So the other day I asked our goodly site admin William Bull for some stats by country, eager to see how it compares with Skeptoid podcast listener distribution. Turns out it’s pretty close. This graph (click to see full size) shows SkepticBlog.org page views over the past year per million of each population’s country. So it’s a fair indicator of this blog’s relative popularity in each country. (Any countries not listed had fewer than one page view per million population.)
Obviously this is an English language blog written by primarily American authors, so we cannot extrapolate this data to indicate the relative popularity of skepticism in general in each country. But there are two surprises.
The first surprise is that the United States is not the country where we’re most popular. We’re most appreciated in Canada. Either this means that our lone Canadian blogger, Daniel Loxton, is more popular than the rest of us put together; or that Canadians generally appreciate this content more than Americans. There are all kinds of demographic reasons that this may be true. Without surveying our readers for their demographic information and comparing that to the population at large, we can only speculate what some of these are. The United States has higher religiosity than Canada, and the population is generally less educated. But far be it from me to assert that only an educated public would appreciate this blog; it’s all speculation.
Similarly, New Zealand takes second place, relegating the United States down to third. What are the reasons that New Zealanders visit SkepticBlog more often than Americans?
The second surprise is that a block of three non-English speaking countries, Norway, Sweden, and Finland, have snuck in there higher than Ireland and the United Kingdom. Much of their population is bilingual and reads English without a problem, but it’s still their second language; we’d typically tend to expect more readers from the UK on an English language blog than from Scandinavia.
Scandinavia has a reputation for having low religiosity and low poverty, so perhaps this shouldn’t be so much of a surprise. My personal experience with attendees at skepticism conferences and talks that I give on the road has been that all socioeconomic levels appear to be well represented, but that’s my own informal observation only, and could well be wrong.
The Amaz!ng Meeting has had two conferences in London and one in Australia. Maybe it’s time the JREF threw one in Sweden?