I see that Missouri is not on your list. There are a lot of good things to say about the Ozarks of Southern Missouri (and Northern Arkansas). Self reliant culture which is pro gun and private property and which respects people’s privacy. There is very low population density in many counties (such as Shannon population 8,300, Reynolds 6,700, Oregon 10,300, and Carter 5,900). Very low cost of living and a very homogeneous population (mostly Scotch-Irish). You find people from California moving to Missouri since they can live on just their Social Security there. Regards, – “Nearnorth”
JWR Replies: Your point is well taken. however, as a whole, Missouri is too populous to be recommended. It has a population of over 6 million which equates to 1448.4 per square mile. That is more than four times the population density of California, which just barely made my list. Take another look at the “Lights of the U.S.” photo maps at: www.darksky.org .
Missouri also has an increasingly intrusive government. Even if you live in a lightly populated county, you still have to contend with the state regulations. (This, BTW, is the same predicament faced by people who live in the rural counties of Colorado, eastern Oregon, eastern Washington, and northern California.) Also, consider the number of nuclear targets in the state (The following list is courtesy of Richard Fleetwood at SurvivalRing.org ):
Primary Targets: Whiteman AFB complex (Minuteman missiles, area within a line connecting Freeman, Richmond, Arrow Rock, California, Gravois Mills, Osceola, Stockton, Sheldon, Rich Hill, west to state line to Freeman again).
Secondary Targets: St. Louis, Kansas City, Fort Leonard Wood.
Tertiary Targets: Columbia, Springfield, St. Joseph.