80% of Americans Live Within 20 Miles of a Starbucks

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Ah, Starbucks: You know you're in civilization when you're near one, and now, you can see just how ubiquitous it is with this map of the U.S. based on Starbucks locations by If We Assume's James R. A. Davenport

Davenport told The Atlantic Wire that he used the Starbucks-owned locations listed on Menuism.com, entered it into a real estate script created by a friend, and placed the locations by zip code. The map includes about 85 percent of all Starbucks, not including franchises. He then connected the locations with a triangulation method to create the visual above.

As you can see, the green dots representing Starbucks cluster around big cities, and with the connecting lines, the map basically looks the same as a regular old map of the U.S. Davenport, a Ph.D. student at the University of Washington, cross-referenced the locations with 2010 census data. He explains, "By counting the number of people who live within a given distance to each Starbucks, we can measure how well centered Frappuccinos are to the US citizenry. In other words: draw a 1-mile circle around every store, then add up the % of the population living within the circles. Repeat for 2, 3, 4....100 miles. What I found left my jaw hanging..." It turns out that 80 percent of people live within 20 miles of one of those dots.

"While it might seem silly to drive 20 miles for a cup of Pikes Place Roast, you would definitely drive that far to Lowe's or Costco or Ikea... and you might get thirsty while you're out!" he writes. 

Go to IfWeAssume to see more maps, charts, and analysis of Davenport's Starbucks data. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.