Our new study finds which states are the most prepared in case of a zombie apocalypse, and how Americans are taking steps just in case.
It may (or may not) ever happen. But it’s a supernatural phenomenon we’ve all thought about…what would I do in a zombie apocalypse? Maybe you’ve grown up watching zombie movies, or you’re a fan of shows like The Walking Dead or the newly released The Last of Us. No matter your background in zombie lore, the question still stands, are you prepared in case of a zombie apocalypse?
We were curious as to which states are the most and least prepared and analyzed more than 1,000 Google search terms to determine that ranking. We also surveyed more than 1,000 Americans on zombies and what they might do in case of a zombie apocalypse.
When it comes to being prepared, Wyoming is the number one state ready to take on zombies. In case of a zombie apocalypse, it’s definitely an advantage to not live in a populated state and a mountainous state in the West would be a great place to avoid zombies (and other people). You could live off the land, and with a weapon stockpile, you’d be likely to make it through the apocalypse, at least until they discover a cure.
Right behind Wyoming is Alaska, another state where it’s easy to be prepared for a zombie apocalypse. As long as bears and moose don’t turn into zombies, you’ll likely also be able to ride out an apocalypse.
People in Vermont, North Dakota, and South Dakota are also among the top five states most prepared for a zombie apocalypse.
However, people in California are not as well-prepared. The Golden State ranks last and is the least prepared state to face a zombie apocalypse. Especially for those living near heavily populated cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco… perhaps now is the time to prepare.
Other states you should avoid in case of zombies include Texas, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania. Maybe it’s time for people in these states to invest in a remote cabin somewhere in the mountains.
Whether it’s inspired by world events, new video games, or new TV shows, in recent years there’s been an uptick in Google searches relating to a zombie apocalypse. Nationwide, between March 2019 and March 2021, there was a 41594% increase in searches for "CDC zombie apocalypse," a 2082% increase in searches for "preparing for zombie apocalypse," a 1025% increase in searches for "when will zombie apocalypse happen," and a 120% increase in searches for "apocalypse weapons."
More than 1 in 10 Americans think a zombie apocalypse is inevitable. It will happen one day…but when? More than half of the respondents who believe in the eventual apocalypse think it will happen sometime within the next 30 years. That seems pretty soon, so it might be time to start making a “just in case” plan!
If a zombie apocalypse were to occur, that outbreak would have to start somewhere. Where within the U.S. do Americans think that outbreak may originate? California. As it’s also the state that’s the least prepared for the apocalypse, this makes sense. Americans also believe an outbreak may begin in Florida, New York, Texas, and Georgia.
Nearly a quarter of Americans don’t find it weird or think it’s unusual to prepare for a zombie apocalypse, and more than 1 in 10 already have food stockpiled for such an emergency.
If you want to begin to prepare, collecting weapons may be a good place to start. The top 10 weapons Americans would use in a zombie apocalypse include shotguns, handguns, baseball bats, machetes, crossbows, swords, axes, knives, grenades, and katanas.
Knowing how to kill a zombie is a vital factor in surviving an apocalypse. Over half (53%) of Americans say they know how to kill a zombie. For the 47% that don’t know how to kill the undead, now would be a good time to do some research.
It’s hard to think about, but would you kill a loved one if they were turned? 66% of Americans say yes, they would. And when it comes to killing zombies, which can be physically exerting, how many do you think you could kill in one day? On average, Americans say they could kill 39 zombies.
There are always conspiracies and theories that maybe zombies already exist and this potential outbreak is being covered up. 1 in 5 believe scientists know more about zombies than what has been released in public, and another 1 in 5 believe the government knows more than it lets on. Who really knows?
Although you might eventually end up alone, if you survive long enough, there are people you would trust and rely on to make it through. For most Americans, the person they trust the most is themselves. Other trusted people include a friend, father, brother, mother, and their pet.
But people are also realistic. Most Americans think they wouldn’t survive a zombie apocalypse and say they would most likely be the first to die. Other people who might be the first to die include their mother, pet, grandma, or coworker.
May the odds be in your favor.
Whether or not a zombie apocalypse will eventually happen, the portrayal of these non-living creatures will continue to grace our television screens in movies and shows. Watching these portrayals of zombies can help you prepare. Maybe the zombies in one show can run while zombies in another need multiple blows to the brain to fully “die?”
When we think about what zombies might actually look like, Americans think the zombies from The Walking Dead are the most realistic. Other “realistic” zombies include those in 28 Days Later, World War Z, I am Legend,and Zombieland.
No matter what the zombies might look like, it’s better to be prepared…just in case.
To rank the states, we analyzed 1289 Google search terms relating to zombie apocalypses from January 2019 through December 2022. We looked at the average number of monthly searches and compared it to each state’s population, per 100,000 residents.
In January 2023 we surveyed 1,047 Americans to get their feedback on zombies and preparing for a zombie apocalypse. Respondents were 48% female, 49% male, and 3% non-binary/non-conforming, with an age range of 18 to 79 and an average age of 40.
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