldn’t bother them. The culprit? Hunger.

Ranking Hangry Behavior

Woman in a library.
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Zippia set out on the challenging task of determining the top ten hangriest states in America. They ranked states according to the following metrics:

  • Number of Walmarts
  • Number of fast food stores per capita
  • “Hanger” Google search volume
  • Percent of people with diabetes
  • Worst break laws (fewer/shorter breaks equate to less time to eat)

1: Maine

A lighthouse in Portland, Maine.
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Maine takes the cake as being the hangriest state in America. The Pine Tree State has a low 3.1 fast food joints per 10,000 residents and a double-digit percentage of people with diabetes, offsetting the state’s otherwise well-off lunch break laws.

2: Mississippi

Mississippi River in the fall.
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Mississippi is home to 86 Walmarts, offering many hungry residents access to cheap food. The problem? There aren’t any laws in Mississippi requiring businesses to give their employees lunch breaks. Now that’s a recipe for being hangry.

3: Alaska

Old colorful buildings in Juneau.
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Alaska is a bad state to be hungry. It only has nine Walmarts and a low 2.6 fast food joints per 10,000 residents, meaning it’s harder for many Alaskans to down a meal quickly when hunger strikes. To make things worse, break laws in Alaska only apply to people under 18; break protections don’t exist for people 18 years and older.

4: Vermont

A view of the Montpelier skyline.
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Vermont has a measly 1.9 fast food joints per 10,000 residents and only six Walmarts, providing few options for a quick and cheap bite to eat when people are hungry. The Green Mountain State’s break laws are also ambiguous, stating that employees must give their employees “reasonable opportunity” to take a break and eat.

5: South Dakota

Road through countryside in South Dakota.
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A diabetes rate of 10.6% doesn’t bode well for South Dakota and how hangry its residents may become. The Mount Rushmore State also doesn’t have break laws for employees, even for those who are underage.

6: Idaho

Waterfall in Idaho.
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Hungry Idahoans have few options to appease their hangry feelings; the state only has 27 Walmarts and 3.8 fast food joints per 10,000 residents. With 10.3% of people 18 years and older having diabetes, hangry behaviors are even more likely to run wild.

7: West Virginia

A bridge in West Virginia.
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West Virginia looks relatively better on the fast food availability front, boasting 44 Walmarts and 5.3 fast food joints per 10,000 residents. But 15.7% of West Virginians 18 years and older have diabetes, which can increase hungry feelings. Thus, it’s one of the states with the greatest percentage of residents predisposed to being hangry in the US.

8: Oregon

A view of Heceta Head Light in Oregon.
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Oregon has a high Google search volume for “hanger,” suggesting that it’s something Oregonians are trying to understand or combat. The Beaver State also has only 3.6 fast food joints per 10,000 residents.

9: Montana

Yellow wildflowers in a field.
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Montana’s lack of break laws is prime hangry territory. The Treasure State only has 16 Walmarts, though its relatively low 7.6% rate of diabetes among grownups helps it avoid ranking higher on this list.

10: Rhode Island

A lighthouse in Rhode Island.
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Rhode Island makes the unwanted cut for the top ten hangriest states in the US. Over one in ten Rhode Islanders 18 years and older have diabetes, and residents only have access to 2.5 fast food joints per 10,000 people.

The Diabetes Connection

Taking blood sugar test.
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Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is a condition that can happen to people with diabetes from taking blood sugar-lowering medicine. The extreme hunger and irritability that characterize being hangry are common symptoms of hypoglycemia.

What’s Up With Walmart?

Grocery store aisle.
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Zippia chose to include Walmart as a metric in its rankings because the mega-retailer offers residents access to lots of cheap food.

Drumroll for the Least Hangry State

Farm in Illinois.
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Illinois is the least hangry state in the US. So, head to the Prairie State if you want to surround yourself with the most even-keeled Americans.

Runners Up

Live oak trees in Savannah, Georgia.
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Georgia, Missouri, and North Carolina are also states with few hangry residents, ranking in 49th, 48th, and 47th place, respectively.

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The World’s 21 Priciest Food Items

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