February 01, 2011

Celebrating the One Year Anniversary of America's Beer Belly

Today is an important day, but you probably don't know why. In the lore of Floatingsheep, February 1st is a very important day...

One year ago today, the wonders of America's Beer Belly, as discovered by the Floatingsheep Collective, were announced to the world-at-large. By far the most popular single post in our relatively short history, the Beer Belly of America was eventually featured everywhere from The New York Times and Andrew Sullivan's blog on The Atlantic to Strange Maps, FlowingData and the Consumerist.

The Beer Belly of America
Our extrapolation that the prevalence of bars as compared to grocery stores in the American upper Midwest (using directory listings from Google Maps) was indicative of some cultural characteristic may or may not have been especially daring. But one thing is clear: in addition to the official statistics from the Census Bureau, the innumerable comments generated on this blog and many others served as corroboration for our claims.

Whether it took us 'discovering' it, or just giving it a name, we now know that Wisconsin, Illinois and much of the Great Plains are the true Beer Belly of America.


  1. Congratulations! It will be curious to see what happens in a few years of this data being known. Do you think the Beer Belly will get in shape or kick back with a six-pack and not bother to change anything?

  2. Thanks. It's hard to say whether America will start to get in shape. We're going to start looking for the hamburger hips soon - and will let you know.

  3. Sadly, I don't think we will be. Why should we when we have machines to suck the fat out of us and a newfangled techno-thingamajig to regulate our insulin levels. Why make devastating lifestyle changes like eating differently? It will be interesting to see your hamburger hips maps, I look forward to it.

  4. I wonder if it has something to do with how residents perceive what it is like to live out there. These areas of the US are typically mired in cold weather for 6 months out of the year, and winter weather is extreme. Perhaps that is a sign?


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