in Data & Insights

Ranking Websites by Demographics

By Sean Kilcullen

When choosing a website to advertise on, looks can be deceiving.

Would you be surprised to learn that roughly 40% of traffic to the website Jezebel is male, even though its tagline is “Celebrity, Sex, and Fashion for Women”?

Just because a website makes content for a specific audience – say women or baby boomers – doesn’t mean that other groups won’t find and consume it too. If you could walk into a brick-and-mortar version of your favorite news site, what would you see? Mostly women? Millennials? Would you be surprised with what you found?

At Quantcast, we measure and quantify web audiences. Using a combination of direct measurement and inferential statistical models, we’re able to determine the gender, age, income, and education makeup of a website’s traffic. We’re asked so frequently which websites are the best place to reach niche audiences, such as millennials or parents, that we decided to create a definitive ranking for each group. We turned to our data set to find out which websites drew the most male, female, millennial, senior, parent, wealthy and educated audiences.

For these rankings, we looked at the top 500 quantified websites in the U.S., ranging from 8 million to 3 billion pageviews per month. Companies that use Quantcast Measure – known to us as “quantified” sites – include about half of all major websites, including sites like BuzzFeed, The Onion, Yelp, and Stack Overflow.

Zulily and BlogLovin take home the award for the greatest percentage of female visitors, while New Arena and Covers, sports and sports betting websites, take home the gold for having the most male audience. Gizmodo Media Group – which owns Deadspin, Kotaku, and Jezebel – has the millennial market in hand, while conservative news sites like Conservative 101 and Freedom Daily pull in the most senior citizen web traffic.

USA Test Prep, a homework help site, wins the prize for parents making up the largest portion of web traffic. The Real Deal, a real estate site, takes home the accolade for having the wealthiest audience, and Crunchbase, a company information database and investment reference, draws the most educated (with an honorable mention for second most wealthy) audience.

First, we looked at which websites drew the largest percentage of female and male web visitors.

top 25 websites with the most female audience

The number one website with the most female traffic is Zulily, an ecommerce site selling clothing, toys, and home products at deep discounts. Women also made up the majority of traffic at lifestyle sites like extreme couponing blog The Krazy Coupon Lady, do-it-yourself project database Hometalk, and “new media” blog Refinery29.

While women tended to make up the largest portion of web traffic on lifestyle and entertainment websites, men made up the biggest chunks of web traffic on sports and finance websites.

top 25 websites with the most male audience

The award for the largest percent of male web traffic goes to New Arena, a sports and entertainment website, with 98% of visitors being male.

12 of the top 25 websites with the highest percentage of male web traffic were sports websites, ranging from general multi-sport sites like New Arena to sports betting sites like Covers and Scores and Odds, fantasy leagues such as Rotoworld, and sport-specific blogs like 90min or GolfWRX.

Men dominated the traffic on finance websites, such as stock visualizers Finviz and StockCharts, and stock forum StockTwits. They also made up the majority of traffic at ServerFault, the Stack Overflow forum for system and network administrators.

Next, we dug into millennials’ browsing habits. For this study, we defined millennials as visitors aged 25-34 years old.

top 25 websites with the most millennial audience

Overall, millennials made up about 18% of traffic in the top 500 quantified websites we looked. The top two websites with more than double the normal share of millennial visitors were Pinkvilla, a Bollywood and beauty site, and Rajnikant V/S CID Jokes, an Indian viral content producer. Indian Americans are one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the U.S.; additionally, the Indian population tends to be younger than the U.S., where baby boomers still make up about a quarter of the population.

By and large, entertainment and lifestyle websites drew in the most millennial visitors, specifically the Gizmodo Media Group network of sites, including sports entertainment site Deadspin, gaming entertainment site Kotaku, women’s lifestyle site Jezebel, automotive entertainment site Jalopnik, and technology entertainment site Gizmodo.

Clearly, millennials are using the internet for entertainment. Is the same true for older generations? To find out, we looked at which websites had the largest percentage of visitors who are senior citizens.

top 25 websites with the most senior audience

Conservative 101, a conservative news and opinion website, wins the gold for largest concentration of senior traffic with nearly 40% of web visitors over the age of 65. Overall, websites with the largest share of senior visitors tended to be news websites, particularly those leaning to the far right, like Freedom Daily and US Herald, or far left, like Truth Examiner. Beyond news, seniors also made up large percentages of web traffic for entertainment websites like TheJigsawPuzzles.com and Viral Kittens, and online gaming site Shockwave.

Do senior citizens share these interests with other age groups? We took a look at the age breakdown of the top 25 sites with the most senior citizen traffic to get a better idea.

top 25 websites with the most senior audience by site

More or less, seniors shared website interests with their neighboring age brackets, ages 45-54 and 55-64. The exception seems to be in gaming and entertainment websites like TheJigsawPuzzles.com and Shockwave, which have larger than usual percentages of visitors aged 18-13 years old.

Where else do parents tend to visit? We looked at which websites had the biggest percentage of visitors who are parents.

top 25 websites with the most parent audience

The number one website reaching a parent audience is USA Test Prep, a curriculum resource and standardized test preparation subscription service.

Parents tend to make up the biggest share of web traffic for education and homework help websites like Grade Saver and Math-Aids. They also made up a large percentage of visitors at little league websites like eTeamz and track and field statistics website MileSplit.

Parents also made up more than 87% of visitors to gaming websites like Arcade Prehacks and Planet Minecraft.

Next up, we wanted to find out where more affluent web traffic congregates.

top 25 websites with the most wealthiest audience

The website with the largest percentage of visitors making more than $150,000 annually was The Real Deal, a website with news about the New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami real estate markets.

Finance and investment websites like company information database Crunchbase and stock-focused websites Stockhouse, MarketWatch, and Nasdaq also had audiences with a larger percentages of visitors making more than $150,000 per year.

Beyond trading stocks, this audience also made up a larger than normal percentage of traffic at restaurant reservations site OpenTable, and tennis (USTA) and golf (GolfWRX) websites. They also made up a larger share of the audience at local sites like D.C. news site WTOP, parenting blog D.C. Urban Mom, New Jersey news site NJ.com, and New York City entertainment site Page Six.

Do the sites with the wealthiest audiences also have the most educated audiences? We looked at the percentage of visitors with at least an undergraduate college degree to find out.

top 25 websites with the most educated audience

The website with the largest percentage of visitors with a college degree was Crunchbase, which also took second place for wealthiest traffic by composition. There is quite a bit of overlap between the two groups; stock resources FinViz and StockCharts, sports sites USTA (United States Tennis Association) and GolfWRX, home editorial Curbed, and comic strip Dilbert all appear on both rankings.

It’s not always easy to picture who’s behind the pageviews. Without peeking behind the digital curtain, your assumptions about the audience of a particular website may be far from accurate. Using Quantcast’s proprietary models and measurement technology, you can be sure that you are reaching the right audience.

You can also see your audience in new and advanced ways beyond the categories discussed in this post. Contact measuresales@quantcast.com to learn more about the Enterprise features available within Quantcast Measure or sign up for a free account today.