Results of Our 2017 Reader Survey

The results are in for ProPublica’s latest reader survey, to which we had more than 5300 respondents.

For the first time since we began doing such surveys, our readers include more women than men. Back in 2010, readers were 63 percent male and 37 percent female. Today, the split is 58 percent female, 42 percent male.

How you get your news has also changed considerably. Fully 75 percent get their national news primarily online. In 2015, that was 67 percent — where it had been hovering since 2011. Today, 6 percent consider a printed newspaper their primary source of national news, a drop from 14 percent in 2015 and 21 percent in 2008.

In another big change, our readers have gotten younger on average. Back in 2015, 65 percent of you were 55 years of age or older. Today, that’s 49 percent.

You are a very educated group: fully 85 percent have a college degree, and nearly half have a graduate degree. By way of comparison, just over a third of Americans have obtained a bachelor’s degree. Forty-three percent of you have a household income over $100,000, with 37 percent between $50,000-$100,000.

Eight-four percent of you are white (down from 88 percent in 2015), 3 percent Latino, 3 percent Asian, and 2 percent black. (The remainder are a combination of “other” and preferring not to answer.)

In general, respondents really like what we do: 92 percent approve of the length of our stories, and 79 percent approve of how often we publish them. Among the types of stories we provide, 94 percent value our investigative journalism and 87 percent appreciate our explanatory reporting. Fully 44 percent of respondents have donated to us in the past couple of years; we appreciate it. (We had more than 26,000 donors last year, and have had more than 17,000 so far this year.)

Fifty-one percent of you think ProPublica’s reporting is non-ideological (as we intend it to be), 24 percent think we’re moderate and another 24 percent think of us as liberal; less than 1 percent of you believe we are conservative. But, reflecting the nation’s growing ideological news divide, while our audience has nearly doubled in the last two years it has become more preponderantly liberal — 74 percent identify that way; 19 percent describe themselves as moderate, 6 percent as non-ideological, and just over 1 percent as conservative. In the United States overall, Gallup recently reported that Americans are 36 percent conservative, 34 percent moderate and 25 percent liberal.

We greatly appreciate everyone who took time to provide us with this feedback. While unscientific, these results are extremely useful as we try to understand who you are, what you value about ProPublica, and how we can better serve you.

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