America's Fastest-Growing State Might Surprise You

iStock
iStock

If you want an idea of which U.S. states are up-and-coming, population growth is a good indicator. Climate, housing costs, and job economy are all factors that might influence domestic migration, but the states that see the biggest population boosts in any given year aren’t always easy to predict. As Thrillist reports, the fastest-growing state in the U.S. is Idaho with a recent population boost of 2.2 percent in a single year.

That number comes from data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau between July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017. The state with the second highest growth rate was Nevada, with a 2 percent population spike, followed by Utah with 1.9 percent, Washington state with 1.7, and Florida with 1.6. But state-to-state migration wasn’t always the driving factor. Though that was the case for Idaho and Nevada, Utah owes its population growth to a birthrate that outpaced its death rate.

Percentage growth isn’t the same as numeric growth: In terms of pure numbers, Texas, Florida, and California saw the largest population increases—though those three states also happen to be the three most populous states in the U.S. to begin with.

According to the Census Bureau, the overall U.S. population rose by 2.3 million people or 0.72 percent during the time the data was sampled. But despite the nationwide growth, some states actually saw their numbers drop. Mississippi, Hawaii, Alaska, Illinois, West Virginia, and Wyoming were the eight states impacted by population declines. To see which states are welcoming the most new residents and which are seeing their populations dwindle, check out the Census Bureau map below.

Idaho in Nation's Fastest-Growing State

[h/t Thrillist]

Celebrate the Holidays With the 2020 Harry Potter Funko Pop Advent Calendar

Funko
Funko

Though the main book series and movie franchise are long over, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter remains in the spotlight as one of the most popular properties in pop-culture. The folks at Funko definitely know this, and every year the company releases a new Advent calendar based on the popular series so fans can count down to the holidays with their favorite characters.

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Right now, you can pre-order the 2020 edition of Funko's popular Harry Potter Advent calendar, and if you do it through Amazon, you'll even get it on sale for 33 percent off, bringing the price down from $60 to just $40.

Funko Pop!/Amazon

Over the course of the holiday season, the Advent calendar allows you to count down the days until Christmas, starting on December 1, by opening one of the tiny, numbered doors on the appropriate day. Each door is filled with a surprise Pocket Pop! figurine—but outside of the trio of Harry, Hermione, and Ron, the company isn't revealing who you'll be getting just yet.

Calendars will start shipping on October 15, but if you want a head start, go to Amazon to pre-order yours at a discount.

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The Strange Things Each State Is Googling Right Now

If the owner of this computer is from Arkansas, they're about to Google "Little Debbie cakes."
If the owner of this computer is from Arkansas, they're about to Google "Little Debbie cakes."
Caio, Pexels

Career resources company Zippia recently mined Google Trends data from April 2020 to August 2020 in an attempt to discover what offbeat topics are ruling people’s search bars in different states. The results are in, and the map below is a rather eclectic portrait of a nation in quarantine.

The most consistent theme throughout the country seems to be alcohol, though there’s a total lack of consensus when it comes to what kind. Mississippi and South Carolina have beaten the heat with frosty treats—vodka pops and frosé, a portmanteau of frozen rosé, respectively—and Minnesota has kept it classy with boxed wine. New Mexico has taken up day drinking, while their neighbors to the north in Colorado are asking Google “how to stop drinking” altogether.

Virginia is for lovers of grilled cheese.Zippia

States have various ways of coping with the absence of dine-in restaurants, too. Rhode Island is getting lots of Chinese takeout, but Alaska favors pizza delivery. Residents of Washington state, on the other hand, are learning “how to roll sushi.” And although Nevada is experiencing an influx of people “going vegan,” plenty of other Americans are really leaning into meat: “hot wings,” “BBQ,” “Chick-fil-A,” “chicken nuggets,” and “McDonald’s value menu,” are all on the map.

Other states are keeping busy in the kitchen. Hawaiians are baking banana bread, Vermontians are tending to sourdough starters, and Michiganders are figuring out how to turn cannabis into spreadable “cannabutter.”

People in Missouri are apparently searching for meth recipes, which we’re assuming just means that Breaking Bad binge-watchers are curious about the science behind the show. And if you see someone snoozing on the job in Florida, don’t be surprised—Floridians are picking up tips on “how to sleep at work.”

See Zippia’s full breakdown here.