This Map Shows the Most Popular Emojis in Every State

February 14th 2016

Lucy Tiven

Americans love emoji. While some of us go for the kooky eggplant, others chose to express themselves with favorite animals and food items. A new study conducted by the online home improvement service, ImproveNet found that our favorite emoji aren't just anachronistic personal preferences, and have a lot to do with where with we live.

Here's how emoji usage maps out. 🇺🇸

The Big Winners

From the amber waves of grain to our purple mountain majesties, the "face with tears of joy" is by far the most popular emoji across the country, 😂 comprised 17 percent of emojis used in the U.S. in 2015. 🏆 There are a few states that favored others: California and Colorado seemed to be feeling the love (maybe it's all the legal weed?), as is South Dakota and some of the East Coast. Hawaii, naturally, is keeping things tropical with the palm tree.

Emoji Map

How We Feel

When it comes to emoji, Washington, D.C. emotes quite a lot in their tweets. D.C. leads the pack on both happy and angry emoji, and comes in second in terms of sadness. Montana, the state with the saddest emoji users, also has a particularly high suicide rate.

Emoji Feelings Map

Sexy Emoji

South Dakota's emoji use indicates that love is in the air in the prairies. Despite D.C.'s emotionally-charged emoji usage, the district doesn't seem to be 'in the mood.' LGBT emoji were most popular in the North East, and more surprisingly, in North Dakota. The state of North Dakota has not historically been open about LGBT rights and experiences, but recently the state's Democratic party has worked to create two statewide youth organizations that focus on LGBT rights among other issues such as health care and education.

Emoji Map

Drugs, Booze, Cash and Fire Arms

When it comes to emoji of vice, the study's findings are particularly interesting. Vermont may feel the Bern, but its Twitter users have cash on the brain. It makes sense that Nevada is most fond of gambling emoji, and that Oklahoma, a state with virtually no gun laws, is fond of Tweeting the gun. But Maine's affection for the pill emoji reveals a disturbing reality in the state's city of Portland, where overdose rates are on the rise.

Vices Emoji

Americans sure love getting drunk, but what we're sipping varies by state and region. It's no surprise that beer dominates the Midwest and that Californians wine country residents are tweeting vino emoji, but what's up with those martinis in Nevada?

Emoji States

Race and Skin Tone

In 2015, Apple emoji introduced features that allowed users to modify the skin color of emoji based on the Fitzpatrick scale. The most popular skin tone in the study was Type III, light brown skin. In the southern states of North Carolina, Georgia, and Louisiana, type V, dark brown skin, was used most commonly while Alaska and Rhode Island emote paler people.

Emoji Map Race

The study traced emoji usage between July and October 2015, and looked at approximately 2.5 million tweets from across the country that mentioned a location and used an emoji.

You can read the full report on ImproveNet. 📖