The Best and Worst States for American Music Lovers

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Music is an integral part of American culture, no matter what state you live in. Some states, however, were founded on music or have large communities of support, making them more appealing to music lovers.

A recent study by gap, a modular studio maker, used Google Trends to analyze specific music-related search terms. Mecart then ranked each state, based on the number of searches, with a “musicality score” out of 100.

The best and worst states for music lovers are based on searches by interests conducted between May 2021 and May 2022.

Top 5 music-loving US states


It’s no surprise that Tennessee tops the charts when it comes to music lovers. Nashville is, after all, known as Music City USA. Home to America’s longest-running radio broadcast, famed RCA Studio B, the Ryman Auditorium, and the Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville was built on the foundations of music.

And let’s not forget Memphis, TN, and its early blues, gospel, soul, rockabilly and jazz influences. Additionally, Nashville and Memphis have vibrant downtowns dedicated to their music-rich cultures.


Utah came in second, only missing searches for phrases like “recording studio” and “iTunes.” Utah’s music scene is large and diverse, producing famous musicians like Imagine Dragons, The Piano Guys, and Lindsey Stirling. There are many music towns in the state that host outdoor concerts and festivals each year, including Salt Lake City, Ogden, Moab, and Provo. After a two-year COVID break, many of these festivals are back in action this summer.


Georgia, a state with a rich musical history, ranked third this year with high scores in searches for “music studio” and “Apple Music.” Some of the most influential cities include Atlanta, Savannah, Macon, and Athens, Georgia, spanning nearly every genre. A-listers like Ray Charles, Gladys Knight, Luke Bryan and Andre 3000 were born and raised in the fishing state. Georgia’s commercial music industry is a major provider of jobs and economic growth.


Home of grunge and some world famous musicians, Washington State ranks 4th with extensive search volume for “Spotify” and “music studio”. Known for the local sounds of musical geniuses like Bing Crosby, Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana, Washington’s experimental music scene has influenced many current genres. While notable artists hail from across the state, Seattle has played the most significant role in the state’s musical heritage.


Ranked 5th, Colorado’s performing arts and music are as colorful as its landscapes. According to the Mecart study, music lovers in Colorado quite frequently search for “guitar lessons” and “Spotify” on Google. Folk and traditional music is important to the musical roots of the state. Colorado has produced popular musicians such as John Denver, The Lumineers and One Republic.

Other renowned musical performers include the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Opera Colorado, and the Colorado Bluegrass Music Society.

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5 states with low musicality scores


While Wisconsin is at the bottom of the rankings, Wisconsin residents most often search for the digital music service “Spotify”. The Badger State is also no stranger to the music world, producing famous performers such as Les Paul, Violent Femmes and Steve Miller Band.

As part of an initiative to increase cultural development in the state, the Create Wisconsin Foundation hosts an annual concert on June 21, celebrating the summer solstice with music. The program invites artists of all types to perform on stages across the state for a day.


North Dakota’s musicality score was particularly low for search terms such as “recording studio” and “guitar lessons” compared to other states. However, the state has seen its fair share of famous musicians, including Peggy Lee, Lawrence Welk, Jonny Lang and Whiz Khalifa.

From musicals to state fairs and outdoor festivals, North Dakota’s intimate music scene, especially in Fargo, is alive and thriving.


South Dakota scored relatively low for searches such as “recording studio” and music studio,” however, Mount Rushmere State scored moderately high for “guitar lessons.” he South Dakota Symphony Orchestra in Sioux Falls is one of many popular sounds in the community, and the town of Vermillion is home to the National Museum of Music.

According reports54.5% of adults in South Dakota attended some type of musical performance in 2021. Rock, folk, native, indie, country, and hip-hop are just a few popular genres in the state.

#49 IOWA

Iowa came second to last with a low volume of “recording studio” searches but a higher volume of “Sportify” users. The Hawkeye State has a large number of Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame inductees and boasts a significant number of orchestral ensembles. Famous rock bands Slipknot and Stone Sour also came out of Iowa. Popular annual festivals include the Iowa Arts Festival, Des Moines Arts Festival, and the 80/35 Music Festival.


Although Cowboy State came in last, Wyoming music lovers frequently search for the Apple Music “iTunes” app. And while Wyoming’s music scene is small, it’s not dead. The Wyoming Arts Council created the Wyoming Independent Music Initiative, which works to strengthen the state’s musical presence. Each year, the organization publishes a popular Wyoming road trip playlist that highlights everything from country, blues and folk to indie and hard rock.

Final Thoughts

While some states have more opportunities for music lovers than others, states with low musicality scores still have a thriving music scene. So be sure to support your local music and arts community and enjoy a show or two this summer wherever you live.

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