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Here’s What Yelpers Search for in Red States vs. Blue States



You come to Yelp to search for things to eat, spas to relax in, doctors to visit, or mechanics to call. But have you ever wondered what these searches look like on a larger scale? With the presidential debates heating up, we decided to take a look at how search trends in red states and blue states compare to one another. The results may (or may not) surprise you.

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For this comparison, we examined a year’s worth of Yelp search data (from July 2015 through July 2016), and looked at how likely it was for a given search to be in a certain category. We did this for red states and blue states separately, and defined red states and blue states based on which states voted for which presidential candidate in 2012.

The findings are pretty entertaining. For example, a Yelp search in a blue state is 6 times more likely to be for a Smog Check Station than a Yelp search in a red state. And a Yelp search in a red state is 3 times more likely to be for a Country Dance Hall than a Yelp search in a blue state. Here are some of our other favorite findings:

Food & Nightlife Categories

Searches in Blue States were…

  • 4.8 times more likely to be for Udon
  • 4.5 times more likely to be for Burmese and Shanghainese restaurants
  • 3.8 times more likely to be for Hawaiian restaurants
  • 3.2 times more likely to be for Armenian and Filipino restaurants
  • 2.7 times more likely to be for Kosher restaurants and Falafel

Searches in Red States were…

  • 3.3 and 3.2 times more likely to be for Tex Mex and Southern Food, respectively
  • 3 times more likely to be for Cajun restaurants
  • 2.3 times more likely to be for BBQ restaurants
  • 1.9 times more likely to be for Distilleries and Czech restaurants
  • 1.7 times more likely to be for Chicken Shops
  • 1.6 times more likely to be for Syrian

Non-Food Categories

Searches in Blue States were…

  • 7.6 times more likely to be for Cannabis Clinics
  • 6 times more likely to be for Smog Check Stations
  • 4.7 and 4.5 times more likely to be for Beaches and Surfing, respectively
  • 2.9 times more likely to be for Currency Exchange
  • 2.8 times more likely to be for Parenting Classes
  • 2.7 times more likely to be for Recycling Centers and Erotic Massage
  • 2.7 times more likely to be for Nursing Schools and Bartending Schools
  • 2.6 times more likely to be for Fertility Doctors
  • 2.5 times more likely to be for Wine Tours
  • 2.4 times more likely to be for Test Prep services

Searches in Red States were…

  • 3 times more likely to be for Country Dance Halls
  • 1.9 times more likely to be for Pawn Shops
  • 1.8 times more likely to be for Tubing, Rest Stops and Walking Tours
  • 1.7 times more likely to be for Antique Stores
  • 1.6 times more likely to be for Airports and Popcorn Stores
  • 1.5 times more likely to be for Bingo Halls and RV Parks
  • 1.5 times more likely to be for Pool Cleaners and Pet Sitting
  • 1.4 times more likely to be for Religious Organizations
  • 1.3 times more likely to be for Blood Donation Centers and Nonprofits

Searches in red states tend to be for larger, more established categories (restaurants, nightlife, etc.) and are less likely to be for smaller, more niche categories. This explains why the multipliers are larger for blue states than red states.

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