The 10 Most Sunburned States (And The Least)

By Amanda Postma
Aug. 10, 2022
Fact Checked
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Most Sunburned States Research Summary

  • The most sunburned state in the U.S. Hawaii, with the highest sunburn search volume of 100.

  • The least sunburned state in the U.S. is Alaska, with a low sunburn search volume of only 19.

  • 45% of Americans got sunburned in 2021.

  • 82% of Americans don’t wear sunscreen at all in the summer.

Feeling hot, hot hot.

It’s getting hot in here…

I’m gonna soak up the sun.

Ok, I’m done. Here comes the sun.

Seriously, though. I’m done now. Since summer has officially arrived in the U.S., people are spending more time outside. This doesn’t come without a cost. It seems that many are going out unprotected. That’s right, they’re skimping on the sunscreen. And, in return, the sun is delivering its natural gift of sunburn.

Turns out, that people in some states are more likely to receive this gift than in other states. Now, it’s time to lather up with aloe and maybe next time these states will think twice when it comes to sunscreen.

Summary of the Most (and least) Sunburned States

  • So, it’s not surprising that Hawaii turned up first as being the most sunburned state. After all, there are endless things to do there that all require you to be outside. Surfing, hiking, swimming, visiting a volcano and climbing a coconut tree. All outside.

  • And, again, it’s no surprise that Alaska came in last. The only type of burn that may be common there is if you get too close to the fireplace.

  • Now, something that is surprising is that California was 2 spots away from being in the least sunburned state. You would think with the beaches that everyone would be out enjoying themselves and getting sunburned. But maybe it’s not that everyone stayed inside last week. Maybe instead it’s that almost everyone in California knows to wear sunscreen. A tip of the hat to Californians.

  • After Hawaii, South Carolina and Florida tied for being the second most sunburned states. With Florida being the Sunshine State, we were surprised it wasn’t first on the list.

Don’t forget to check out the full list of sunburned states below.

How We Determined The Most Sunburned States

This one was fairly simple. We turned to google trends to find which states saw the biggest increase in search traffic for ‘sunburn.’

Odds are pretty good if you’re googling sunburn treatments you’re lobster red. Related searches include shaving cream, menthol, and a Luke Bryan song (Sunrise, sunburn, sunset.) So there is a slight chance some country-loving states may rank a bit higher. But if you’re blasting music on the 4th, there’s a good chance you’re doing it outside.

We opted to look at July 1st to July 6th, accounting for a long weekend and time off.

The 10 Most Sunburned States

  1. Hawaii
  2. South Carolina
  3. Florida
  4. Maine
  5. West Virginia
  6. Alabama
  7. Iowa
  8. Delaware
  9. Wyoming
  10. Arkansas

Good News for Aloe Companies

With more and more people heading outside, the chances of sunburn have been increasing drastically. In the last couple of weeks, the search volume for “sunburn” has skyrocketed. And what happens when you look like a lobster? You run to the store for aloe.

So really all this boils down to is that companies that sell aloe are probably sitting pretty in the sales department. Of course, after one really bad sunburn usually, people are smart enough to remember sunscreen for the next time. So maybe the sunscreen companies aren’t doing so bad either.

While it all seems like a ploy, or a marketing scheme between the sun and these companies, it’s probably smart to just go along with it. After all, you don’t want to end up with skin cancer. As with other things in life, it’s essential to use protection. And in this particular case, that means sunscreen.

State Sunburn Search Volume
Hawaii 100
South Carolina 50
Florida 49
Maine 49
West Virginia 48
Alabama 46
Iowa 44
Delaware 43
Wyoming 43
Arkansas 42
Kentucky 42
Oklahoma 42
Nebraska 40
Rhode Island 40
North Dakota 39
South Dakota 39
Indiana 38
Utah 38
Wisconsin 38
Michigan 37
Mississippi 37
New Hampshire 37
North Carolina 37
Pennsylvania 37
Missouri 36
Ohio 36
Idaho 35
Louisiana 35
Kansas 34
Massachusetts 34
New Jersey 34
Tennessee 34
Minnesota 33
Montana 33
Vermont 33
Connecticut 31
Georgia 31
Texas 30
Virginia 30
Colorado 29
Illinois 29
Arizona 28
Nevada 28
Maryland 27
New York 27
New Mexico 26
California 25
Oregon 25
Washington 22
Alaska 19

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Amanda Postma

Amanda Postma is a writer for the Zippia Career Advice blog with a focus on creating entertaining content to help you through your job search. She received her BA from the University Of Missouri-Columbia.

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