Is Your State Located In A Kale Desert Or Kale Oasis?

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Did you know that kale is a cruciferous vegetable loaded with antioxidants and nutrients? Well if you live in the Northeast, or on the West Coast, you probably do because people there can’t shut up about this leafy green. They put it in their smoothies, grow it in their gardens,  serve it in the form of crispy kale “chips” at parties, and talk endlessly about it. Consequently, if you live in the Great Plains of Deep South you likely can’t find kale on a menu or at the grocery store.

As the premier real estate search site in America, Estately feels it has a duty to provide home buyers every bit of information they need when choosing where to live, and our research indicates “kale enthusiasts” are a rapidly growing segment of the home-buying market. So which states provide an environment where a kale aficionado would feel most at home? We crunched the numbers to determine which states are most and least enthusiastic about kale. To do this we used these five criteria:

  1. Level of interest in kale amongst each state’s Facebook users (source:  Facebook)
  2. Frequency of online searches for “kale” (source:  Google Trends)
  3. Amount of acres of kale harvested per capita for each state (source: USDA Census of Agriculture)
  4. People with the last name “Kale” per capita (source: White Pages)
  5. Percentage of restaurants with kale on the menu in each state’s largest city (source:  Yelp)

We ranked each from 1-50 for each the criteria, and then we averaged them out to determine our final rankings. The numbers below each of our criteria represent the state’s ranking. A “1” indicates the most and “50” indicates the fewest.

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In the end, Vermont took the title of The #1 U.S. State for Kale Enthusiasts, which isn’t much of a surprise since they were just deemed The #1 U.S. State for Hippies in a recent study by Estately. Mississippi came in last, which is also no surprise because Mississippi always comes in last. It’s the only constant in these types of list.

Facebook users in Maine proudly post about their love for this leafy green, coming in first for Facebook interest. However, it’s only a paltry 0.79% of Maine’s users. We could not find any data on the percentage of Farmville users who plant kale.

When it comes to kale farming, Georgia grew the most per capita of any state. If we’d measured it by total acres harvested Georgia (755 acres) would have come in second behind California (1,680 acres), but still ahead of New Jersey (537 acres), Texas (524 acres), and North Carolina (428 acres).

If you want to meet someone with the last name “Kale” your odds are highest in Montana, but if that name frightens you then New Mexico is largely devoid of anyone with the last name “Kale”.

If the sight of kale on the menu overjoys you, Washington state is your culinary wonderland.  A whopping 8.5% of restaurants in the Evergreen State serve this leafy green, which more than tops last place North Dakota, which apparently prefers salads made with ice berg lettuce and thousand island dressing.

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Estately is a national online real estate search site whose articles have been featured in the The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, CNET, San Francisco Chronicle, Time, GeekWire, The Denver Post, and more.

Ryan Nickum