Who Diggs? We Take a Look at the Average Digger…
Digg.com is an excellent site – a clearinghouse for news and articles which are generally interesting (though not necessarily of general interest) which likes to bill itself as democratizing the news – stories rise in rank by virtue of the number of votes cast for them, or are discarded by visitor “buries” (anonymous negative votes cast by visitors for any reason; enough votes and the story disappears from Digg.com).
We previously had a look at the Digg.com community’s reaction to articles containing the term “ubuntu” and found such articles much more likely to be buried (see our article here: Digg != Ubuntu?) Today we’re going to take a look at who the typical Digg.com user is – who are these Diggers? All links open new browser windows, and all Digg.com demographic data in this article are courtesy of Quantcast, and can be found here: Digg.com Stats from Quantcast.
So, who is the typical Digger? Simplistically put: a white, childless male, 25-34, college educated, with an income between $30K – $60K.
That profile of a “typical” Digg.com visitor just picks the category with the highest percentage, however there’s more to the story: in some categories, Digg.com has remarkably broad appeal. Let’s look at each category in detail. US Census data included in brackets; numbered references link to data sources:
Race: This one is no contest: Quantcast reports 80% of Digg.com’s visitors describe themselves as Caucasian, a number significantly higher than the US Census Bureau reports (73.9%). Next up are Hispanics, at 7% (15%) and African Americans at 6% (12.2%). (Note that the US Census deems “Hispanic” anyone reporting their ancestry as being from a Spanish-speaking Latin American country or Spain, regardless of race).
Children in Household: This category is another slam dunk and mirrors the general population: 66% of Digg.com users report no children aged 6 – 17 in their households (~65%)  (pdf)
Sex: It’s a boy’s club at Digg: users are overwhelmingly male at 61% (49.24%). 
Age: The 25 – 34 group may report the highest percentage at 22%, but only by a hair: Digg.com’s audience spans all age groups almost uniformly, in contrast to age distribution in the general population  :
18 – 24: 21% (9.9%)
24 – 34: 22% (13.3%)
35 – 44: 19% (14.7%)
45 – 54: 20% (13.4%)
55 – 64: 12% (10.5%)
65+: 7% (12.5%)
Education: When it comes to education, once again, Digg.com enjoys broad appeal, with the breakdown of their visitors’ education very similar to the overall population: college educated visitors represent 45% (43.24%) of users, whereas visitors reporting “no college” represent 41% of Digg’s traffic (46.6%). 14% (9.9%) report a graduate school level of education.
Income: The Diggers skew wealthy (or at least wealthy relative to the general population): 32% of Digg.com’s user base earns an annual income of $30 – $60K ($35K – $50K: 14.8%). However that category only wins by 2 points: 30% earn $60K – $100K ($50K – $100K: 30.8%), while 21% of Diggers earn $100K+(17.9%). That leaves 17% earning $0 – $30K (<$35K: 36.5%).
What does all this tell us? Well, Digg.com has much broader appeal than, perhaps, a quick scan through the main page would suggest (we don’t know too many people in their 50s who get too excited about Transformers and Battlestar Galactica and Rick rolling. Then again, we don’t know too many people in their 50s…). The incomes skew high, sure, but how many people self-report their income accurately to websites? Personally, we always check the highest box – one gets better junk mail that way. Boys club? No surprise there – see comments re: Battlestar Galactica et al above.
As for race? Well, we’ve sent the good people over at Stuff White People Like
a link to Digg.com with a suggestion they add the site to their list…