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'Why Is Boston So Racist' and 50 Other City Stereotypes Revealed by Google Autocomplete

'Why Is Boston So Racist' and 50 Other City Stereotypes Revealed by Google Autocomplete
Flickr user Lee Johnson/Mark Byrnes

You may have seen Renee DiResta's excellent Google auto-complete map of state stereotypes that was circling around the Internet last summer. As she discovered, Google's search engine does a pretty impressive job of channeling public sentiment in its effort to anticipate our thoughts (and keystrokes). Try typing in "Why is Mississippi so..." for instance, and the collective wisdom of the Internet will automatically tell you that most people seem to think that the state is awfully "... poor."

Harkening back to this project, Atlanta resident and Cities reader Nate Shivar recently repeated this pseudo-scientific experiment with the 50 most populous metro areas in the U.S. And his results will likely strike even closer to home. Shivar passed along his list to us, and Mark Byrnes created the below graphics out of some of our favorite stereotypes (we just can't help ourselves, Buffalo!). You can check out all 50 cities here. In our opinion, these are some of the most stereotype-able cities, for good or bad (we were not impressed, by the way, that many people think New York City is "so great").

And now we won't feel so guilty any more about wondering whether Tampa is kinda trashy. Because Google says it's so.


Photo courtesy Flickr user jdn.


Photo courtesy Flickr user Nietnagel.


Photo courtesy Flickr user JasonParis.


Photo courtesy Flickr user Nietnagel.


Photo courtesy Flickr user Hao$.


Las Vegas photo courtesy Flickr user ed 37.


Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Emily Badger is a former staff writer at The Atlantic Cities based in Washington, D.C. She now writes for The Washington Post. All posts »

Mark Byrnes is an associate editor at The Atlantic Cities. All posts »

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