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I’ve never given any thought to which state might be considered the “nerdiest,” but if pressed I may have guessed California, with Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Comic-Con International, or Massachusetts, because of MIT and Harvard. However, it turns out I would’ve been way off.
Estately, the real estate blog that recently ranked the states most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse, has now turned its attention to the nerdiest states in America, and — surprise! — Utah comes out on top. I guess that helps explain why Salt Lake Comic Con and its FanXperience spinoff pull in such large crowds.
While the zombie-survival chart was compiled using 11 metrics, ranging from U.S. Census figures to gun-ownership rates, Estately arrived at its nerd rankings through much simpler means: Facebook searches for people who list interests in any of 12 categories, including cosplay, comic books, live-action role-playing, Dungeons & Dragons, anime, Doctor Who and Harry Potter.
The Beehive State (look it up!) was No. 1 in half of those categories, leading Estately’s Ryan Nickum to conclude, “Utah is just so unbelievably nerdy it could be a Harry Potter theme park.” It was followed by Alaska (which was tops on the zombie-survival) ranking, Wyoming, Idaho and Colorado, with Kentucky, Oregon, New Mexico and West Virginia (represent!) filling out the Top 10.
There must be something in the water out West. “Rural western states are prime habitat for nerds,” Nickum writes, an observation he follows with, “States with large populations don’t tend to have high percentages of nerds.”
So which are the least-nerdy? Washington, D.C. (not a state, but included in the survey), Mississippi, New Jersey, Georgia and Alabama. Nickum notes, “The South is a virtual nerd desert, and a damn hard place to get a game of D&D going.” I guess that would make DragonCon an oasis of nerdom …
As for my initial guesses: Massachusetts came in near the bottom, at No. 44, and California at No. 35. Shows what I know.