Press Release: Western Trends

For Immediate Release: March 10, 2009

Media Contacts:
Dadascope Communications
Dana Smith
510-524-2066/m: 510-682-3141
[email protected]

Jennifer Spoerri
415-563-2363/m: 415-577-0171
[email protected]

South Recognized as Most Traditional and Religious; Northeast Most Cosmopolitan

Menlo Park, CA – A new survey commissioned by Sunset Magazine (, the premier guide to life in the West, reveals that Westerners believe they have a leg up on the rest of the country when it comes to…well, just about everything.

According to the survey conducted by AngusReid Strategies, which polled more than 2,000 US residents in the Fall of 2008 right after the presidential election, people living in the Western United States are more likely than the rest of the country to claim they are:

  • Better looking
  • Hotter
  • Wealthier
  • Smarter
  • More fun
  • More optimistic
  • More creative
  • More independent
  • More environmentally conscious
  • More technologically savvy

It’s not just the West that appreciates the West. In fact, the country overall recognizes the West as tops in many desirable areas. The West took first-place honors in categories ranging from the most physically-fit and the most trendsetters to the most exciting part of the country and the place where the “beautiful people” live.

Categories the West didn’t fare as well in included most religious, most traditional, and most cosmopolitan. The South was voted most traditional and religious while the Northeast was voted most cosmopolitan.

“These findings prove what we’ve suspected for a long time: People living in the West have an indomitable sense of optimism and confidence,” said Katie Tamony, Sunset’s editor-in-chief. “The West seems to have a secret to staying upbeat, even during the recession. In fact, 75% of all Westerners surveyed reported that keeping a positive attitude is important in their daily lives.”

A report conducted by Sunset in 1998 revealed similar findings, suggesting that Westerners’ sense of confidence is enduring.

According to the survey, factors that may contribute to the positive Western outlook and sense of confidence include climate, scenery, engaging in cultural activities, a sense of adventure, a commitment to service, a healthy lifestyle, and focus on work/life balance.

It’s no surprise that Westerners are happy where they are with over 80% reporting that they would like to stay in the region.

To help people capture a Western sense of optimism and confidence no matter where they live, the editors of Sunset magazine have put together a variety of tips, including:

  • Channel the West’s Zest for Travel: Westerners travel more than the rest of the country, so strive to break away from your everyday routine. Journeys don’t have to be long or expensive: weekend, day trips, or a “staycation” at a local hotel or B&B are all you need for a sense of renewal.
  • Get a More Adventurous Palate: Westerners love fine food, but more importantly, they seek and enjoy a variety of foods. It’s this sense of adventure that enhances day-to-day quality of life ― without breaking the bank. Try a new ethnic restaurant, or master a new cooking style at home e.g., Indian, Thai, or Spanish. Or, explore the “Flavors of the West” at
  • Enjoying the Good Life: The West is known for its healthy lifestyle, but according to the survey, this means more than just exercise and diet. It also means spending more time with loved ones, getting a good night’s sleep and taking a more balanced approach to work.
  • Turn off the TV: Part of the reason Westerners have more time to devote to family and other pleasure pursuits is because they watch less TV on average than the rest of the country. Instead, they tend to engage in active lifestyle pursuits, or unwind with a magazine or book.

***Editors available for interviews.
Sunset magazine is the premier guide to life in the West, covering the newest and best ideas in Western home design and landscaping, food and entertaining, and regional travel in 13 Western states. Sunset and are part of the Lifestyle group of magazines and websites published by Time Inc., the largest magazine publisher in the U.S., and a leading publisher in the U.K. and Mexico