The Variety of Entertainment Activities in US States

State Similarity Index - Culture Category - Entertainment

The State Similarity Index attempts to quantify how similar states are to each other relative to other states. The index is a statistically-based way to measure this. 20% of the index is based on culture. 10% of a state’s culture score (2% of the overall State Similarity Index score) is based on the favored entertainment activities in each state. The following paragraphs explain the different activities that were analyzed.

Sports Popularity

In the majority of states, football is the most popular sport. However, there are a few states where people are more interested in basketball, such as Indiana, Kansas, and Kentucky. These states have renowned college basketball teams, but their football teams are not as successful, leading their residents follow basketball more closely instead. Additionally, basketball enjoys greater popularity in several Northeastern states, where the sport originated. In states like California and New Jersey, there is more interest in soccer than in football, in part due to a high percentage of immigrant populations. In the past, baseball held the title of the most popular sport in the United States, but no particular region stands out as having a significantly higher preference for it over other sports. Unsurprisingly, ice hockey is much more popular in Northern states, especially in Alaska, Minnesota, and the New England region, where the climate is colder.

Most Popular Team Sports:
Football, Basketball, Soccer, Baseball, Ice Hockey

Google Trends
(search interest data over past 5 years)

Aerobic Activity

In general, residents of states in the Western portion of the United States tend to do more physical activity than the rest of the country. These states have many outdoor recreation opportunities, like hiking, biking, skiing, and surfing in their beautiful landscapes. In addition, there is a more health conscious culture in these states. However, despite being in the East, Vermont has one of the highest percentages of residents who do aerobic activity each week. In contrast, the residents of Southern states tend to do less physical activity. Oklahoma has one of the lowest percentages.

States were categorized by the percentage of adults who do significant physical activity each week:
23.2-26, 26-28.8, 28.8-31.6, 31.6-34.4, 34.4-37.2, 37.2-40

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
( Percent of adults who achieve at least 300 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or 150 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity )

Music Popularity

In the majority of states, Country is the most popular music genre. However, there are a few states where people are more interested in Hip-Hop music, such as California and New York, where two of the country’s largest cities are located. Interestingly enough, Nevada and New Jersey are the two states where Rock music is most popular. The rural states in the middle of the United States with low population diversity are more likely to have interest Country music.

Most Popular Music Genres:
Country, Rock, Hip-Hop, Pop, Jazz

Google Trends
(search interest data over past 5 years)

Television Viewership

Residents of West Virginia watch by far the most television at more than 4 hours per day. People in Mississippi and Louisiana also tend to watch a lot of TV. Higher poverty rates and limited access to other recreational activities or entertainment options contributes to higher reliance on television as a form of entertainment. Interestingly enough, residents of Utah watch the least amount of TV per day. Other states that have many outdoor activities available in beautiful landscapes also tend to watch relatively little television, including Colorado, Maine, and Alaska.

States were categorized by the amount of hours watched each day:
2:00-2:25, 2:25-2:50, 2:50-3:15, 3:15-3:40, 3:40-4:05, 4:05-4:30


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