Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 20, 2014

Two Very Different Americas Reflected in Google Searches

David Leonhardt: “In the hardest places to live in the United States, people spend a lot of time thinking about diets and religion. In the easiest places to live, people spend a lot of time thinking about cameras.”

“This summer, The Upshot conducted an analysis of every county in the country to determine which were the toughest places to live, based on an index of six factors including income, education and life expectancy. Afterward, we heard from Hal Varian, the chief economist at Google, who suggested looking at how web searches differ on either end of our index.”

“The results … offer a portrait of the very different subjects that occupy the thoughts of richer America and poorer America. They’re a glimpse into the id of our national inequality.”

“For all the ways that the differences here may simply reflect cultural preferences, however, the main lesson of the analysis is a sobering one. The rise of inequality over the last four decades has created two very different Americas, and life is a lot harder in one of them.”

Rank In easiest places In hardest places
1 elph free diabetic
2 jogger antichrist
3 nb-4l 38 revolver
4 holiday greetings ways to lower blood pressure
5 ipad applications diabetic diet
  • HeraSentMe

    Does anybody really believe that the number one search in “easy” places to live is a type of camera, and number three is a battery for it? Who paid for this “research”, Canon?

    • Rex Remes

      Good point. I also think the ‘research’ might be a bit shoddy.

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