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correlating google search terms with obesity, voting, and more

December 5th, 2008 · 1 Comment


Nathan over at FlowingData has stumbled upon yet another neat-o tool that’s as unscientific as it is fun to play with:

StateStats is like Google Insights but on a state level. Type in a search term and get Google search levels with correlations to certain “metrics” like obesity or support for Obama.

Since he’s a mature sort, the first search term Nathan popped into the StateStats engine was “poo,” which is apparently WAY more popular in Louisiana than anywhere else.

As always, correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation, and all these factoids should be taken with a big chunk of salt, but that doesn’t make this stuff any less interesting. Here are a few:

  • Googling “chocolate” is positively correlated with voting for Obama.
  • States that voted for Obama tend to Google “France” a lot.
  • There’s a moderate positive correlation between high suicide rates and Googling “gun.”
  • States with high obesity rates Google “God” the most.
  • Floridians Google “money” the most.
  • States that most frequently Google “incest” consume more energy, are more obese, have higher suicide rates and were more likely to vote for Bush in 2004 than other states.
  • States that frequently Google “Viagra” tend to have high rates of both illiteracy and violent crime, but not a lot of frost.
  • States that frequently Googled “Bush” didn’t tend to vote for him.
  • States that Google “sex” the most tend to have more obesity and unemployment than the U.S. average.
  • There’s a strong correlation between obesity and Googling “NASCAR.”
  • “Spam” seekers tend to live longer and are more likely to graduate from high school.
  • Frosty states Google “depression” more
  • Hawaiians hunt for “tofu” the most.

Incidentally, that map up at the top shows which states Google “Jesus” a lot (in red) or not much (in blue). Does California surprise anyone else? The one below shows who‘s been Googling “Rush Limbaugh.”


Tags: americas · curio · maps · neato · stats · usa

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Asher Vijay // Dec 12, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    Have you tried searching names? They’re very interesting! “Asher” yields only two states in red: NY and Indiana!

    It also seems that Marvel Comics get around more than D.C.

    “God” has a most unexpected distribution! Compare it to “love”!

    Nevada, Alaska, and Hawaii care about therapy less than everyone else.

    Montana has a meth problem.

    Utah has the most Beethoven fans! Oregon and Massechusetts like Haydn a lot! Only Vermont truly loves Mozart and Sibelius. :(
    Josquin: Indiana and Massechusetts: two huge music theory universities with comparatively little early music scholarship!
    New York likes Notre Dame polyphony, but California really prefers Leonin to Perotin.

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