The United States of question marks, in one map

February 6, 2014

Ever wonder why Illinois has a silent 's' or why Hawaii has interstates?

You're not alone. Thanks to a map courtesy of Reddit user RedLinkJ, we can see what burning questions the public wants to ask about all 50 states. Using Google's autocomplete function, the map charts the most popular "Why does [state]" for every state. Check it out below (click on the map for a link to a larger version):

Politics and government (huzzah!) are top of mind issues when it comes to Iowa ("Why does Iowa vote first?"), Nebraska ("Why does Nebraska have a unicameral legislature?"), New Hampshire ("Why does New Hampshire have the first primary?") and Washington state ("Why does Washington vote Democrat?").

(Here are the answers to the first, second and third questions, in case you're interested. We'll let the political strategists spar over the fourth one.)

People apparently have less flattering questions about Georgia, New Jersey and Delaware stinking or smelling. And they want to know why Rhode Island and West Virginia even exist.

We'll leave those inquiries to you.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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