The State With The Highest Number Of McDonald's Per Capita Might Surprise You

McDonald's restaurants are ubiquitous across the United States. Since the first location opened its doors in San Bernardino, California, in 1948, the burger chain has grown exponentially. According to ThoughtCo, it now has over 38,000 locations around the globe. While the United States remains the country with the highest number of locations, the restaurant has expanded into more than 100 countries, including Canada, Hong Kong and the Virgin Islands. There is no doubt McDonald's is popular, but where exactly are they the most popular? 

According to Eat This, Not That, the state with the highest number of McDonald's per capita is West Virginia, which has around 5.8 McDonald's locations for every 100,000 people. Close behind them is Arkansas, with 5.7 restaurants per every 100,000 residents, and Kentucky, which claimed third place with around 5.6 restaurants per capita. While California has the most McDonald's restaurants overall, boasting 1,295 locations across the state, its large population actually places it near the bottom of the list.

Rhode Island has the lowest number of McDonald's per capita

In fact, thanks to the disparity in population, California and South Dakota have about the same number of McDonald's per capita, despite the fact that South Dakota has just 25 locations. Both states have around 3.3 McDonald's per 100,000 residents, according to 24/7 Wall Street.

Similarly, sparsely populated Alaska, which has only 27 locations, is somewhere around the middle of the pack, with 4.2 locations for every 100,000. On the other end of the spectrum, the state with the fewest McDonald's per capita is Rhode Island, with only 2.9 restaurants per 100,000 residents, according to 24/7 Wall Street.

While the sheer convenience of fast food is hard to beat, residents of California, West Virginia, and every other state, should be mindful that consuming too much fast food has been linked to weight gain and other health problems, like depression, heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes, according to the The Washington Post. Even eating fast food for just a few days can have negative effects on your metabolism, blood pressure, and digestion. Consuming a healthy diet is one of the most important factors for maintaining good health and longevity, and the menu at McDonald's is not likely a part of that diet. So no matter how many McDonald's you may be tempted by on your drive home, it's a good idea to keep your visits as infrequent as possible.