May 2, 2005

New data on blogs and blogging

We continue to ask about blogging in our tracking surveys and have some numbers to update from our last report in early January, “The State of Blogging.” They show some level of growth in blog creators, and not much change in the number of blog readers. In two surveys of American adults conducted between January 13 and March 21 that involved 2,871 internet users, we found that 9% of internet users now say they have created blogs and 25% of internet users say they read blogs. Another way to render these numbers is to note that 6% of the entire U.S. adult population (internet users and non-users alike) have created blogs. That’s one out of every 20 people. And 16% of all U.S. adults (or one in six people) are blog readers. These new figures for blog creation represent a bit of an increase – though within the survey’s margin of error – from the 7% of internet users who reported to us in November they had created blogs. That translates into more than 11 million American adults who say they have created blogs. The percent of blog readers is a small percentage drop – again, within the margin of error – from the 27% of internet users who reported to us in November that they read blogs. The new number translates into 32 million American adults who read blogs. Some 11% of online men say they have created blogs and 8% of online women have created them. Blogging is very much the province of the young. Fully 19% of online Americans ages 18-29 have created blogs, compared to 5% of those 50 and older. When it comes to blog reading, online men and women are equally as likely to have browsed the blogosphere. Again, those ages 18-29 are much more likely to have read blogs than their elders: 36% of online younger adults have read blogs compared to 18% of those who use the internet and are 50 and older. And some other context for the blog readership figures: The number of adult readers of blogs is about 40% of the size of the talk radio audience. According to a survey a year ago – May 2004 – by the Pew Research Center for The People & The Press, 40% of all American adults are regular or occasional listeners. And that same survey showed that about 79% of American adults regularly or sometimes read daily newspapers. So, the blog-reading audience is about 20% of the size of the newspaper-reading population. The combined surveys have a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points.