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

    California 13th

    Colorado Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang

    Connecticut Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang

    Delaware Dirty Money

    Florida 13th

    Georgia 13th

    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

    Maryland 13th

    Massachusetts The Staircase

    Michigan Flint Town

    Minnesota The Ivory Game

    Mississippi Last Chance U

    Missouri 13th

    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

    Texas 13th

    Utah The Toys That Made Us

    Vermont 13th

    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


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