Is Tennessee Inside The Top Ten Nerdiest States?

Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

San Diego Comic-Con took place this past weekend, bringing together an estimated 130,000 people to celebrate comics, cosplay and pop culture. Once a major launching pad for the latest Marvel, DC, or Star Wars production, the world’s largest comic book convention had an entirely different vibe this year amidst Hollywood’s ongoing labor dispute with its actors and writers. 

Nevertheless, the lack of star power didn’t seem to impact attendance, with plenty of people embracing the more somber event, remarking how it resembled the comic con of old — versus the Hollywood publicity machine it’d grown into over the past decade.

Although San Diego Comic-Con is in the books, here at, even with Tennessee sportsbooks in full swing, we still have nerd culture on the mind.

So we decided to find out where Tennessee ranks amongst the nation’s nerdiest states. To do so, we’ve developed a “Nerd Index,” which is the combined total of two criteria we made to execute this thought experiment. 

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Top 10 Nerdiest States in America

First, we calculated something we’re calling the “Nerdy Search Volume Average.” Using Google Trends, we measured the search engine volume of the following phrases: “Live Action Roleplaying,” “Comic book stores near me,” and “Tabletop Games.” 

Then we gave each state a “Cool Things Score.” We calculated this by determining the number of annual comic book and anime conventions in each state, as well as the number of bookstores per capita. 

Adding them together we found each state’s “Nerd Index” and ordered them all from 1 to 50. Check out the full rankings below to find out where Tennessee sits amongst America’s nerdiest states.

Below are some stats you won't find on Tennessee sportsbook apps.

StateAvg. Nerdy Search VolumeCool Things ScoreNerd Index
1. Alaska10043143
2. Maryland92.515107.5
3. Kansas554398
4. Wyoming255075
5. South Carolina304575
6. West Virginia363773
7. Wisconsin44.52872.5
8. Tennessee155772
9. Montana175168
10. Georgia20.74767.5

Tennessee is Nerdy and Proud

Alaska takes the cosplay crown — made from cardboard and tinfoil, surely — ranking out as the nerd capital of America. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Hawaii, is the least-nerdy state, mustering a measly 7 on the “Nerd Index.” They must be too busy surfing to play tabletop games and read comic books.

Meanwhile, Tennessee is the 8th nerdiest state in America! 

Resident nerds who are unable to make it to San Diego should consider checking out the Memphis Comic Expo Sept. 23-24 at the Agricenter International Expo Building.

Counted amongst the special guests in attendance are voice actors Scott Innes, the man behind the Scooby Doo voice, and Renae Jacobs, who voiced April O’Neil on the original “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” series. Kevin Eastman, another alumnus from the "TMNT” universe will also be at the Memphis Comic Expo. He was one of the co-creators of the original comic book featuring the kung-fu-fighting, pizza-gobbling turtle dudes. He was also an owner of the cult comic book “Heavy Metal,” from 1992 to 2014.

While the Memphis Comic Expo can’t match the fanfare of San Diego Comic-Con, even this year's more muted edition, it’s still great that nerds across Tennessee have a space to geek out together.


Jeff Parker is an entertainment writer for A writer for film, television and the internet, Jeff is a life long movie buff, with a Masters Degree in Popular Culture. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he works full time as documentary filmmaker and producer.