Posted on March 17, 2022

Ad filterers: an educated demographic

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Education levels among ad filterers, or the 95% of users that have an ad blocker installed but also consent to be served respectful, non-intrusive ads, is something we’ve examined in the past.

And here’s what we found:

Whereas only 23.3% of non- ad blocking users held a university degree, and only 4.9% held a postgraduate degree, an impressive 27% of ad blockers held a university degree and 11.7% of ad filterers had a Masters or higher. (Source)

But that doesn’t mean that, within ad filterers as a demographic whole, there isn’t a range of education levels. Approximately 60% have either a high school degree or some amount of college education, and more than a quarter hold a university degree. The only outlier is high school: only 0.9% percent of ad filterers fail to graduate.
In light of the global upheaval caused by COVID, which saw bedrooms become studies, Zoom grids replace seminar rooms, and graduation ceremonies take place online, we thought that the subject of education among ad filterers required a updated, closer look.

And we noticed in interesting trend: ad filterers are still a highly educated bunch, with a higher percentage holding a university degree than previously.

A scant 1.2% of ad filterers only completed schooling up until age 16. A full 28.2% had finished school at age 18—the average age to finish high school and receive a diploma.

A lot of ad filterers had even more education, with 25.7 graduating technical school or completing “some college.”

And 29.3% had completed a university degree (meaning a Bachelors’) and 15.6% received a postgraduate degree, or an MA/PhD. That’s a significantly larger percentage than in the recent past, and represents a jump of 2.3 percentage points and 3.9 percentage points, respectively.

Education and politics

According to recent Pew Research, people with post-graduate degrees are considerably more likely to consider themselves Democrat than Republican, and slightly more likely to consider themselves Democrat if they’ve received some college or a university degree.

Democrats lead by 22 points (57%-35%) in leaned party identification among adults with post-graduate degrees. The Democrats’ edge is narrower among those with college degrees or some post-graduate experience (49%-42%), and those with less education (47%-39%).

This suggests, again, that the highly educated ad filterer demographic is more likely to skew Democrat than Republican. But only slightly.

After all, the majority of ad blocking users have “some college” or a Bachelor’s degree—a demographic that, according to Pew Research, is less strictly committed to voting Democrat than those with postgrad degrees, and more evenly split along party affiliation lines.


AAX is devoted to knowing everything there is to know about ad filterers. In one previous study we looked into what makes this demographic unique, another study examined their purchasing habits, and our most recent study dug deep into ad filterer motivation: the reasons ad filterers avoid advertisements, and how and why those reasons change.
Our passion for all things ad filterer is why we’ve turned our attention to an issue that’s capturing everyone’s attention: ad filterers’ political profiles. We’ve looked through the fascinating findings over at the GlobalWebIndex (GWI) to compile a new study—American Ad Blocking Users’ Political Profile—available for free download in May 2022.