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We know the Seattle Seahawks are facing the New England Patriots in this year's Super Bowl. But after the game ends, all those rooting fans—from both the Evergreen State and the Bay State—will go back to their normal lives. In that championship matchup, which fan base wins back home?
To make a simple assumption for now, let's use the two teams' home states—Washington and Massachusetts—to represent each fan base. We can compare the stats on both states to see which fans have the better lifestyle.
First off, we see that both states have similar populations, right around 7 million. But the basic economic stats show that Massachusetts is doing better. The Bay State has a higher median income, more bank deposits per person and a lower unemployment rate.
Home to some of the major centers of higher education in America, Massachusetts also not surprisingly has a higher proportion of college graduates living there. That matches up with a higher rate of homeownership, mixed in with lower proportions of people receiving food stamps or going without insurance.
From all that, it would sound like Massachusetts has the battle all sown up. But not to deflate an early Massachusetts victory parade, the Pacific Northwest still has something to offer: a growing and younger base to expand on. The population is younger in Washington (more people under 18, and fewer over 65). Washington also is home to more billionaires—big-time, famous ones like Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates.
And those Washington billionaires founded some of the most famous companies in America: Amazon, Costco, Microsoft, Nordstrom and Starbucks are some you might encounter on any given day. Massachusetts-based companies like Staples, Raytheon, EMC and Boston Scientific are certainly heavy hitters, but just don't pack the same punch.
Massachusetts is a much older state, and had a big jump on Washington for generations, but now it seems like the land of the Seahawks is catching up quickly. People are literally moving out of New England (though its population is still growing) and toward more moderate climates like Washington and its neighboring states. So even though Massachusetts has the better economy right now, Washington could pass it.
To be sure, the fan bases for both teams expand far beyond those individual states. According to Facebook data, Seahawks fans are still dominant in nearby states like Oregon, Idaho and Montana. And as their name implies, the Patriots are the team for all of New England. Most of Connecticut roots for the Pats, along with the entirety of Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.