As those who live here know, Illinois is two states—Chicago and the rest of it. Once you get past Kankakee, you can feel like you're in the South, as the suburbs give way to farmland and country music takes over the airwaves. Also, looking at any election result will tell you Chicago is a blue island in a red sea.
But how different are we, really? Using Google Trends, we looked up some popular topics and compared their search volume for 2015 in Chicago vis-à-vis Downstate Illinois (well, the cities of Champaign, Springfield and Decatur, specifically). The results are amusing, if not surprising. In these "interest over time" graphs, Chicago is blue, and downstate is red, naturally.
Who cares more about…
Downstate cares more about Obama.
Downstate cares more about Fox News.
Downstate cared more about the Mark Ronson hit, but now Chicago does.
Downstate cared a little more about 1D, but interest dropped off once Zayn left. Chicago still holds out hope the boys can keep the magic going.
Downstate cares more about ammunition, though interest dropped off about the same time as apathy toward One Direction sunk in. Coincidence?
Chicago cares more about pizza.
Downstate cares slightly more about weed. They must go for different munchies than pizza.
Downstate cares a little more about the Bible.
Chicago cares a little more about the Bears.
Downstate cares a little more about the Cubs.
Downstate is more into porn.
Chicago remains perpetually a little curious about BDSM, while Downstate got REALLY curious about it when 50 Shades of Grey was trending.
Downstate doesn't give a damn about Don Draper.
This is pretty even, though interest in beer is skyrocketing Downstate.
Downstate is more depressed—or, well, more interested in Googling about depression. Is there a difference?