There was a study done that rated counties across the US as being easier or harder places to live, based on income, education, life expectancy, etc. I think it's interesting that while the liberal left coast is easy, it's a narrow stretch of ease adjacent to much harder places. And who knew the heartland of the country was so easy, relatively speaking?
What is different about the people in these easier and harder places? One way to tell is to see what they search for on Google. And what they search for is very different.
In the hardest places to live – which include large areas of Kentucky, Arkansas, Maine, New Mexico and Oregon – health problems, weight-loss diets, guns, video games and religion are all common search topics. The dark side of religion is of special interest: Antichrist has the second-highest correlation with the hardest places, and searches containing “hell” and “rapture” also make the top 10.When President Obama caught flack for saying that people suffering economic challenges turn to guns and religion.... well, he wasn't that far off.
To be clear, these aren’t the most common searches in our list of hardest places. They’re the searches with the highest correlation to our index. Searches on some topics, like Oprah Winfrey or the Super Bowl, are popular almost everywhere. The terms on these lists are relatively common subjects for web searches in one kind of place — and rarely a subject in the other.
In the easiest places to live, the Canon Elph and other digital cameras dominate the top of the correlation list. Apparently, people in places where life seems good, including Nebraska, Iowa, Wyoming and much of the large metropolitan areas of the Northeast and West Coast, want to record their lives in images.
Oh, and all those numbers on the easy list? They are probably camera models. Who knew?
(And DOG benedryl is in the top 10 in the harder places?)
Here at FoJ we are fond of maps. See more of our map posts here.