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These Heat Maps Show Where in the U.S. Your Favorite Music Is Most Popular. Surprised?

Apr 16, 2014 By Joey

Using data from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Movoto calculated the musical preferences of each region of the United States and arranged them in heat maps, showing which musical genres are most popular in each area of the lower 48 states.

Most people don’t think of Minneapolis or Seattle as having a rap scene or Las Vegas as a place that puts out country music. But they do.

There are sure to be other surprises as you peruse all 17 genres…


Regional Music Preferences 17


Regional Music Preferences 09


Regional Music Preferences 02


  1. David says:

    Sure, let’s just pool all electronic music together and treat it as one. Because Brostep and Ambient are the exact same thing.

  2. Matt says:

    How did they gather this information, some of it makes sense, but you are not going to tell me that the Chicago/Detroit metropolitan areas show up more than a mild yellow on a heat map for Rap/Hip-hop but UPSTATE New York does? Okay -_-

  3. Jane says:

    I also take umbrage with a lot of these maps. The midwest just doesn’t enjoy music, eh? I was glad to see most of the map lit up for rock & oldies, though. :)

  4. drdean says:

    there have been a lot of maps on the internet lately. see the most popular beer in every state, what each state is best known for producing, per capita maps of smoking consumption or twitter usage. just a ton of maps.
    this one has to be the stupidest, and the competition wasn’t even close. judging by the maps, there are huge swaths of the country where people are apparently deaf. conversely, it appears that folks in California and Tennessee like just about everything.
    did I mention that this is probably the stupidest bunch of maps I’ve ever seen?

    1. Irena M says:

      It’s hard not to agree with you. Some parts of the country so far never had been introduced to any music. But I must say, New Jersey listen to everything!!!!

  5. Chris says:

    As someone who does geodata analysis (as in, makes maps like these for a living), I can tell you that these are just poorly thought out maps. They seem to be showing the raw data i.e. the total number of people that have a preference for that type of music. This doesn’t give you much information. A more useful set of maps would show you the percentage of the total population in each area with each preference.

    1. Joey White says:

      I actually would have preferred something more like that too. I’d like to try to track down the raw data they used and recreate the maps. I think the series would have been better with state-based numbers and color-shading for each state rather than the heat maps that were used.

  6. Bevan says:

    This makes no sense to me. For one thing, there is no key provided, so we have no way to analyze. Then for example take Latin… it shows dark green in ny, but in miami it’s just neutral yellow. So this is poorly done, but a great concept.

  7. Anna says:

    Unbelievably inaccurate. No one in South Florida likes Latin music? Hardly anyone in THE BLUEGRASS STATE (not to mention the rest of the entire South) likes bluegrass music?

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