New Englanders love cats, and Southerners love dogs.
The American Veterinary Medical Association’s “2012 U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook” summarizes results from a survey of over 50,000 households on various aspects of pet ownership. One thing that they track are rates of cat and dog ownership among different states.
Here’s a comparison of cat ownership with dog ownership. Orange states have more dog owners than cat owners, and purple states have more cat owners than dog owners:
We also looked closer at the extent to which each pet is favoured in each state. In this map, purple again indicates more cat owners than dog owners, and orange more dog owners than cat owners. The darker each colour, the bigger the difference:
New England is very much cat country. In Vermont, about half of households own cats, while about 38% own dogs. Similarly, 46% of Mainers own cats, but just 35% own dogs.
New York and Delaware are evenly split: in New York, 29% of households own cats, and about the same proportion own dogs, and in Delaware, cat owning and dog owning households are tied at about 34% each.
The South is much more favourable to dogs than to cats. In Arkansas, 48% of households own dogs, but just 31% own cats.
This regional divide can also be seen when looking at ownership of each animal. Here’s dog ownership across the country. Dogs are very popular in the South:
Here’s cat ownership across America. As we saw above, New England and the Pacific Northwest are full of cats:
One final observation is that neither cats nor dogs are overly common in Washington, DC. Only 13% of households in the capital own dogs, and just 12% own cats.
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