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August 2, 2022

Defining The "Midwest"

Andrew Van Dam (and possibly others; I can't tell if his use of the pronoun "we" means a group of people, or if it's just a royal affectation) has found a reliable way to determine the boundaries of the "midwest" and its primary characteristics! He (or they) use AirBNB listings which include descriptions and geographic locations. Great idea! It turns out Iowa is THE most midwestern state, and walleye are the most distinguishing characteristic of the midwest. Despite my 25 years in the midwest, I never encountered a walleye in any form other than occasionally hearing people mention fishing for them.

The fourth most midwestern characteristic is "Lutheran." Well, that would be Iowa again. The next religion on the list is Amish, down at the 14th spot. So I guess very few AirBNB owners would describe their property as "near the Baptist church." Other fish near the top of the list are bluegill, smallmouth and largemouth. In 10th place on the list is "supper," but probably AirBNB doesn't have the sort of data one needs to determine if "supper' refers to the midday or the evening meal.

| permalink | August 2, 2022 at 08:07 AM


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