Posted on December 5, 2019

10 facts about ad blocking users – Question #5: Where do ad blocking users live?

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The short answer to that question is…everywhere.

There are an absolutely astonishing number of ad blocking users worldwide. GlobalWebIndex—whose date we consulted when compiling our forthcoming study, “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Ad Blocking Users”—has found that 47% of internet users globally users an ad blocker.

Yes: almost half of people online are blocking ads.

Over the span of 2017, the most recent year with a comprehensive record, 46% of North American internet users reported blocking ad displays in the last month. That percentage was similar in South America (45%) and slightly lower in Europe (40%). And an even higher percentage of users blocked ads in Africa and the Middle East and Asia-Pacific countries—47% and 50%, respectively.

City Vs. Country

But we weren’t content knowing where these ad blocking users lived in broader geographical terms. We wanted to know about their daily realities: if they lived in cities, suburbs, or rural areas.

Ad blocking users, as we’ve learned, are primarily urbanities, with 68.8% living in cities.

When they’re not living in the heart of populous communities, they’re living at the outskirts, with 21.1% in suburbs.

That doesn’t mean that the country-dwelling ad blocking user demographic should be discounted. 10.1% of ad blocking users live in rural areas.

But…why should you care? What does the location of somebody’s home say about them?

As it turns out, a lot.

Different population densities, different lifestyles

The differences between rural, suburban, and urban demographics are notable. We looked at Pew Social Trends to gain a little more knowledge about what makes an ad blocking user from Los Angeles—or an ad blocking user from Potter County, Pennsylvania—unique.

Here are some of the insights we uncovered:

Overall, the populations of urban areas are growing. Fast. And as they do, they’re becoming more racially and ethnically diverse. They’re also attracting a larger share of so-called “prime-age” workers, or those between 25 and 54.

Suburban areas are the fastest greying areas, with 39% more senior citizens living in the suburbs since the turn of the millennium. These areas show a lot of political diversity—the split between Democrats and Republicans is almost even.

The people who call rural areas home tend to stick around: 63% of rural dwellers have stayed in the same place for eleven or more years. They’re also close-knit: 33% report that all or most of their family members live within an hour’s drive of them.

As urban areas grow, it seems they’re not just attracting “prime-age” workers, but also ad blocking users—the demographic we at AAX are so preoccupied with.

To say that the team at AAX is interested in ad blocking users is an understatement. We’re fascinated.

So we decided to consult the mass trove of data that GlobalWebIndex (GWI) keeps about internet behavior in order to tease out some of the particularities of the group. We took our findings and compiled “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Ad Blocking Users,” a study that peers into everything from where they live (which is what you just read about) to preferences for pets and beverages.

The study will be published on January 16, 2020.