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Young, Low-Earning Independents Make Up Majority of Online Protest Traffic: Survey

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Hundreds sleep in Zuccotti Park, the center of the Occupy Wall Street protests, on October 10, 2011. (Ben Johnson/WNYC)

Visitors to the Occupy Wall Street website tend to be young, identified as Independents and make less than $50,000 a year, according to a recent unscientific survey conducted in collaboration with the group’s organizers.

Hector Cordero-Guzman, a professor at Baruch’s School of Public Affairs, analyzed the data from a survey posted on the group’s website.

Of the 1,619 people who took the survey, 92.5 percent said they somewhat or strongly support the protests, he said. Nearly a quarter said they had participated in demonstrations, the survey found.

"It's a sample that is relatively young,” Cordero-Guzman said. “It's a sample that is highly-educated, and it's a sample that works -- but many of them part-time.”

He said those who participated were “relatively low-earning,” and that 71.5 percent earned less than $50,000 annually.

Most respondents described their political leanings as Independent.

Cordero-Guzman said that despite popular perception, students don't necessarily make up the majority of support.

"Only 10 percent of the sample told us they were full-time students," he said. "It has more support among part-time workers, among unemployed, in terms of our respondent sample."

To read the results of the survey, click here.

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Comments [1]

Patricia from NYC (WNYC FM)

Your coverage was accurate, but it failed to provide analysis by pointing out how the OWS participants and supporters, at least according to this unscientific study, are quite unrepresentative of the 99%. And interestingly, Mr. Cordero's paper, to which you provide a link, is titled "Main Stream Support for a Mainstream Movement
The 99% Movement Comes From and Looks Like the 99%," but the facts are that the movement doesn't look like the mainstream at all:
Based on Mr. Cordero's data, OWS participants and sympathizers are significantly more male, younger, more educated, and slightly more diverse than the U.S. population as a whole (based on 2010 Census data found online at http:factfinder2.census.gov :

- 67.1% versus 48.5% for total U.S. population -- an index of 140 or 40% higher than you'd expect, hardly representative;

- 37.9% aged 25-34, versus 12.7% for total U.S pop -- an index of 298, or almost 3 times larger;

- 64.2% under age 34, versus 46.4% for total U.S. pop -- an index of 138, or 40% higher;

- 67.6% white versus versus 74.2% for total U.S., an index of 91, only 10% less than you'd expect, but still indicates a more diverse group;

- 53.7% have Bachelors Degrees or more, this compares to 28.2% for total U.S. pop., or an index of 190, 90% greater or almost twice as high as the U.S. population as a whole.

Oct. 23 2011 12:53 PM

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