Aug 8, 2022 - News

Ohio (somehow) not named the most Midwestern state

An Toledo Walleye hockey team ice crew member holds two frozen walleye fish in the air

A crew member for the Toledo Walleye hockey team carries frozen walleye that a fan threw onto the ice. The Washington Post dubbed the freshwater fish "the most Midwestern thing on Earth." Photo: Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ope, this can't be right.

Driving the news: Using descriptions from local Airbnb listings, the Washington Post recently ranked the "most Midwestern" states in an effort to better define "America's vaguest region."

  • The top three: Iowa, Indiana and Wisconsin.
  • Ohio, inexplicably, ranked second to last, edging out only South Dakota.

What they found: Rural folks are more likely to describe themselves as Midwestern than city-dwellers, so states like Ohio with large urban populations slipped down the rankings.

The intrigue: Of the 15 most-mentioned words in Midwestern Airbnb listings, a third related to fishing. "Walleye" was No. 1, so the Post dubbed it "the most Midwestern thing on Earth."

  • We have the Toledo Walleye minor-league hockey team and Port Clinton's Walleye Drop on New Year's Eve. Those have to count for something, right?

🤔 Our take: There's no way this study is the ideal way to judge which state embodies the Midwest best.

The bottom line: We need to have a friendly Midwestern word with our colleagues at Axios Des Moines.


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