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New Jersey residents are the most ready for global travel, and Mississippi residents are the least. Just 15% of Mississippi residents have a passport, the lowest in the nation, while 54% of New Jersey residents hold one, more than any other state.
New Jersey residents enjoy easy access to international fights, with United Airlines’ global gateway at Newark-Liberty Airport convenient to most residents. And Northeast residents in general are among the most likely to hold passports, with New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts among the Top 5 states for passport ownership, well above the national rate of 37% of U.S. residents holding a passport. Europe and Canada aren’t far, and the islands of the Caribbean are a big draw during cold winters.
The State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs publishes annual statistics on total passports in circulation in the United States and total passports issued. We combined this with 2013 U.S. Census population estimates to calculate the % of U.S. residents who carry a passport.
For state-level data, the State Department publishes annual counts of the number of new passports issued, though it does not publish an annual count of passports in circulation by state. However, because national data is available for both passports in circulation and new passports issued by year we can extrapolate an estimate for the % of residents of each state that hold a passports.
For example, from 2007 – 2013 there were 94 million passports issued in the United States. And in 2013 there were 117 million total passports in circulation. So, 80% of passports in circulation are those that were issued from 2007 – 2013.
For each state the State Department publishes the actual number of new passports issued from 2007 – 2013. For New Jersey, 3.8 million new passports were issued during 2007 – 2013 according to the State Department data. That represents 43% of the state’s population as of 2013. Extrapolating the new passports issued to total passports in circulation based on the national data (where passports issued 2007 – 2013 are 80% of the total), we estimate there are about 4.8 million passports from New Jersey residents in circulation, or about 54% of state population.
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