Global Voices Author Demographics 2010

Author iconWho are Global Voices Authors, what is their background, and what do they think about the future of Global Voices, journalism and citizen media? In a series of posts, we are sharing results from the Global Voices Author Survey in 2010. 116 Authors answered the anonymous survey in April. 87% of the respondents identified themselves as active Authors (at least one post in the last three months) the other 13% indicated they were currently inactive.

This post gives an insight into the basic demographics of Global Voices. It shouldn't come as a surprise that we are a very diverse and global group of people. Exactly how diverse? Read on.


The majority of the Global Voices community is between 25-44 years old (75%). More than 50% is between 25-34 years old, over 25% is between 34-55. Younger people between 19-24 make up almost 15%, whereas almost 10% is 45 years or older.

How old are you


Global Voices is very equal when it comes to the gender breakdown, which was pretty much 50/50.

What is your gender


Authors volunteer valuable time to write for Global Voices. Many write for Global Voices alongside full-time jobs (40%). About 30% are freelance or self-employed, and another 15% identified themselves as students. A smaller group is part-time employed (10%) or unemployed/retired (5%).

Marital Status

Just over half of Global Voices authors are single (more than 50%). Nearly half (45%) are married or have partners. And a minority (5%) are divorced.

What is your marital status


The Global Voices community is highly educated. Over 85% of respondents indicated they have completed a university degree, and more than 40% have a post-graduate or doctoral degree. Some report their highest level of education as a few years at a university or college (15%).

What is your level of education


The survey respondents were born in 65 different countries, and spread out over various regions.

  • Americas (38%) (note: the US accounts for only 8% of the total)
  • Western Europe (15%)
  • Middle East & North Africa (11%)
  • East Asia (10%)
  • South Asia (10%)
  • Sub-Saharan Africa (6%)
  • Eastern & Central Europe (6%)
  • Central Asia & Caucasus (2%)
  • Oceania (1%)

The Global Voices community are diverse and cosmopolitan. Almost 20% have at least one parent born in a different country than they were born in, and 13% said they hold citizenship to more than one country. Almost 30% of respondents, are currently living in a country different than the one where s/he was born.


The Authors surveyed are currently based in 58 different countries, spread out over various continents.

  • Americas (42%) (note: the United States accounts for only 16% of the total)
  • Western Europe (17%)
  • East Asia (11%)
  • Middle East & North Africa (8%)
  • South Asia (6%)
  • Sub-Saharan Africa (6%)
  • Eastern & Central Europe (6%)
  • Oceania (3%)
  • Central Asia & Caucasus (1%)

About half of respondents indicated they have only lived in one country, with the other half having lived in multiple countries. On average, respondents have lived in at least two countries, with some who have lived in as much as six, seven or even eight different countries.


Authors in the Global Voices community speak on average three languages. Most people (70%) were not raised in English. Most people speak a different language than English often or very often (83%), some speak another language sometimes (7%), and others rarely or never (10%).


And finally, what every true geek wants to know: Global Voices Authors prefer PCs (41%) slightly over Macs (35%), with some opting for Linux/Unix (10%) or another operating system (3%).

A few have no particular preference (11%).

Do you favor Mac, PC or Linux


  • So fascinating to see what the GV community looks like in numbers! Looking forward to seeing their faces in a week.

    Also, from what you’ve said, I fall amongst the average in nearly every area…fascinating.

  • Nice post; Lokman ;)
    Not only am I impressed at the statistics but rather overwhelmed to find myself within a balanced status in the GV Community.

  • PC / Linux / Mac is a strange distinction, I guess you mean Windows by PC, because my Archlinux also runs on a Personal Computer ;-)

    However, I am surprised that so many authors are between 25 and 44 years old. I would have guessed the rate of people at about 20 was higher. However, I am not an author either yet, so I guess it just takes some time to see the world and such.

  • Indeed, very interesting. I was long curious about who the contributors to Global Voices are as a group. This actually helps.

    How many people are currently writing for GV? What was the response rate to the survey? Was the survey in English only? Thank you!

    • Hi Dima, the survey was in English, and was limited to anyone who has written a post on Global Voices in English (we did not count Lingua translators). Our estimate is around active 200 active authors, with activity determined on the basis of posts as well as general engagement with the community on email.

      But there are a lot of Authors!

      • Thank you, Solana!
        This is very helpful! I was just wondering to what degree these stats are representative of the GV community. I don’t know if you targeted the entire community of the GV authors with the survey, but wonder what characterizes those who responded. I also think it would be really interesting to see some statistics about those who did not respond to the survey like the language they write in). Just a few thoughts…

        • Hi again Dima,

          Thanks for your interest. The survey responses were gathered from an open call to all Authors on our internal mailing list. As the intro says, 116 authors responded so I think it’s fairly representative. Since most GV authors come from different countries, we can expect that if more people responded, the numbers of languages and countries would rise proportionately.

  • Very interesting report. Thanks a lot Solana and Lokman for your efforts

  • […] de muy diferentes culturas y de tan distantes paises pero tienen algo en común, son dedicados y muy bien educados. Bajo GVO se cobijan varios proyectos tales como: Advocacy, Rising Voices y Lingua. Más de 300 […]

  • […] de muy diferentes culturas y de tan distantes paises pero tienen algo en común, son dedicados y muy bien educados. Bajo GVO se cobijan varios proyectos tales como: Advocacy, Rising Voices y Lingua. Más de 300 […]

  • […] countries), Useful web resources, Weblogs at10:59 am Interesting – I just stumbled across a blog post about the demographics of contributors to Global Voices – the source I know best of news and […]

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