by Cara Fuller
Family. Homes. Food on the table. The occasional $20 bucks you find in the pocket of your coat—all things to be thankful for. But what are people thankful for the most? It depends on who you ask. Thankfulness can vary from appreciating your parents to being grateful for the 24-hour Del Taco you frequent at 1 am (both of which: valid).
We wanted to find out what each state is most thankful for, so we took matters into our own hands and turned to Twitter. We sifted through tons of tweets (72,000 to be exact) to analyze what people are saying and used our unique data to find gratitude’s biggest winner. After removing words like “the,” “and,” or “to,” words like “God” and “family” came ahead as front-runners.
In total, we looked at 11,707,435 words. Here’s what we found.
“Love,” “happy,” “beautiful,” and “great” were among the list of top things people are thankful for.
The most popular phrases were “to see another,” “for another day,” and “blessed to have.”
10 times as many tweets had the word “family” in them than “money” (Good on you, America).
Here’s the breakdown of the things people are most grateful for, categorized by region:
“York” was among the top ten tweets—as was “new.” Whether or not tweeters meant to make a nod to the Big Apple state, we’re not sure what other york they could be referring to (unless they’re thinking of peppermint york patties, in which case, we should all be grateful).
One thing southerners are grateful for is actually quite simple: life. “Life” was among the South’s list of words southerners repeatedly gave praise to. Country music, which originated from the South, draws on the blue-collar lifestyle, reminiscing on the past, and romanticizing about the future—all tropes of country music that nod to the notion of life.
Other tweets tagged #love and #family popped up in the south’s top 15 hashtags too. In addition to the heavy Christian presence down south, much of the south prides itself on being family-centric.
Other words like “Florida” and “beach” cropped up in the top ten—and locals and vacationers alike can appreciate Florida’s beaches.
The Midwest had lots of tweets tagged #family, #happy, and #love. Some of the Midwest’s top words were “Chicago,” “lake,” “time,” and “family.” Chicago consistently ranks as the top city in the Midwest, and if you’re wondering why, just try its famous deep dish pizza or cruise along the Chicago riverwalk.
While the Midwest may not have an ocean adjacent, it has tons of cool lakes—just take Michigan’s lakes, for example.
With tags like #meditation, #art, and #Houston in the mix, the Southwest had some interesting finds. Unsurprisingly, Houston is one of the biggest cities in the south. “Texas” also made the top ten list, which didn’t take us off guard. But “meditation” and “art,” on the other hand, seemed a bit more out of left field.
Everything’s bigger in Texas, and apparently the state’s big on yoga too. In fact, Texas is one of the top ten yoga-loving states in the nation. (Austin, especially, is a fan of the movement.)
The Wild West is all about feeling #blessed. People in the west used #blessed (S/O Bruno Mars) twice as much as #grateful or #thankful. The west’s second most popular hashtag was #pnw, standing for the Pacific Northwest (also known as Cascadia). And if you’ve ever visited PNW’s rocky beaches or lush, green mountains, you’ll know exactly what people are talking about.
Other words like “photography,” “love,” “adventure,” and “explore” made the cut—none of which come as a shocker. The west is known for its breathtaking scenery. Between California’s beaches and the slew of national parks lining the coast, there’s a lot to photograph (and love and explore).
We analyzed at over 72,000 tweets related to thankfulness in 2019, including the hashtags #thankful, #grateful, and #blessed. We filtered out words like “the,” “and,” “to,” and other phrases.