SUNDAY, FEB 02, 2020
For many people, the Super Bowl showcases the finest in American football and snacking. For us at Social Explorer, it also represents an opportunity to dive into demographics.
Before the San Francisco 49ers play the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV, they will compete in the thrilling Social Explorer Super Data Bowl. Warm up for the big game with data from the teams’ hometowns and histories.
The 49ers have appeared in the Super Bowl six times, winning five times. Their most recent victory was in 1994 against the San Diego Chargers. The Kansas City Chiefs have been to the big dance twice before, winning once against the Minnesota Vikings in 1970.
We will assess fandom, snack power, and related measures using Census and American Community Survey data from 1970, 1990 and today, plus a look at voting patterns.
The following maps show the current population density of each team's hometown—the Kansas City Chiefs in Jackson County, Missouri, and the San Francisco 49ers in San Francisco County, California. The more local fans, the more potential cheering on game day.
According to the 2014-18 American Community Survey (ACS), the San Francisco County population of 870,044 was 25 percent higher than Jackson County’s population of 692,003.
The 49ers potential local fans live 16 times closer together than Kansas City Chiefs fans–18,561.8 people per square mile, compared to Jackson County’s 1,144.8 people per sq. mile.
Zoom in and click around to see more detailed views of both teams’ local areas.
A look at the county populations from the teams’ last Super Bowl appearances to now using decennial census data shows that the counties have grown at different rates. San Francisco County’s population grew from 723,959 in 1990 to 870,044 today–over a 20 percent increase. Meanwhile, Jackson County’s population grew from 654,558 in 1970 to 692,003 today–a 5.7 percent increase. The 49ers might have an edge in new fan growth.
According to the 2014-18 ACS, San Francisco County households had median incomes nearly twice that for Jackson County households ($104,552 to $52,805). San Francisco County households also had incomes significantly higher than the national median (73.4 percent higher) while Jackson County's median incomes lagged behind the rest of the US (12.4 percent lower).
While it might appear that San Francisco County residents have a lot more money to spend on fancy Super Bowl snacks, a look at the data shows that those higher incomes are supporting higher home values. According to the 2014-18 ACS, the median value of owner-occupied homes in San Francisco County was $1,009,500, which is more than seven times the median home value in Jackson County ($139,000). So ultimately, Kansas City fans might have more spending money available for game day food and drinks, even after paying for their mortgages.
The two teams' fans might respond differently to President Trump’s Super Bowl ad scheduled to air during the game. The 60-second ad cost $11 million, or approximately the same price as 11 San Francisco County homes or 79 Jackson County homes. A look at 2016 presidential election voting patterns (using Social Explorer maps of Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections) reveals that while both Jackson County and San Francisco County voted for Hillary Clinton over Trump, the margins varied widely. Trump lost by 9.2 percent to 84.5 percent in San Francisco County, while he lost by 38.1 to 55.5 in Jackson County.
As the following maps show, the 49ers are surrounded by Democrat-leaning areas, while the Kansas City Chiefs are based in a predominantly Republican-leaning region. (Click around the maps to explore 2016 presidential election results.)
Load up on nachos and data points for Super Bowl Sunday with Social Explorer (nachos not included).