The Burger King Capitals of America

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Burger King is one of the best-known fast food chains in the country. Although it is smaller than McDonald’s, a higher percentage of its restaurants are in the United States and the “Home of the Whopper” has proved to be a serious rival in the Burger Wars. (See where it ranks among the best burgers you can get at a fast food restaurant.) 

Which states have the most Burger Kings, both total and per capita? To answer that question, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data collected by NiceRx, a patient assistance program and medication access company, using numbers for total fast-food restaurants taken from the U.S. Census Bureau and tracking the nation’s ten most popular chains as determined by ScrapeHero.com. (Population figures are five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey.) We then ranked the states by their per capita Burger King population per 100,000 residents, lowest to highest. Ties were broken using the total number of Burger King restaurants in the state.

Alabama and West Virginia tied for the No. 1 spot, each with 3.5 Burger Kings per 100,000 people. They’re followed by Louisiana, with 3.4. As with McDonald’s, Burger Kings are more heavily concentrated in poorer and more rural states. Although it’s not surprising that the company has such a heavy footprint in Southern states, as it’s headquartered in Florida, it also has a strong presence in North and South Dakota (unlike McDonald’s, for some reason).   

The states with the fewest Burger Kings are Alaska and Vermont, each with 1.1 per 100,000 people, followed by California with 1.4. There’s no geographic trend evident, as these states are about as far apart from each other geographically as it’s possible to get. It’s an often-quoted fact that Vermont is the only state whose capital doesn’t have a McDonald’s, but it doesn’t have a Burger King either. Montpelier favors small businesses over big corporations, although chains have a presence nearby. (These are the most successful restaurant chains in America.)