Is Pennsylvania One of America’s Nerdiest States?

Fact Checked by Pat McLoone


More than 100,000 people stormed the San Diego Convention Center for Comic Con this past weekend. Held each year since 1970, the event is the world’s largest gathering of comic book fans, gamers, cosplayers, and pop culture aficionados — or, as they’re often called, “nerds.”

Over here at, we’ve been thinking about Comic Con and nerd culture, wondering what states in America are the nerdiest.

We’ve even gotten a little nerdy ourselves, taking a break from covering sports betting and PA online casinos, so we could crunch the numbers and see if we can rank all 50 American states from most to least nerdy.

Of course, we’re most interested in finding out where Pennsylvania ranks among the 50.

For this thought experiment, we’ve developed something we’re calling the “Nerd Index.” This is a combined rating of two distinct categories.

First, the “Nerdy Search Volume Average,” which we calculated with Google Trends by measuring the search engine traffic generated by the following searches: “Live Action Roleplaying,” “Comic book stores near me,” and “Tabletop Games.”

The second category is the “Cool Things Score.” This was determined by the number of comic book and anime conventions held in each year state in 2023 , and also each state’s bookstores per capita according to Publishers Weekly’s 2013 Guide to American book stores.

Here are rankings you won’t find at any PA sportsbooks

Ranking the Nerdiest States

Top 10

StateAvg. NerdySearch 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

Bottom 10 (plus PA)

StateAvg. NerdySearch VolumeCool Things ScoreNerd Index
T-36. Pennsylvania 15 23 38
41. New York 12 18 30
42. Arizona11.51728.5
43. South Dakota02828
T-44. Idaho52126
T-44. Rhode Island22426
46. Nevada81422
47. North Dakota02121
48. Delaware91120
49. New Jersey11718
50. Hawaii077


Bonus Bets Expire in 7 Days. One New Customer Offer Only. Must be 21+ to participate & present in PA. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. Visit for Terms & Conditions. US promotional offers not available in NY, NV, or Puerto Rico.

Pennsylvania? Not All That Nerdy

As you can see, Alaska is the highest-scoring state on our nerd index. Curiously, the other non-contiguous U.S. state, Hawaii, is the least nerdy.

It makes sense. Of course, Alaskans would have more time for tabletop games during their snow storms than Hawaiians, who are surely busy enjoying 365 days a year in their tropical paradise.

As for Pennsylvania, we fall firmly in the non-nerdy zone, ranking in a tie for 36th..

But that doesn’t mean there’s not lots for local nerds to explore within state lines. In fact, those unable to make it to San Diego can head to the Steel City, which has two upcoming comic cons worth checking out.

First, on Aug. 5-6. MomentoCon will be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. This will be the event’s third year, after beginning in 2021, largely as a fan gathering devoted to the cult CW series “Supernatural.” Several cast members from that series will be in attendance once again, including Mark Sheppard, who plays Crowley. aka the King of Hell. This will be his third time headlining the event.

The following weekend, from Aug. 11-13, the Monroeville Convention Center will host Steel City Con, the state’s largest comic convention. The three-day event has drawn some big name celebs once again this year.

“Star Trek” fans will have the opportunity to meet the OG Capt. Kirk, William Shatner. For wrestling fans, the “Heartbreak Kid,” Shawn Michaels, will be attendance. Likewise, boxing fans can see Mike Tyson.

And if you happen to be a huge fan of “My Cousin Vinny,” Marisa Tomei will be in the house doing a Q&A.

There also is a cosplay competition from 1-5 on Sunday.

So, while Pennsylvania does not chart highly on our “Nerd Index,” there’s still lots of opportunity to geek out across the state.

And if you are looking to spend your time betting on your favorite team or looking for PA casino apps, take a close look at our options here at


Jeff Parker

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.

Cited by leading media organizations, such as: