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Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street: Who Are We?

Occupy Wall Street 47%

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Occupy Wall StreetFor weeks, reporters, pundits, and political strategists have been puzzling over this question. Now, the organizers of the protest have provided at least part of the answer. A couple of weeks ago, they invited a CUNY sociologist, Héctor Cordero-Guzmán, to survey visitors to their main Web site, occupywallst.org. More than sixteen hundred people responded to Cordero-Guzmán’s questionnaire. The results are particularly interesting because they get beyond the hard core activists in Zuccotti Park to people who support the O.W.S. protesters, but not to the extent of camping out with them.


Here are the main points, of Cordero-Guzmán’s study (pdf):


  • Most of the respondents are young and well educated. Almost two-thirds of them (64.2 per cent) are under thirty-four, and more than nine in ten (92.1 per cent) are either in college or have graduated.
  • The respondents are overwhelmingly white (81.3 per cent).
  • Two thirds (67 per cent) are male. Nearly a third (30.4 per cent) are female. The other two per cent “preferred another gender designation.”
  • Only half (50.4 per cent) work full-time. A fifth (20.4 per cent) work part-time. Roughly one-in-eight (13.1 per cent) are unemployed.
  • Nearly three quarters (71.5 per cent) earn less than $50,000 a year, and a quarter (24 per cent) earn less than $25,000 a year. Given that many of them are relatively young and don’t work full-time, this is not really surprising.
  • Politically, seven in ten (70.3 per cent) regard themselves as independents. Roughly one in four (27.3 per cent) identified themselves as Democrats, and one in forty-two (2.5 percent) as Republicans.


By John Cassidy<. strong>

Photograph by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.


Read more: THE NEW YORKER (October 20, 2011)

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