White Paper: America’s Most Mustache-Friendly Cities

On September 27, 2011, by AMI Staff

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Behavioral Economics Division of the Mustached American Research Dept. within the American Mustache Institute (AMI), the world’s leading facial hair think tank and advocacy organization, embarked on a two year analysis to better understand the cities in the United States that are most appealing to people choosing to live a Mustached American lifestyle. The first stage of the study involved examining medium-to-large sized American cities by a series of mustache-friendly factors.

AMI’s behavioral economists, anthropologists, and statisticians then developed a proprietary formula, the “AMI City Index,” for determining mustache-friendliness based on five primary factors.

“The study identified a combination of lifestyle factors befitting people of Mustached American heritage,” said AMI behavioral economist Edgar Heywood. “We then scoured the country to find cities that fit the mold. The results were staggering.”

Cities were assigned scores based on presence of the following:

Employment: Employers with proven track records of hiring Mustached Americans or “mustache-positive employers”; large first responders pools (law enforcement, fire & rescue, EMTs, etc.); thriving film and/or theater industries; actors who play law enforcement, relief pitchers, construction

Transportation: Per capita aggregate of motorized two-wheeled vehicles (motorcycles) and monster trucks; or, in rural states, four-wheeler all terrain vehicles.

Entertainment & Sport: Quantity of professional or minor league sports teams, casinos, beach access, shooting ranges, trap and skeet clubs, and pontoon boats per capita

Culinary: High concentrations of restaurants primarily serving Miller Lite (termed “Miller pours” in restaurant industry vernacular), more than four Applebee’s casual dining restaurants, charcoal barbecue unit sales per capita, bars per capita; night clubs permitting adult males wearing tank-tops; restaurants serving pork rinds and pickled meats.

Education: Annual regional total of GED or high school equivalency degrees; aggregate volume of trade and vocational institutions, as well as community colleges.

Based on these criteria, AMI considered 100 U.S. municipalities through on-the-ground engagement, thousands of volumes of legal documents, relevant statistics, and U.S.

Census data to identify the cities deemed most appreciative and supportive of the sexually dynamic Mustached American lifestyle, as defined by AMI.

The resulting 10 highest scoring cities in the AMI City Index include:



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Among other cities that were deemed quality candidates but did not achieve a Top 10 Mustache-Friendly City ranking included, in order: Boston, Massachusetts; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Green Bay, Wisconsin; Dallas, Texas; Bozeman, Montana; Rome, Georgia; Cheyenne, Wyoming; Cuba, Missouri; Charleston, West Virginia; Shreveport, Louisiana.

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METHODOLOGY

The research methodology was conducted via a two-prong approach.

In the first stage, medium-to-large metropolitan areas in the United States and territories were assigned scores according to a proprietary algorithm developed by economists and statisticians at the Institute. Factors include Entertainment & Sport, Employment, Transportation, Culinary, and Education.

The second stage involves qualitative research in 100 cities identified by AMI researchers based on Mustached American activity and AMI chapter interest.

A series of focus groups and in-depth interviews were conducted in each of the cities. In each setting, respondents were asked to complete a brief questionnaire regarding their attitudes and thoughts on mustache culture in general.

Within both focus groups and interviews, respondents were encouraged to provide candid responses to open-ended questions. Questionnaire items included opinions on influential Mustached Americans, consumer habits, employment, and sexual relationships. These interviews were conducted in confidence, with permission to publish paraphrasing of respondents’ statements without attribution.

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ANATOMY OF A MUSTACHE-RICH METRO AREA

The Institute sought to better understand the mustached micro-cultures of these top-performing metropolitan areas.  AMI anthropologists and social scientists went to these cities to conduct formal interviews and focus groups.

“Our findings confirm that Mustached Americans are migrating to major metropolitan areas,” said AMI social psychologist Melvin van Campbell. “In the Southern states especially, we witnessed an unprecedented embrace of the Mustached American lifestyle.”

AMI researchers interviewed two hundred Mustached Americans in each of 100 high-performing U.S. cities (as it relates to the Mustached American lifestyle) to determine what makes their municipal region a flavor saving destination.

Researchers asked participants to freely respond to open-ended questions about their lifestyle and spending habits. Qualitative data received during this study shed light on to why these cities received high AMI City Index scores.

“It’s important to document these unique enclaves of mustached culture in America,” said AMI historian Samuel Glasscock, Jr. “Each city contributes its own unique piece to a rich tapestry of American upper-lip hair.”

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THE CALIFORNIA EFFECT

In much of the continental U.S., wherever Mustached Americans congregate, AMI’s cultural anthropologists found that women followed in large numbers, ostensibly attracted by the power, brawn, and inherent musk of the upper mouth forestry devices.

However, this pattern did not hold true in one of the most populous U.S. states and the home of the fifth largest economy in the world: California.  Indeed, with the exception of Oakland – the 79th most Mustached-Friendly city, California municipalities were conspicuously absent from AMI’s Top 100 cities. According to researchers, this was in part because of the overwhelming influence of women in government, social issues and commerce.

The project researchers dubbed this the “California Effect.”

In San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego, for example, women have demonstrated ill-effects from the presence of muscle cars (Chevrolet El Caminos in particular), restaurants with video poker gaming machinery, and Burt Reynolds film festivals in favor of driving Toyota Priuses, a new California phenomena known as “Fern Bars,” and “He’s Just Not That Into You” and “Sex & The City” film marathons.

While other cities throughout the West have upheld the historic place of the Mustached American culture, sadly, California has seemingly turned its back on this important element of its culture.

“We are very concerned about California,” Glasscock said. “If this trend continues we may see the extinction of the Mustached Californian – Redfordpithicus, as we call him – just as we have seen the great decline of women in the state who don’t have lower back tattoos or ‘tramp stamps’.”

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THE TOP 10

1. CHICAGO

Entertainment & Sport: 5

Employment: 5

Transportation: 5

Culinary: 5

Education: 5

With a vast pool of professional opportunities in first-responder fields such as police and fire department, as well as EMTs with the large healthcare community of Chicago; access to one of America’s largest lakes, two baseball teams, a heritage of retired Chicago Bears players who have continued to embrace a Mustached American lifestyle, and conspicuously high hot-dog consumption — Chicago was the only U.S. city to achieve a perfect score on the AMI City Index.

“We found more Americans employed at mustache-friendly jobs, such as law enforcement, construction, and relief pitching, than any other city in America,” said Heywood. “Contributing to the positive jobs market for Mustached Americans, Chicago boasts some of the country’s most abundant opportunities for trade and vocational education.”

From a culinary perspective, Chicagoland has a copious volume of Mustached American restaurateurs and eating establishments with numerous dishwashing and table busing opportunities. Additionally, residents have made Miller Lite brand adult beverage the region’s leading “Premium Light” beer of choice with 55.5 percent share of the premium light beer segment.

A robust commercial fishing industry centered around Lake Michigan has also historically provided high energy, low income job opportunities for Mustached Americans such as fishermen, fishermen assistants, fishing boat captains, descalers, filet mechanics, dock maintenance professionals, and fishing net repair technicians.

Focus groups revealed a deep heritage of Mustached American celebrities as a major contributing factor to the city’s historical mustache culture. When asked, “which Mustached American inspires you?”, more than 80 percent of Chicago respondents replied either Bears stalwarts Mike Ditka or Dick Butkus, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, or former Cubs player Pete LaCock.

Interviews demonstrate that Chicagoans associate mustache culture with pride, power, good looks, and a deep heritage of working-class prestige.

“Chicago mustache culture is something men aspire to enter,” said Heywood. “In fact, a recent survey of middle school-aged males in the Windy City shows that a majority hope to “wear a mustache in the next one to five years.”

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2. HOUSTON

Entertainment & Sport: 5

Employment: 5

Transportation: 4

Culinary: 4

Education: 5

Houston’s cottage industry and heritage of ranching, along with the Mustached American-rich energy sector employment and commitment to professional sports teams placed the city high on AMI’s City Index.

Additionally, Houston’s high Mexican-American influence is a major contributing factor in the city’s rise to America’s second-most mustache-friendly city.

“The per-capita measure of first and second generation Latino, primarily Mexican, Mustached Americans in Houston exceeded our wildest estimates,” said Heywood. “And yet, with so many jobs friendly to upper-lip hair, the growth potential seems unlimited.”

Mustached-Americans in Houston have no shortage of activities and entertainment as well, leading to the city’s high score..

Participants interviewed noted the prevalence nearby rodeo schooling and participation venues, college and professional sports (namely baseball, football and women’s roller derby) as another key contributing factor to why they live there.

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3. PITTSBURGH

Entertainment & Sport: 4

Employment: 5

Transportation: 3

Culinary: 4

Education: 5

The sheer concentration in Pittsburgh of Mustached Americans, culturally friendly venues, steel industry and mining heritage, as well as a strong contingent of retired and current Pittsburgh Steelers players placed “The Steel City” high on the list.

Previous AMI research actually demonstrates that Pittsburgh has the highest number of Mustached Americans per capita outside of only Graz, Styria in Austria and Tijuana, Mexico.

AMI’s researchers believe the phenomenon lies principally in the city’s industrial roots – in particular steel and mining professions, as well as a strong yet underground Lesbian/Gay/Transgender populace, the 1970s-era Steelers’ commitment to the Mustached American lifestyle, and high volume of vocational education opportunities.

Additionally, many Pittsburgh Millennials suggested that the no-hitter thrown by the late former Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher and Mustached American Doc Ellis while high on acid continues to play an enduring influence on the acceptance of a Mustached American lifestyle in the city.

“Pittsburgh is fascinating because it is a historically mustached city, with many Men of Mustached descent going back nine or ten generations to its industrial roots,” said AMI social anthropologist Dr. Vaibhav Patel.

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4. OKLAHOMA CITY

Entertainment & Sport: 5

Employment: 4

Transportation: 3

Culinary: 5

Education: 3

While the Oklahoma City enjoys similar ranching-related employment opportunities as Houston, this city stands out for its nightlife and entertainment, as well as serving as the “off-season” home to many employees of the adult entertainment industry.

“In one focus group we conducted, over half of the participants said they were heading directly afterward to local men’s adult entertainment facilities,” said Heywood. “That’s without question a strong indicator of a commitment to the Mustached American lifestyle.”

More than 85 percent of the men interviewed said they could “found at a local dive bar, gentlemen’s club, or Huddle House after 1am.”

AMI researchers were also pleased to discover that tank top sales in the OKC are among the nation’s highest.

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5. DETROIT

Entertainment & Sport: 5

Employment: 4

Transportation: 3

Culinary: 5

Education: 3

Mustached Americans, shown in studies to be among the country’s most sexually active demographics, live up to their collective reputation in the Motor City.

High jobless rates have spurned a boom in prostitution and condom sales, attracting a great mustached migration from neighboring states with less commitment to the Mustached American lifestyle. .

“In the early twentieth century, Mustached Americans moved to Detroit to be the labor force of America’s most famous industrial metropolis,” said Glasscock. “Today, we are witnessing a second great migration into the city – a renaissance if you will – but primarily focused on wearing mustaches and getting laid.”

Additionally, the metro area also boasts a surprising number of Applebee’s restaurants – 32 in the region overall, and using Detroit demographics as a guideline, AMI researchers found that

Mustached Americans are generally willing to compensate sex workers at a higher per capita rate than clean-shaven Americans, despite the high unemployment rate.

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6. MILWAUKEE

Entertainment & Sport: 5

Employment: 4

Transportation: 3

Culinary: 5

Education: 3

Milwaukee is the original home of Miller Brewing Co. which features the legacy brand Miller High Life, a favorite breakfast beverage of Mustached Americans; and Miller Lite is the overwhelming “Premium Light” beer of choice with 53.5 percent share of the premium light beer segment..

Milwaukee is also a city with abundant vocational education opportunities, copious numbers of barber shops equipped with shoe shine capabilities, and a nasal forestry culture that was heavily influenced by the 1982 American League Champion Milwaukee Brewers.

That historic Major League Baseball team, which at the time played in the American League, featured a stunning number of Mustached Americans including Robin Yount, Gorman Thomas, Pete Vukovich, Rollie Fingers, Pete Ladd, Cecil Cooper, Moose Haas, Jim Gantner and others.

“We were surprised when multiple former Brewers relief pitchers showed up in focus groups,” said AMI economic geographer Dr. Bruce Nagel. “I mean, Moose Haas? Who knew?”

The aforementioned factors and 38 Applebee’s restaurants mean mustache tourism is a major draws in this Wisconsin city, along with Milwaukee’s geographic positioning near a large lake with high quality boating and fishing sports.

Focus groups revealed the primary attractions are the city’s deep commitment to motor cycling (Milwaukee is the home of Harley Davidson) and mustached vacationers also mention the city’s penchant for copious beer consumption at most meals, polka events, baseball games, and during Lutheran services as a major draw.

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7. CLEVELAND

Entertainment & Sport: 4

Employment: 3

Transportation: 3

Culinary: 4

Education: 4

Like its industrial neighbor Detroit, Cleveland’s lake access, low cost meal availability, and surprisingly high quality prostitution make it a top-choice for Mustached American living and vacationing.

Though lacking in mustache-friendly job opportunities – as employment opportunities are scarce in general despite a thriving underground pornographic film sector – AMI researchers found that the Mustached Americans who are unemployed in Cleveland are thriving despite the economic downturn.

“Most Mustached Americans in Cleveland are ninth, tenth, even eleventh generation of their kind,” said Glasscock. “Their deep social network and willingness to share vital resources proved to be a safety net from the unemployment situation.”

Though hit with hard times, the Mustached American community of Cleveland still manages to prosper due to a higher volume of lower-priced restaurants (38 Applebee’s in metro area) and beer consumption (Miller LIte has nearly 30 percent of the “Premium Light” market).

A majority of those interviewed in the city also said they had both piloted a pontoon boat and eaten Carp in the past month. Additionally, almost half had visited a prostitute in the past week – a strong indicator of a thriving Mustached American community.

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8. NEW YORK

Entertainment & Sport: 5

Employment: 4

Transportation: 3

Culinary: 5

Education: 3

As home to the largest first responder job market and force in the U.S., abundant shoe-shine job opportunities, and multiple airports — NYC is a hot spot of blue collar Mustached American activity despite its relatively anti-Mustached American white collar community and the presence of hipsters wearing “ironic” lower nose forestry devices.

And, as the country’s historical immigration hub, New York’s influence in the Mustached American community is growing at 17 percent annually – fast becoming not only one of the top mustache-friendly cities in the U.S., but worldwide.

Mustached migrants, AMI research has shown, are attracted to NYC’s ample nightlife, glut of luxury cars, and high concentration of single women. So much, in fact, that NYC boasts the highest average number of vacation homes owned by Arab and Gulf state princes and royalty.

“New York’s job market and education opportunities are unmatched in the region,” said economist Heath Worblee. “Taxi operations alone account for 10% of mustached employees on the Eastern seaboard.”

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9. HUNTVILLE, ALA.

Entertainment & Sport: 3

Employment: 5

Transportation: 3

Culinary: 3

Education: 5

Quality vocational school opportunities, jobs in timber and logging, easy access to low-cost cigarettes, and strong bass fishing community make Huntsville a nexus of Southern mustache culture.

“Outside of law enforcement and other traditionally mustached professions, Southern states were known to be notoriously clean-shaven,” said Dr. Patel. “The rise of race car driving in the past 40 years seems to be the key contributing factor in upper-lip hair growth in the Deep South.”

Although it has fewer choices than some of the larger cities on the list, Huntsville is home to surprisingly high quality adult entertainment.

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10. TAMPA-ST. PETERSBURG-CLEARWATER metro-area

Entertainment & Sport: 4

Employment: 3

Transportation: 3

Culinary: 4

Education: 3

Like other emerging geographically Southern mustache-friendly cities, the Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater metro area offers internationally recognized dog racing facilities, 49 Applebee’s locations (the most in the top 10), the internationally acclaimed Mons Venus Dance Academy, and more radio breast enhancement advertisements per capita than any metro region in the U.S.

Additionally, the region is a bastion for both indoor and outdoor tanning facilities, and maintains a deep commitment to live classic rock acts such as REO Speedwagon, 38 Special, Journey, and Orleans (specifically per outdoor music festivals in St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Park).

Of equal importance, the region boasts the highest volume of male tank top wearers per capita, and there is a deep commitment to cigarette consumption and single parenting along the coast in beach communities such as St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island, Madeira Beach, Redding Beach, Reddington Shores, and Indian Shores.

Although fewer in total number, trade school and community college opportunities do exist, as well as a bevy of employment opportunities at the region’s impressive number of used vehicle and watercraft purveyors.

  • http://ipreferboozehound.wordpress.com/ Matt

    “Previous AMI research actually demonstrates that Pittsburgh has the
    highest number of Mustached Americans per capita outside of only Graz,
    Styria in Austria and Tijuana, Mexico.”

    Not to nit-pick, but I believe that gentlemen from Austria and Mexico would not fit into the category of ‘Mustached Americans.’ I don’t mean this in any offensive way. In fact, Old World Mustaches and Mexican Mustaches each have their own unique and valuable pedigree, the likes of which the Mustached American can never achieve.

  • Anonymous

    What about women with hairy lips? Some of them have grown cookie dusters you know. Look at Chaz what’s his/her name. What are you guys, sexists?

  • http://twitter.com/austinsallen Austin Allen

    While I definitely believe in the California effect (myself born and raised in CA), there is some hope. The growing “hipster movement” in southern california is a huge proponent of mustaches.