OccupyMN – Who are the 99%?

The 99%.  If you ask demonstrators at the OccupyMN protest, they’ll tell you that’s who they are.   They say they are frustrated with a system of government that ignores the majority voice (the 99% of America) in favor of the richest 1%. They are angry with corporate influence on our government, tired of their standard of living dropping, and energized to do something about it.  What that something is, isn’t yet known, but they are talking over possible solutions.

Today the OccupyMN demonstration kicked off with speakers, a march to the Federal Reserve building, drumming, and approximately 400 demonstrators.  PNC-Minnesota spent most of the day at the Hennepin County Government Plaza in downtown Minneapolis.  We wanted to find out who the 99% are.  Media outlets and political pundits have categorized the protestors as trust-fund college students, union members, or out of work hippies, but does that perception match reality?

There are two ways to describe who the 99% are – traditional demographics or a more experiential approach.  Both have their advantages and disadvantages so we present both.

Experiential:

Demographics*
Some of the demographics may surprise you. The protesters are most likely in their early 20’s to mid-30’s, male, college educated, and employed. Although 35% said they were DFLers, very few were happy with the party of their choice. No one I spoke to said they supported the GOP. While 36% bring in less than $25,000 in household income, 43% of the demonstrators are in the richest 25% percentile.

Age:
0-12  – 1%
13-17 – 2%
18-24 – 29%
25-34 – 33%
35-44 – 9%
45-54 – 7%
55+ – 19%

Gender:
Male – 68%
Female – 28%
Other – 4%

Education level:
High School diploma only – 11%
Currently in college – 27%
Associates degree/VoTech – 9%
BA/BS degree – 35%
Masters – 10%
PhD – 8%

Political affiliation:
None – 47%
DFL – 35%
GOP – 0%
Other third party(ies) – 18%

Employment status:
Employed (includes self-employed) – 64%
Unemployed – 15%
Students (full time) – 13%
Retired – 8%

Household income (gross)
NOTE: the income brackets are set up to show where attendees household income breaks as a percentile)
$0 – $24,000 – 36%
$25,000 – $67,000 – 21%
$68,000 – $99,000 – 13% ($68,000 and higher is the ‘richest’ top 25%)
$100,000 – $113,000 – 12% ($100,000 and higher is the ‘richest’ top 15%)
$114,000 – 379,000 – 16% ($114,000 and higher is the ‘richest’ top 10%)
$380,000 – 1,500,000 – 2% ($350,000 and higher is the ‘richest’ top 1%)
$1,600,000 + – 0% ($1,600,000 and higher is the ‘richest’ top 0.1%)

* Methodology. 100 people out of the estimated 400 – 500  in attendance were surveyed. The survey took place during daytime hours (12:30pm to 4:00pm) on Friday, October 7, 2011. Surveyor asked every person in a pie shaped ‘wedge’ of the crowd if they would answer demographic questions.  This continued until 100 responses were collected.  Not all participants answered all questions.   Demographics are expected to shift in the evening hours or on the weekend. PNC-Minnesota will repeat these same demographic questions during evening or weekend protests.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “OccupyMN – Who are the 99%?

Comments are closed.