Oh, my gourd, it’s fall — that means colorful leaves, sweater weather, football, and pumpkin-everything! Some of us are all about autumn, celebrating the season with the first sip of a pumpkin spice latte. Others don’t answer the call for fall much, lacking the palate for pumpkin and skipping the seasonal scented candles.
How passionate is your state about the fall season? Trips To Discover did it again and raked in a fresh scoop on the most fall-spirited U.S. states in 2022. This year, Delaware loves fall most, ranking No. 1 on the list. The pumpkin chucking world record set in Bridgeville, Delaware, in 2013 is still unbroken, after all. All that fall spirit must have given that pumpkin a little extra something!
Further south, West Virginia is on the lookout for the most “gourdgeous” fall decorations. And while Illinois harvests the most pumpkins in the U.S., Delaware is the most pumpkin-obsessed, with more pumpkin patches per capita than any other state. Meanwhile, that fall feeling must not be reaching the farthest corners of the country, as Hawaii and Florida rank lowest on the list for fall spirit.
How does your state rank? Is it pumpkin spice and everything nice, or does your state squash the season?
Fun Facts About Fall in the 50 States
- Coming in at No. 1, Delaware has the most fall spirit in the U.S. and the most pumpkin patches per capita — seven patches for every 100 thousand residents.
- Nevada is the nation’s No. 1 fan of pumpkin spice. Unchanged from 2020, Mississippi still couldn’t care less about it.
- Vermont wins the bake-off second time in a row by searching for the most fall recipes; it’s not exactly top of mind for Californians.
- Even though it is not in the top five pumpkin-producing states, Ohio has more pumpkin patches than any other state — 180.
- Virginia is falling in line with the season with the most tweets and engagements about fall per capita.
- Not only is it No. 3 overall, but Rhode Island is also No. 1 in the nation for fall activity searches like pumpkin carving.
- It must smell amazing in West Virginia — they’re burning the most fall-scented candles.
- The U.S. grew over 1.86 billion pounds of pumpkins in 2021, and seven states produced over half: Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, Michigan, California and Texas.
- Illinois harvests more pumpkins than the bottom 33 pumpkin-growing states combined.
To determine each state’s fall spirit, the research team at Trips To Discover compared data for online activity and pumpkin agriculture using Google, Twitter and U.S. Department of Agriculture data. We gathered, analyzed, weighed and normalized the data to assign a 1-100 score to each state using our four categories:
- The number of pumpkin patches per capita (Source: Google Maps).
- Each state’s fraction of the annual U.S. pumpkin harvest (Source: USDA NASS)
- Google search activity, specifically for: fall candles, fall decor, fall recipes, fall quotes, and fall activities (Source: Google Trends).
- Fall-related Twitter hashtags, specifically: #fallvibes, #fallseason, #fallfeeling, #fallcolors, #autumn, #leafpeeping, #pumpkinspice, #leaves (Source: Twitter Ads)
We used Google Maps to search and tally the total number of pumpkin patches (gardens that grow and sell pumpkins to the public) to calculate pumpkin patches per 100 thousand residents in each state.
We used the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service to gather the total number of pumpkin acres harvested in each state in 2017, the most recent available. Then we calculated the percent each state contributes to the national harvest total before normalizing and weighing the data.
To gather search data, we used Google Trends to find the state that proportionally searches the most for each of our five search keywords from 7/1/2020-9/13/2022. We then created a total search score by averaging the Google Trends score for each keyword. Google Trends bases its data on a random sample of searches representative of all Google searches. It does not use every search made during a specified query timeframe — providing the whole data set would be too large to process. Therefore, it is possible to obtain varying results for the same query.
We used Twitter Ads to estimate Twitter searches, tweets or engagements for fall-related hashtags. To do this, we used the Audience Estimate tool and gathered estimated audience reach in each state from 9/13/2022-10/13/2022 for our eight hashtags. We then converted this to the percent of each state’s population before normalizing and weighing the data with the rest of our categories.
You can download CSV spreadsheets containing everything but the raw Google Trends data here. If you are interested in the entire raw dataset, please contact us at [email protected]. Please feel free to use or share this data with whoever may find this helpful — we ask that your purposes are noncommercial and that you link back to this page so its contributors can receive proper credit for their work.