## Occupational Deaths and Political PartiesL. David Roper (E-mail: roperld@vt.edu)

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(Go to data table at bottom.)

The occupational-death rate (number/1000) varies greatly among the states in the United States. (See table at end for 1996 rates.)

An interesting question to ask is: Is there any correlation between the occupational-death rate and the strength of the two political parties in the states?

I compared different state's occupational-death rate (ODR) data for 1996 with the results of the 1996 presidential election for each state. (See table at end for votes in the 1996 election.) A correlation calculation yielded the following:

 Correlation Rate Democrat vote -0.624 Republican vote +0.528

That is, the Democratic votes for the states had a 62% negative correlation with increasing ODR and the Republican votes had a 53% positive correlation. States with high occupational-death rate vote more Republican than Democratic and vice versa.

 This is a plot of the occupational-death rate (ODR) sorted by rank of the states compared to the Democratic votes and the Republican votes. (See table at end for the data.) Also shown are linear fits to the two votes. This shows visually the positive correlation of ODR with the Republican vote and the negative correlation of ODR with the Democratic vote. The lowest sixteen states are definitely Democratic and the highest eight states are definitely Republican.

What can one conclude from these results? Whatever factors cause the large disparity for occupational-death rates between the various states also cause those states to tend to vote Republican. I believe that the main factors are:

• Capitalism rules: Companies should not have to worry too much about the lifes of their workers.
• Minimum government: Government is to stay out of the lives of people, including regulating industry.
• Low taxes: Keep the taxes as low as possible, leaving little to pay to monitor industry.

My Republican native state, Oklahoma (rate=59.3), ranked 48 of 50 and my Republican adopted state, Virginia (rate=19.2), ranked 17 of 50 for increasing occupational-death rate in 1997-8.

 U.S. occupational injury deaths 1996 election State Deaths Population Deaths/Million Democrat Republican Rank Connecticut 32 3282031 9.8 52.8% 34.7% 1 New Hampshire 12 1201134 10.0 49.6% 39.6% 2 Rhode Island 10 990819 10.1 59.7% 26.8% 3 Massachusetts 65 6175169 10.5 61.5% 28.1% 4 Maine 18 1253040 14.4 51.6% 30.8% 5 New Jersey 118 8143412 14.5 53.7% 35.9% 6 Michigan 149 9863775 15.1 51.7% 38.5% 7 Delaware 12 753538 15.9 51.8% 36.6% 8 Ohio 186 11256654 16.5 47.4% 41.0% 9 New York 302 18196601 16.6 58.3% 30.0% 10 Maryland 86 5171634 16.6 54.3% 38.3% 11 Minnesota 84 4775508 17.6 51.1% 35.0% 12 Arizona 86 4778332 18.0 46.5% 44.3% 13 California 614 33145121 18.5 51.1% 38.2% 14 Iowa 54 2869413 18.8 50.3% 39.9% 15 Washington 109 5756361 18.9 49.8% 37.3% 16 Virginia 132 6872912 19.2 45.1% 47.1% 17 Pennsylvania 233 11994016 19.4 49.2% 40.0% 18 Hawaii 24 1185497 20.2 56.9% 31.6% 19 Illinois 249 12128370 20.5 54.3% 36.8% 20 Oregon 73 3316154 22.0 47.2% 39.1% 21 Wisconsin 117 5250446 22.3 48.8% 38.5% 22 Missouri 125 5468338 22.9 47.5% 41.2% 23 Texas 475 20044141 23.7 43.8% 48.8% 24 Utah 51 2129836 23.9 33.3% 54.4% 25 North Carolina 187 7650789 24.4 44.0% 48.7% 26 Florida 376 15111244 24.9 48.0% 42.3% 27 Indiana 156 5942901 26.2 41.6% 47.1% 28 South Carolina 103 3885736 26.5 44.0% 49.8% 29 Vermont 16 593740 26.9 53.4% 31.1% 30 Colorado 112 4056133 27.6 44.4% 45.8% 31 Nevada 51 1809253 28.2 43.9% 42.9% 32 Georgia 237 7788240 30.4 45.8% 47.0% 33 West Virginia 56 1806928 31.0 51.5% 36.8% 34 Louisiana 139 4372035 31.8 52.0% 39.9% 35 Nebraska 54 1666028 32.4 35.0% 53.7% 36 Tennessee 179 5483535 32.6 48.0% 45.6% 37 New Mexico 58 1739844 33.3 49.2% 41.9% 38 Alabama 150 4369862 34.3 43.2% 50.1% 39 Kentucky 140 3960825 35.3 45.8% 44.9% 40 South Dakota 26 733133 35.5 43.0% 46.5% 41 Arkansas 91 2551373 35.7 53.7% 36.8% 42 Kansas 95 2654052 35.8 36.1% 54.3% 43 Montana 34 882779 38.5 41.3% 44.1% 44 Idaho 53 1251700 42.3 33.6% 52.2% 45 North Dakota 28 633666 44.2 40.1% 46.9% 46 Mississippi 128 2768619 46.2 44.1% 49.2% 47 Oklahoma 199 3358044 59.3 40.4% 48.3% 48 Wyoming 32 479602 66.7 36.8% 49.8% 49 Alaska 78 619500 125.9 33.3% 50.8% 50