For every Internet commenter who enters online arguments about the USA with facts they got from their butt, there's a map that presents hard data bare and allows the viewers to make their own interpretations.

From light pollution and tree coverage to out-of-service railways and streets and highways, maps may not immediately look as exciting as a viral cat video -- which might explain why we often overlook them when -- but that doesn't mean that are boring. To prove that, we put together a selection of maps that explain the United States better then most textbooks and if broadening your worldview isn't thrilling, I don't know what is.

#1

Most Commonly Spoken Language In The Us After English And Spanish

Most Commonly Spoken Language In The Us After English And Spanish

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Meeple13
Community Member
2 months ago

Who thought that German would be up there?!

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There’s often overlapping features between maps. For example, a topographic map could be utilized to show the distribution of a local orchid, making it both a topographic and thematic map. It could also be used to show well-known features of specific interest to travelers making this topographic, general reference, and thematic maps all in one.

The most widely used maps are “Political maps”. They are the ones that are usually mounted on the walls of classrooms throughout the world. They show the geographic boundaries between governmental units such as countries, states, and counties. They show roads, cities, and major water features such as oceans, rivers, and lakes.

#2

The United States Of America: Alaskan Perspective

The United States Of America: Alaskan Perspective

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Shelp
Community Member
2 months ago

I WANT that map

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Political maps are really good at helping people to understand the geography of the world. They are usually the first type of map that students are introduced to in school, too. They are often called “reference maps” because people refer to them again and again when they have questions.

According to Geology.com, thousands of different political reference maps have been prepared to explain the United States. There are maps of the entire nation, maps for each of the 50 states, and even maps of the 3142 counties (parishes in Louisiana, and boroughs in Alaska) that make up the states. Most counties, boroughs, and parishes are further subdivided into even smaller political units. An incredible number of political maps have been prepared just to display the geography of the United States alone.

#3

How I, A Brit, See The United States (Sorry If It Offends Anyone)

How I, A Brit, See The United States (Sorry If It Offends Anyone)

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GirlFriday
Community Member
2 months ago

OK - this is funny.

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Patrick McGranaghan, who is a land surveyor in Colorado, USA, and the creator of one of the biggest online cartography communities, r/MapPorn, did an analysis on its most popular posts on Twitter. McGranaghan collected the 10 best-performing posts from the previous 18 months -- about 200 maps in total -- and went through each of them individually, tagging them based on the content, style, and subject matter. He then sorted the tags to see which ones were the most common.

#4

States With A Smaller Population Than Los Angeles County

States With A Smaller Population Than Los Angeles County

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Something
Community Member
2 months ago

This is why our voting system is insane. (It was designed for a different view of government, where the states govern the people and the federal government is the government of the states, but now that it doesn't operate at all like that, it doesn't make any sense.)

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"The most popular subject was history," McGranaghan told Bored Panda. "In this category, the most popular maps were about World War II." Maps about other wars were also well liked, as well as those about the ancient Romans and historic trade routes.

"Another popular category was natural science. Especially popular are maps about wildlife, such as those that use tracking data to show animal migration patterns. Other topics included geology and astronomic maps."

Interestingly, quite a few viral maps focused on language. These include etymology, dialect and various pronunciation maps.

#5

US Watersheds

US Watersheds

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BeazleBug
Community Member
2 months ago

For those that don't know, a watershed is a geologic area from which all water drains to the ocean. The pink area is the Mississippi river basin which includes the Missouri, Ohio, Platte. Allegheny, Red and Arkansas rivers (among many, many others)

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"Another topic that I grouped together are 'political re-alignments'. These are maps that deal with boundaries. Subjects like separatist movements, re-drawing borders, and user-created idealizations. Many of these are satirical and funny," McGranaghan explained.

McGranaghan, however, wouldn't say that all of these maps are scientific. "I think the data is a bit noisy, but it's interesting nonetheless. Users sometimes want a magic formula to make their maps go viral and I don't think there is one. The tastes of the masses are fickle and change over time."

#6

Red And Orange Areas Have Equal Populations

Red And Orange Areas Have Equal Populations

Cogo5646 Report

Nathan Jones
Community Member
2 months ago

This is not at all surprising, since nearly half the population in this country lives within 30 miles of the coast.

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When it comes to maps that best describe a country, McGranaghan thinks that it depends on the goal of the mapmaker. "All maps are generalizations, some good, some bad. They are not true representations and a good 'reader' should know that. I think good data visualization will take disparate datasets and find meaningful connections that weren't known before. It sounds simple but it is not so straightforward. A good mapmaker should be familiar with many matrices of knowledge and should be able to sift through them and make new connections."

McGranaghan created r/MapPorn in May 2011 while living in Taiwan, and it currently has over 995K members. He thinks the reason why the community is becoming so big is the same one why people like maps so much: they are easily digestible. So go ahead folks, continue scrolling and enjoy the rest of the post. Bon appétit!

#7

United States Population Lines

United States Population Lines

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Adam C
Community Member
2 months ago

Cool Map.

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#8

The Most Efficient Route Between Every Springfield In The United States

The Most Efficient Route Between Every Springfield In The United States

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zims
Community Member
2 months ago

You're bound the find the Simpsons SOMEWHERE

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#9

Tree Cover Map Of The US

Tree Cover Map Of The US

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Iapetos
Community Member
2 months ago

There are not enough!

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#10

How Much Snow Does It Usually Take To Cancel Schools?

How Much Snow Does It Usually Take To Cancel Schools?

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GirlFriday
Community Member
2 months ago

Nice. I always get a kick out of the places that close school for an inch of snow. You don't even need to wear a coat for 1" of snow.

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#11

Most Common Surname In The United States By State

Most Common Surname In The United States By State

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Bardhi's Dad
Community Member
2 months ago

This is not really surprising, I think

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#12

Every State's Least Favorite State

Every State's Least Favorite State

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Thaia
Community Member
2 months ago

I love how florida hates itself

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#13

Its Very Interesting

Its Very Interesting

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Mihran Hovnanian
Community Member
2 months ago

Why is Canada building some sort of corridor to Mexico?

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#14

More People Live Inside The Red Area Than The Grey Area

More People Live Inside The Red Area Than The Grey Area

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Kevin Donegan
Community Member
2 months ago

... and this is the downfall of the American election system called the electoral college.

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#15

Drug Overdose Deaths In The United States Per 100,000 Persons For 1999 And 2014

Drug Overdose Deaths In The United States Per 100,000 Persons For 1999 And 2014

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Hans
Community Member
2 months ago

This one is saddening.

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#16

US States Scaled Proportionally To Population Density

US States Scaled Proportionally To Population Density

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zims
Community Member
2 months ago

Alaska is so tiny!

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#17

The Loudest And Quietest Spots In The Continental US

The Loudest And Quietest Spots In The Continental US

ational Park Service 9,9822,736Whoa? Report

Brandy Grote
Community Member
2 months ago

my house is in the border of very loud and very quiet. I can hear trains, a freeway, coyote howls, and owls hooting.

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#18

Out Of Service Railways

Out Of Service Railways

Andrew Grigg/ Report

nanashi
Community Member
2 months ago

for a large country like America, why is there no push for investing on high speed trains to cross the states?

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#19

The U.S. Mapped By Residents’ Desire To Move To A Different State

The U.S. Mapped By Residents’ Desire To Move To A Different State

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Zoe Murphy
Community Member
2 months ago

Can’t leave....... In-N-Out!!!

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#20

Use Of The Word "Dang" Across The Continental US

Use Of The Word "Dang" Across The Continental US

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Troux
Community Member
2 months ago

Damn.

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#21

How America Utilizes Its Land

How America Utilizes Its Land

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zims
Community Member
2 months ago

I wonder where reservations fall on this chart.

jevais
Community Member
2 months ago

If Trump has his way the reserves will be taken away from the American Indians to forage for oil. May God save us from him.

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Steve
Community Member
2 months ago

For those of you who didn't get it, they took the numbers for each TYPE of terrain used, and randomly assigned it a block of territory equal to TOTAL SIZE. They are not all squished together like this.

Bob Belcher
Community Member
2 months ago

Exactly. With that said, I plan on moving to Maple Syrup town. I love waffles.

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BeazleBug
Community Member
2 months ago

This is in a misleading format, less a map and more a chart.

Miss Cris
Community Member
2 months ago

I'm doubting between national parks and beer, to live in.

athornedrose
Community Member
2 months ago

is wildfires really a utilization?

Mazama de Soto
Community Member
2 months ago

One company, Weyerhaeuser, owns so much land!

Peko
Community Member
2 months ago

Geez. Some people saw this and thought that the US put all it's housing in the north west, and all animal husbandry in a big square in the middle? Hell of a commute for anyone who works with logging, they put all of it on the other side of the country. Can't even fly or drive there, they put all the highways and airports in Texas!

BoredPerson
Community Member
2 months ago

How ridiculously interesting is that? That kind of thing is so cool to me.

Community Member
2 months ago

100 largest landowning families... wow. just wow

Plaid Progressive
Community Member
1 month ago

America truly is full of sh^t.

Richard Sutton
Community Member
2 months ago

Remember this map like many of the others AGGREGATE land uses/covers. It it quite different to integrate the land uses and land cover as they appear in situ.

Michelle Geiger
Community Member
2 months ago

It would be interesting to see Alaska on there.

David Dunn
Community Member
2 months ago

America utilizes Arizona with "Wildfires" Lol

c Fuller
Community Member
2 months ago

less for biodiesel with is a huge screw up in engineering, causing so much retro fitting and waste of small engines not designed to use it. plus, in Texas and adjoining states, it just pushes up the cost of gas.

Tina-Marie Tarrant
Community Member
2 months ago

LOL, Christmas Trees.

sharron lynn parsons
Community Member
2 months ago

They were hoping no one would ask, in history the government has taken from the American Indians, also, the constant false promises, they are, legal thieves, in my book, I do believe !!!

Ginny Swart
Community Member
2 months ago

THE COWS HAVE IT!!

Catherine Spencer-Mills
Community Member
2 months ago

Timberlands in central Washington, Oregon, California? I don't think so.

Lana Carlsson-Irwin
Community Member
2 months ago

all those complaints from people out west that the feds own too much park land! they should see this.

sebastian nye
Community Member
2 months ago

fascinating. also a good argument for beef substitutes.

Robert Ruedisueli
Community Member
2 months ago

Barley isn't just used for beer. Barley flour and barley malt are additives for flavor in all sorts of food. Puffed barley is used in a lot of soups as well. That said, the vast majority of it is used for beer, as many beers call for straight barley, and most recipes for other use barley for a small fraction of the grain.

Eric Conner
Community Member
2 months ago

Wonder where parking would fit on this

zims
Community Member
2 months ago

It's right up there at the top, state parks and national parks! *ba-dum CHH* For real though, I'd put it in the same ballpark as rural highways.

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Mer☕️🧭☕️
Community Member
2 months ago

What is "Weyerhaeuser"?

Zot Reneek
Community Member
2 months ago

It is a timber company.

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Brandon Swann
Community Member
2 months ago

Myrtle Beach to Charleston, haha

Vanta Black
Community Member
2 months ago

Where's the weed?

Liesa Yopp
Community Member
2 months ago

I'm a horrible person. I'm giggling at "wildfires" being listed as a utilization.

Sasha Kuleshov
Community Member
2 months ago

Cows are gonna kill us all!

George the gorilla
Community Member
2 months ago

“Golf”

Ryleigh
Community Member
2 months ago

Poor animals!

Parmeisan
Community Member
2 months ago

Haha what... "This land is reserved for livestock, here we produce cotton, but *this* land is for wildfires.". Couldn't they have just said forests?

zims
Community Member
2 months ago

They included that statistic to show how much of the total area is impacted by wildfires (which, btw, aren't exclusive to forests.)

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Leo Domitrix
Community Member
2 months ago

So much for smart farming. That big chunk for livestock and livestock feed vs "food we eat" seems excessive to me.

BG
Community Member
2 months ago

Livestock is food we eat.

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Lucille Varner
Community Member
2 months ago

the tiny box for syrup

gibbon
Community Member
2 months ago

They only produced 8.3 million tonnes of it. Obesity gotta obese.

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Ava Proctor
Community Member
2 months ago

louisiana has THE BEST crawfish etouffee. plus everyone is super nice! its like discount canada.

Amanda Black
Community Member
2 months ago

Michigan is not fallow. It produces a lot of fruit especially apples and cherries.

Jennifer Crompton
Community Member
2 months ago

The section only indicates the total land area that is fallow across the whole country. The placement of the sections are random. Obviously all of the urban housing isn't in the northeast, for example.

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Glowdaddy
Community Member
2 months ago

This Map is wrong. There are huge tracts of land in Washington State (Upper Left Corner) That were never timber lands. The Palouse is all flat land used for growing wheat.

Zot Reneek
Community Member
2 months ago

It is not a map, it is a chart. The locations of the subjects were chosen randomly.

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Annette McQueen
Community Member
2 months ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

Where is the San Joaquin Valley in California? Some of our countries biggest industrialized agriculture.

carebear
Community Member
2 months ago

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Imagine if everyone went vegan and all that cow pasture/range and livestock feed could be put to use growing vegetables to feed the hungry, and more parkland, more forests to slow greenhouse gas emissions.

Steve
Community Member
2 months ago

You realize that would require murdering every single livestock animal in the country to extinction, don't you?

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Roadkill The Brave
Community Member
2 months ago

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This is not correct in any sense of the word especially in the Midwest. It is so much more farm land than this is showing. Have y'all ever been to Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, or Missouri? Those three states are massive producers for soybeans, corn, wheat, and other crops though those are the main three. Yes, there's cows, but not at the rate they're making that look, Even in Kansas which has so many feedlots its ridiculous. Same with a lot of the other states and there's so much more grown that just the big three. It's not mainly Cow's, yes they're out here, but its not like that. Sorry rant ended I hate just being lumped into 'Oh haha nothing and cows'.

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#22

Percentage Of People Born Outside The U.S. In Each State

Percentage Of People Born Outside The U.S. In Each State

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Martha Meyer
Community Member
2 months ago

To hear a lot if Americans talking, it would be much higher.

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#23

Regions Of The U.S. That Don't Officially Celebrate Christopher Columbus Day

Regions Of The U.S. That Don't Officially Celebrate Christopher Columbus Day

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Gareth Graham
Community Member
2 months ago

From watching US news recently, this may change

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#24

Popular Coffee Shop Chains By Number Of Locations

Popular Coffee Shop Chains By Number Of Locations

dannywat3rm3lon Report

Squirrelflightisawesome
Community Member
2 months ago

Caribou. I just love it.

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#25

Map Of Lowest Recorded Temperature In Each Us State (Fahrenheit)

Map Of Lowest Recorded Temperature In Each Us State (Fahrenheit)

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Meechelle Reha
Community Member
2 months ago

This is Hilarious to me, my ex-husband was raised in Alaska from 7 year's old until 22 year's old & heard a ton of weather stories 😅 😄 😂 😆 🙃 🤣 😅 😄 I've been there 4 time's but alway's in summer though!

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#26

Light Pollution In The United States

Light Pollution In The United States

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tuzdayschild
Community Member
2 months ago

All astronomy hopefuls, please step to the left.

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See Also on Bored Panda
#27

Air Traffic Control Zones In The USA

Air Traffic Control Zones In The USA

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Miss Cris
Community Member
2 months ago

"Albuquerque, we have a problem"

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#28

U.S. Education Spending Map

U.S. Education Spending Map

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

Explains why so many US citizens show a heartbreaking ignorance and why a guy like Trump could become president.

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#29

Map Of The United States' 8 Million Miles Of Roads, Streets And Highways

Map Of The United States' 8 Million Miles Of Roads, Streets And Highways

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@Daisychain
Community Member
2 months ago

viod-5ef49...bb452e.png viod-5ef493dbb452e.png

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#30

USA Tree Diversity

USA Tree Diversity

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Ryleigh
Community Member
2 months ago

We need more trees!!!!

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#31

Garbage Can vs. Trash Can In The United States

Garbage Can vs. Trash Can In The United States

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RJ
Community Member
2 months ago

rubbish

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#32

Portion Of Each State That Is Federal Land

Portion Of Each State That Is Federal Land

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kate h
Community Member
2 months ago

Hawaii: 19% Federal, 81% Zuckerberg :/

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#33

All U.S. Counties With In-N-Out Burger As Of May 2020

All U.S. Counties With In-N-Out Burger As Of May 2020

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Troux
Community Member
2 months ago

Thanks for posting this. I keep hearing this name and have never seen one.

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#34

A Tastier Map

A Tastier Map

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Leo Domitrix
Community Member
2 months ago

Good grief, Georgia is insanely Waffled.

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#35

Date Of Creation Of All 3,142 U.S. Counties

Date Of Creation Of All 3,142 U.S. Counties

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Miss Cris
Community Member
2 months ago

Do they did it ex profeso to have a pi number of counties?????

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#36

US Governors By Eye Color

US Governors By Eye Color

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dena masoomi
Community Member
2 months ago

I’m not sure what to do with this information

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#37

Voters Who Didn't Vote For Hillary Or Trump

Voters Who Didn't Vote For Hillary Or Trump

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BluEyedSeoulite
Community Member
2 months ago

AND LOOK AT WHAT Y'ALL DID!!

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#38

Average Size Of US Apartments By Region

Average Size Of US Apartments By Region

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Ryleigh
Community Member
2 months ago

dang

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#39

Results Of The 1984 United States Presidential Election By County. The Most Lopsided Election In History, The Only State Reagan Failed To Win Was His Opponent’s, Minnesota

Results Of The 1984 United States Presidential Election By County. The Most Lopsided Election In History, The Only State Reagan Failed To Win Was His Opponent’s, Minnesota

reddit.com Report

Kevin Donegan
Community Member
2 months ago

In reverse, this must be the outcome of the 2020 election. Trump is setting up the "corrupt election" playbook so that when he loses, he can claim the election was fraudulent. We need to do the same thing Reagan did and OVERWHELMINGLY vote the morbidly obese pathological lying vindictive narcissistic imbecile with the emotional maturity of a toddler (AKA tRump) out of office.

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#40

US Counties With Gdp Over $100b

US Counties With Gdp Over $100b

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Dave P
Community Member
2 months ago

um where are the five counties that make up NYC, all five have GDP's over 100B on their own

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#41

USA Country Map Divided By 1/3rds Of Covid Deaths

USA Country Map Divided By 1/3rds Of Covid Deaths

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Brandy Grote
Community Member
2 months ago

give it a month.

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