This was on the front page of WordPress, it’s fascinating. It’s a data analysis of how people on Facebook connect, and it seems they group into some quite distinct regions.
- Stayathomia: This belt’s defining feature is how near most people are to their friends, implying they don’t move far.
- Dixie: Like Stayathomia, Dixie towns tend to have links mostly to other nearby cities rather than spanning the country.
- Greater Texas: Unlike Stayathomia, there’s a definite central city to this cluster, otherwise most towns just connect to their immediate neighbors.
- Mormonia: The only region that’s completely surrounded by another cluster, Mormonia mostly consists of Utah towns that are highly connected to each other, with an offshoot in Eastern Idaho.
- Nomadic West: The defining feature of this area is how likely even small towns are to be strongly connected to distant cities; it looks like the inhabitants have done a lot of moving around the county.
- Socalistan: LA is definitely the center of gravity for this cluster. Almost everywhere in California and Nevada has links to both LA and SF, but LA is usually first.
- Pacifica: Tightly connected to each other, it doesn’t look like Washingtonians are big travelers compared to the rest of the West, even though a lot of them claim to need a vacation.
Actually, you could probably have guessed much of boundary lines based on voting patterns. Stayathomia, Socalistan and Pacifica are all democratic party areas, whereas Dixie, Greater Texas and the Nomadic West are generally Republican.
But it just repeats the point that America is divided into some very different areas where people have very different lives and views.