No Such Thing As An Opinion!

August 1, 2011

Are my readers more intelligent than average, or less? Part Two

Recently, a very interesting study found a huge difference between the average IQ scores of users of different internet browsers.

Part One examined the results of the study.

These are the approximate average IQ scores associated with the identified internet browsers:

128:  Opera
126:  Camino
123:  IE with Chrome Frame
113:  Safari
111:  Chrome
107:  Firefox
  96:  IE 8
  90:  IE 9
  86:  IE 7
  83:  IE 6

How Do My Readers Compare?

I thought it would be quite interesting to see which browsers my readers use.  To see whether they lean toward browsers that tend to be used by more intelligent people, or those used by less intelligent people!

Luckily, Google Analytics identifies the internet browser used by each of my site's visitors!

But before I can get to that, let's see what the worldwide market share of each browser is.  That way, I have a baseline with which to compare my readers' browser usage!

Worldwide Market Share. By Internet Browser

Wikipedia lists several major sources of market share data.

Although the trend among the different sources generally appears to be the same, the market share data does vary significantly between the different sources.

So, I decided to use the source that I consider likely to be the best among them: StatCounter.

Why?  1) They base their figures on website hits, not visits, 2) They seem to monitor many more websites than do other sources, 3) Their sample size is huge, representing about sixteen billion hits and 4) They don't artificially weight their data, meaning their data is a pure representation.

StatCounter explains: 

"StatCounter is a web analytics service. As of 1 June 2010, our tracking code is installed on more than 3 million sites globally. (These sites cover various activities and geographic locations.) Every month, we record billions of hits to these sites. For each hit, we analyse the browser/operating system used and we establish if the hit is from a mobile device. For our search engine stats, we analyze every hit referred by a search engine. For our social media stats, we analyze every hit referred by a social media site. We summarize all this data and this is how we get our Global Stats information.

We do not manipulate the data in any way. We do not collate it with any other information sources. No artificial weightings are used. We simply publish the data as we record it.

In other words we calculate our Global Stats on the basis of more than 15 billion hits per month, by people from all over the world onto our 3 million+ member sites."

Exact Worldwide Market Share. By Internet Browser

StatCounter's July 2011 market share data is as follows:

42.45% - Internet Explorer
27.95% - Firefox
22.14% - Chrome
  5.17% - Safari
  1.66% - Opera
  0.63% - Other

A further breakdown:

26.30% - Internet Explorer 8.0
  7.27% - Internet Explorer 9.0
  5.45% - Internet Explorer 7.0
  3.42% - Internet Explorer 6.0


1)  StatCounter doesn't specify how many of the IE browsers use Chrome Frame.  No matter.  The proportion is likely to be extremely tiny, given that my site's sample shows that less than 0.5% of all visitors use IE with Chrome Frame.

So, let's assume that virtually all IE users are IE users, not users of IE with Chrome Frame.

2)  These statistics are worldwide statistics.  They do not necessarily match up well with the results of the IQ study referenced, because that study, although international, studied only people from USA, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand.

For example, although the average user of IE 8 in USA, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand has an average IQ of 96, the average user of IE 8 in other countries, for various reasons, may have a much different IQ than 96.

However, the article you're reading (Part Two), isn't meant to be a rigorous study.  It's meant to provide an interesting, basic overview that will provide you with a starting point for further research.

It is very complicated and time consuming to try to find data that is more suitable for comparison purposes, so I will stick with the data I have. 

The IQ Of The World's Internet Users, By Browser

You now know what the world market share of each internet browser is.

Before we look at my site's browser statistics, let's look at the world data again, this time combined with the associated IQ scores from the USA, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand: 

107 - 27.95% - Firefox
  96 - 26.30% - Internet Explorer 8.0
111 - 22.14% - Chrome
  90 -   7.27% - Internet Explorer 9.0
  86 -   5.45% - Internet Explorer 7.0
113 -   5.17% - Safari
  83 -   3.42% - Internet Explorer 6.0
128 -   1.66% - Opera
     ? -   0.63% - Other

Interesting!  The bulk of internet users (users of the three most common browsers) have an average IQ of 104.4.

What's the average IQ of all internet users?  To calculate, I need to know the IQ of the "other" browser users, and the "other" category is missing data.

What IQ should I assign to that section?  Luckily, the "other" sample size is very small, so it won't influence the overall findings much at all.

Normally I might assume that the "other" category has an average IQ of 100.  However, we know the "other" category likely includes Camino users' high IQ of 126, and perhaps IE Chrome Frame users' high IQ of 123, along with other browsers.  For calculation purposes, let's assign an IQ of 120 to "other browsers".

The Overall IQ of Worldwide Internet Users

The overall IQ of all browser users comes to 102.53.

I'm not surprised.  I expected it to be above average, because people of above average intelligence earn above average money.  Hence, they are more likely to own a computer and use the internet in the first place!

At the same time, I didn't expect the average IQ to be much above average, because the cost of computers has come down so far that income isn't as much of a barrier as it used to be.

Sigh.  But How Do My Readers Compare?

Finally. What you've been waiting for!


1)  Google Analytics data includes my own visits to my sites.  My visits are quite numerous during the editing and publishing preview process.  There's no way for me to be able to identify the exact number of visits of mine, but I can determine an estimate that's extremely close to the actual figure.

I will simply exclude all visits made by someone from my home city.  At least 80-90% of visits from my city of residence are actually visits from myself.

2)  I will include only data from June and July 2011.  I don't want to go so far back that the data wouldn't be comparable to StatCounter's July 2011 data.  At the same time, I want a large sample size, so I will use June in addition to July.

3)  Google Analytics doesn't breakdown the Internet Explorer figures by version number, but it does separate IE Chrome Frame users.. So, I'll need to combine the IE versions together.

The average IQ of all IE users combined (excluding Chrome Frame) is 92.64.

So, the IQ associated with the worldwide market share is:

  92.64 - 42.45% - Internet Explorer
107       - 27.95% - Firefox
111        - 22.14% - Chrome
113        -   5.17% - Safari
128        -   1.66% - Opera
120        -   0.63% - Other

That's the final, worldwide, market share and IQ table!

Let's compare this to the IQ of the readers who came to my site in June and July 2011! 

  92.64 - Internet Explorer - 24.54% (my site) vs 42.45% (world)
107      - Firefox                    - 36.20% (my site) vs 27.95% (world)
111      - Chrome                   - 20.86% (my site) vs 22.14% (world)
113      - Safari                       - 14.23% (my site) vs   5.17% (world)
128      - Opera                      -   0.86% (my site) vs   1.66% (world)
120      - Other                      -   3.31% (my site) vs   0.63% (world)


Compared to the worldwide demographic, my site appears to be visited by far fewer of the lower IQ IE users, and is visited by more of the higher IQ non-IE users.

The Estimated Average IQ Of My Site's Users

It comes to 105.78.  That's higher than the overall internet average of 102.53, which is what I would expect, given the nature of the topics I discuss.

It is important to note that my site, being new, has yet to develop a large following.  Therefore, the readers who do come to my site are more likely to be referred there than to visit directly as an established reader.

Once I develop a larger following, and once more visitors locate my site by using a search engine, I expect that the average IQ of my readers will increase noticeably.

I'll have to recalculate my readers' IQ in a few months or so!

The Browser That I Use

I use Firefox 3.6.  Average IQ of Firefox users? 107.

And please don't ask me to write an article explaining why someone like me is not using another browser! ;)

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