Here's How Homophobic, Sexist and Racist Each US State Really Is
When looking for a place to live, you might consider a neighborhood's safety, its school system or its proximity to loved ones.
But what about considering whether you're moving to a place that might be full of racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism and body-shaming?
Real estate site Abodo conducted nationwide research by combing through tweets sent from June 2014 to December 2015, in order to find out which states and cities harbor the highest rates of prejudice against various groups.
Here's what Abodo found.
Being near black and Latino people doesn't decrease racism.
One thing is clear: Most of the cities with high anti-black sentiment are areas with high black populations. Baltimore is 64% black, Atlanta is 61% black, New Orleans is 60% black and just over half of Newark's population is black.
However, when it comes to statewide use, one state is far and away most culpable for using anti-black slurs on Twitter: West Virginia, whose rate of 83.2 uses per 100,000 tweets is more than twice as high as the next highest state — Maryland, with 36.5 uses per 100,000 tweets.
The number of anti-Latino tweets is much lower, but follows the same basic principle: Just because different races live near each other, doesn't mean there's less racism. The city with the highest number of anti-Latino tweets, Bakersfield, California, has a 45% Hispanic or Latino population. Chula Vista, California, is 58% Latino, while Modesto, California, is about 35% Latino. Fontana, the fourth city on the list, has a 67% Latino population.
A quick look at the state map shows a definite correlation between anti-Latino tweets and Latino population. California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas all have high rates of anti-Latino tweets and all four states are in the top 10 when you rank states by percentage of Latino population.
When it comes to prejudice online, no group is more hated than women.
Abodo produced two heat maps for derogatory language against women: One uses all the search terms ("bitch," "twat" and "cunt") while one map excludes the word "bitch," which makes for a drastically different map.
The amount of sexist tweets is staggering: In the first map, the highest number comes from Louisiana, which has 894 instances of one of the keywords for every 100,000 tweets. When you exclude the word "bitch," Nevada jumps into first place, but given the state's huge pornography industry, Abodo said that it can't be verified whether these were tweets related to porn.
But the numbers are even worse when broken down by city.
For every 100,000 tweets, 3,696 in New Orleans contain sexist language. Excluding the word "bitch," Atlanta has 1,580 sexist tweets out of every 100,000.
Everyone hates gay and trans people.
Abodo didn't have an anti-gay tweet map of the United States, but many of these tweets come from traditionally conservative states or regions: Texas, Louisiana and upstate New York. However, most of the cities in California are in either moderate or highly liberal areas.
The number of homophobic tweets — indicated by uses of hate language like "fag," "dyke" or "lesbo" — is definitely not as high as the number of sexist tweets, but still higher than anti-black and anti-Latino tweets.
Searches for words like "tranny" and "she-male" were very high in Las Vegas, but once again, Abodo mentioned that the porn industry may be the culprit. After that, the top three states for anti-transgender language are New York, Florida and Maryland.
Abodo also found out how people feel about people with disabilities.
When Abodo looked for words related to mental and physical ability, like "retard" or "retarded," Nevada once again came in first with 16.4 tweets per 100,000 using one of the two words, followed with Ohio, which had 14.1 tweets per 100,000.
And people of size also faced a lot of discrimination.
Searching for terms like "fattie," "fatso" or "fatass" showed that 91.6 per 100,000 tweets in Louisiana included one of those three terms. Louisiana, by coincidence, has the fourth highest rate of obesity in the U.S. — 34.9% of its adults are obese.
Louisiana, Georgia, Texas and California all definitely put up a good fight when it comes to having some of the most offensive tweets. Of course, California is two or three times the size of some other states and some regions may score a little worse than others.
It's not clear with any of these maps whether people were using the terms to describe others or themselves. If you head over to Abodo, you can see even more maps, including which states were the most tolerant.