The ‘People Map of the United States’ shows Americans’ obsession with celebrity.

Replacing city names with those of their most famous residents gives a map of America’s obsession with celebrity. Dwayne Johnson, Muhammad Ali, and Steve Jobs are the most famous people on the West Coast. If you want fame, become an actor, musician, or athlete, not a politician, entrepreneur, or scientist.

This map of the United States is populated by a diverse bunch of athletes, entertainers, entrepreneurs, and other notable people.

Dwayne Johnson, Muhammad Ali, and Steve Jobs are very talented people who live on the West Coast. At the center are actors Chris Pratt and Jason Momoa, singer Elvis Presley, and basketball player Shaquille O’Neal. The East Coast crew includes wrestler John Cena, whistle-blower Edward Snowden, mass murderer Ted Bundy, and Dwayne Johnson.

The Rock appears in Hayward, CA, and Southwest Ranches, FL. He’s one of many to appear twice on the map. Wyatt Earp appears in Deadwood, SD, and Dodge City, KS.

How is that? This map replaces city names with the most Wikipedia-ed residents.


People can appear in more than one place. Dwayne Johnson was born in Hayward, has a house in Southwest Ranches, and is famous enough to be the most Wikipedia resident for both areas.

Wyatt Earp was born in Monmouth, IL, but is most famous for the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, AZ. And there’s Wyatt Earp again in southern Arizona.

The data for this map came from Wikipedia. It was collected from July 2015 to May 2019.

Wikipedia entries for cities and other places in the U.S. were checked for the person with the most pageviews. Birthplace, residence, and death place were all included. As the developers say, people can come from many places.

Pageviews show how much interest there is in a person. It doesn’t matter if they’re famous for something good or bad. This map shows how Americans love celebrities.


People often say that celebrity is like the Greek pantheon, with lots of gods and goddesses to admire or avoid. This map shows more than just names. It shows America’s soul.

But don’t worry. Zooming in is entertaining. Celebrities are tied down to a pedestrian level and natural geography. It’s fun to see the famous and the infamous together.

Chicago is home to Barack Obama, but the suburbs to the west of the city are full of famous people. These include criminals like Al Capone and musicians like John Prine. There are also writers like Jonathan Franzen and painters like Ivan Albright. There are also actors like Harrison Ford and politicians like Eugene V. Debs.


It would be interesting to compare the most famous people from cities with the ones advertised at the city limits. In Aberdeen, WA, a sign says, “Come as you are,” in honor of Kurt Cobain. Indian Hill, OH, will tell you Neil Armstrong was from there. But Cincinnati, a bit further south, won’t mention Charles Manson.

The map also shows some ironic neighbors, like Ishi, the last of the Yahi tribe, captured near Oroville, CA. He died in 1916 as the last wild Indian in North America. The most famous resident of nearby Colusa, CA, is Byron de la Beckwith, Jr., a white supremacist who was convicted for the murder of Medgar Evers.

This map shows that if you want to be famous, you’re better off being an actor, musician, or athlete than a politician, entrepreneur, or scientist. But celebrity isn’t just for big cities like LA or New York. Even in the most remote places, fame can find you. Is that good or bad?