The ZRS zombie survival study compared different regions throughout the United States. Our statistical analysis included population density, climate, topography, combat readiness, military presence, public health infrastructure, and dozens of other factors to reach a baseline conclusion.

According to our calculations, the Northeast rates worst in survivability against the undead. Eight of the top ten States in terms of population density are from that region, with New Jersey leading the pack at 1,000 people per square mile. Because a newly deceased person is an active ingredient in making a zombie, it stands to reason that the fewer people around the better your chances of staying alive.

The Northeast also has extremely low gun ownership rates, with six of the least armed States coming from that area of the country. A lot of people, and not a lot of guns, equals a potential explosion in the zombie population.

So which region proves the safest?

The middle Northwest boasts low population density and high gun ownership, with Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota and North Dakota landing in the top ten of both categories. In fact, Wyoming was rated second highest in overall survivability with just 5 people per square mile, and a gun ownership rate of almost 60%.

Alaska captured the top spot. Though it came in second in combat readiness, it boasts only 1 person per square mile.  If faced with a credible zombie threat, then we like those odds.

What do you think is the best and worst U.S. State for zombie survival?


  1. I came across this site by accident, although amusing, zombies already exist, I see them standing in line at Starbucks staring at their “smart phones”. Kidding in jest, it’s not a zombie problem you need to worry about. It’s a financial collapse or cyber failure /attack that turns the U.S. into a third world country. Every infrastructure in America is now computer controlled. Imagine no electricity, nothing will work. You will not be able to “Bug out” to anywhere, because you can’t get the gasoline out of the pump. Try living without anything electrically powered for three days, you will have a small idea of this global issue. Infrastructure will break down very quickly, within a week. If you live in the NE, eastern U.S. or south, you will not survive. Large cities will immediately fail and your neighbor will be eating your dog. Ideal survival places are Utah, Idaho, Montana or Eastern Washington state. they all have Low population mass, limited access, ideal crop growth and most important, abundant fresh water. Want to survive, Quit reading stupid stuff and educate yourself. Just my .23 cents worth (adjusted for inflation).

  2. Vestibulum regit

    I think i’m safe.
    I live in a small town called Centralia in Washington.
    I own a bow and i’m skilled, and i can shoot guns far distances and high accuracy.
    I Eagled out of Boy Scouts and i can survive years with very little living off rivers and the trees.
    And i my IQ is 210.
    And i speak multiple languages so if i had to i could go to a different country.
    And i hunt and go fishing.
    SO Centralia For The Win.

  3. You guys missed the obvious–NEVADA! I know people only think of Vegas but we live in 8 hours away in the Sierra Nevada region of Reno. 30 seconds outside my house is open desert for hours in every direction and enough guns, hunting and fishing year round for people to survive. GO RENO!

  4. what about californa

  5. Arizona! just about any one can own a gun, and conceal it.

  6. Im in Wyoming and I’m sure its going to be a good place to be. I’ve made my plans since moving here and found a cabin out in the mountains. It has fishing ponds an abundance of wildlife. and you can see a good bit off. Also nearest neighbors live 5 miles away. I’ve. been called nuts but better safe than sorry.

  7. Woo hoo! We’re in the top ten! I’m never leaving Idaho. Nope. Never.

    • I have 4 pistols with about 1000 ammunition, living outside Seattle. I can survive with my emergency situation kit and my canned food. When the outbreak occurs, simply ditch to the mountains and build a little cabin with some help with my uncle and older brother (recently married :D) that I live nearby.

      • You really need to pick up a couple rifles, brother. Pistols are used to fight your way to a rifle, or as a last resort. Anything beyond 50 yards or so and you’re SOL with your pistols. Get yourself an AR, AK, Mini-14, or the like, or better yet a bolt-action rifle in a decent caliber, like .308, .30-06, .270 WIN, etc. I want you to survive!

  8. Green Bay Packers

    Best vehicle to own would be a Toyota Hilux although we dont have any in the US. So maybe a honda there indestructible. I love Saab but they wouldnt really be useful in this situation

    • Man, those Hiluxes are absolutely indestructible. That’d be choice numero uno for me if I had to pick just one vehicle for the zombie apocalypse. Good thinkin’.

  9. Green Bay Packers

    Well i love Wissconsin Packers fans are pretty close we could make an alliance Clay Mathews would be pretty awesome. Packers fans are every where so we cant lose. Also Alaska seems like a great place for peace and quiet durring a zombie war since Alaska is Alaska

  10. Oh yeah, baby! Maybe central Oklahoma is worth it. Randomly pick a gun from my massive family hunting rifles collection, and aim for the head!

  11. i live in rural ohio, have three MARINES in the family as well as a house full of gun. everything from a 22 to a 308. rifles and since we only use shotguns for hunting more, more than a few of those. not to mention enough pistols to hand out to all our neighbors (the ones we can see or get to easily) and enough ammo, which by the way we had no problems obtaining durring the shortage. (we always have it on hand, and can make more) we have the ability and knowledge to make our own black powder, and have the muzzle loaders to use it. when we are not working, we fish, hunt and shoot. or more recently work on my JEEP or my sisters.
    our area is littered with retired military, reserve and people who have just done their time. in a small community of 14 homes (those are the ones you can see or just know their there) we have 2 retired army, 1 retired marine whose son is the local recruiter in the neighboring town. (lives with his dad), 3 sailors and ofcourse my family. we have several very small farms (less than 20 acres) in our slice of heven. only one road in and out. surrounded by dense trees and miles of farmland. the old man next door makes his own fuel, (Hes a good guy but kind of out there) and right down the center a stream feeds a 4 acre stocked pond. with some hard work and chain saws , which by the way we and everyone i know have laying around. we can turn our small country community into a decent little fortress community.

  12. But what about crime? More crime means more raiders!

  13. I think the higher elevations of the rocky mountains of colorado would work.
    I already got land up there…guns…ammo…mre’s……close by is a undergrnd stream…plenty of game. That n i got 2 cabins going up soon….

    • Hell yeah man, you’re on the right track. Just remember, it’d be near impossible to survive solo for any appreciable length of time. Surround yourself with a small group of trustworthy, like-minded friends or family, and you should have a fighting chance. Good luck, man!

  14. yeah im in south dakota i got a plan set up.. me and my friends do parkour and archory regulaly and skate board frequently we all have gun know how to fish and hunt a few ppl know cars like the back of there hand and were pretty good runners so if im being chased im running and i know my way around i could get ontop of a building before a zombie could catch up

  15. I would think anywhere that’s gets a prolonged winter like NY State , all of Canada would be survivable because of the cold winters. The zombies would just turn to mush after the cells froze then thawed. Even being inside wouldn’t help that much because as soon as the heat is off it could get pretty cold. People have frozen to death inside.

    • You actually just defeated your own argument with your last line: “People have frozen to death inside.”

      In a catastrophic zombie outbreak, with no more electricity or gas heating systems, the cold will be just as dangerous to living people as to zombies. If you die from exposure, from dehydration or from any other reason it counts just as much as if you die from being bitten by a zombie.

    • New york seldom has a real winter.
      If what you’re thinking of would work, Montana, wyoming, washington and parts of idaho would be many times better off. in most of those states people live off the grid, wood stoves, hunt, farm, have winters than get to 50 below 0 and most people will still walk around in jeans and sweatshirts, are far more familiar with surviving in the woods with little to no regular supplies.

  16. Yes, Idaho~I live right by the mountains, and even our “big cities” aren’t very big. Lots of wilderness area, wildlfe, farms, plus people here tend to be well armed… I’d say the Garden Valley or McCall would be great places. Matbe Middleton even.
    There are so many wide open places here, I know I would certainly stay here during the outbreak.

  17. New york would be a catastrophe hahah. It might be the absolute worst city to be in if there were ever any sort of dooms day. I’ll stay in central Ontario. Throw up fencing around the 2-3 acres of the house, weaving it between the tree line of our property. The only thing that I’m stumped on is fortifying the windows, since we have many on the ground floor.

  18. In New Mexico It’s nothing but solid desert, with many bunkers due to all the test labs in the southern cities.

    • WV here and if there was a zombie outbreak i wish them luck getting over the Appalachian (endless) mountains…. by the in my city we have our own artillery battalion plus we are the reason for deliverance.

  19. I would imagine my home state of Texas would be fairly safe, particularly west Texas. It’s fairly desert-like, but with lower temperatures than an actual desert. It’s pretty open, with a fairly low population density, and if there’s one stereotype about the South that Texas loves to embody, it’s that we’re a bunch of gun freaks. The portion of our population that DOES have guns usually has more than one, and of all kinds, more than enough to distribute among anyone who can shoot. Not to mention, I don’t know a single person over the age of 16 who doesn’t have a knife, and most of them know how to use them, even though I live in the ‘big city’ area of East Texas. Most everyone’s either a country boy/girl who knows how to fish, hunt, camp, etc, or living in the ghetto, with a collection of guns in their closet. So, I think once the idiot population’s been turned, the rest of us’ll be more than capable of putting them down and defending ourselves.

  20. Just wondering, but how would ZRS rank Hawaii? And give an explanation for given rank, please. Seeing how I live on the island of Maui, I already thought of numerous survival strategies in countless situations. I just want the ZRS’s opinions. =)

    • If you look at the pure statistics (population density, gun ownership rate, military presence, public health infrastructure, etc.) Hawaii ranks 40th out of the 50 U.S. States. But it’s not as simple as that.

      Because Hawaii is an island it is very difficult to rank. If the outbreak starts on the mainland and Hawaii is able to close its ports, then it may have a greater chance of surviving than many other places. By way of example, the island nation of Australia was able to keep the devastating 1919 flu pandemic out for a long time by closing its ports.

      But if the outbreak originates on the Hawaiian islands, then they could quickly turn into a deathtrap.

      So it’s a bit of a toss up.

  21. Alaska is not the best. Besides having to survive the zombies to also have to be able to survive the wilderness a bad winter in Alaska could be a slow death.

    • Not if you’re a native Alaskan. Agreed it’s not a good idea to travel there if you don’t know what you’re doing. But for people who live there and know how to survive, they have some great natural advantages.

  22. Oregon here, I have a well armed group of friends, all prepared to bug out if need be.
    One question though are tweakers prezombies ? if so we have our work cut out for us……….

  23. We’d be safe from zombies in Ohio because if any showed up, we’d elect them to high office and ship them off to Washington.

  24. I live in Canada, so the numbers are pretty low, same with the gun ownership, but we have more land than the States, so Canada is going to do good.

  25. Oregon is a pretty good candidate for survival unless you live within 50 miles of Portland. It’s all a bunch of tree huggers up there who don’t know which end of a gun is the business end. Down in the central, south, and east regions of the state, we know how to rough it in tough times.

    Bring ’em on, we’ll be ready.

  26. Yea Alaska! Faribanks Zombie Research stays vigilant.

    I am not sure why we came in second on combat vigilance- we have the FZRS chapter, at least five zombie events a year (Zombie walks, Zombie Prom, etc) as well as regular meetings, and the FZRS is pleased to announce a limited partnership with the local Zombie Tactical Response Team (ZTRT). Also, we have a lot of guns, several army bases, and everyone here knows how to hunt and survive the elements like in no other state.

    But don’t come here when the apocalypse happens- folks here will have limited supplies and may not want to share. Also- its gets really cold. Good against zombies, bad for the unprepared human.

    ~Marcus- Fairbanks chapter president (Zombie Research Society)

  27. I live in Florida, where most of our population is walking dead anyways lol. So bring it on, I’ve got my contingency plan alllll ready.

    • LoL I know what you mean

      I think all the coastal states should have the ocean advantage factored in.

      All that my family would have to do is load up the boat and drive a few minutes to the sea and wait it out – regardless of wether a zombie sinks or floats in water, the currents would pull them away and we can fish for food. The only problem would be maintaining enough fresh drinking water….

  28. If zombies are able to saunter to the plains this would actually be a great scenario because despite what some people think the plains are not flat and have a sweeping topography. Where I live in the Bad Lands – there are many areas with cliffs and steep topography. I have actually had conversations with other zombie enthusiasts about how this corner of Nebraska would be idea to survive a zombie apocalypse due to the land and because people in rural areas tend to be more versed in hunting and guns in general. Being a big dumb hick sometimes has its advantages . . .

  29. WY here. I’m good. I own a gun and live right off the mountain range.

  30. Kansas! In the middle with lots of guns! 😉

  31. What about Colorado? Decent gun ownership because of hunters/farming lands, mountains (30min drive away for me) and outside of Denver or the Springs population is fairly low. Not to mention the hug, massively fortified underground military base in the mountains…

  32. i lived in Alaska for 7 years, that place was set, abundance of wildlife, everyone owned a gun, winter lasts about 6 months, areas are secluded and can be difficult to get to certain towns, a large community of outdoors men including hunters and others with vital skills, and a lot of war veterans who know how to use guns. its perfect.

  33. Here in Wyoming we have been breeding, arming, and training zombie killers for over a hundred years. I could shoot a 2″ group at 200 yds before I could drive, and we learn to drive as soon as we can almost reach the pedals out here. good luck to everyone back east.

  34. Hawaii ftw! Though if a zombie does manage to come here then we’re trapped by miles of Ocean…… Ok so not FTW….

  35. my group when it forms this fall will hav 3 bolt action 30-06s, a bolt action .270, 2 12 gauges, 2 ak WASR-10 rifles, 1 .308 bolt action, 1 .22 bolt action, 2 rossi trifectas, 1 .45 acp, 1 9mm, 1 .357 mag revolver, and 1 .45lc revolver, 1 10/22, and also we will have in the next 2 years 1 mares leg, 2 more 12 gauges, another 10/22, and also we have a mini 14 right now. in upstate new york, welcome to the northeast

  36. by the end of summer, we will have a well armed, well geared group of varying skills, i am carpentry, my friend does metal and my gf does farming, then the skills of the others vary, one is a anestesiologist

  37. i live in california with the open sea so i could probably escape easily if the outbreak starts in the east. if not then im dead since i dont own a gun, although im pretty good with a knife if i say so myself

  38. Dr. Drew Frimon

    Not only am I armed but me and a group of other people meet once a month in Utah and make plans and gather supplies for when this happens. I own a pistol, 2 sniper rifles, and an assult rifle I probably shouldn’t own. I’m a doctor who has been studying biological diseses for the past few years, zombie out breaks one of my top research priority

  39. I think good old Pennsylvania is one of the best states to live in in case of zombie appocalypse. Especially in areas such as monroeville and pittsburgh. after all we are zombie capital of the world (look it up its a fact). zombies are such a big part of our culture that we have gone to great lengths to prepare areselves for anything . zombie appocalypse? haha bring it on

  40. It doesn’t sound like the presence of armed forces was taken into account. Don’t you think that would have an impact on survivability rates?

  41. Finally!!! I live in Utah and it’s nice to know that this state is good at something, ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE SURVIVAL!!!!

  42. Jersey will do fine, people there are tough.
    “Brains? I got ya brains right ere!”(crotch grab)

  43. Tennessee the patron state of shooting stuff! we are in the top 15 woot! and I am on the mountainous side of the state.

  44. So, where are the complete rankings? “The List” so to speak…

  45. Pennsylvania here. Here’s the thing though. All these northeastern zombies are probably gonna make their way west eventually. And out on the plains, there is little to hide. Atleast in the Rockies and Apalachian mountains, there is rough terrain.

    I suppose we were all destined to become mountain people eventually. lol

  46. im in ny we got plenty of damn guns!

    • New York ranks 6th worst in gun ownership, and 6th highest in population density, with just 18% of its citizens armed, and 354 people per square mile. That’s not to say that you wont survive, but there are 44 other States that own more guns and have less people. The numbers don’t lie!

  47. Looks like I’ll be in a tough situation, go NJ!

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