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Reddit Demographics: Who Uses the Site?
For nearly thirteen years, Reddit has been present in one form or another on the web. Originally launched in June 2005, Reddit was founded by two 22-year-old University of Virginia graduates, Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman, who has served as the site's CEO since 2015. Reddit is at its core Reddit A simple service. The site's front page acts as a grouping of the most popular recent posts from its myriad communities. These communities (called subreddits) have their own front pages and users can track and send posts to any community as they wish. Reddit is a way to watch the news, contact people with similar backgrounds, views, and interests, or just to waste time online. For most users, Reddit is what you make it and nothing more.
Reddit is similar to any number of bulletin board systems that appeared before it, from niche sites to massive social services. While similar websites like Digg and Delicious failed to keep user interest, Reddit is the sixth most popular site in the world after Google and YouTube, Facebook, the Chinese search engine Baidu and Wikipedia. This causes the popularity of sites like Amazon, Twitter, Instagram, and Netflix to grow in popularity with monthly visitors, but all too often Reddit still feels like the niche startup community it once was. Reddit is a site that seems to always simmer beneath the surface of the mainstream, but you don't hear about it as you hear about some of the less popular sites than Reddit.
So who's using Reddit? What are the demographics of the website that calls itself "the first page of the internet"? When you browse Reddit, what types of people are you sharing the site with? Who uses the website and for what purpose? Those are tricky questions, especially for a site as large as Reddit. Fortunately, we've done our best to bring together various sources of information to create a profile that describes exactly what type of visitors Reddit receives. This is your guide to Reddit demographics.
To start with, we wanted to look at the core information of Reddit users, and more specifically, four basic points of a person's characteristics: their age, gender, geographic location (or nationality), and ethnicity. That's all pretty basic information, but it can also be pretty hard to keep track of. When you sign up for a Reddit account, you will only be asked for a username, password, and email address. After signing up for an account, you can change your profile to add additional information, such as: For example, a display name that's different from your own username, the ability to add a little bio about yourself, and the ability to add a header.
Of course, all of this will not add your age, gender, location, or ethnicity to your Reddit profile unless a user willingly adds that information to the About field. In a way, that's a good thing - it helps keep Reddit separate from the rest of your social life online, and that anonymity is a nice feature in a world where people are constantly online on all sorts of social networks. However, it does mean that tracking down basic details about Reddit's users and their characteristics must be done through outside research. The sources we used for this information are published at the end of this article, but basically we pulled information and statistics from a number of surveys and from outside research.
Age and gender
This may not come as a surprise to many readers, but the basic take away for age and gender is simple: Most of Reddit's audience skews boys and men. Pew Research's 2016 opinion poll found that although the United States is 49 percent male and 51 percent female, over two-thirds of Reddit users in the United States are male. Reports in September 2017 citing Statistica found that the percentage difference can be as high as 69 percent male, in contrast to the 67 percent Pew Research found. Regardless, the majority of Reddit users can be assumed to be male, and while both statistics use the United States as their polling station, it's likely similar around the world. Pew also found that people who use Reddit for their messages are becoming even more manly, reaching up to 71 percent.
In the United States, adult age groups are fairly equitably divided, with 22 percent of the adult population consisting of 18-29 year olds, 34 percent between 30 and 49 years old, and 25 percent between 50 and 64 years old. and only 19 percent of adults over 65 years old. Those numbers have likely shifted a bit since the collection in 2016; Regardless, they apply to our point of view today. Compared to these numbers, the Reddit user base doesn't match these numbers. In 2016, the Reddit user base was between 18 and 29 years old at 64 percent, and another 29 percent were between 30 and 49 years old. Only 6 percent of Reddit users were between 50 and 64 years old and a single percent were 65 or older.
So, while the United States population can be divided based on age and gender, Reddit's users are far from being.
In 2016, four percent of US-based adults reported using Reddit for Pew Research, which themselves found that six percent of adults used the site in 2013 (this was likely due to a more international survey than the 2016 statistic, as the latter primarily focused on how the citizens of the United States got their messages from Reddit). Reddit itself has stated that 54 percent of its audience will be from the United States as of January 2017. If we look at Alexa.com to see what Mediakix used for its own report, we see that 58.4 percent of users live in the United States, and in the United States, the United Kingdom came in second at 7.4 percent Canada with 6.3 percent, in Australia with 3.1 percent and in Germany with 2.1 percent in 5th place.
Note that these numbers are likely coming from IP addresses, which means the actual percentages may be skewed from using VPNs. This could result in users in high censorship countries like Russia (which, to be fair, recently enforced laws banning the use of VPNs but are likely still in use) and China (where Reddit was previously banned ), could use the platform at different IP addresses by countries like the United States. Ultimately, it doesn't matter that half of Reddit's users are based in the United States.
Finally, according to the location of the Reddit users, we also need to discuss the ethnicity of the website base. With Pew Research's 2016 survey, we can see that, unlike age and gender, Reddit's audience follows trends in the US population pretty closely. In the United States, white non-Hispanic adults made up 65 percent of the population, with black non-Hispanics making up 12 percent, Hispanic Americans making up 15 percent, and other non-Hispanics making up 8 percent. Pew Research's survey found that Reddit's user base is mostly white non-Hispanic Americans, who join 70 percent of Reddit users in the United States. Black non-Hispanic users make up 7 percent of the Reddit base in the US, Hispanic users make up 12 percent, and other non-Hispanic users make up 11 percent.
Overall, these numbers pretty much follow the general population of the United States, with an increase in white non-Hispanic users and other non-Hispanic users and a decrease in Hispanic and black non-Hispanic users. Obviously, this just shows the ethnic background of the US audience for Reddit, which subtracts a good percentage of Reddit's own users. Still, there's no generally available information about the ethnicity of Reddit's non-US based users, so that's the best thing we have to do right now. If that changes in the future, we'll update the post accordingly.
With those four stats out of the way, we can focus a little more on some of the less specific user details. In addition to looking at the time spent on the site and what devices were used to access Reddit, we also wanted to look at the politics, religious beliefs, education, and general income levels of Reddit users. Finally, we took a look at what Redditors is using the site for and what type of content is most popular on the site.
Time spent on the site
It's actually pretty easy. Almost every source we checked gave us the same basic answer: about fifteen minutes in total. Alexa's website ranking had Reddit listed on the website for a total of 15:50 at the daily time. Reddit's own promotional information page had their time per session listed as 14+ minutes, which is a bit different from daily time, but it appears that most users visit Reddit once a day and check their favorite subreddits for new content.
It's also worth noting that the majority of Reddit users never post or post, but instead rummage or "lurk" on their preferred networks. This is akin to any website with a comment system, although Reddit is likely to have a higher ratio of active users to lurking users. It is also reasonable to assume that small but engaged communities geared towards passionate fan bases are likely to see even higher ratings than more popular subreddits thanks to the feeling of tight-knit communities that can excite these smaller groups.
Operating system selection
Reddit's own users conducted a survey on their website in late 2016 that included an entry field listing which operating system users regularly visit Reddit. For a website made up mostly of younger nerds, the results weren't too surprising: Windows led by almost 36 percent. Android came in second at 31 percent, followed by iOS, MacOS, and Linux in that order. In most cases this makes sense. Windows and Android are the two most common operating systems currently in use, with iOS and MacOS usually in third place (the numbers for these two platforms are added together, but iOS devices massively outnumber MacOS devices in terms of popularity) and Linux- Distributions behind it Apple's software.
It's worth noting, however, that although this survey lists Windows as the most popular operating system, around 40 percent of Reddit visitors access the website through their mobile app. It's likely that this doesn't include any third-party apps, of which there are a number of iOS and Android apps, which means the real percentage of mobile users could be even higher.
Several of the sources used for this information all pointed to the same general direction of response: the majority of Reddit users either have a college education or a degree, with the smallest group of users only having a high school education. Graduation. The young age of Reddit's audience means they're more likely to go to college to keep studying than previous generations, but it also means that many Reddit users are actually still in the Are high school or college. Reddit itself does not have age verification when you sign up for an account as described above, but it does require users to be at least 13 years of age when using the site, due to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.
Basically, Reddit's audience is fairly well educated, typically either college graduate, working towards college, or still in high school. The high level of college education on the site can have an impact on the next different categories listed below.
From the same Pew Research polls we used in this guide, we can see that US-based Redditors come from all income levels, spread across all three levels, which are measured almost equally by Pew. At the bottom of the survey, Reddit users have less than $ 30,000 a year. 30 percent of Reddit users fell into this category in 2016, compared to 21 percent of American adults. In the next bracket, $ 30,000- $ 74,999, we find 34 percent of Redditors, almost 35 percent even with results in American adults. At the top of this chart, we end up having $ 75,000 or more. Obviously, this includes most of the possibilities that may be responsible for the fact that it is the highest percentage at 35 percent. This is actually a bit lower than the percentage of all American adults in that bracket, which is 44 percent.
There are a couple of takeaways here. First, the higher percentage of Reddit users making less than $ 30,000 in income each year makes sense when you combine that knowledge with what we know about the age of the Reddit community. If Reddit's user base is younger, and many users are still in high school or college (often without full-time annual jobs), this could explain why the percentage of lower-income users is higher than the average percentage in the US. That said, the higher percentage of Reddit users with college education versus the national average also explains why the percentage of users making $ 75,000 or more remains relatively high. When a good chunk of Reddit attendees have college degrees, the chances are that the jobs will get better paid.
Overall, Reddit's average income is roughly what you'd expect from a young, male audience: it's pretty evenly spread across all three groups.
One of the most surprising aspects of Reddit's demographics is the political bias of its readers. Reddit has received a lot of press coverage for some notable political subreddits since the heyday of the 2016 election, but none of them are more controversial than "r / the_donald," a subreddit centered around the politics of then-candidate Donald Trump. For most of its existence, Reddit has made it clear that they support free speech and allow their platform to be used to discuss any type of topic, even if the board of directors and founders disagree. Over the past few years, Reddit, under the leadership of Huffman, has tightened its terms of service, particularly those related to harassment, which has resulted in certain subreddits being turned off. One of the most controversial of these subreddits was r / Pizzagate, a spinoff subreddit by r / the_donald that surrounded a conspiracy theory after the 2016 election. While r / pizagate was removed from Reddit's service, the subreddit it came from is still active and creating news today.
The controversy surrounding this conspiracy theory and r / the_donald supporters might lead you to believe that Reddit is right-wing as a service - or at least providing breeding grounds for Republican and Conservative views to thrive. In the latter case it is true. There's no shortage of Republican and right-wing subreddits on the platform, including Republicans and Republicans, Conservatives, College Republicans, and Moderate Republicans. But as this list shows, Reddit's political ideology is really what you're contributing to. There are subreddits for all sorts of political leanings, including communities for libertarianism, socialism, democratic socialism, the Democratic Party, communism, and even some outliers like Anarchy and the American Pirate Party, which advocate reform of copyright law.
Basically, this is a lengthy way of saying that Reddit is a community that reflects what you get into it.It is a platform designed to be rotated to whatever you want, whether it is something that directly challenges or contradicts views you are close and dear to, or serves as an echo chamber and adds views to your knowledge, that you may already have.
Statistically, it is difficult to prove what Reddit readers expect when they sign up for the platform. The 2016 Pew Research poll showed that Reddit's user base has shifted to the left: 43 percent of respondents define themselves as liberal, 38 percent describe themselves as moderate, and only 19 percent of Reddit users describe themselves as conservative. However, February 2016 was relatively early in the life cycle of the popular r / the_donald subreddit, which is now considered one of the most active communities on the platform and has more than half a million subscribers. In our research, we couldn't find another subreddit as popular as r / the_donald on both sides of the island, with the Democrats keeping the subreddit at 54,000 subscribers and the Republican subreddit at 40,000. Of course, not everyone with a particular right or left political bias will subscribe to a political subreddit - many people use the platform to have fun online, collect news, or just follow the media they enjoy.
Ultimately, Pew Research's numbers probably dwindled a bit two years ago, but we wouldn't be surprised if Reddit's entire user group withdrew altogether. When the entire audience of a website is young and mostly college-educated, the general stats show that it's likely that the audience on Reddit will lean to the left overall.
Truth be told, it's difficult to determine the religious affiliation of Reddit's users. Other than political leanings, the religious beliefs of Reddit users have not been queried in any way, which means we only need to provide the number of subscribers to various religious subreddits here. Reddit is pretty well known on the internet for attracting a large percentage of atheists to its community and actually comparing the Christian subreddit (Christianity is of course the dominant religion in the United States, where more than half of Reddit users live) to the Atheism subreddit shows a clear gap between the two communities. The atheism subreddit is the 56th most popular subreddit on the platform with more than 2.1 million subscribers, while the most popular Christianity subreddit, r / Christianity, sits around 144,000 subscribers.
Of course, subscriber count doesn't necessarily mean there aren't a lot of Christian users on Reddit - it just means that the atheism community is incredibly active on Reddit. Indeed, there is a marked difference between the two communities, which is written on each board. Most contributions to Christianity seem to relate directly to talking about beliefs, discussing aspects and meanings of the Bible, or exchanging messages about Christianity (for example, "Bible downloads prohibited in China").
Not to vilify the r / atheist community, but their contributions are not quite as deep. While there is certainly some discussion that delves deep into the ideas behind atheism and the lack of belief in any kind of higher power, much of that belief is based on religion, including ultra-religious people who take questionable acts and make popular contributions like "the answer to the superior design suggestion should be to choose your nose." Again, if that's the content you're in, more power to you. It just shows that the two communities are doing very different things over time.
Other subreddits based on the major world religions have even fewer members. Islam has around 50,000 subscribers, despite being the second most popular religion in the world. Hinduism, the fourth largest religion, only has 18,000 subscribers on its subreddit. Buddhism is quite popular on the site, reaching 135,000 subscribers. Judaism now has 21,000 subscribers on its respective subreddit.
Again, it's difficult to really draw a line between the number of subscribers and their actual beliefs, as nobody is asking you to subscribe to the religious subreddit of your choice just because it matches your own personal views. What we can do, however, is the age of most Reddit users - they are mostly younger men - and the political views we discussed above to balance these factors with the general religious beliefs of Millennials. Pew Research found that younger millennials are still predominantly Christian at 56 percent, but the percentage of agnostic, atheistic, or otherwise non-specific beliefs has increased to 36 percent. It's fair to say that these stats are probably pretty much in line with Reddit, but again, it's difficult to put an exact number on any religious beliefs from Reddit's user base.
Finally, we can discuss some of the most popular subreddits on Reddit, not just to show the top subreddits on the list, but also to show what Redditors want to use the site for. For example, the subreddit with the most subscriptions is B. Announcements, primarily used by Reddit to announce upcoming changes to the Service, including policy changes, new rules, and information about website redesigns. Of course, this doesn't give a good example of what people are actually using the site for, so it's important to note what most users are actually doing in day-to-day fashion.
The most popular subreddit after r / announcements is r / funny, with over 18 million subscribers. r / Funny is based entirely on jokes and other content designed to make people laugh and laugh. There are a lot of unfunny posts on the subreddit, but all of the content is at least an attempt at humor (and if you search the main page you probably won't have a problem with the majority of the content being at least humorous). The third major subreddit, r / askreddit, is basically a modern day Yahoo Answers, but with a current discussion. Other popular content includes r / todayilearned, which is posts around the facts that people may unexpectedly have learned to understand; r / science; r / worldnews, which focuses on a global news perspective rather than just a US-based news perspective; r / images; and r / IAmA, one of Reddit's most famous (for good) subreddits, where celebrities from all kinds of backgrounds and backgrounds come to Reddit to answer user-submitted questions.
Some other notable subreddits from the top fifty subreddits include:
- r / games
- r / films
- r / music
- r / news
- r / television
- r / space
- r / DIY
- r / food
- r / story
Each subreddit mentioned above has between 12 and 18 million subscribers, with the games being the most successful on this list and the story still creeping up slowly, reaching 13 million. But what should the takeaway be here?
For all the controversy surrounding a subreddit like r / the_donald, anyone interested in understanding the Reddit audience should understand that even the most popular controversial subreddits are relatively meaningless in the grand scheme of things. For every person subscribed to r / the_donald, 36 people subscribe to something like r / gaming or r / funny.
Second, the most popular and successful subreddits are generally harmless. When looking over the top 100 subreddits on the platform, it's almost impossible to find anything really offensive for the general public. Even subreddits like r / nsfw that have images that are, say, not intended for work, or r / sex are clearly marked as content unsafe for minors (in fact, if you don't have a Reddit You must accept a prompt before you can view the content of these communities). Really horrific content just doesn't tend to explode on the site, mostly stays quiet in the background, and when it explodes into controversy, Reddit itself often bans it (see: r / deepfakes, r / jailbait).
After all, the most important thing is: Reddit is what users make of it, and Redditors tend to focus on the content they are already interested in or the content they want to learn more about. If someone is really into gaming, they'll likely follow r / Gaming, plus their favorite consoles' subreddits (like r / ps4, r / nintendoswitch, or r / pcgaming), and maybe some subreddits deals (r / ps4deals or r / nintendoswitchdeals). Someone interested in movies, music, or books will follow similar patterns, and obviously everyone will mix and match their favorite communities while building a portfolio of what they find interesting. If anything, the top subreddit list proves that no matter what an individual's background, people use Reddit to keep track of what they want, be it the media, news, history, the opportunity to learn, or anything other.
It's important to remember that these stats are only as good as the data behind them, and unfortunately Reddit themselves haven't released a huge amount of information about who their audience is to the general public (we would of course accept these advertisers) have additional data here). Most of the information above comes from a survey by Pew Research conducted on Redditors in 2016, and specifically of people who collect their news on Reddit. We also collected information from Reddit's own audience and demographics page on their Reddit help page and used a survey created by Redditor to gather information about what devices and operating systems users are using. Alexa's ranking was used to determine the popularity of Reddit itself.
Mediakix's own recaps on Reddit demographics helped us check the stats of some of the charts above for a second source. An older Pew Research data collection from 2013 was used briefly to mention how many people were using Reddit in 2013. We used Redditmetrics' toplist to gather information on the most popular subreddits on the platform, and read about the controversial and banned subreddits from Wikipedia's own article that outlines them (and the sources made available through Wikipedia). Information on the religious inclinations of younger millennials was also obtained from Pew Research. This SurveyMonkey source for Reddit app data has been consulted. Finally, Statistica was briefly used as a second source for the male and female proportions of Reddit users.
Ultimately, we believe these results paint a solid picture of what Reddit's demographics are, and paint a picture of a younger, mostly white, male audience with access to higher education. But it's also clear that Reddit has a lot of diversity in its subreddit communities. There is no "one" Reddit like there is for Facebook or Instagram. People use Reddit for a variety of reasons, from news to entertainment to saving money. There's no need to sign up for Reddit, and while the numbers point towards a younger, male-focused audience, there are plenty of communities on Reddit that are specifically geared towards reaching out to women and people of color and giving them a voice. "the front page of the internet."
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