The U.S. Map Redrawn as 50 States With Equal Population

[Map credit: Neil Freeman / See larger]

Neil Freeman redrew the state borders to get a visual sense of what it would take for the electoral college votes to match the popular vote. That is to say, for each state to be weighted evenly.

"The largest state is 66 times as populous as the smallest," Freeman explains on his site, "and has 18 times as many electoral votes."

His map is based on 2010 Census data, which records a population of 308,745,538 for the United States. Divided up among 50 states, that's a population of a little over six million people per state. The names of new states are mostly taken from geographical features.

Before you freak out about the feasibility of such a plan or whether it's a real improvement on the electoral college, Freeman notes, "this is an art project, not a serious proposal. So take it easy with the emails about the sacred soil of Texas."

See Also: The U.S. Map With Only 38 States

The Afternoon Map is a semi-regular feature in which we post maps and infographics. In the afternoon. Semi-regularly. Thanks to Neil Freeman for this one, which you can buy from his site for $35.

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Here Are the Colleges In Each State With the Best Job Placement Rates
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In a tough economic climate, kids trying to figure out where to go to college might be more concerned with their future job prospects than the on-campus party scene. This graphic from the career search site Zippia, spotted by Thrillist, provides a surprising look at the universities that boast the highest post-graduation job placement rates in each state.

Zippia looked at job placement ratings from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), a collection of surveys from the National Center for Education Statistics that any college or university that gets federal funding has to complete. (That includes private universities.) The company ranked universities based on their job placement ratings for students 10 years after graduation.

Here's what the results look like across all 50 states:

A yellow map of the U.S. labeled with the college that boasts the highest job placement rate in each state
Zippia

Some of the institutions on the list may be colleges you’ve never heard of. While prestigious universities like Vanderbilt University in Tennessee might be familiar, other entries are more obscure. The highest job placement rate for a college in Massachusetts isn’t from Harvard—it’s Endicott College, a school near Salem with about 2500 undergraduates.

These are the 10 colleges with the highest job placement rates across all 50 states, according to Zippia’s analysis. Each school has a job placement rate of more than 95 percent 10 years after graduation.

1. Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania
2. Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island
3. Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio
4. Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon
5. Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York
6. University of Sioux Falls in Sioux Falls, North Dakota
7. University of Wisconsin – Platteville in Platteville, Wisconsin
8. Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts
9. Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska
10. Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut

That said, it's not entirely clear what kind of employment is covered by this data. It's possible that some of the graduates included aren't working in their desired field 10 years on or are otherwise underemployed but still working full time. The jobs these graduates have may have nothing to do with their major or what they studied in school. And since Zippia looked at data from people who graduated 10 years ago, that means the company likely looked at 2008 graduates, who left college at the height of the recession and may not have had a lot of great job options, potentially skewing the data toward very specialized schools, like Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (the top choice in both Arizona and Florida).

The full list is below.

A list of the top colleges for job placement in each state
Zippia

[h/t Thrillist]

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Here's How Much Teachers Make in Each State
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According to the U.S. Department of Education, an average public school teacher is responsible for a class size of 16 pupils. That’s a lot of young minds to supervise, a task that requires considerable commitment, knowledge, and patience. But not all teacher positions are proving financially viable. A recent New York Times report indicated that insufficient wages in Arizona and other states have led to teacher shortages and walkouts.

To better understand educator salaries, the financial website howmuch.com compiled a series of maps that illustrate how compensation varies by state and according to the learning level of students. Data was taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here’s how the numbers compare.

A map indicates elementary school teacher salaries according to state

A map indicates middle school teacher salaries according to state

A map indicates high school teacher salaries according to state

For many states, there isn’t a large variation in wages between elementary, middle, and high school teacher salaries; for others, including Oregon, shifting from elementary to middle school can provide a nearly $8000 boost in income. There is also a tremendous shift in wages depending on region. Teachers in New York earn an average $81,613 annually, with Alaska, Connecticut, and California trailing closely behind. That’s significantly more than the national average of $49,000.

While these maps offer some intriguing insight into the financial landscape of teaching, curing shortages in some areas may not simply be a matter of raising salaries. Some critics have argued that teachers are often thrust into classrooms without proper training, leading to frustration and burnout. Fewer college students are majoring in education than in years past, down to 4.1 percent from a high of 10 percent in the 1970s.

[h/t howmuch]

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