It’s probably a good thing that the United States is, well, united. Though the average size of a US state (78,000 square miles) is larger than a huge chunk of European countries, the individual pearls of our union might not fare so well out on their own. Just look at the former U.S.S.R.
But what if they were? Which states would prosper and which would stumble without the others lifting them up?
To find out who would fare the best, we created as robust a rubric as we could, taking into account GDP, GDP per capita, location, likeability, food production, human development index, and history of independence. After assigning a weight to each of these criteria, we took each state’s raw score. One overachieving kid in the class broke the curve, so we re-curved the A+ based on the second best.