As evidenced by the data below, assumptions that Occupy protestors are mostly comprised of disaffected, “lazy” youth who “need to get a job” are completely misconstrued. Occupy supporters spanning the political, socio-economic and age spectrums will appear in the public eye once again this Sunday, March 25 as they hold a rally and “March to the Statehouse” to voice opposition to corporate dominance over politicians and policy making.
Below is a summary look at the wide range of people who identify with the Occupy movement in this area. All respondents support the movement, and a large majority of those who responded to the survey (73.8%) “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that they had “participated in the Occupy Raleigh protests.”
Occupiers represent all ages:
• Almost half of respondents (49.8%) were 35 and older.
• Nearly a third of respondents (28.9%) were 45 and older.
Most Occupiers don’t need to “get a job:”
• Over half of the survey group (52.2%) had a full-time job at the time of the survey.
• Another third of the group (35.4%) either worked part-time, or was a full-time student, homemaker, retiree or disabled.
• Just 1 in 8 respondents (12.4%) were unemployed.
Occupiers are more educated than the general population:
• Almost two thirds (63.2%) of Occupy Raleigh participants have either attained or are in the process of completing a bachelor’s degree (36%) or a graduate degree (27.2%).
• Within the general population of North Carolina (2006-2010), just 26.1% of residents have attained a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Occupiers span the socio-economic spectrum, defeating the idea that Occupy is about wanting a “hand-out:”
• 57.9% of respondents had a household income of $40,000 or above.
• Nearly 1 in 4 (24.9%) had a household income of $80,000 or above.
• The median household income in North Carolina (2006-2010) is $45,570.
Occupy transcends political parties:
• Only about 1 in 3 (34.9%) identified themselves as a “Democrat.”
• Over half (57%) didn’t identify themselves with any major political party (checking independent, other or none).
Parents are active in Occupy:
• 41.5% of respondents have children.
• 36% of respondents have young children living at home.
• Anecdotally, many parents cite “wanting a better world for their children” as the reason for their participation.
Looking to the Future
Occupy participants intend to do more than march on #M25 to call for change. The Occupy Raleigh General Assembly recently approved a measure to work on establishing a long-term community center. Activists within the group also are planning to join existing efforts to pass anti-corporate personhood amendments locally, asking city leaders to follow the precedent of protecting voter sovereignty recently set by municipalities such as New York, N.Y., Los Angeles, Calif., Portland, Maine, and Carrboro, N.C. and the State of Montana.
About the Survey:
This demographic survey was taken online by 364 participants in October/November 2011, shortly after the Occupation began, and was released to the public via the group’s newsletter in March 2012. A career sociologist and a statistical programmer worked on the survey. The Occupy Raleigh communications work group hopes this data leads to a better understanding of the people who make up Occupy and opens more people’s eyes to the movement’s core message that corporate profits should not supersede the dignity and rights of humankind.
To receive a copy of the full demographic survey report or to request an interview, please contact one of the people listed below.
Survey Administration Contacts:
Leverett Lynn Guess: 919-333-6747, LLGuess@att.net
Chad Burris: 919-435-1580, ctburris2007@
Jeanelle Alexander: jskalexander@
#M25 March/General Contacts:
Jeremy Gilchrist: 910-986-4210, firstname.lastname@example.org
Stacie Borrello: 919-996-9208, stacie.borrello@
Main Contact Email: 411OccupyRaleigh@
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Occupy Raleigh is a group of concerned community members who wish to raise awareness about economic injustice and corporate influence over our political process. We seek to make the voices of the people heard and pursue justice for the 99% through direct action.