Who writes Wikipedia articles? Young men.
The November survey, which had some 175,000 valid responses, was conducted in multiple languages by the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that operates the site, and United Nations University’s tech-research program MERIT. They presented the initial findings last week at Wikimania, an annual conference held this year in Buenos Aires. A comprehensive report is scheduled for November.
Of the 53,888 respondents who said they contribute to Wikipedia, only 6,814 were women. The male/female ratio is closer among those who read entries but don’t write or edit them: 69% men to 31% women.
The average respondent age hovers in the twentysomethings. Men tend to be a few years older, at 26, while women were 24 on average.
Altruism and fact-checking are the top motivations of contributors, the study found. About 73% indicated “I like the idea of sharing knowledge and want to contribute to it,” while 69% said “I saw an error I wanted to fix.”