Is Michigan Among The Nerdiest States?

Nerds and nerdiness have enjoyed an elevated status of late. Once an embarrassing stigma, to be considered a nerd these days can be something of a compliment.

Perceptions of social awkwardness and an out-of-date wardrobe have given way to an aura of exotic interests and tech savviness. That being the case, BetMichigan.com decided to take a beat from Michigan betting sites to measure the nerd factor in the United States state-by-state.

Spoiler alert, Michigan falls about in the middle overall but extremely high in certain categories. But we’ll get to that in a bit.

First, here’s how BetMichigan.com measured the nerd factor around the country.

BetMichigan.com used data from Comic Cons in United States (USA) | Comic Cons 2023 Dates (comic-cons.xyz); from Bookstores in America, 2013: A State-by-State Guide (publishersweekly.com), and from Google Trends to construct a weighted scoring system based on number of annual comic book/anime conventions and number of bookstores per capita, i.e., a “Cool Things Score”. 

Then, BetMichigan examined Google search volume on queries like “Live Action Roleplaying”,  “Comic books stores near me”, “Tabletop Games”, i.e., an “Average Nerdy Search Volume”. 

The two categories were used to create a combined “Nerd Index” by which to rank the states.

As already mentioned, Michigan finished with a final Nerd Index of 55.5, placing it 22nd among the 50 states.
 

Where Michigan Ranks

StateAvg. Nerdy Search VolumeCool Things ScoreNerd Index
1. Alaska10043143
2. Maryland92.515107.5
3. Kansas554398
4. Wyoming255075
5. South Carolina304575
6. West Virginia363773
7. Wisconsin44.52872.5
8. Tennessee155772
9. Montana175168
10. Georgia20.74767.5
22. Michigan41.51455.5

Michigan Simply Middle Of The Pack

The interesting twist is that Michigan’s Average Nerdy Search Volume was a lofty 41.5, and that was fifth among all 50 states.

As a reminder, the Average Nerdy Search Volume was a distilled measure of search interest in things such as live action role playing, searching for comic book stores, and in table-top games.

Sci-fi and fantasy nerds can find gatherings of like-minded folks at a number of shows and conferences throughout the year in Michigan. Just one of those events is the Monroe Pop Fest Comic-Con, which is holding its 11th edition Sept. 15-16 at the FMB Expo Center on the Monroe County Fairgrounds in Monroe Michigan.  

Information for the fest says that 150 vendor, artist and celebrity guest booths are planned. Cosplay, interactive panels are on tap as well as special guests.

The top five states on the Nerd Index were Alaska (141 on the Nerd Index), Maryland (107.5), Kansas (98),  and Wyoming and South Carolina, tied (75).

So, if nerds felt a little isolated in times past, they can hold their heads high these days knowing that they have many, many like-minded comrades all over the country.

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Author

Bill Ordine, senior journalist and columnist for BetMichigan.com, was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years. He covered the World Series of Poker for a decade and his articles on gaming have appeared in many major U.S. newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald and others.

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