Facebook is by far the world’s largest social networking site. With 2.375 billion monthly active users, over one quarter of the global population logs into Facebook at least once a month (source – Statista, pg. 23).1.562 billion of them access their accounts every single day (source – Statista, pg. 25). That’s 66% of the entire Facebook population.
The only other social networkthat comes close is YouTube with its 1.9 billion monthly visitors. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat fill the remaining spots in the top 5 with 1.6 billion, 1.3 billion and 1.1 billion active users respectively (source – https://www.statista.com/statistics/272014/global-social-networks-ranked-by-number-of-users/). Yep, Facebook, Inc. has three entries in the top 5!
Facebook’s mammoth numbers are reflected in almost every country in the world, including the US which has over 190 million Facebook users(source – Statista, pg. 28). If you are a seller, marketer or advertiser then you’re probably wondering which groups have the largest numbers. Well, today we will examine the various Facebook demographics to give you a clearer picture.
1. A majority of Facebook users are under 35 years
Facebook’s relationship with the younger crowd is a complex and dynamic one. While (global) internet users in their teens are not so convinced of its “coolness”, those between 18 and 34 are flocking to the network.Overall, Facebook demographics indicate that the majority of users are below 35 years old.
First things first, 57.8% of worldwide Facebook users identify as males while 43% identify as females. To break it down further, 19% males are aged between 25 and 34 years, 16% are males in the 18 to 24-year age bracket while 3.1% are teenage males (13 to 17 years); which brings the total percentage of males under 35 years to 38.1%.
That overshadows the 19.7% of males who are over 35 years old. Of those who are over 35, 10% are between 34 and 44 years, 5.1% lie in the 45 to 54 age bracket, 2.7% are between 55 and 64 while 1.9% are 65 years or older (source – Statista, pg. 34).
The same goes for females; i.e. the younger population dominates. The highest percentage of female Facebook users (13%) has an age of between 25 and 34 years. Females who are between 18 and 24 account for 10% while those who are between 13 and 17 carve out a mere 2.6% (source – Statista, pg. 34).
In total, females who are under 35 years account for 25.6%, which (as is the case with males) is more than the percentage claimed by females who are 35 years or older (17.6%). However,contrary to the case of males, younger females are not overwhelmingly more than the older ones.
In any case the high number of young Facebook users means content and ads that are meant for a young population get more views that those meant for older folks. That explains why 35% of Facebook’s advertisement audience is under 25 and 30% is aged between 25 and 35 (source – https://blog.hootsuite.com/facebook-statistics/).
2. Teens account for the lowest percentage of Facebook users in the US
The point above shades some light on this, but it’s a point worth looking at in details. Statista’s Facebook demographics indicate that the networking site is losing popularity among teenage users in the US. Of the 190 million Americans using Facebook, only 6.8% are aged between 13 and 17 years.
Those who are between 18 and 24 years account for 39.4% while 24 to 34-year-olds claim the majority with 58.3%. 42.4% of American Facebookers are 35 to 44 years, 35.4% are 45 to 54, 26.5% are between 55 and 64 years while senior citizens (65 years or older) make up the remaining 21.1% (source – Statista, pg. 36).
In total, about 10% of all Facebook users are American. With an audience of 190 million (roughly 210 million including Canada), America is the second biggest population on Facebook. Only India has more (260 million) (source – Statista, pg. 28).
The average American Facebook user spends a total of 58 minutes on the site every day. It’s the highest amount of time spent on any social network. Instagram comes in second with 53 minutes.The time spent on Facebook is divided into several visits of 10 to 20 minutes (source – https://blog.hootsuite.com/facebook-statistics/). In other words a person opens Facebook anywhere between 4 and 6 times per day.
What does that mean? Well, the time spent per visit is only enough for a user to glance through the newsfeed. If you are a marketer or seller you have a very short time span to capture their attention. That’s where creative ads come into play. It should be captivating enough to trigger and retain the interest of your target audience.
On the upside, the many visits translate to more space in the newsfeed for your ads. Basically it’s possible for Facebook to show your ad to someone every time they visit Facebook.
3. More adult women than men use Facebook
On a global scale, there are more men than women on Facebook. But that’s not the case among adults in America. Instead, 74% of American adult women use Facebook compared to 62% of American adult men (source – Statista, pg. 37). That is to say Facebook demographics in the US adults lean more towards females than males.
Perhaps that is because women are generally more expressive than men. They are naturally wired for social networking, a contrast to men who find it harder to create social connections. As a matter of fact, women use social networking sites like Facebook to exchange personal information about their lives.
Men, on the other hand, see social media as platforms for gathering information that they may need to build influence. Consequently, men use social media for business reasons more than anything else (source – https://www.brandwatch.com/blog/men-vs-women-active-social-media/).
Besides, American women use mobile devices a lot more than men when checking their social media. 46% of women use mobile phones and another 32% use tablets. Both values are higher than those of men, which stand at 43% for mobile access and 20% for those who use tablets (source – https://reviews.financesonline.com/most-popular-social-media-sites-review/).
Considering mobile devices make it easier to access networking sites more frequently, it should come as no surprise that women lead men in average number of Facebook posts (394 for women vs. 254 for men), number of friends (women average 8% more friends) and even Facebook gaming (69% of gamers are women vs. 31% who are men) (source – https://www.quicksprout.com/who-is-more-active-on-social-media-men-or-women/).
Women’s dominance means that they are better placed to set Facebook trends, especially those that revolve around mobile devices. And men’s shyness to newer features like Facebook Live and Facebook Stories doesn’t help their case much. It only indicates that there will continue to be more adult female Facebook users than males in the US.
4. There are more American male Facebookers than females in the 18 to 34-year age group
It’s the only age group where males are more than females, otherwise females have more numbers in all other age groups. In fact the gender disparity between males and females seems to grow with an increasing age.
Females who are aged between 45 and 54 years account for 8% of Facebook’s US population, one percentage point more than males who are in the same age bracket (7%). In the 55 to 64-year age group, women boast a larger number, claiming 7% of Facebook’s US population compared to men’s 5%. The same trend holds for senior citizens, with women making up 5% of the total. Men account for 4%.
It’s only in the 35 to 44-year age group where the number of men and women is split down the middle. This group carves out a combined 18% of the total Facebook population in the US, with the genders taking 9% each.
The younger adult demography has more males than females. For instance, 13% of all US Facebook users are males aged between 25 and 34 while 9% are males in the 18 to 24 age group. Both numbers are higher than those of females, which stand at 12% and 8% respectively.
Among teenagers, there are twice as many females as males using Facebook in the US. With females taking 2% and males 1%, the teenage population is also the least of any age group. The dwindling number of teenagers is down to Facebook’s changing priorities in the site’s algorithm. It tends to favor older users whose primary interest is using the site to keep up with the lives of their family and friends. That also explains why the older population is growing (source – https://www.aarp.org/home-family/personal-technology/info-2018/facebook-users-age-fd.html).
5. 81% of US adults aged between 18 and 29 are on Facebook
Is Facebook not cool anymore? Some people seem to believe that, what with the declining number of teenage users. While it may be true that teens are ditching the networking site, a majority of its American users are in fact young.
81% of all American adults who are aged between 18 and 29 have Facebook accounts, the highest of any age group. 78% of 30 to 49-year-olds are on Facebook, which is significantly higher than the 65% of Americans in the 50 to 64 age bracket. Only 41% of retirees (65 years or older) are on Facebook (source – Statista, pg. 38).
To put it simply, younger Americans are more likely to be on Facebook than their older counterparts. The above stats notwithstanding, Facebook demographics indicate that a majority of Americans from all regions use the networking site. 75% of adults who live in urban areas have Facebook accounts; which is higher than the 67% of the suburban population. Roughly 58% of Americans who live in rural areas are on Facebook (source – https://sproutsocial.com/insights/new-social-media-demographics/).
It may be losing its teenage users but Facebook is still the most used social network in all regions across the US. Instagram comes in a distant second with 42%, 34% and 25% of urban, suburban and rural dwellers respectively. LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat follow suit in the most used social media platforms across all the US regions (source – https://sproutsocial.com/insights/new-social-media-demographics/). Snapchat is growing at a fast rate, especially among teenagers, but it’s hard to imagine that it will crack the rural demography soon.
6. 82% of US Facebookers are college-educated
A majority of Americans who use Facebook have some college education. At 77%, people who have managed high school or a lesser education level are the least on Facebook. On the other hand, 82% of Americans who have attained a college education use the site. That’s slightly more than the 79% of US adults who have studied past college education (source – Statista, pg. 39).
Looking at the first five Facebook demographics(above) gives a clue as to why high school students form the smallest population on Facebook. Most students begin high school at the age of 13 or 14 and will graduate four years later when they are 17 or 18. Basically that’s the teen population, which as mentioned already, registers the lowest number of Facebook users.
In fact, most high school students who use Facebook are in their late teenage, i.e. 15 to 18 years (source – Statista, pg. 42). College students and college grads form the majority, not just because of their need to stay in touch with fellow students, friends and family, but also because modern colleges have embraced social media in an unprecedented manner.
According to Vital (https://vtldesign.com/digital-marketing/social-media/how-todays-colleges-and-universities-are-using-social-media/), colleges harness the power of social media to attract students and also manage the institutions. Platforms like Facebook pages act as important media for advertising institutions and therefore attracting students.
At the same time, students find it easier to share their experiences and engage with college administrators through the institution’s official pages and groups. They therefore feel more involved and consequently get a bigger motivation to be on Facebook (or social media for that matter).
Additionally, college students and grads use Facebook and other social media to increase their chances of getting employed. Up to 70% of employers research job candidates on social networking sites before hiring or rejecting them (source – https://www.topresume.com/career-advice/20-social-media-dos-and-donts-every-college-grad-should-know). Needless to say, a decent-looking social media profile increases the possibility of landing a job.
What about Americans with post-college education? In addition to creating connections, they visit Facebook to connect with friends, family and college-mates. Besides, most users take the site as an informational tool. Generally, up to 43% of Americans get their daily news from Facebook with another 78% using the network to identify retail products to buy (source – https://blog.hootsuite.com/facebook-statistics/).
7. Facebook is used by a majority of Americans in all income levels
Facebook’s popularity runs across American users of all income levels. 88% of those who earn $30k to $60k have Facebook profiles, so do Americans who earn $70k to $80k. Those who earn $80k to $100k and those who earn more than $100k have an 86% representation each.
85% of Americans with a household income of less than $30k are on Facebook. The lowest representation (81%) goes to those earning $60k to $70k (source – Statista, pg. 40). When it comes to teens (who are dependent as far as income goes), those in lower income households are more likely to use Facebook than any other social media. Up to 70% of American teens living in households that earn less than $30k use the platform, compared to the 36% of those whose family income is at least $75k (source – https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/05/16/facts-about-americans-and-facebook/).
That, however, doesn’t reflect on Facebook demographics of other ages. This Spectrem Group survey(https://www.cnbc.com/2014/07/18/millionaires-prefer-facebook-over-twitter.html)reported that there are more millionaires on Facebook than any other social network. Of all the respondents, 57% said that they used Facebook. 41%used LinkedIn while only 10% used Twitter.
So, where are Instagram and Snapchat? They are the new kids on the block. As it turns out the two social networks are attracting a higher number of “rich kids” than other conventional sites.In this survey(https://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/09/teens-social-media-technology-2015/pi_2015-04-09_teensandtech_03/) involving teens who are 13 to 17 years old, Pew discovered that Facebook’s grip on the young population grows weaker with increasing income. That’s a contrast to Instagram and Snapchat whose popularity increase with increasing wealth. Even so, Facebook still takes the lead in all income levels.
In other words while the rich continue to use Facebook, their attention is shifting to other social media platforms, particularly Snapchat and Instagram. The good news for Facebook is that Facebook, Inc. owns Instagram, so the parent company is basically transferring usage from one platform to the next.
8. 53% of teenage girls are on Facebook, compared to boys’ 49%
95% of American teens (between 13 and 17 years of age) have access to smartphones and 45% of them admit to being online constantly. While not the most popular among this audience, Facebook still attracts a sizeable number of teenagers, with 51% of them having profiles on the site(source – https://www.pewinternet.org/2018/05/31/teens-social-media-technology-2018/).
With 53% of them using Facebook, American teenage girls are more likely to be on the networking site than boys. Only 49% of boys have Facebook profiles (source – Statista, pg. 41). Regardless, social media has become very essential for teenagers of both genders.
According to a Pew Research study, up to 57% of American teens admit to making at least one friend through the internet. Over 25% of them have made more than 5 friends. However, only 20% of them meet in person, otherwise most of these internet friendships remain in the digital world(source – https://www.pewinternet.org/2018/05/31/teens-social-media-technology-2018/).
There are distinct differences in the way teenage girls and boys use social media, which in turn explains why there are more girls than boys on Facebooks. Girls, for one, use social media platforms a lot more than boys when it comes to making new friends and staying in touch with already existing friends. 78% of them made friends through networking sites like Facebook, which is quite a large number compared to boys’ 52%.
Boys, on their part, made more friends through online gaming. 57% admitted to getting new friends while playing an online game. Only 13% of girls achieved the same(source – https://www.pewinternet.org/2018/05/31/teens-social-media-technology-2018/). To put it simply, teenage girls have a bigger presence on social media because they are more active and interactive than boys.
The downside is that the impacts of social media are greater on teen girls than boys, and not in a good way. This report (source – https://www.deccanchronicle.com/lifestyle/health-and-wellbeing/080119/social-media-affects-teen-girls-more-than-boys-study.html) indicates that girls who use social media for more than 5 hours a day show a 50% increase in depressive symptoms, compared to a 35% in boys. So while they may be helping teenagers to stay more social, platforms like Facebook are not entirely healthy when used too much.
9. Facebook is not the first choice for Americans in their early teens
American teenagers don’t think Facebook is cool anymore. That has been a running theme in social media trends. In fact, Facebook usage keeps dropping with a decrease in age. Meaning that internet users in their early teens (13 & 14 years) are less likely to be on Facebook than their older counterparts who are 15, a6 or 17 years old.
Only 47% of 13 and 14-year-olds use Facebook, compared to 54% of 15, 16 and 17-year-olds (source – Statista, pg. 42). Although it started as a platform for students, Facebook changed its algorithm to suit adults and older people more than teenagers. It is the perfect social network for keeping up with family. But when parents and grandparents start sending friend requests teenagers flee.
Where do they go? To YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat. Those three are the most popular online platforms among American teens, boasting 85%, 72% and 69% usage respectively. Facebook comes in 4th with 51% (source – https://www.pewinternet.org/2018/05/31/teens-social-media-technology-2018/). It may be a slap in the face for Facebook as a site but it is still a gain for Facebook, Inc. which owns Instagram. Combined, Instagram and Facebook still command a huge audience among teenagers. And who knows what might happen to Snapchat seeing as Facebook has wanted to create some type of monopoly in the social networking business for a while now.
What can we make of the above Facebook demographics? The simple answer is that some age groups have a bigger presence on Facebook than others. More specifically, young adults (18 to 34 years) form the majority. But older folks, especially those who are 65 years and above, are warming up to Facebook in large numbers.The percentage of senior citizens using the site doubled in a span of six years from 2013 to 2019.Females have larger numbers than males too, so these are audiences to look at when planning target marketing.
What about the dwindling number of teenagers? That’s unlikely to have a material impact in the near future. The effect is balanced off by Facebook’s newcomers. As many as 5 new profiles are created every second. In just a minute 136,000 photos are uploaded, 293,000 statuses are published and 510,000 comments are posted on Facebook (source – https://zephoria.com/top-15-valuable-facebook-statistics/).