What can Google tell us about hobbies during the pandemic and around the world?
Hobbies like knitting, sewing, baking, and gardening were popular during the pandemic. According to Google search data, some are more popular search terms than others, and most fluctuate seasonally.
If we zoom in on 2020 and stack each hobby, we can see the impact of the pandemic on Google searches in March of 2020.
Where in the world are each of these hobbies the most popular?
Knitting is really popular in Iceland and New Zealand. It makes sense, as Iceland is known for its elaborate fair isle sweaters and New Zealand is known for its wool.
Crochet is popular in South American countries like Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
Sewing is popular in many countries around the world, including the United Kindgom, Nigeria, Ghana, Australia, and New Zealand. It's interesting that these countries are all members of the British Commonwealth!
The top five countries that are searching for baking on Google are all islands! Trinidad and Tobago, Singapore, Jamaica, the Philipines, and New Zealand all top this list.
Many of the countries on the list have good climates for gardening, including the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Ireland.
Hobbies in the United States
In the United States, knitting is most popular in the northeast and western states.
This made me wonder—is there any corellation between Google searches for these hobbies and median income? In some cases there is! Interest in knitting and baking seems to increase with median income in each state.
Interest in knitting by state vs. median household income
Interest in baking by state vs. median household income
Interest in crochet by state vs. median household income
Interestingly—crochet seems to go in the opposite direction.
Gardening and sewing didn't show any noticeable trends.
Interest in gardening by state vs. median household income
Interest in sewing by state vs. median household income
Interest in knitting vs. sheep per capita in 2019
Is interest in knitting corellated to the number of sheep? Not as far as I can tell, but they do really like sheep in New Zealand.
Interest in baking vs. the Great British Bake Off in the UK
Did interest in baking in the UK increase with the popularity of the Great British Bake Off? Unclear, but not impossible!