State Stereotypes

Andrew Sullivan —  Aug 15 2012 @ 3:40pm

Screen shot 2012-08-09 at 3.12.24 PM

by Zoë Pollock

Renee DiResta investigated them:

I started wondering, how do Americans really think about "those people" in other states? What are the most common stereotypes? For each of the fifty states and DC, I asked Google: "Why is [State] so" and let it autocomplete.

The results:

The single most common result of all was "boring," which appeared for 18 states with no particular regional concentration. Other popular terms (returned for >10 states) were "humid", "windy", "expensive", and "liberal". Strangely, Connecticut and Pennsylvania both returned "haunted"; apparently there are a lot of ghost sightings (and related walking tours). My favorite result of all was "enchanting": New Mexico is beautiful.

Update from a reader:

Stands to reason that "enchanting" came up on autofill for New Mexico:


(Hat tip: Nathan Yau)