While it’s not for us to suggest that state boundaries are in any way arbitrary, artist Neil Freeman has re-imagined what a map of the US would look like if each and every state had an identical population count.
As Freeman explains, there’s some evidence to suggest this is a good idea:
The fundamental problem of the electoral college is that the states of the United States are too disparate in size and influence. The largest state is 66 times as populous as the smallest and has 18 times as many electoral votes. This allows for Electoral College results that don’t match the popular vote.
So he set to work:
The map began with an algorithm that grouped counties based on proximity, urban area, and commuting patterns. The algorithm was seeded with the 50 largest cities. After that, manual changes took into account compact shapes, equal populations, metro areas divided by state lines, and drainage basins. In certain areas, divisions are based on census tract lines…
The capitals of the states are existing states capitals where possible, otherwise large or central cities have been chosen. The suggested names of the new states are taken mainly from geographical features.
The result is fascinating and, perhaps, controversial, Which is something Freeman also notes:
Keep in mind that this is an art project, not a serious proposal, so take it easy with the emails about the sacred soil of Texas.