Who loves the Twelve Mile Circle website the most in the United States? No surprise this time, it’s Washington, DC.
I examined the subset of 12MC visitors arriving on the website from the United States and compared it to state populations in order to derive per capita ratios. Yes, we all understand that the District of Columbia is not a state. It is considered a "state equivalent" for certain statistical purposes by the US Census Bureau, and that’s good enough for me. I know I mention that every time I equate the District to a State. I do that only to prevent random one-time visitors (not you guys) from mentioning the same thing in the comments. It’s a defensive maneuver.
By far, 12MC has its deepest penetration of readership in Washington, DC. It is possible, even probable, that one could enter just about any restaurant, club, shop, office building or apartment in Washington, DC and multiple people would have visited the Twelve Mile Circle website. That’s both humbling and a little difficult for me to wrap my head around.
Per capita visitors drop off quickly from there. By and large it still meets my preconceived notions. Mid-Atlantic states such as Virginia, Maryland and Delaware all occupy the top tier. That was my logical guess before I ran the analysis and the numbers tell a similar story. I focus a lot of attention on geo-oddities in the United States, and that’s even more true for my home base in the Mid-Atlantic. I generate a lot of local content and it attracts lots of local readers. Case closed.
However I encountered one big surprise. Let’s set-aside Washington, DC since it’s not a "real" state. The state that supplied the highest per capita ratio of visitors to the Twelve Mile Circle was… ALASKA! Huh?!?
I figured Alaska would do well. I’ve written any number of articles that featured Alaskan content because it’s such an incredible location for geo-extremes. Anytime there’s a northern this or a remote that it’s likely to involve Alaska. My article index map is flush with Alaska links. In addition to that, I traveled to Alaska a couple of summers ago and wrote a slew of travelogues:
Wrap all that Alaskan focus together and it results in an impressive number of visitor from the 49th states. Throw-in their small population and it creates a powerful per capita ratio. I didn’t think it could possibly be higher than Virginia, my beloved Commonwealth. Nonetheless, that’s where the math led me.
The U.S. per capita ratios allow me to explore a little deeper because I’ve recorded numerous visitors from every state, territory or district. I can flip this one on its head and determine who avoids 12MC the most. We know the Mid-Atlantic and Alaska craves more 12MC. What are the states that can truly live without it?
Some things never change. I look back to the very early days of the website. One stubborn state didn’t send a single visitor to 12MC for the longest time. I wrote Arkansas (finally) Checks In on the happy day I recorded that initial visitor. Since then I’ve counted another 1,498 Arkansans, however that still doesn’t elevate it from last place. No state dislikes 12MC more than Arkansas.
Alabama and Oklahoma came in a close second and third. I have a decent amount of content for all three of the laggards, or at least no less than surrounding states, so I have to imagine that geo-oddities don’t resonate as much with those audiences. Maybe I can turn that around if I spend some concentrated time traveling there someday and create more travelogue articles. It seemed to work for Alaska.
Who loves the Twelve Mile Circle website the most? Anguilla, apparently.
I’ve tracked 12MC usage statistics for nearly five years, yet I hadn’t taken the next logical step by correlating this to per capita totals. Curiosity got the best of me and I created a simple spreadsheet comparing numbers of 12MC visitors by nations/dependent territories to their population. Mentally I would have guessed that the United States would have generated greatest 12MC per capita visitor ratio. It’s an intuitive choice because I focus a large percentage of website content on U.S. geo-oddities. I receive hundreds of U.S. visitors every day as a result.
Internationally, 12MC has a robust following in Canada and the United Kingdom, with Australia and New Zealand to a lesser degree. They’re all English-speaking countries. That makes sense. They would be my next set of logical choices. I figured that they would round-out the top tier given the number of visitors each sends to the site even while taking their sizable populations into account. Remarkably, other places seem to love 12MC more than these nations at least on a per capita basis.
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That brings me to Anguilla, a British overseas territory located in the Caribbean. Recent population projections estimate that only about 15,000 people live on Anguilla so it wouldn’t take a lot of clicks to influence my statistics. Still, it’s not just one or two visits to the website. It’s no anomaly. I receive a regular, steady stream from Anguilla; not every day but once every few days. It works out to something like 1 Anguilla visitor to 12MC for every 270 residents.
I’ve never featured Anguilla in an article directly. I’ve also never set foot on Anguilla personally although I’ve seen it from a distance. I took this photograph from the French town of Grand Case on neighboring Saint-Martin last year. Notice how Anguilla appears clearly across the channel
So why do I get this traffic?
I suspect it’s due to tourists who are staying on Anguilla that are planning to cross the channel by ferry to spend a little time on Saint-Martin / Sint Maarten. I featured a number of pages during and immediately after my visit (e.g., Saint Martin Borders and Boundaries and Saint Martin Observations). The web logs seem to confirm this theory. My coverage of Saint Martin seems to have created a nice little statistical clustering causing Anguilla to be the most likely place to send a visitor to 12MC per capita.
Speaking of Saint-Martin / Sint Maarten, this bifurcated island comes in second place and probably for a very similar reason. I had to make some assumptions in order to to calculate this. All of the traffic gets dumped into a generic "Netherlands Antilles" bucket. Netherlands Antilles no longer exists, as we know, and even when it did it didn’t include the French oversees collectivity of Saint-Martin. Nonetheless that’s how I saw it recorded after I deliberately pinged 12MC from Grand Case, clearly on the French side of the border. I guess it must have something to do with where Internet traffic leaves the island by undersea cable. I combined the populations of various components of the old Netherlands Antilles, added Saint-Martin, prorated, and came to the conclusion that the island captured second place.
Caribbean nations and dependencies send an inordinate amount of traffic to the Twelve Mile Circle. Let’s set those aside however and see what other surprises lurk.
The United States — which I figured would be in first place effortlessly — didn’t appear in the per capita rankings until sixth place. Even Saint Pierre and Miquelon beat it. Well, that one I believe is a true anomaly. It all comes down to a single article I published in the early days of the blog.
Still, more readers per capita came from Iceland than Australia? And from Brunei than Ireland? And from New Zealand than Canada and (by far!) the United Kingdom? Some of the per capita results are due to small nations with miniscule populations. Those are interesting side-shows with dubious statistical merit other than some residual entertainment value. However many are not. My biggest surprises were seeing New Zealand so high on the list and the UK much further down on the list.
I think I’ll take a look at the individual U.S. states and see if my conventional wisdom is off-target there too. Meanwhile, here is the Top 25 per capita 12MC visitor list:
- Saint Martin/Sint Maarten
- Saint Pierre and Miquelon
- British Virgin Islands
- United States
- New Zealand
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- United States Virgin Islands
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Saint Lucia
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Cayman Islands
- Isle of Man
- United Kingdom
- Turks and Caicos Islands