New Hampshire, Belarus: more similar than you might think!
If New Hampshire were a country, it just might be . . . Belarus. At least that’s the implication of a nifty new graphic created by Mark J. Perry, a professor of economics at the University of Michigan and a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
Perry matched each of the 50 states with the country most similar in terms of Gross Domestic Product. New Hampshire – with a GDP of $64.7 billion in 2012 – was closest to Belarus, at $63.2 billion. (California, with the largest GDP in the country was matched with Italy. At the bottom was Vermont – and its partner, Latvia.)
Turns out, New Hampshire and Belarus have more in common than simple economics. Consider:
∎ New Hampshire maintains an uneasy relationship with its southern neighbor, Massachusetts. Belarus has a complicated history with its western neighbor, Russia.
∎ New Hampshire was home to space pioneers Christa McAuliffe and Alan Shepard. Belarus is home to Petr Klimuk and Vladimir Kovalenok, celebrated Soviet-era cosmonauts.
∎ February in New Hampshire includes sled-dog racing and ice-fishing in the Lakes Region. February in Belarus includes sled-dog racing in Raubichi and ice-fishing in the Braslav Lakes.
∎ In New Hampshire, Independence Day is celebrated on July 4. In Belarus, it’s on July 3.
∎ New Hampshire is next-door to the troubled Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. Belarus is next-door to Chernobyl.
∎ New Hampshire is home to Hollywood star Adam Sandler. Belarus was the birthplace of Luis Bart Mayer, a founder of the Metro Goldwyn Mayer film studio.
∎ New Hampshire is home to Olympians Tara Mounsey (hockey), Bode Miller (skiing) and Nick Alexander (ski jumping). Belarus is home to Olympians Olga Korbut (gymnastics), Alexander Medved (wrestling) and Igor Makarov (judo).
∎ New Hampshire was home to sculptor Augustus Saint Gaudens. Belarus was home to painter Marc Chagall.
∎ Belarus has the world’s largest population of bison. New Hampshire has plenty of moose.