Facebook Releases First Demographic Data

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Facebook has released some of the statistics that make up its users, for the first time. It’s certainly an interesting look at the user base that makes up the service’s population.

Facebook has apparently seen an awful lot of growth in terms of the diversity of its users, with the numbers of users in the US who identify themselves as African American and Latino having seen pronounced increases in the last four years. In Facebook’s own words, the shift is, on the whole, towards a Facebook that’s more inclusive of minorities, which is always nice.

According to the Facebook blog post on the topic,

“We discovered that Facebook has always been diverse and that the diversity has increased significantly over the past year to the point where the US Facebook users nearly mirror the diversity of the overall population of the country. The graph above shows the proportion of the three largest minorities on Facebook over time as predicted by our model, while the dashed lines show the proportion of the Internet population for the same ethnicities.”

There are also some bits and pieces in there that seem a little less scientific, but are certainly quite interesting. There’s even a graph of the “Ethnic Breakdown of Facebook Users in the U.S. Named ‘LEE’” which shows that most of the people with the name “Lee” are indeed, Asian/Pacific Islanders.

Ethnicity remains a bit of a touchy subject for many, so it’s impressive to see Facebook just going for it and posting such a wide array of data. We’ll also be curious to see what data people point out has been left out over the next few days, which seems almost inevitable at this stage, given the number of comments Facebook blog posts tend to attract…

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