Our Smartphones, Ourselves: An Interactive Map of the New Demographics

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The United States is a diverse place. Across the nation, there is substantial variation in demographics, political views, and health. Add technology to the list of our differences. Cell-phone makers have not had the same level of success in every state. iPhones sell really well in Oregon and Louisiana, not as well in Idaho and Florida. Phones loaded with Google's Android operating system are doing great in California, but not as well in Michigan.

It's not always clear what's driving regional preferences, but this interactive map lets you see how your state stacks up.  


For best results, select one phone operating system at a time and any pair of variables.

Credit: Research by Rebecca J. Rosen. Interactive work by Daryle Maciocha.

A guide to the map:

Phone operating-system data comes from Jumptap. They show which operating system exceeded the national average by the most in each state. There are several uncoded states for which data was not available.

For the demographic data, we show 15 to 20 states at each end of the distribution for each variable. For the curious, here are the cut-off points we used:

Race (source: US Census):
Caucasian states are those with populations that are more than 80 percent white non-hispanic.
Minority states are those with populations that are less than 64 percent white non-hispanic.

Income (source: US Census):
Wealthiest states are those where median income is more than $55,000 per household.
Poorest states are those where median income is less than $45,000 per household.

Age (source: US Census):
Youngest states are those where the median age is 36.6 or younger.
Oldest states are those where the median age is 38.8 or older.

Weight (source: CDC):
Obese states are those where more than 30 percent of the population is obese.
Thin states are those where less than 25 percent of the population is obese.


Population density (source: US Census):
Dense states are those with more than 190 people per square mile.
Sparse states are those with fewer than 55 people per square mile.

The political breakdown shows the 2008 presidential elections results.


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Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

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