Out of the 1274 complete responses, 59% of respondents identify as men, 39% as women, 1% as non-binary/genderqueer and 1% preferred not to answer. We also had 1 respondent identifying as other. Our results confirm previous studies showing a higher proportion of men against women in data journalism, although our research is the first that we know of that includes non-binary/genderqueer in the breakdown. For example, Heravi and Lorenz’s 2017 study1 had 57.5% of respondents identifying as male and 42.5% as female.
The data journalism community tends to be relatively young, with most people being between the ages of 25 and 44, corresponding to 56% of the sample. When we split the distribution by gender, we see that women in data journalism are both younger than men, with 35% of them aged between 25-34 years old. The most numerous age group for men is instead between 35-44 (30% of all men). The mode for genderqueer/non-binary individuals is also represented by the 35-44 age range.
Country of work
The respondents’ geographic distribution in terms of country of work sees only Western countries in the top five, altogether representing 37% of the sample. The results show the United States (11%) as the top country followed by Italy (9%), the UK (7%), Spain (6%), and Germany (4%). Yet, in the top 10, we see countries from different regions such as India (3%) and Nigeria (3%). For Latin America, Brazil was the country with the highest response rate (2%). Our geographic distribution differs quite significantly from that of Heravi and Lorenz1, where they had 16% of participants coming from countries outside Europe and North America. In our case, 38% of participants come from a country outside the EU and North America.
In terms of the gender divide, the smaller the sample the more variability we see from the overall gender distribution. In the top countries, in terms of the number of respondents, Germany presents itself as the most inclusive and egalitarian country, with 45% of women and 3.64% of non-binary/genderqueer. Spain is also more evenly divided between men (55%) and women (45%) than the average. With 16 respondents in each, Portugal and Russia are the two countries in the top 20 where women are a majority (69% respectively).
Data journalists tend to be highly educated, with 91% having completed a higher education course or degree. Of those, about 47% has obtained a Master’s degree, showing that many people choose to specialise after completing their Bachelor’s degree. While university degrees show an even distribution of men and women overall, professional degrees, technical institutes and lower education are disproportionately male, showing that more women than men pursue higher education studies.
Higher education discipline breakdown
We asked those who completed higher education degrees to tell us the disciplines they chose for their studies. Around half of respondents (52%) have a degree in Arts and Humanities (which includes journalism), followed by the Social Sciences (20%), and then technical disciplines such as Computer Science, Mathematics, and Statistics.
We wanted to see the breakdown of disciplines by degree type but were challenged by the fact that, wherever a respondent picked more than one discipline, we could not link each selected discipline to the correct degree type. To account for this, here below we only show the breakdown for those who only selected one discipline (944 of 1161).
Looking at how they divide across degree types, we see that most Arts and Humanities degrees are obtained at the Bachelor’s level (29%), showing that people chose thereafter to specialise in other disciplines. Survey participants with more advanced degrees were more likely to specialise in Social Sciences, Formal Sciences and Natural Sciences.
- Heravi, Bahareh R., and Mirko Lorenz. “Data Journalism Practices Globally: Skills, Education, Opportunities, and Values.” Journalism and Media 1, no. 1 (2020): 26-40.