How Well Do You Know Your State?

Digital maps in graphic file formats such as Adobe Illustrator, EPS, JPEG, and PowerPoint.

Digital maps in graphic file formats such as Adobe Illustrator, EPS,
JPEG, and PowerPoint.

Everyone has an allegiance to their home state. It’s the place you were born and raised, attended school, and made your first friends. You probably think you know all there is to know about your state, but do you really? There are a number of fun and interesting maps available that help you learn fascinating facts and trivia-night stumpers about the state you call home.

Is Your State a Dog State or Cat State?

Americans treat pets like a member of the family. For some people, pets are just as important as children, and are viewed as irreplaceable companions. With nearly 70 million dogs in American homes and roughly 50 million cats, the debate between dog and cat people centers on the value of either pet. Which do you think is better, cats or dogs?

Well, this fun map shows you just which states have more dogs and which have more cats. Any state colored in purple is dominated by dogs. The deeper the color, the greater the disparity between the number of dogs and cats. Conversely, the green states are dominated by cats, and again, the deeper the color the greater the disparity. There’s no extended explanation for the differences, but it is easy to see that the South (except Florida) is a dog stronghold, and much of that is likely thanks to the number of hunters and farm families in the area that rely on dogs for service as well as companionship.

What Do You Call Carbonated Beverages?

For many people in the United States, carbonated sodas are referred to by brand name based upon the actual product. However, there are also cultural variations that exist across the country in the language people commonly use when referring to these sweet beverages. This interesting map was created by Joshua Katz from the Department of Statistics at North Carolina State University.

The map offers insight into the different terms Americans have for carbonated beverages. The most common terms in general were narrowed down to soda, pop, coke, and soft drink. Each term was assigned a color to help map out the preferences of different regions. The results are quite interesting. By in large, a vast swath of the country from Ohio in the Midwest, through Minnesota and the Dakotas, to the Pacific Northwest refers to these beverages as pop.

The term soda is the dominant term in the Northeast and down much of the Atlantic Seaboard where the red color for soda is deep and dark, indicating widespread use of that one term. However, there are interesting pockets, such as Southeast Florida, the region around St. Louis, MO and Chicago, IL. Soda is also prevalent in California and, to a lesser degree, throughout the Southwest.

Perhaps the most interesting twist is the use of the brand name Coke to describe all carbonated beverages. Residents of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, and parts of Kentucky and northwest Florida use the term coke when asking for a carbonated beverage, whether they really want that brand or not.

Maps are more interesting than you could ever imagine when people mix creativity with interesting data to present the world to you in a different light. These maps prove that America is much different than it appears on the surface at times.

Leave a Reply