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These are the states with the fastest talkers (New York isn’t one of them)


Fast talking has long been considered the domain of uppity East Coast types: the investment banker with a phone to her ear as she practically jogs down Wall Street or the Washington lobbyist pitching a deal.

On the West Coast, where there is seldom a real winter and never a shortage of beaches, we expect conversations to match the slower pace of life. It made sense that Aaron Sorkin’s trademark “walk-and-talk” became a beloved staple of “The West Wing,” a D.C. political drama, but flopped on “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” a one-season comedy about a television network in California.

Is it possible that our impressions have been wrong all this time? The Marchex Institute, a mobile analytics firm, has used “Call DNA” software to measure the hold times, rate of speech and frequency of speech in more than 4 million phone calls made to American businesses in the past two years.

In a report published this week, Marchex revealed which states have the fastest talkers, the most impatient talkers and the most talkative people.

According to Marchex, Americans speak an average of 110 to 115 words per minute. In the time it takes residents of a slow-talking state to utter five words, those who hail from a fast-talking state will spew out six. Not a small difference in a time-crunched world.

Apparently the fastest-talking state isn’t New York. In fact, New York doesn’t even break the top five for that category.

That title goes to a state resplendent with lush natural landscapes, where mountain views are juxtaposed against city skylines. A state where recreational marijuana — that drug that’s supposed to make you slower — was legalized much to the population’s delight. A state where no one skips brunch or breakfast.

You’ll never guess.

It’s Oregon.

Yes, the Beaver State beat out the entire East Coast in talking speed. At No. 2 was Minnesota, followed by Massachusetts. How this could have happened is still unclear.

The slow-talking places are less mysterious. The list is dominated by Southern states. North Carolina is in first, Alabama second.

Rest assured, New York did win something. While its talkers aren’t so fast, they do talk the most. According to Marchex, “A New Yorker will use 62 percent more words than someone from Iowa to have the same conversation with a business.”

On the other end of the spectrum, Marchex said, “if you want to have a conversation that is straight to the point, then focus in on residents from the middle. Most states in between Idaho to the West, Wisconsin to the East, Oklahoma to the South and all the way up to Canada use fewer words to get the point across than everyone on the coasts.”

The firm also ranked which states’ residents were more likely to hang up when they are put on hold. Those who hung up the most were dubbed the most impatient.

The data tells us that “the Upper Midwestern region of the United States is particularly nonplussed with being on hold.”

See the full rankings below.

Fastest Talkers

1. Oregon

2. Minnesota

3. Massachusetts

4. Kansas

5. Iowa

Slowest Talkers

1. North Carolina

2. Alabama

3. South Carolina

4. Louisiana

5. Mississippi

Most Talkative

1. New York

2. California

3. New Jersey

4. Nevada

5. Maryland

Least Talkative

1. Oklahoma

2. Kansas

3. Wisconsin

4. Minnesota

5. Iowa

Most Impatient

1. Kentucky

2. Ohio

3. North Carolina

4. New York

5. West Virginia

Least Impatient

1. Louisiana

2. Colorado

3. Florida

4. Illinois

5. Minnesota

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