Politics

Map Shows What Your State Googled More Than Any Other in 2016

"I love asking questions," Larry King once said, and the famed television host is not alone in his search for answers. In the last year millions of people searched Google for answers to everything, and some have played with the data to reveal what was perplexing people the most in each part of the United States.

After a deep dive into Google trends data, real-estate company Estately revealed what each state Googled more than others in a fascinating map.

Here's what each state is Googling:

Map of What States are googling most

Death trended across the country.

skull

Even in a culturally divided America, people across the country have at least one shared interest: dead famous people. Searches related to the passings of David Bowie, Prince, Gene Wilder, and other public figures popped up in states from Vermont and New Hampshire to Alabama and Kentucky. Tennessee, for its part, searched "Mr. T dead" en masse after rumors circulated that the actor kicked the bucket. For what it's worth, Mr. T is still with us; the hoax was only one of countless fake news stories popularized during the year.

Who looked up LGBT issues.

In North Carolina, people sought information on transgender rights. Unfortunately, the trend sheds light on the state's unsettling voter suppression efforts and anti-LGBT legislation. Kansas, where "LGBT" was most searched, also passed an extreme anti-LGBT law.

It's no surprise that the 2016 presidential election made their way into many search bars.

Words and phrases related to the election piqued interest across the country. "Donald Trump" was searched for more than anywhere in New Jersey, a state Hillary Clinton won easily. Connecticut and Georgia both looked up a letter from FBI Director James Comey suggesting he might reopen an investigation into Cllinton's use of a private server for emails. Georgia, momentarily considered a toss-up that could go to Clinton, ultimately went for Trump by similar margins to those Mitt Romney won it by in 2012. It's impossible to know the actual influence of Comey's letter on Clinton's loss, coming on the eve of the election, but Georgia ended up being one of the states she lost by a larger margin than pollsters anticipated.

donald-trump

Many political searches referenced scandals and controversies that began on social media.

Iowans were the most interested in the "Pepe meme," a once politically neutral cartoon frog that became associated with Nazism during the election. Typically a battleground state, Trump was the first Republican to win Iowa since 1988.

The frog was addressed in a September explainer on white supremacists published by the Clinton campaign and made it into the Anti-Defamation League's database of hate symbols. When you stop and think about it, it's really been an odd year.

election-frog-memes

Alaska was most curious about the fake "Pizzagate" conspiracy positing that Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, whose emails were released by WikiLeaks, was sending covert messages about a human trafficking ring tied to a pizzeria in Washington, DC. Trump won Alaska, a historically deep red state. WikiLeaks and Breitbart News — a fringe far-right website with a section dedicated to “Black Crime”awhose former chief is now Trump's to political advisor — also were popular search queries in Alaska.

It's not a particularly uplifting picture of the year, these searches, and no one is ready for 2017 more than Californians: "2016 worst year ever?" they searched more than anyone else.