The Walking Debt: Top States To Survive The Zombie Apocalypse And How Much Real Estate Would Cost You There

According to some politicians, we have a lot to be afraid of. But have your planned for this?

By Annette Barlow October 20, 2016
Photo courtesy of the AMC

It’s official: binge-watching TV shows could actually save your life. As everyone knows, television is the fount of all knowledge. And, putting your hypothetical knowledge gleaned from niche genre could be your saving grace should hordes of mindless, blood-thirsty savages take to the streets in search of corporeal vengeance. No, we’re not talking about Trump supporters come November—we’re talking the zombie apocalypse.

Related: Nifty Shades of Grey: Rob Zombie Opens The Doors To His Moody Midcentury Mansion

Helpfully—and some might argue in a delightfully timely fashion—Estately Real Estate Search has mapped out which US states are most and least likely to survive should the gore of The Walking Dead ever manifest in real life. The free real estate search service ranked each state from 1-50 on based on five criteria, then averaged out the results to form a handy winners table.

Photo courtesy of the AMC
Photo courtesy of the AMC

Unsurprisingly, Alaska tops the board, while New York state ranks a lowly 50. Surprised? Well, Estately were pretty darned thorough with their research, taking into account key factors that indicate whether or not each state has what it takes to survive a raising of the army of the dead.

First, the fewest people per square mile was calculated, because, of course, densely populated urban areas would be like an all-you-can-eat buffet for the cerebrally challenged dimwits. Rural areas—as Rick Grimes and co. have shown us—are far safer. Then the gun ownership of each state was calculated per capita, because shooting zombies in the head is the most effective way to stop them in their tracks. Unless you’re Michonne, and then you’re pretty infallible regardless of weapon. When the dark days come, bet NY is going to be pretty ticked off by that Safe Act after all.

Then the percentage of people who are cremated was taken into account, alongside the percentage of the population who are physically active (running would be a key skill), and finally the residential interest in zombie-related media was assessed. You read the graphic novels and you watched the TV shows? You’re far better equipped than your Friends-loving neighbor.

Alaska, with its vast rural areas and gun-toting, mountain-climbing hunters, is a pretty safe bet, while similarly vast Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota fare pretty well. If you’re living in New York state, you’re basically screwed—unless you live in Buffalo. New Jerseyites, Virginians, Marylanders and Rhode Islanders would also be up the creek without the proverbial paddle. And how would Georgia of Walking Dead fame fare? Pretty terrible, in fact: it ranks 41st. Which explains why Rick and the gang are experiencing so many troubles.

So, all you East-Coasters looking to make a move to safer climbs will also be thrilled to know that there’s a direct correlation between zombie-proof states and the price of real estate. Swap that $586,400 average home price in NY for a $266,800 price in Alaska! Sick of New Jersey’s $292,900 median home price? Why not grab a pad in Idaho, for a mere $177,400? In fact, the top five states on the table beat the bottom five states in average home price across the board, the former all coming in at under $200,000 (with the exception of Alaska), while the latter group boasts an average price of over $230,000.

And if surviving the zombie apocalypse AND saving some cash isn’t an incentive to up sticks and head to America’s hinterlands, we don’t know what is.

Annette Barlow



Annette is freelance editor, sub-editor, journalist and proofreader with a fierce love of all things feminist, food and music. She is a regular fixture on the arts, culture and feature desks at The Guardian, and her words have appeared on NME, Great British Chefs, The Fly, The Line of Best Fit and Australian Times.

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