The most popular emoji, a state-by-state report

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

SwiftKey, the same keyboard app company that brought us the very important emoji study revealing that America can't get enough 🍆, released a new study Tuesday that breaks down emoji usage by state. The results range from 'duh' (Hawaii's most used emoji is the surfer 🏄 ) to 'huh?' (Connecticut's most used emoji is the koala 🐨).

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

Over a billion emoji were used by people who use the SwiftKey app, a predictive keyboard that lets people glide their fingers across a touchsreen to enter text rather than poking at characters. The company also analyzed the emoji, along with the location information it has for its users, to see which emoji are used most in each state, and then which emoji had above average usage in each state. They quickly cut out the commonly used 😄👍❤️, leaving us with some pretty comical if not telling results.


California uses the taxi 🚕 more than any other state, but that's only because there is no specific Uber emoji.

Indiana can't get out the door to make use of the taxi emoji, because everyone is too busy on the couch playing with their video controller 🎮.

The eeriest finding is in Louisiana where the SKULL 💀 came out on top. Louisiana, which was ranked the most violent state in the country, also uses the 🔫 more than any other state, surely to be of interest to the anti-gun advocates who are lobbying Apple to ban the emoji.

Nebraska might be the home of the Curnhuskers, but Iowa ranks number one in corn 🌽 emoji.


Maine uses the volcano🌋 emoji more, which is only surprising if like me, you had no idea that Maine had super volcanoes.

Utah uses the lollipop 🍭 more than any other state, but the fact that they also use ♋️ more than average makes me think Beehive state residents are getting clever with their sexting.


Some of the most used emoji suggested cultural strongholds, such as Oregon using the star of David 🔯 and Kentucky using the barber pole 💈.

Nevada has the dubious honor of using the eggplant 🍆 more than any other state.

You'll be glad to know that Mississippi is keeping it one hundred 💯

And naturally 🗽 is used in New York more than anywhere else; it's arguably the only state that has its own emoji!


The study is fun and pushes forward our understanding of how emoji are being used, though it also raises privacy questions around a keyboard app knowing where and what its users are typing. You can have a look at all of the data yourself by reading the entire study.

Cara Rose DeFabio is a pop addicted, emoji fluent, transmedia artist, focusing on live events as an experience designer for Real Future.

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