The Washington Post

D.C. watches more pornography than any states

Residents in the city of D.C. watch nearly twice as much online porn per capita as people in any of the 50 states -- 14.18 videos per person per year, according to the adult site It makes for an imperfect comparison to contrast the District, a dense urban area, with states -- which are much more geographically and demographically diverse. And these numbers should be considered in that context. So take this with a grain of salt.

Web-analyst Alexa ranks PornHub the most popular porn site in the U.S., suggesting the numbers are drawn from a fairly large sample. The list of porn-hungry states includes Hawaii (7.57 videos per year), Massachusetts (7.52) and New York (7.5). Marylanders watch an average of 6.67 videos per year, which puts them in ninth place.

Neither Pornhub nor Buzzfeed, which published the ranking, offer any explanation of why the numbers for the capital might appear to be so high. It might be that D.C. ranks no different than other cities that are similiar in size and composition. A quick glance at local demographics suggest some clues though: Only a quarter of the District’s population is married, according to the Census Bureau, versus roughly half of the U.S. population overall. Studies have shown that single men (and presumably, single ladies) watch porn far more than those in relationships.

Barry McCarthy, a professor of psychology and sexuality at American University, also points out that more educated people tend to use the Internet more, for any purpose. Nearly half of people in the greater D.C. metro area hold Bachelor’s or graduate degrees.

For 87 percent of men and 95 percent of women, McCarthy adds, casual porn-watching isn’t disruptive or unhealthy.

Caitlin Dewey is The Post’s digital culture critic. Follow her on Twitter @caitlindewey or subscribe to her daily newsletter on all things Internet. (


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