No matter what state you live in the U.S., you’re never a far drive from a fast-food restaurant. In fact, in the lower 48, you can never be more than 107 miles away from the nearest McDonald’s, meaning that no motorist is ever more than a tank of gas away from filling up on Big Macs and fries. But residents of some states have a lot more options than others.

If you live in Alabama, you can’t go far without running into a few. The southern state comes in first, with the most fast-food restaurants per capita. There are 6.3 restaurants for every 10,000 Alabamians, according to a recent report from Datafiniti, a web data company.

Nebraska comes in second with 5.4 restaurants per 10,000 residents. West Virginia and Oklahoma tie for third with 5.3 locations per 10,000 residents.

Vermont turned up as having the least available fast-food options with just 1.9 restaurants per 10,000 residents. New Jersey, New York, and Mississippi all have 2.1 restaurants or less per 10,000 residents.

states with the most fast food restaurantsDataFiniti
States with the most fast food restaurants.

Surprisingly, Alabama, the top placer, and Mississippi, a bottom 10 state, are wildly different in this area despite the fact the two states share a border.

Looking at greater regions of the country, the central states and southern states have the highest number of fast-food restaurants. The eastern states have the fewest.

The report broke it down further for us, and looked at the numbers per city. Orlando, Cincinnati and Las Vegas take the top three spots, while New York City has the smallest number of fast-food joints per person, no doubt because of the high population and large number of restaurant options overall.

And in all of the states, which restaurants are you most likely to find? Subway and McDonald’s, with Burger King coming in a distant third.

So take that news as you like — good or bad. Just remember, to check the calories and know what you’re getting into before you order!


Also see, In-N-Out Burger voted America’s favorite fast-food restaurant.


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Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.