Do you need a passport to keep up with Joneses? The answer might depend, in part, on where you live. C. G. P. Grey, a professional time management coach currently living in London, used data from the government website Data.gov to come up with an infographic that shows what percentage of people in each state have a valid US passport.
New Jersey, Delaware, Alaska, Massachusetts, New York and California have the most well-traveled residents. Out of these states, New Jersey wins the passport race: 68.36% of its residents have a US passport.
The state with the lowest percentage is Mississippi, where only 19.86% of the residents have passports.
Travel blog Gadling noted that, oddly enough, Grey’s data suggest that at least 45% of Americans have a passport. That’s a significantly larger percentage than the 30% reported by CNN and other news outlets last month. Re-reading the CNN article, I’m not able to determine where they got that number. They reference a report from the US Department of Commerce, but it doesn’t mention the percentage of Americans with passports. So, I’m wondering if Grey’s numbers might be more accurate.
If you don’t have a passport, it’s a good idea to apply for one before you need it. They’re good for 10 years, and it makes planning an international trip much easier if you don’t have to worry about getting your passport in time. At the moment, normal passport processing takes about 6 weeks, though if the government shuts down again this could increase. An additional $60 will get you expedited processing, but you should allow at least 3 weeks even for that.
If you need your US passport sooner, don’t worry: there are ways that you can get one in time! Citizens who need a US passport for travel in 14 days are less are eligible to make an appointment at one of twenty-two regional passport agency offices in the US; or skip the lines and the hassle and use a private passport expediting company like RushMyPassport.