For this map, I assigned each county in the United States a Hipster Index, which is the geometric mean of four measures: percentage of population aged 20-34, percentage of population that is Non-Hispanic white, percentage of voters voting Democrat in the 2016 US presidential election, and percentage of workers employed in the arts and entertainment industry.
I always enjoy the US cultural region maps that get posted on reddit, mostly for the ensuing discussion and debate. I’ve always wanted to create my own, but it’s a more daunting task than it might appear at face value. Furthermore, I’m a sucker for objectivity, which is nigh impossible with such an endeavor.
I think the fatal flaws of most such maps are the hard borders (such things do not exist) and the regions that defy simple classification (such as Texas or the Great Basin). The map maker is faced with a choice: either regions that are so broad and sweeping that the final product doesn’t illicit much interest or insight; or a map that is broken down into so many regions that you end up with just a map of metropolitan areas.
To overcome these challenges, I overlaid the most popular such maps (as measured by upvotes on reddit), and took the common denominators. Regions that appeared over and over are colored on this map, and regions that changed identities from map to map have become transition zones.