Meetup Data Uncovers Year-in-review Culture Shifts by State

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Think Virginia is for lovers? Nope. It’s all about business. South Dakota is for freethinkers; Delaware craves adventure.

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By evaluating Meetup group category growth in 2014 by state, Meetup’s data scientists put their fingers on the pulse of America’s shifting interests landscape and were able to make geographic comparisons.

Meetup, the world’s largest network of local groups, today unveiled a year-end study assessing the changing interests and activities of the American public. By evaluating Meetup group category growth in 2014 by state, Meetup’s data scientists put their fingers on the pulse of America’s shifting interests landscape and were able to make geographic comparisons.

So, what is America meeting up about?

Working on their fitness (in the great outdoors)
Sports and fitness were the top growth categories in several states. For instance, land-locked Arizona saw a 438 percent surge in interest in water sports. Bicycling is growing in popularity in Alaska, while yoga is picking up steam in New Mexico. And, while it’s no surprise that Maine and Wyoming would see the greatest spikes in outdoor activities, Meetup members in Puerto Rico are opting for campsites over beautiful beaches—there, camping saw six percent growth in 2014.

Millennials sticking together
Rhode Island, South Carolina, Missouri and Minnesota all saw double or triple-digit growth in social and networking events driven by twenty and thirty-somethings. While these “digital natives” have grown up in the era of omnipresent online social networking, they’re still focused on making face-to-face connections.

Building businesses—particularly tech
In Virginia, Meetup groups centered on business networking jumped by 367 percent; in Nevada, a state renown for glitz and gambling, interest in small business skyrocketed by 193 percent. The biggest category jumpers in Oregon, Tennessee and Georgia are rooted in the intersection of technology (software development and data mining) and business.

Life is as fun as you make it
Across the board, the popularity of groups focused on topics that touch the singles scene, social events and, simply, “fun,” demonstrates Americans’ tendency to embrace all the good stuff that life—and interpersonal relationships—had to offer them in 2014.

The biggest percentage growth in Meetup subcategory interests by state include:

  •     New York: Moms looking for mom friends
  •     California: Drop in soccer
  •     Illinois: Baby Boomers
  •     Pennsylvania: Eating, drinking, talking, laughing, etc.
  •     Massachusetts: Over 50
  •     Georgia: Data mining
  •     Michigan: Single women over 30
  •     Colorado: Business networking and referral networking
  •     Tennessee: Software development
  •     North Carolina: 20s and 30s
  •     Texas: From walkers to runners

For the complete category growth breakdown by state, view this infographic.

Methodology
This year-end analysis is based upon percentage growth within Meetup topics that generated over 1,000 RSVPs in 2014. The dataset contains more than 120,000 Meetup groups in all 50 states plus the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico and is comprised of over 50 million RSVPs.

About Meetup
Meetup is the world's largest network of local groups. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. More than 15,000 groups get together in local communities each day, each one with the goal of improving themselves or their communities. Meetup's mission is to revitalize local community and help people around the world self-organize. Meetup believes that people can change their personal world, or the whole world, by organizing themselves into groups that are powerful enough to make a difference.

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Brenna Fitzgerald
Allen & Gerritsen for Meetup
+1 857-300-2060
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