This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Demographics of the Brexit Vote

Voters in the UK preferred to leave the EU by a small margin, but the demographic differences are pretty stark between those who wanted to remain and those who wanted to leave. LordAshcroftpolls.com lays it out:
* The older the voters, the more likely they were to have voted to leave the EU.
* A majority of those working full-time or part-time voted to remain in the EU; most of those not working voted to leave. More than half of those retired on a private pension voted to leave, as did two thirds of those retired on a state pension.
* A majority (57%) of those with a university degree voted to remain, as 64% of those with a higher degree and more than four in five (81%) of those still in full time education. Among those whose formal education ended at secondary school or earlier, a large majority voted to leave.
*White voters voted to leave the EU by 53% to 47%. Two thirds (67%) of those describing themselves as Asian voted to remain, as did three quarters (73%) of black voters. Nearly six in ten (58%) of those describing themselves as Christian voted to leave; seven in ten Muslims voted to remain.
And here is another fascinating demographic. Immigration was a big issue raised by those campaigning to leave the EU, as I noted yesterday, yet those voting to leave were least likely to live in areas with immigrants. This is, in my view, consistent with the idea that it was xenophobia, not familiarity, that was breeding contempt.

Overall, then, the leavers were older whites with lower levels of education living in areas with few immigrants. As many commentators have noted, this demographic profile sounds a lot like the typical Donald Trump supporter in the US.

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