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Who Cared The Most About The Government Shutdown?

Although all Americans are glad the government shutdown is over, some are happier than others. BuzzFeed's Data Science Team used Facebook's Keyword Insights API to find out who talked the most about the shutdown.

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Obviously, everybody in and around D.C. was freaking out.

Virginia and Maryland came in first and second, respectively. It makes sense because of their close proximity to the capital and the large number of government-related jobs. The real surprises were Alaska at No. 4 and California at No. 45.

No surprise here: The younger you were, the less you cared about the shutdown.

Kids 13–17 accounted for just barely more than 1% of all mentions of the shutdown. A whopping 71% came from people between the ages of 18 and 44. That leaves the 45+ crowd with the remaining 27%.

The few young Americans who cared about the shutdown were primarily located on the West Coast.

This age group had the least participation from both Virginia and Maryland. Instead, kids in Washington, Arizona, Colorado, and Hawaii talked about the shutdown the most.


College-aged kids seemed to care at least a little bit.

The East Coast schools must have slipped this into the coursework, since Jersey, Virginia, New York, and Massachusetts took over. Apparently, Mainers were out catching lobster and missed the memo, but we'll let them off the hook.

Interestingly enough, young adults in the states located the farthest away from D.C. were very concerned about the shutdown.

Technically, Virginia and Maryland were No. 1 and No. 2 again, respectively, but Alaska and Hawaii grabbed the next two spots. Maine brought up the rear again, but a few other New England states weren't too far off.

Adults in the Midwest didn't particularly care about what was going on.

They didn't care in California, Idaho, or the Bayou either. Hawaii came in third here, though, but that could be due to the unproven correlation between shutdowns and luaus.

The Western wilderness either has no adults or just no adults that care about what's going on.

All the spots where the buffalo used to roam (or maybe still do) dropped off the map. Most of the yellow on this map didn't even register in our search due to such low volume.

Since a big part of this debacle concerned Obamacare, it's important to see where in America people need it the most.

New York Times / Via

This clearly explains why Alaska, Washington, and Georgia would care so much. And probably why Maine and the Midwest really don't.

It's also worth taking a look at which states take the most advantage of the federal government's WIC program.

MetroTrends / Via

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) was threatened during the shutdown. This map shows where the most people are participating, but it really doesn't explain why Minnesota and California weren't more engaged.

Data analyst at BuzzFeed.

Contact Jake Levy at

Ellie Hall is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC. Her secure PGP fingerprint is 6055 A264 DADD AADC 347E 5986 547C C11C DD7D 176A.

Contact Ellie Hall at

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