Madeline Gearheart | October 29, 2018
Guess the Most-Searched Netflix Documentary in Your State
Fictional films dominate the marquees at movie theaters, but nonfiction films and series are on the rise—thanks mostly to streaming services.
You probably have some anecdotal evidence of this yourself, in the form of friends and co-workers talking your ear off about the docuseries they can’t stop watching. The Emmy Awards provide pretty good evidence too. In the last three years, documentaries by streaming studios have become serious competitors for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series, and Netflix in particular is soaring—it’s beaten traditional studios for the Emmy twice already.
There’s no shortage of good documentaries on Netflix, so if you haven’t lost yourself in one yet, sign in to your Netflix account ASAP and give it a go. To choose, find your state’s most-searched documentary below or pick one at random so you can bring something new to the lunchtime debates.
Interesting Findings about Popular Documentaries on Netflix
- With the current buzz around true crime series, it’s no surprise that The Staircase, one of the most recent additions to Netflix’s true crime docuseries, is the most popular documentary overall.
- Of the top-searched documentaries this past year, 3 investigated past murder cases, 2 explored aspects of the healthcare industry, 2 touched on police work and race politics, and 3 centered animals and the natural world. The rest profiled specific people, groups, or cultural moments in American history, e.g., the toy industry’s role in shaping childhood.
- Interest in documentaries tends to be heavily localized.
- The Staircase is the favorite in North Carolina, where the alleged murder took place.
- Bobby Kennedy for President is the favorite in New York, the state Bobby Kennedy represented in the Senate from 1965 to 1968.
- Chasing Coral and Mission Blue, both about the ocean, are the favorites in coastal states Virginia and Oregon.
- Making a Murderer, the favorite in Wisconsin, takes place in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin.
- Flint Town is the most searched documentary in Michigan, where the Flint water crisis continues.
- Last Chance U is the favorite in Kansas and Mississippi, the home states of the football programs featured in the series (East Mississippi Community College and Independence Community College).
- 13th, which is partly about the constitutional amendment to abolish slavery, is the most searched in 7 states with some of the longest histories of slavery during colonial and Civil War eras.
Your State’s Favorite Netflix Documentary
Alabama Last Chance U
Alaska The Bleeding Edge
Arizona The Staircase
Arkansas Wild Wild Country
Colorado Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang
Connecticut Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang
Delaware Dirty Money
Hawaii End Game
Idaho The Bleeding Edge
Illinois The Staircase
Indiana The Toys That Made Us
Iowa Making a Murderer
Kansas Last Chance U
Kentucky The Keepers
Louisiana The Staircase
Maine The Keepers
Massachusetts The Staircase
Michigan Flint Town
Minnesota The Ivory Game
Mississippi Last Chance U
Montana The Staircase
Nebraska The Staircase
Nevada The Toys That Made Us
New Hampshire The Staircase
New Jersey The Staircase
New Mexico 13th
New York Bobby Kennedy for President
North Carolina The Staircase
North Dakota Making a Murderer
Ohio The Staircase
Oklahoma End Game
Oregon Mission Blue
Pennsylvania The Staircase
Rhode Island 13th
South Carolina 13th
South Dakota The Staircase
Tennessee Last Chance U
Utah The Toys That Made Us
Virginia Chasing Coral
Washington The Ivory Game
West Virginia 13th
Wisconsin Making a Murderer
Wyoming Making a Murderer
We started with Netflix Originals documentaries and docuseries rated 7.8 and above on IMDB. We then used Google search volume over the last year to see which documentary each state searched the most. Some documentaries met our criteria but are not included because there was not sufficient search data.
Pro tip: Watch Netflix and DISH on the same device
Did you know you can watch Netflix on your DISH Hopper 3? Available as a $5 upgrade for DISH subscribers, the Hopper 3 includes extra features like the built-in Netflix app (separate Netflix subscription required), which lets you stream top Netflix documentaries and even get Netflix titles in your DISH search results without switching inputs. To use this feature, just open the app on your Hopper 3 and sign in with your Netflix subscription.
*Separate Netflix subscription required
Image sources: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bkj6b-HhGB7/?hl=en&tagged=bobbykennedyforpresident https://www.instagram.com/p/BoY8d7ohy93/?hl=en&tagged=stevenavery https://www.instagram.com/p/BobE1J9Bq7O/?hl=en&tagged=sylviaearle https://www.instagram.com/p/Bgg6kS-HpIg/?tagged=thekeepersnetflix https://www.instagram.com/p/BkI8DGTFtGB/?hl=en&tagged=thestaircasenetflix https://www.instagram.com/p/BjhJQPZlRl9/?tagged=thetoysthatmadeus https://www.instagram.com/p/Bo_yAs_lim1/?hl=en&tagged=wildwildcountry