Twitter Users are Statistically Superior to the Rest of the Population
They're better educated, make more money and, of course, not reflective of the general population
In news that is surprising to no Twitter users, we’re better than everyone else.
In a nationally representative survey of 2,791 adult Twitter users, Pew asked respondents about everything from their income and education to their political beliefs. The answers were then compared to data from other studies on the broader American population, yielding interesting information about how Twitter users differ from the general public.
Perhaps the most pronounced, though hardly unexpected, difference was in age. According to the survey, nearly 75 percent of Twitter users are under the age of 49, compared to 54 percent of the U.S. population.
The study also found Twitter users tend to display more educational and economic privilege. According to the report, 42 percent of Pew’s participants were college graduates, compared to 31 percent of the U.S. population. Meanwhile, 41 percent of the survey takers are raking in over $75,000 a year, compared to just 32 percent of Americans overall.
According to the survey, Twitter users are also less likely to identify as conservative. Asked to rate their political views on an 11-point scale, were zero is “very conservative” and 10 is “very liberal,” only 14 percent of Twitter-using respondents rated themselves between zero and two, compared to 25 percent of the broader population.
Broken down by specific issues, the participants were also more likely to trend left. The study found 64 percent of Twitter users say that black people are treated less fairly than white people, while only 54 percent of the American population agrees. The respondents also displayed more favorable views on immigration, and were more likely to say that women face adversity.
While this is all great news for self-aggrandizing Twitter users like myself, the study wasn’t just about fluffing Twitter’s ego. Rather, the distinctions between Twitter users and the rest of the population highlight the platform’s failure to accurately represent the views of the general public. While Twitter mobs have been known to generate some serious media coverage, Pew’s research shows that the chirps from the Twitterverse may not be as universal as they seem.
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