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This article was published on January 4, 2011

Facebook users by the numbers: measuring sex, drugs and gays in the military

Facebook users by the numbers: measuring sex, drugs and gays in the military

In October 2007, Facebook had a mere 20 million U.S. users. Today, it has over 500 million, 146 million of which are in the U.S.

The following data, visualized by Washington D.C.’s iStrategyLabs show the growth rates of various user bases within Facebook over the one year period between 1/4/2010 and 1/4/2011. The chart features a significant growth in Facebook’s college sector; users between the ages of 18-24 demonstrated a growth rate of 74%, corresponding to a 233% user increase over the past year for those users that list themselves as college students.

I have yet to see too much information on Facebook demographics by city until now. The figures show that out of every major city in the U.S., New York, unsurprisingly, has the most Facebook users at just over 4.3 million, whereas Chicago incidentally caught our attention for the largest user growth over the past year, increasing by 67%. Lastly, there was a 79% growth in user’s (admitting their) interest in sex and a whopping 1,133% increase in users “Liking” drugs this year. Rock and Roll held steady. All data are directly from Facebook’s Social Ads platform.

Out of 206.2 million U.S. Internet users as reported by e-Marketer, 71.2% of them are on Facebook. Our friends at iStrategyLabs thought it would be interesting to get an exact count of Facebook users based on their specific employment. Since the “idea foundry” is based in Washington, D.C. (it recently made our list of 10 great D.C. start-ups you should know about) it was logical to check out how their Federal friends were during on The Facebook. The data below are categorized nationally and separated by location if in D.C.. Also, due to the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell – iStrategy Labs was curious to see how many of our U.S. armed forces personnel were openly looking for same sex hookups. Keep in mind, the general US Facebook population is 2.01% gay (full report on Gays on Facebook is here).

The below data doesn’t reveal anything too shocking; less than 1% of the US Army, Navy, Airforce and Marines on Facebook have listed themselves as gay, ranking quite a bit less than the national average.

Does this data surprise you? Why or why not?