A year ago I asked people to take a survey and said I’d post the results “soon”. Now it’s been a year and I feel bad, so here are some very quick and dirty survey results. Remember, all of this is hopelessly out of date. Remember also that because the LW Survey was going on at the same time, this is a survey specifically of SSCers who were not Less Wrongers.
Although SSC got about 10,000 hits per day last November, only 649 people took the survey. 32% were commenters and the rest lurkers. 85% were male, 11% female, and the rest decline to state their gender; 1.2% were trans, 95.9% were cis, and the rest declined to state. Ages ranged from 16 to 87 (!), with an average of 29. 88% were white, 3% Indian, 2% East Asian, 2% Hispanic, 1% black, and 0.5% Middle Eastern, with the rest declining to state.
Readers were overwhelmingly American at 63%. Other popular countries were the UK (9%), Canada (5%), Germany (4%), New Zealand (1%), and of course Finland (1%). American readers were most frequently from California (19%), New York (11%), Massachusetts (10%), Illinois (6%), Pennsylvania (5%), Texas (5%), and Wisconsin (3%). Massachusetts has the highest readership per capita, which I guess isn’t surprising. Not all readers from Massachusetts were able to spell “Massachusetts” correctly on the survey.
77% were straight, 4% gay, 13% bi, and 2% asexual. 26% were married, 27% in a relationship, and 45% single. 65% considered themselves monogamous, 8% polyamorous, and the rest undecided.
41% of readers have a bachelors’ degree, 18% a master’s degree, 9% a PhD, and 5% some kind of professional degree like MD or JD. 31% are students. The most popular professions are computers (33%), finance (7%), engineering (7%), and math (7%). Mean income is $72000 and median income is $47000, but this was limited to the subset of people who entered an income at all. Mean charitable donation was $30000 (!), which reduced to $1700 after removal of one outlier; median donation was $200. Mean percent of income donated was 2.4%; median was 0.5%.
Average IQ was 139, average SAT was 1480 by the old reckoning and 2220 by the new reckoning.
68% of people were atheist, 16% agnostic, and 19% religious, of whom 12% identified as “committed” to their religion. Religious background (regardless of present religious affiliation) was 35% Protestant, 27% Catholic, 8% Jewish, 3% Mormon, 2% Hindu. Ethics were 43% consequentialist, 14% virtue ethics, 6% contractualism, 6% natural law, 4% deontology.
On a political spectrum where 1 is farthest left and 10 is farthest right, the average person placed themselves at 4.6. 19% identified with the US Democratic Party, 7% with the US Republican Party, and 3% with the US Libertarian Party. Of the ideological affiliations available, the top four were social democratic (29%), liberal (23%), libertarian (22%), and conservative (9%). Readers were mostly neutral on feminism, human biological differences, and the minimum wage; they mostly supported gay marriage, environmental action against global warming, more immigration, and basic income guarantees.
10% of readers identified with the social justice movement, 2% with the neoreactionary movement, and 7% with the effective altruist movement, with much larger numbers “sort of” identifying with each. Two people identified as both social justice and neoreactionary, which must involve some interesting logical gymnastics.
Most people came here via links from other blogs. The blogs that linked the most people were Bryan Caplan’s (21), Marginal Revolution (20), Unequally Yoked (10), David Friedman’s (6), and Gruntled & Hinged (3).
Older readers were more conservative, both by self-identification and on all individual issues. There were few other interesting or unexpected correlations; in particular, IQ didn’t correlate much with anything except SAT score. Digit ratio did correlate with lots of interesting things, but I should make that into its own post.
Although this survey represented the non-LW SSC demographic, the results were very similar to the Less Wrong survey results in terms of demographics, IQ, chosen professions, et cetera.
If you want more data, you can also take a look at the recent survey on gender related stuff (more commentary here). Of note, this survey has about twice the percent female as last year’s survey, reflecting either a change in the population (unlikely) or a difference in who responds to gender-related versus non-gender-related surveys (more likely).
I couldn’t remember whether I promised survey-takers privacy or not, so I deleted all theoretically traceable data (mostly age and location) and the remainder is available for examination and further analysis here.