Some feel only excitement as the holiday season approaches, while others are stressed from the thought of selecting Christmas gifts for their loved ones. It can be difficult to find a personalized gift for each person, which is why there are a handful of popular gifts you’ll see under the tree each holiday. With this in mind, we decided to figure out what the top Christmas presents have been each year. We analyzed 5 years of Google search interest data to uncover the #1 gift in every state from 2012 through 2016. The findings are illustrated in the following map graphics.
During this year, the most common #1 searches by count of states were laptop (6), playstation (6), coffee (5), tablet (5), and perfume (4). These make sense for the year — technology continued to play an important role in American lives, plus the PlayStation Vita was just released. One fascinating insight from this map is how adjacent states often share the same top searched gift.
In 2013, tech gifts reigned supreme. The top #1 searches were iPhone (8), laptop (6), headphones (6), tablet (3), and shoes (3). This was the year in which the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, and iPad Air were announced and subsequently released, so it’s not surprising that the related terms would top the gift search list.
During 2014, tech gifts again were very popular. The most common #1 searches were tablet (6), camera (4), laptop (4), ipod (4), and perfume (4). As you could guess based on that ranking, there were many tablet releases this year, including the iPad Air 2, Nexus 9, Fire HD, Galaxy Tab S, and more. Interestingly, many of the states with “tablet” as the top search are located in the South.
2015 brought some shake-up to the top gift searches by count of states, though most were still technology-related. The most common were tablet (10), iPhone (8), camera (3), bluetooth speaker (3), and kindle (3). During this year, new tablets, the iPhone 6s line, and a new model of the Kindle Paperwhite were released. Additionally, this was the first year in our analysis that “pokemon” appeared as a top gift for any state — it’s likely because multiple related games were released during this year.
In 2016, we saw more varied top gift searches. In fact, the top gifts were iPhone (11), bluetooth speaker (4), “of the month” club (4), and then nine searches tied for fourth at 2 states each. However, the iPhone was clearly a popular gift this year. 2016 was also the first year that subscription boxes appeared as a #1 search in any state. This is understandable, considering their explosion in popularity.
This year, it looks like electronics and gadgets are still on top, especially for all the busy folks out there. That’s why we scoured the Internet for some pretty amazing gift recommendations that might come in handy when you’re making your list.
Gift giving may be more an art than a science, but this data tells us that most people seem to love technology. It also tells us that neighboring states (and people) tend to think alike. How does your state compare to others, and what was your top gift in past years? Share your thoughts in the comments below!