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Social Explorer’s 2018 Super “Data” Bowl: Philadelphia Eagles vs. New England Patriots

THURSDAY, FEB 01, 2018

While some Super Bowl fans study player stats, team strategy and weather forecasts, true data nerds prefer analyze demographics.

This Sunday, the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles will compete in Super Bowl LII. But first, they face off in Social Explorer's annual Super Data Bowl.

Using 2005, 2016 and 2012-16 American Community Survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau, we dug into data from the teams’ hometowns. Read on to see how they match up in terms of fandom, snack power and shifting populations.

Fan Strength

The following maps show the population density of each team's hometown (based on the detailed 2012-16 American Community Survey). The more local fans a hometown has, the more cheering for the team on game day.

Philadelphia has 1,567,872 residents, compared to Boston’s 672,840, giving the City of Brotherly Love an edge of 900,000 more potential local cheerers (over 2.3 times as many people).  

However, Boston has a higher population density (13,937 people per square mile, compared to 11,692 people per square mile).

Though Philadelphia has more local fans, when Boston fans cheer, their vocal strength will be more concentrated.

Zoom in and click around to see more detailed views of both city's populations.

Snack Budgets

Boston households have higher median incomes than Philadelphia households ($63,621 compared to $41,449, according to 2016 American Community Survey data). Philadelphia incomes are 28.1 percent less than the national median income while Boston incomes are 10.4 percent higher. Patriots fans could afford more decadent Super Bowl snacks to fuel the fanbase.

However, Boston’s median house value is more than three times that of Philadelphia ($495,400 compared to $154,000). So, Eagles fans may end up having more spending money available for game day food and drink.

Since Last Super Bowl Appearance

The Patriots played in and won the Super Bowl last year. The last time the Eagles competed in the Super Bowl was in 2005, when they faced off against the Patriots. How have the two cities changed over the past couple of decades?

Comparing 2016 American Community Survey data to the 2006 data (the earliest one-year survey available), we see that both cities have grown. Boston’s population increased by 17.0 percent—twice the rate of increase for Philadelphia (8.2 percent). While Philadelphia just outpaced the country’s overall growth of 7.9 percent, Boston grew at a rate more than double.

Looking to relative snacking, when adjusted for inflation, Boston median incomes increased by 8.8 percent during this period, nearly double the increase of Philadelphia median incomes (4.7 percent).

While our demographic analysis may not be able to pick the winner, we can confirm that each city has a notable and well-snacked fanbase ready for Sunday.

Explore more data on the hometowns and beyond with Social Explorer to impress your friends on Super Bowl Sunday.

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