June Survey Results

At some points, in the past and in the future, we post surveys. Previously, we’ve reported the results of reader surveys about transit, housing, dating and romance. This survey, though, is the meta-survey, the guide to the other surveys: It’s our reader response profile. And if you’re ever interested in what the other surveys mean, you have to read this one. If I remember to, I’ll link to this with future survey results, but I can’t promise to remember—so just read up now!

When we report survey results, we’re really just recording our reader’s particular experiences. I studied anthropology in college: This is something I try to think about critically. The result is basically anecdotal—which means you need to know who is reporting these things. Who are they?

The questions answered below are not who our readers are, not literally. They are much more complicated than that. That is something that is hard to remember in our age of Facebook’s suggested friends (based on your likes), predictive policing, and even algorithmic advertising based on demographics. Lots to chew on there! And that’s without even mentioning our friends in the three-letter agencies around here.

The questions may, however, prove useful as a guide to who is reading 730DC–who you share this space with. The sample is extreme in one regard–four-fifths of respondents were women–which may or may not be representative, and is worth noting up front. But overall, these are the experiences of our survey takers:

  • They are young. The average age was around 25. (The average age in DC is about 34.)
  • They are highly educated. Almost all had a college degree or were working to attain one.
  • They are new to Washington, DC. 57% moved here less than five years ago. 20% moved here in the past year.
  • They are mostly women. 80% of our respondents self-reported their gender as “female.” (See note.)
  • They live in concentrated pockets of the city. Columbia Heights was, by far, the most common neighborhood to live, notching 14% of the total. Worth noting: Over 15% live in the District, but instead maintain residency in a home state outside the DMV.
  • Many do not vote in the District, or do not know their Ward. 40% of those who answered this question live in the District but maintain residency–and voting rights—elsewhere.

Obviously, we’re working within certain demographics more than others, and our readership isn’t indicative of the city as a whole. So we’re not necessarily learning a lot about the city, except secondarily. This reflects both strengths and shortcomings in our product and approach thus far. Transparency, I hope, here, will help–that’s part of the idea here. Among other things, transparency helps other people help you; by publishing some of this information, we hope you’ll feel invited to comment on our newsletter and help us make it better.

Selected Results

Average age: 25

Where do you live? 

  • Three most common: Columbia Heights/Parkview, VA, Bloomingdale/Eckington/NoMa
  • Three least common (nonzero): Trinidad, Waterfront (SW), Brookland

How long have you lived here?

  • Less than a year: 20%
  • 1-5 years: 37%
  • 6-10 years: 15%
  • 10+: 5%
  • Whole life: 4%

Where are you registered to vote?

  • Three most common: Live in DMV but registered elsewhere, Virginia,  Ward 1
  • Three least common: Ward 7, Ward 8, Ward 4

Education level: 

  • College graduate: 74%
  • Graduate or professional degree: 20%
  • Some college, no degree: 1%
  • Current college student: 5%

Favorite part of 730DC: 40% picked “Random local news.”

Approval? Yes. 7.7 was our average satisfaction score, and 83% indicated they would or had already forwarded our newsletter to friends. 16% said “maybe,” with a couple grouches thrown in (if you’re a “no,” email us–we’re interested to hear what you think).

Thanks, everyone, for participating, and you can look forward to many future surveys as we learn and explore the meanings of the shape of this city and the contours of this audience.




Note: I believe we made an error in using “female” here, and should have used “women,” and duly apologize. While the distinction is very important—worth drawing attention to and apologizing for—it seems safe for general (rather than individual) purposes to continue to assume the vast majority of these would have chosen “women” as an option.


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