U.S. adult Twitter users differ in significant ways from the overall U.S. adult population. Most notably, Twitter users are much younger than the average U.S adult and are also more likely than the general public to have a college degree. The median age of adult U.S. Twitter users is 40, while the median U.S. adult is 47 years old. Put differently, the U.S. adult population is nearly equally divided between those ages 18 to 49 and those ages 50 and older. But Twitter users are nearly three times as likely to be younger than 50 (73%) as to be 50 or older (27%).
Although less pronounced than these differences in age, Twitter users also tend to have higher levels of household income and educational attainment relative to the general adult population. Some 42% of adult Twitter users have at least a bachelor’s degree – 11 percentage points higher than the overall share of the public with this level of education (31%). Similarly, the number of adult Twitter users reporting a household income above $75,000 is 9 points greater than the same figure in the general population: 41% vs. 32%. But the gender and racial or ethnic makeup of Twitter users is largely similar to the adult population as a whole.
Twitter users are more likely to identify with the Democratic Party compared with U.S. adults more generally: 36% do so, compared with 30% of U.S. adults, according to a national survey of all adults conducted in November 2018. Similarly, 26% of U.S. adults identify as Republican, versus 21% of adult Twitter users. Political independents make up a similar share of the general public (27%) and Twitter users (29%).
Of course, many political independents actually lean toward one of the two major parties. Of the Americans who lean toward either party, 52% of U.S. adults identify as Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party, while 60% of U.S. adult Twitter users say the same. Similarly, 43% of U.S. adults identify as or lean Republican, compared with 35% of adult Twitter users.