We were curious to investigate if the topics and concerns that people have been protesting exhibit geographic patterns. The map below shows the most common protest category in each state between January 20, 2017 and October 20, 2017. (The map can also be toggled to show the most protested topics based on all of our data, but the analysis text will not self-update!)
We hesitate to draw too many conclusions and narratives from this map—just because a particular concern isn't a state's most protested topic does not mean that its citizens don't care about that particular concern. With this strong caveat, we do spot a few broad geographic trends. Immigration tops the protest list in states that border Mexico. In states such as Missouri and Virginia with recent and highly public incidents of racism, racial injustice rises to the top of protestor concerns. In West Virginia and other states that would have been greatly affected by changes to the Affordable Care Act, healthcare protests rank first. While this map and its rankings are not a good proxy for ordering all of the concerns that protestors have publicly demonstrated about, they do serve as a barometer to highlight a few key topics that people are frustrated about across the country.