Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Statistical Mysteries

As mentioned last week, a communist newspaper in Norway recently reported that Gates of Vienna readers are mostly over 65, ill-educated, single, and childless. This came as a surprise to this blog’s owners, and we were anxious to learn more…

Let’s back up. Regular readers will remember the informative analysis provided by the well-known scholars Andreas Malm and Tor Bach via the Norwegian state broadcasting service:

Single, childless men over 65 years, with little or no education are overrepresented on Islam hostile websites, according to a survey done by Klassekampen [“Class Struggle” — a Norwegian communist newspaper].

Klassekampen has used the internet analysis tool Alexa to examine eight Islam hostile websites including Gates of Vienna, Jihad Watch, The Brussels Journal, Islam Watch and Atlas Shrugged [sic].

According to data that Klassekampen has looked at the age group of the visitors to these sites range from 65 years and above. Men are clearly over-represented and most of them don’t have an education beyond primary school. Few have children, and those who visit these sites do so from their own homes and not from work or school.

The data correspond well with membership groups of various extreme right-wing parties in Europe, the journalist and author of “The hatred against Muslims” Andreas Malm says.

[…]

He is supported by editor of the periodical Vepsen, Tor Bach. This group of elderly people shares some common traits, he says.

“They are characterized by a strong distrust of society and democratic principles. They also sincerely believe that someone is out to harm them,” Bach says. He doesn’t wish to generalize too much, but he basically believes that this group consists of angry and frustrated individuals who feel marginalized when their views are ignored. [emphasis added]

Such are the demographics of Gates of Vienna’s readership. We are indeed fortunate that these accomplished Norwegian researchers were willing to take time out from their busy academic schedules to perform such a useful service for a minor American blog.

The post that included the translated article produced an enthusiastic response from our readers. After more than fifty of them volunteered their demographic details in the comments, I collated and graphed the results in a follow-up post.

Later, prompted by the translated article, I visited the Alexa website in search of the raw data behind the Klassekampen analysis. The graphic below is based on the surprising Alexa statistics. The bar graphs indicate which demographic categories are under-represented relative to the larger population of internet users (the green bars on the left side) versus those over-represented (the blue bars on the right side):

GoV: Alexa statistics

Some of these results are not wildly at variance with Mr. Malm’s assertions — yes, Alexa agrees that the average GoV reader is quite a bit older than the average MTV viewer — but others are very different. As you can see, the educational level of Gates of Vienna readers bulges significantly at the post-graduate level, contrary to the communists’ exhaustive study.

This result is perplexing. If I weren’t confident of the intellectual rigor and journalistic integrity of Klassekampen, NRK, and Messrs. Malm and Bach, I would assume they had made up their conclusions (“…most of them don’t have an education beyond primary school”) out of whole cloth.

As it is, the only possible explanation is that the demographic makeup of our readership has shifted drastically in the brief interval since those doughty researchers conducted their study.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

After the second post, I was hoping to extend our own demographic statistics so that we would have more data to compare with the mysteriously incongruent investigation conducted by Andreas Malm and Tor Bach. I was in luck — the follow-up post on this topic produced even more participants who volunteered their vital stats. From the comments on that post and several emails I was able to enter 99 new records into the database, giving us a sample size of 150.

Those participants ranged in age from 15 to 80. The average age went up slightly to 47, as did the level of education: the typical GoV reader managed to make it just over a third of the way through grad school.

27% women of the volunteers were women, up slightly from the initial sample. 59% of respondents were married, and our group had a combined total of 233 kids, or 1.5 each. Since there were only a few responses from both halves of a married couple, this figure correlates closely with a per-woman fertility rate for the group.

As in my previous report, I constructed a Concupiscence Index for everyone who volunteered. It counts a point for being married and an additional point for each child. A scattergram of the distribution is below, color-coded by sex:

GoV demographic data: Concupiscence vs. Age

Once again, the women are distinctly older and more concupiscent than the men. Dymphna says that’s because younger women are so busy raising their kids that they don’t have time for such foolish activities as reading Counterjihad blogs.

The level of education of our readers is illustrated by the chart below, with its accompanying data table:

GoV demographic data: Level of education

Level %
< High school 1.3%
High school 10.7%
Bachelor’s 49.3%
Master’s 26.7%
Ph.D. 12.0%

And this is the age distribution:

GoV demographic data: Age

Range %
0-19 0.7%
20-29 10.7%
30-39 16.7%
40-49 30.0%
50-59 20.0%
60-69 16.0%
70 & up 6.0%

We’ve covered the regional distribution of our traffic (based on site meter stats) in several previous posts. As far as I can tell, it hasn’t changed much since last time: about half our visitors are American, a third are from Canada, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand, and the rest are distributed throughout Central and Western Europe (particularly Scandinavia), with a smattering in India, South America, the Far East, and the Arabian Peninsula.

Data on the professional status of our readers was scantier and harder to pull out, but here’s a rough breakdown of those who self-identified (with some overlap between groups):

  • 18 engineers
  • 6 veterans or serving members of the military
  • 3 pilots
  • 4 professors
  • 4 teachers
  • 2 physicians
  • 8 computer specialists and/or software developers
  • 3 musicians

Other categories for which readers self-identified showed:

  • One black and five whites
  • One gay person and one heterosexual
  • Ten Christians, two Jews, and six atheists

One is left with the distinct impression that the dataset collected via email and comments is hardly representative of the same group chronicled by the distinguished gentlemen in Norway.

However, I must emphasize that our sample was self-selected. The above report is therefore not formally meaningful as a statistical analysis.

Also, since right-wingers are known to be habitual liars (just read the Norwegian press if you don’t believe me), some of our participants may have fudged their data to put one over on the ever-gullible Baron.

You never can tell!

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

There’s only one troubling aspect to this demographic breakdown: the average number of children per respondent.

1.5 is better than the European average, but still well below replacement level. That won’t do: in a few short years we will be in desperate need of a second generation of dedicated Counterjihad activists. And maybe even a third.

Everyone needs to get down to the serious business of begetting children. Surely you remember how…?

If not, I’m certain that instructional materials are available on the Internet.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Dymphna was moved by the “anecdotal evidence” in many of the new comments. She hopes to write a separate post about them when she’s well enough, perhaps as part of our next fundraiser (coming up soon).

In the meantime, check out the comments section on the “Demography is Destiny” post.

What a rich and varied crowd you all are!

21 comments:

j_not_a said...

I've been reading GoV since 2005 and Jihadwatch too primarily, ever since the motoon controversy. Thank you for educating us in an unbiased way about European history and current events, there is no better source for both in my humble opinion. Read through many of Fjordmans essays too even though at times it was exhausting! but well worth it. I have lived in Toronto Canada for all my adult life, where "multiculti" has been elevated to almost a religious status. However, having lived here in mostly rougher neighbourhoods, I have acquired a degree of street smarts as well being blessed with a good BS meter, and I can say that izlum is one of the biggest if not the most hugest scam ever perpetrated in human history. It is extremely interesting to watch how all this plays out in relation to current events unfolding as to Bible prophecy and events in our times. Please keep informing us in a way no other site is doing, bless you all and thank you.

u.l. said...

What do the purple symbols represent in the Concupiscence vs. Age graph?

Anonymous said...

I read GofV from time to time. (I read the anti-jihad blog Blazing Cat fur daily). Here are my demographics:

-Female
-57 years old
-married
-4 children, 3 grand children (so far)
-Master's degree in mathematics

Keep up the good work.

Baron Bodissey said...

u.l. --

The purple represents where the red and blue overlap, i.e. where the icons for men and women are in roughly the same place.

Anonymous said...

One reason readers may be visiting more from home than from the office would be that there are rules about using work time as play time.

Another would be that those rules are more likely to be strictly enforced if one is visiting GOV than if one is visiting, oh, say, The Daily Kos.

Anonymous said...

How many are really Norwegian citizens?

The politicians proudly mention the number 5 million.

At the same time, in 2011 there were
4,4 million taxpayers

Who don't pay tax? Children. Who else? Who are those 600 000 non-taxpayers?

Anonymous said...

Children in Norway
- Taxpayers

Official statistics: 1 102 000 children in Norway as of 1 January 2011

Anonymous said...

Well, let me add my demographic data, as an occasional reader of GoV (I primarily read "Religion of Peace")

- 53 yr old male
- married (to an apostate Muslima)
- 6 children, 3 grandchildren
- two Masters degrees (one in Islamic History and one in International Security Studies)

S/F, Webfoot Warrior

Cathryn Paradise said...

I match 2 of the leftist rag and almost a third. I'm a 57 year old woman with no formal college education (but I am self educated to the level of a phd in some areas, masters and bachelors in others) and childless ( I am transgender and a celibate lesbian). So I guess I really only qualify under childless and even that is under unusual circumstances.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

Interestingly enough your stats form an almost perfect bell curve.


I missed giving you my info, I think. Oh well. Wouldn't have swayed the average much. :)

Statistically speaking, whilst self-selection is a problem, the fact that you have produced such a clear bell-curve indicates that you're not far from the reality. Anti-jihad cuts right across society and isn't favoured by certain groups over others, except perhaps based on intelligence: if you're anti-jihad, you're probably quite clever.

Anonymous said...

"Klassekampen" has its own website. I'd be curious to see the results of an analysis of its readership using the same methodology.

Cand.Jur.

Anonymous said...

Whirlwinder said. . . .

I have been extremely interested in Islam since about 1985. My mom was in the foreign service in the middle east. I even visited Saudi Arabia for an interview with Saudia Airlines for a job. My knowledge of Islam at that time was abominable. Now, looking back I see that the State Dept. is wholly infected with Stockholm syndrome and is 'all-in' for Islam. They consistantly take the side of Islam against America on most every issue. Of course, this is usually the American governments leftist policies that are being promoted. One could get discouraged if one dwelt on the State Dept handling of our policy.

Anonymous said...

48 married with two children, educational level was leaving school at 16 in the UK, however I am self educated, very interested in history, economics and current affairs, I was subscribing to the Economist for 20 years until it became a far left rag. I got into a high level management position with a mulit-national before buying enough property to rent out and retire on.

As far as I am concerned another bigoted leftie with no common sense and a sponge for a brain.

DaffersD

Robert Marchenoir said...

How can Alexa know about the age, gender, education, number of children and ethnicity of people who visit other websites ?

Their site has a section about the "Alexa toolbar". Does that mean that the only demographic information provided by Alexa comes from those users who have accepted to install the Alexa toolbar on their browser ? And do they volunteer some personal information afterwards ?

A s far as I am concerned, I avoid the Alexa toolbar like the plague. I understand it has some malware-like characteristics, and I take care to unselect it whenever I download freeware on which it piggybacks.

How reliable are these Alexa demographic statistics anyway ?

Dymphna said...

I didn't know Alexa had a tool bar. Agree with you, though, the less you install the better.

Since you and several of our other readers are in France, I somehow doubt the digital dumbness of any demographic collector to grok the genius of the French...

imho

CrisisMaven said...

That's a great puzzle for klassenkampen to solve: how on earth did all those readers graduate, and starting from primary school to boot, within a short few weeks. Maybe they're all intricate liars. I myself was perplexed at the reading level of today's elderly primary school leavers who could follow disputations on hadiths and geopolitics so easily. They shouldn't even have found this blog when searching for it on Google in "advanced search" specifying their reading level ... :-)

Anonymous said...

Scandinavian woman, 45 years old, married, three girls, taxpayer
occupation: linux system administrator (geek:-)
education: master of science in informatics
Thank you GoV! I love your site!

Anestis canelidis said...

Very good work!

I have a Masters and a BA
50 but not married and no kids
I do have a great girl friend and that status could change.

Anonymous said...

The fertility rate is right inline with the European average.

FYI

So its not indicative of any significant deviation from the general population.

EV

j_not_a said...

To Anestis canelidis - hopefully you and your possible wife to be will consider adding a few little counterjihadis if and when the time comes! Alas, after three children myself, that time of my life has passed!

tweedyprof said...

Here's my stuff:

59, Ph.D., professional historian. Written some ten books, mostly in English, some in Danish.

Three grownup kids, no grandkids yet.

Danish-American heritage, four ancestors in the Mayflower. Can't get much more Yankee than that. Great-grandfather a Union soldier in the Civil War, prisoner at Andersonville and survived.

Catholic, baptized as adult. No great friend of Islam, as you may imagine.¨