A recent article in Women in Optometry gave total numbers of women, and total numbers of optometrists, in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. It gave me the thought to calculate the total number of population per optometrist by state. It is somewhat illuminating. The column below shows that there are 4.2 times as many potential patients per optometrist in Louisiana as there are in Washington D.C. Does this mean that the best state to start a new optometric practice is Louisiana? Maybe. There are additional considerations, such as economic factors (wages, insurance reimbursements, taxes), personal considerations (family nearby, desire for a particular climate, etc.), and many other things. But if you like crawfish etouffee then you definitely should check out Louisiana!

Here are the numbers.

StateOD'sPopulationPer ODRanking
Alabama7354,863,0006,61618
Alaska145741,8945,11743
Arizona9366,931,0007,40510
Arkansas4522,988,0006,61119
California6,69939,250,0005,85926
Colorado1,0275,541,0005,39535
Connecticut5723,576,0006,25221
Delaware136952,0657,00016
Florida2,77420,610,0007,4309
Georgia1,1793,719,0003,15450
Hampshire2371,335,0005,63328
Hawaii2821,429,0005,06744
Idaho3031,683,0005,55431
Illinois2,29012,800,0005,59029
Indiana1,3156,633,0005,04445
Iowa6003,135,0005,22538
Kansas6462,907,0004,50046
Kentucky6284,437,0007,06514
Louisiana4524,682,00010,3581
Maine2471,331,0005,38936
Maryland8026,016,0007,5018
Massachusetts1,2556,812,0005,42834
Michigan1,5779,928,0006,29520
Minnesota9355,520,0005,90425
Missouri1,0316,093,0005,91024
Misssissippi3382,989,0008,8432
Montana2031,043,0005,13842
Nebraska3701,907,0005,15440
Nevada4142,940,0007,10113
New1,2498,944,0007,16112
New Mexico2562,081,0008,1296
New York2,86319,750,0006,89817
North Carolina1,20610,150,0008,4163
North Daota193757,9523,92749
Ohio2,05711,610,0005,64427
Oklahoma7543,924,0005,20439
Oregon7764,093,0005,27437
Pennsylvania2,29112,780,0005,57830
Rhode Island2051,056,0005,15141
South Carolina5984,961,0008,2965
South Dakota203865,4544,26348
Tennessee1,0886,651,0006,11323
Texas3,77427,860,0007,38211
Utah3633,051,008,4053
Vermont114624,5945,47933
Virginia1,1918,412,0007,06315
Washington1,3157,288,0005,54232
Washington DC276681,1702,46851
West Virgina2341,831,0007,8257
Wisconsin9355,779,0006,18122
Wyoming136585,5014,30547