By Neal Taparia - 05/25/2023
The story of Harry Potter has captivated audiences worldwide for decades, igniting imaginations and whisking fans away on magical adventures. Fans of ‘The Boy Who Lived’ are passionate about what house they would be put in if the Sorting Hat ever ended up on their head. Many have taken quizzes to learn whether they are Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, or Hufflepuff… and have even made that house part of their identity. We're looking at you fellow solitaire card game fan.
But which Hogwarts House would your city belong to? Our recent ranking sorts the top 30 most populous cities into their respective houses. So, grab your wand, hop aboard the Hogwarts Express, and let's embark on a magical journey through the rankings and explore the impact of Harry Potter fandom across the United States.
The magical world of Harry Potter has found its way into an unexpected realm—the bustling cities of the U.S. From the intellectual allure of Ravenclaw, the tenacity of Gryffindor, the ambition of Slytherin, and the camaraderie of Hufflepuff, each city brings its unique characteristics to the enchanting world inside of the Hogwarts castle.
Drawing on a range of factors, including educational attainment, sports championships, average working hours, cultural offerings, and professional aspirations, the top 30 most populous U.S. cities have been assigned to their magical counterparts.
Leading the intellectual pack is Austin, Texas, which claims a spot in Ravenclaw House. The city has more than 42,000 bachelor's degrees per 100,000 residents, demonstrating a thirst for knowledge and intellectual curiosity. Portland, Oregon, along with Seattle, Washington, and San Francisco, California, also possess these traits, putting them in the Ravenclaw common room.
Boston, Massachusetts, finds its place in Gryffindor House. Known for its rich history and successful sports teams, Boston exudes bravery and courage, traits synonymous with this house founded by Godric Gryffindor. New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston are also at home with the scarlet and gold of Gryffindor.
While some cities embody the more admirable traits, others find their match in the cunning and ambitious house of Slytherin. With their higher rate of Google searches regarding career advancement, Baltimore, Maryland, as well as Charlotte, North Carolina, and Columbus, Ohio, display qualities that align with their Slytherin House.
A sense of camaraderie, culture, and hard work characterizes the cities placed in Hufflepuff House. The cities that earned this title were home to higher rates of museums per 100,000 residents and put in many working hours per week. Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio, Texas, as well as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, all represent traits of Hufflepuff.
Harry Potter has cast its spell on the United States with a staggering 92% of Americans having seen at least one Harry Potter movie and 71% having delved into the magical pages of at least one book.
Nearly 3 in 4 (73%) consider themselves fans of the series. Among them, 16% proudly identify as "Potterheads," a term coined to describe superfans of the series. When it comes to favorite characters, the beloved trio of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley reign supreme. The endearing half-giant Hagrid also holds a special place in fans' hearts as well as Albus Dumbledore, Severus Snape, and Luna Lovegood.
As the Hogwarts houses play a significant role in the series, 48% of Americans know which house they belong to. Gryffindor emerges as the most popular house, with 33% of fans proudly claiming it as their own. Ravenclaw follows closely behind with 30%, while Hufflepuff and Slytherin garner 23% and 14% of fans, respectively.
Going even deeper into the fandom, 26% of Americans know their Patronus, an advanced spell that produces a shield in animal form to protect the witch or wizard from a Dementor, which is a testament to their commitment and knowledge of the series. More than 1 in 10 Americans even own a wand from the Harry Potter franchise.
Unfortunately, not all muggles embrace the enchantment of Harry Potter. Approximately 1 in 10 admit to judging individuals who identify as fans of the series.
The magical world of Hogwarts is not confined to books and movies alone but is also brought to life through interactive gaming experiences and an upcoming television series. In fact, 61% have heard about the Hogwarts Legacy game, 17% have already played it, and 24% are waiting for it to be released on additional gaming systems.
Among those who have played, an overwhelming 95% like the game, and the same amount believe the game represents the wizarding world well. One critique is that the game is set in a time period before the known story of Harry Potter, and 43% of fans wish they could play in the same time period as The Boy Who Lived. When it comes to the favorite activities within Hogwarts Legacy, the majority of players (81%) like exploring Hogwarts, 45% enjoy mastering spells, and 30% like customizing their own witch or wizard.
Looking beyond gaming, 39% of Americans know about the upcoming Harry Potter TV series on Max. In fact, 2 in 3 plan to watch it, and 2 in 5 think it will be as good as the movies.
Whether you identify as a Gryffindor or prefer their primary rival Slytherin, Harry Potter fandom in the United States is a testament to the enduring power of storytelling. As the series continues to captivate hearts and minds, let us embrace the magic.
To determine our ranking, we compared the top 30 most populous cities in the U.S. cities across five key metrics: bachelor degrees per 100,000 residents, professional sports championships, hours worked per week, museums per 100,000 residents, and Google searches related to career ambition per 100,000 residents. After scoring each city in the five key metrics, the cities were sorted into the four Hogwarts Houses based on the following characteristics: intelligence, ambition, athletics, hard work, and culture.
In May 2023, a survey of 1,003 people from across the U.S. was conducted. The average age was 40 years old, with 49% identifying as male, 48% as female, and 3% as non-binary or transgender.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Google Analytics, the American Alliance of Museums, and Wikipedia
When using this data and research, please attribute by linking to this study and citing Solitaired (https://solitaired.com/).