Posted on March 17, 2022

How old are ad filterers?

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They say that age ain’t nothing but a number, but the fact of the matter is: we’re all influenced by how many trips around the sun we’ve taken. Everything from the quality of our sleep to how loud we like to play our music, from our idea of the perfect Saturday night to how long we like to sleep in on Sunday morning…has a little something to do with age.

We’ve previously examined various reasons that ad filterers of all ages choose to block ads, but we’ve never looked into the age breakdown of the ad filtering demographic. And what has been revealed is that young people are more likely than older people to curate their ad content in the specific way that makes them “ad filterers,” the 95% of ad blocking users that have an ad blocker installed but elect to be served respectful and non-intrusive ads.

Nearly a quarter—24.7%—of ad filterers are 25-34 years old. The second-largest group is even younger—22.2% are only 16-24 years old.

From the mid-thirties onwards, the percentage of ad filterers keeps decreasing with age. 20.8% of ad filterers are 35-44, 17.8% are 45-54, and a mere 14.5% are 55-64.

So what does that have to do with politics?

Age is often correlated with political leanings, with some believing that people tend to become more conservative as they age. But the last half decade of political life in the USA has
shown that the truth is a little more nuanced.

A lot of this has to do with the graying of America. In the 2020 presidential election, a staggering amount of voters were fifty or older.

From Pew Research:

More than half of Republican and GOP-leaning voters (56%) are ages 50 and older, up from 39% in 1996. And among Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters, half are 50 and older, up from 41% in 1996. (Source)

The rest of Pew’s data is divided in two: those aged 18-29, and those aged 30-49. The 2020 election marked the first real election that many Gen Z’ers were eligible to vote, and it was interesting to examine the turnout among the youngest subsection of voters.

The result: 19% of Democratic-leaning voters were 18-29, while only 13% of Republican-leaning voters were 18-29.

That leaves those voters in solid middle-adulthood, who also make up a high percentage of ad filterers. But the breakdown among those voters is surprising: there was virtually no difference between the percentage of Democrats and Republicans. An even 30% of Democratic-leaning voters were 35-44, and 29% of Republican-leaning voters were 34-55.

This fairly even split in terms of voting patterns makes it imperative to look at more data samples when analyzing political leanings. We know that a 27-year-old is significantly more likely to stay out late, live with roommates, and—yes—block ads than a 54-year-old…but they’re not that much more likely to vote Democratic.


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.