Overall, the study reports, a little more than half – 53.7 percent – are male; 44.7 percent are married; one-tenth – 10.4 percent – are students; and 28.4 percent hold professional or managerial positions.
The largest political bloc - 37.6 percent - are Libertarians. Democrats and Independents, 26.9 percent 25.7 respectively, come next and the smallest group, 22.9 percent, are Republicans.
Ethnic minorities are represented in larger percentages than their distribution in the general population: 12.2 percent African-American; 20 percent Hispanic; 3.7 percent Asian.
Then we come to age. While the average in the adult U.S. population is 44.8 years, bloggers are younger - average age, 37.6. But look at this chart.
You can see that while adults 65 and older make up about 16 percent of the population, 6 percent, or 1,821,000 of us are bloggers. And of the 55-64 age group, about 8 percent or 2,428,000 are bloggers. Four-and-a-quarter million of us. (Oh dear. How will I get all those on the Elderbloggers List?)
UPDATE: Jonathan Boehman, in the comments below, explains how I misinterpreted the graph above. He's correct and I've reworked the number of elderbloggers based on current U.S. population and making a fairly well-educated, low-end guess that there are 20 million blogs in the U.S. That means there are about 1,200,000 bloggers 65 and older (6 percent of bloggers), and 1,600,000 in the 55-64 age range (8 percent of bloggers). A total of 2,800,000 of us. So I still wonder how I'll get them all on the Elderbloggers List.
For comparison, nearly two years ago, in May 2006, an infoZine survey reported that 5 percent of Americans age 50 and older had created blogs. It is a different survey with different age parameters so the comparison is not exact, but it is clear that the number of elders in the blogosphere has zoomed upward. The latest Pew research, published 15 February, reports that 72 percent of U.S. people 55-64 are online (not necessarily blogging) and 37 percent of the 65-plus age group.
This is remarkable considering that many people older than 65 had never used computers before they retired.
If I had my way, every elder with the barest interest would be encouraged to blog. It expands social circles, teaches new skills, requires quiet reflection and active thinking to organize facts and thoughts and to write coherent stories. Elderbloggers are also sharing expertise, telling our life stories, teaching and learning from one another and having more than a few laughs too.
God knows I could be wrong, but I suspect that as the younger set continues to move to quick-hit, social media sites like Facebook, MySpace and whatever the next iterations may be where the emphasis is on collecting friends and “poking” each other, elders will stick with blogging. Writing is what we know and telling our stories is important to us.
That doesn’t mean, as the technologies get easier, elders won’t add audio, video and other improvements as they are developed. Some elders already have. (The one thing about technology you can be certain of is that it will change.)
But I’m betting most elders will stick mostly with words, complete sentences and well-developed thought. It’s what we’ve known best since our school days. It could even be that in time, blogging will become an elder ghetto. And that is fine with me.
[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Lia tells of her experience fighting a local social custom in No Baking Zone.]