Whose brilliant idea was it to make a huge census before the end of the year, knowing very little of survey design and statistics? 🙋♀️ In theory, it sounded like a good idea… but then soooo many more of you replied than we expected, that it has definitely been a challenge to parse through all this data and make sense of the replies. Slowly though, we’re making our way through the numbers and getting a better idea of who postcrossers are, and how we can more effectively stir the project in the future.
So let’s start this analysis by the basics and try to paint a picture of who postcrossers are, based on the things that stand out from the census.
We knew this already, but Postcrossing continues to be a lot more popular among women overall, and the age range of the typical postcrosser is quite spread out. Somehow, I expected to see more teenagers reflected in the statistics… but then again, I can’t imagine a teen having the patience to reply to a survey, so that may explain it. 😅 Overall, we’re quite happy about this age distribution, which tells us this is a community that is made out of not just young people, but older generations as well.
About 74% of people surveyed live in what they consider urban areas, which in hindsight is probably something we should have defined better, as the line between a city and something else is often not very clear — another thing to improve on the next census. And finally, most of us feel very comfortable using computers and the internet (which was option 5 in the scale).
Not unexpectedly given their popularity, most postcrossers seem to prefer Instagram over other types of social media, followed closely by Youtube and Facebook, with Twitter a distant fourth. Note for 2021's census: do a better job at including non-English social networks, which we completely missed! Still, quite a few of you mentioned VK (the Russian social network), Whatsapp and Telegram, WeChat and Weibo and even websites like Ravelry, Goodreads and Bookcrossing.
One of the questions asked “Are you a collector?”, and 37% of you mentioned you weren’t collectors at all, but almost half of the respondents said they collected postcards and 20% mentioning being stamp collectors. Keep in mind that this was a multiple choice reply, so there’s likely some overlap of people who are collectors of more than one item.
Beyond postcards and stamps, the answers split into a myriad of replies, all with just a tiny percentage each. Here are the top 10 most popular collections: currency, books, magnets, stickers, bookmarks, pens/pencils, rocks/minerals, dolls, tea and art. What we found most interesting though were the choices that just a few people picked, like thimbles, snow globes, fruit stickers, rubber ducks, funko pops… the list stretches into infinity! That said, 11 of you mentioned collecting “elephants” and we hope these don’t refer to the actual animal, or you’ll quickly run out of space at home… 😅
That’s all for today! We’ll continue extracting statistics from the census and will report on them throughout the year. Stay tuned!