Numbers were much higher in the northern half of the U.S. when it came to creating or performing art, Christopher Ingraham reports for The Washington Post. In no state to the south of the dividing line at parallel 36°30' (by chance, the line that delineated the boundary between new slave and free states in the Missouri Compromise) "do a majority of people say they personally create or perform art. Conversely, in only three states above that line—Kentucky, Delaware and West Virginia—do fewer than 40 percent of residents create or perform art." All those were slave territory before the Civil War. (Post map: Percent of adults who personally performed or created art in 2014)
analysis credits this to attained levels of higher education, Ingraham writes. "The percent of state residents with a bachelor's degree or higher is positively correlated with creating artwork: in other words, more education, more art. Conversely, poverty rates are a strong negative driver of arts participation. If you're working three minimum wage jobs, you're probably not going to have a lot of time to indulge in crochet or creative writing."
"Of course, education and poverty are big drivers of each other, too," Ingraham writes. "States with more money can spend more on better education, which leads to higher wages, which leads to more education, in an ongoing virtuous cycle. Unfortunately, the reverse holds true as well."