Who is Reading Collecting Wisdom?

A few days ago I posted a survey on here to find out a bit about the audience here at Collecting Wisdom.

The survey asked five questions:

1. What state do you live in? (or country if outside the U.S.)

2. What is your profession?

3. How old are you?

4. What is your annual pre-tax income? (in dollars)

5. What is your net worth? (in dollars)

A total of 150 people responded to the survey. Here’s a summary of the responses.

What state do you live in? (or country if outside the U.S.)

A total of 26% of respondents live outside of the U.S. while 74% live somewhere in the U.S.

Among those who live outside of the U.S., countries include Ireland, India, Australia, Norway, Singapore, UK, Philippines, Denmark, Canada, and Spain.

Among those who live inside the U.S., the most common states were Texas (8% of all respondents), New York (8%), Colorado (8%), and California (6%).

What is Your Profession?

The most common professions included engineer (30% of all respondents) and analyst (18%), while some of the more unique professions included  police officer, arts administrator, and biologist.

In general, the responses were heavily skewed towards white-collar jobs, which isn’t too surprising for a site that revolves around personal finance.

It’s also interesting to note that 16% of total respondents included the word “financial” in the name of their profession (e.g. “financial analyst”, “financial advisor/blogger”, “financial consultant”).

How old are you?

The median age among respondents was 32.5 years old, but ages ranged from 21 all the way up to 65.

Here’s a look at the age distribution of the respondents:

Apparently the CW readers are mostly a younger crowd, with 78% of total respondents reporting to be either in their 20s or 30s.

What is your annual pre-tax income? (in dollars)

The responses to this question were a bit mind-blowing to me.

The median pre-tax income among respondents was $92,500, but incomes ranged from $2,000 (pharmacy student in Kentucky) all the way up to $340,000 (surgeon in New York).

Here’s a look at the income distribution of the respondents:

Clearly the respondents of this survey are above-average income earners, but again for a site that revolves around personal finance, perhaps these results aren’t too surprising.

It’s also interesting to look at income by age bracket. This chart shows the average pre-tax annual income by age bracket:

This is roughly what I expected to see. Respondents in their 20s have the lowest average income (although still above-average by national standards), while respondents in their 50s have the highest average income at $125,500. This makes sense considering  income tends to increase with age.

What is your net worth? (in dollars)

The median net worth among respondents was $220,000, but net worths ranged from -$100,000 all the way up to $2 million.

The chart below shows the net worth distribution of respondents:

It’s also interesting to look at net worth by age bracket. This chart shows the average net worth by age bracket:

This chart isn’t too surprising either: average net worth tends to increase with age.

Conclusion

The results of this survey highlighted a few interesting findings about the readers of Collecting Wisdom:

  • About one-fourth of readers live outside of the United States.
  • About half of the readers are some type of engineer or analyst in their day job.
  • This community is mostly a younger crowd, with 78% of total respondents reporting to be either in their 20s or 30s.
  • This community clearly has an above-average income and above-average net worth compared to the general population.

To everyone that responded to the survey: thank you! It was fun to dig into these numbers and see what type of crowd is gathering on this site 🙂

Technical notes: I’ll be the first to note that surveys aren’t always the most accurate way to gather data. It’s possible that high income earners or people with high net worths are more likely to respond to the survey in the first place, but a survey was the easiest and quickest way to gather data which is why I conducted one.

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