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Archive for July 7th, 2018

5000 Columns

Although the original goal for my blog was to periodically share information with congressional staffers and journalists, the audience has expanded and the site has now become the primary outlet for my work on public policy.

And today is a milestone of sorts since it is my 5,000th column, something I would not have predicted when I posted my first entry back on March 29, 2009.

So that gives me an excuse to update the readership data from 2015.

Back then, based on visits as a share of population, I noted that I was most popular in Washington, DC. Though perhaps “most popular” would be the wrong term since I’m sure some readers from that corrupt city do not like my message.

In any event, those numbers were not surprising since DC is filled with people who work on public policy, so they have a reason to read my work. And I also wasn’t surprised that Virginia as in second place since that’s the home of many people who work in DC-related public policy.

And that hasn’t changed based on these updated numbers showing where I get the most readers and fewest readers.

For what it’s worth, I’ll make the claim that Colorado is the most libertarian-leaning state based on this data. The folks in the Centennial State read my writings without having a work-related reason. So I hope they all paid close attention to my column about TABOR.

And New Hampshire would be in second place based on that analysis, which probably isn’t too surprising since it’s the home of the Free State crowd.

The data on international readership is even more interesting, in part because I have access to data on both visits and page views. Here are the numbers, both expressed as a percentage of the jurisdiction’s population.

The most striking result is that Vatican CIty (which wasn’t even in the top-20 three years ago) is where I have the highest percentage of readership. Though I definitely don’t think this means “most popular” since my columns about the economic views of Pope Francis have been less than flattering (see here, here, here, here, and here).

Measured by page views, however, the Cayman Islands and Monaco take the top two spots. Given my work on tax havens and tax competition, I’m guessing that these readers actually like my writings.

Indeed, you’ll notice that “offshore” jurisdictions are very well represented, whether based on visits or page views.

The second-most striking result is that Iceland appears on both lists and even ranks above the United States for page views. In my fantasies, I’ll assume the striking women of Iceland are avid readers. In reality, it’s more likely to be the burly fishermen.

Another odd outcome is that there’s a high level of page views from the Faroe Islands. Are they big fans of their private Social Security system? My writings on Australian pension reform may also explain the high level of visits from Down Under.

Since I’m writing a narcissistic column today, I’ll close with by sharing my recent interview with “Spanish Libertarian.” He asked several very good questions about the challenges of trying to expand freedom.

P.S. There are some places where people don’t appreciate my work. I’ve never had a single visit or page view from Niue, Norfolk Island, Svalbard, or Tokelau. Given the very small populations of those obscure jurisdictions, I’ll try not to take it personally. Oh, and I’ve also never had a visitor or page view from North Korea. But I’m assuming that nation’s totalitarian government blocks access so citizens don’t get exposed to this or this.

P.P.S. I’m no Cal Ripken or Lou Gehrig, but I have a personal streak. I’ve written a column every day since November 10, 2009. I realize the world won’t end if I skip a day, but maintaining this streak is a way of forcing myself to stay productive. Now I have to figure out how to be effective.

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