Nerd Heaven and Hell

Where are all the nerds?

Well, not near the Atlantic or Gulf waters. Utah and Alaska are the states where you’ll find most of the nerds, if a study by house-shopping Website Estately has any validity.

According to Estately, “rural western states are prime habitat for nerds.” And, of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, my home state of Georgia ranks 48. For comparison, Frank J. lives in Idaho, the number four state on the Nerd List, and Harvey lives in Wisconsin, the number 14 state.

How do they rank the states? Here’s what they say they did:

To do this, we analyzed Facebook data for every U.S. state and the District of Columbia to determine the percentage of users who listed these 12 criteria as interests:

  1. Star Trek: The Next Generation
  2. Cosplay
  3. Harry Potter
  4. Star Wars
  5. Anime Movies
  6. Dungeons & Dragons
  7. LARPing (Live Action Role-Playing)
  8. Doctor Who
  9. Fantasy Lit
  10. Lord of the Rings
  11. Magic: The Gathering
  12. Comic Books

Now, looking at that criteria, I’m wondering if I know what a nerd really is. I’ve always thought of myself as a nerd, and, maybe for Georgia, I am. But if this is the criteria, I’m not so sure.

Star Trek Next Generation? Well, I like the original Star Trek better. Star Wars? Well, the first three movies (Episode IV, V, VI) were good. And, the sixth one (Episode III) was almost good. Almost. And, of course, I like Doctor Who, but I’m still a little new to the whole Who thing, and I’ve not seen any of the new shows (2005 and later). The rest of that stuff on the list? That’s not me. That’s not even close.

So, maybe I’m not as nerdy as I thought. Or, maybe the study if flawed.

But, let me take a couple of issues with some of the conclusions the study reached.

The South is a virtual nerd desert…

Look at the map.


It’s not exactly “the South” that is Nerd Hell. It’s all the states that touch the Gulf and Atlantic, excepting Maine (I blame Canada, which surrounds half of Maine), New Hampshire (only 13 miles of coastline, and bordering Maine), and Rhode Island (why is that even a state?). It’s the Atlantic/Gulf waters that drive Nerds away. I didn’t even get in to Doctor Who until I moved 200 miles across the state away from the Atlantic.

I was a little surprised that Georgia ranked so low (48) yet West Virginia (10) and Kentucky (7) ranked higher. Never figured Boyd Crowder was that much into Cosplay.

Looking at the map, what do you think? Is it accurate? Or is the study flawed?

Where are the nerdiest places? And what makes them that way?

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  1. I’m not sure about their list of criteria.

    Shouldn’t “smart” be one of the requirements? You have to be SMART to be a nerd. Is there such thing as the Anti-Nerd? Perhaps that type prefers a warmer climate.

    I like to dress up. For Halloween. That’s not cosplay, right?


  2. Mountain View, California, where I used to live, is the nerdiest place in the world. What makes it that way is that it is home to Google’s headquarters; as a result, Mountain View is filled with Google employees. Actually, even before Google was much of a presence there, Mountain View was nerd heaven. I once had a need for somebody to get internet connectivity for somebody visiting me who had a computer that displayed only in Chinese. I found three people in the fifty-eight unit condominium development where I lived who were capable of helping.


  3. Computer nerd can open a terminal window, telnet into a pop or smtp server, read, compose and send email, all without referring to any documentation for the protocols.

    A movie nerd finds that almost everything he says, or hears someone else say, is a line from a movie, which adds quite a bit of spice to the preacher’s sermons.

    A sci-fi nerd can quote both sentences of Tuli Kuferberg;s the original short story ‘Cinemagicians’ by heart. (Not the movie or longer novel.)

    An STTNG nerd known that the holo-deck will be the last thing the human race will ever create. Ever. And humans will become extinct within a generation.


  4. I’m in IL, but spitting distance to WI. I’ll testify to the veracity of this. D&D MTG and Doctor Who is enough for us to stay entertained for the rest of our lives. Not Harry Potter though. To heck with that kid.



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