Where Is Thomas Piketty’s Book on Wealth and Inequality Most Popular?

Justin Wolfers, senior fellow and co-editor of the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, studied Google searches of “Piketty” by state to investigate the question, “has Mr. Piketty kicked off a broad national conversation about inequality, or is the book being read mostly in the East Coast liberal echo chamber?” Thomas Piketty is the author of the bestseller Capital in the Twenty-First Century, which is currently the top seller on

Wolfers concluded that the book is most popular in Washington, DC and in liberal-leaning states like California and New York. But for the nation’s capital, Wolfers wrote on The Upshot blog, “it’s not even close: The city is an extreme outlier, with searches on his name two and a half standard deviations more common in Washington than in the runner-up state, Massachusetts.”

Visit The Upshot on to see his charts and additional analysis of the book popularity data by income.