A One-Question Survey – Who Are the Mustachians?

bigleafAll right, I’ve been curious about this for a while, and maybe you have been too: Who are you? Who are we in general?

As this blog has grown, the people have come from all corners of the internet. Search engines, newspaper and magazine features, other blogs, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, and any number of other places.

While the overall numbers are easy to track with the “see the stats” link I make public down there in the footer, and the mix of countries is nicely displayed in a pie chart, it would be really neat to see a quick breakdown of the types of people we have around here.

Since this is a blog about work and money, I figured we could just share the industries in which we work. From there, it will be fun to look through the data and see what it means. I’ll add a section after the poll once we have enough results.

Don’t worry if you don’t quite fit into one category exactly, just take a guess. For Science!

What type of work do you do?

View Results

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Numbers now updated for June 2017

Wow, this has been a fun poll – most of the responses happened in the early days, but a trickle of later readers have kept contributing to the poll and I encourage you to do so as well. It only takes about one second.

I think the poll has answered my biggest speculation: we are indeed way heavy on engineers. Take software engineers, for example. These are supposed to be only about 0.5% of the population (1 in 200).. but we are 1 in 6 here! I have noticed this while meeting groups of readers in the US and Canada as well, but now with the poll results we can present a few interesting statistics:

There are about 1.1 million software developers in the US these days, according to the BLS.

Over the past 3 months, about 2,130,000 unique visitors have stopped by this site, according to Google Analytics’ best guess. They made 5 million visits and pulled down 22 million page views.

If 16% of these are software people as the poll suggests, that adds up to about 340,800 developers. Of course, only 75% of us are in the United States, so we are down to 225,600.

In other words, if these stats are anywhere close to correct, about 23% of the Entire US Software Engineering Workforce has read Mr. Money Mustache in the past 3 months.

This would explain why existing readers have been telling me that their coworkers spontaneously came up and told them about the blog. Statistics tell us this should be a rare event, as the blog only reaches 0.5% of the US population (1 in 200). But among software engineers, the likelihood of Mustachianism is a solid 50 times higher.

So, nice work, fellow engineers. Now that we’re all hanging out like this, graced with the company of an even larger group of talented people in other fields, I’m sure we can accomplish more powerful things than ever before.

  • Happyback September 18, 2013, 3:06 pm

    I am a single mother of 7 children.
    I teach them at home, so I am a teacher.
    I am an emergency first responder for natural disasters.
    I am a lifeguard.
    I am a property manager for several of my own units.
    I am an entrepreneur in emergency prep and self sufficiency.
    I am a full time student in college studying to be a penetration tester.
    I am a cartage agent.
    I am a home maker, cook, driver, gardener, and so forth for the kids.

    I don’t know which category you want…so I marked “other”.

  • SavvyFinancialLatina September 18, 2013, 3:40 pm

    I work in sourcing (finance related) in a global 500 corporation. Part of the cubicle workers.

  • Laura September 18, 2013, 3:57 pm

    Really? You say “For Science!” but don’t include science as a category?!


  • Paris September 18, 2013, 4:03 pm

    Both Dentist. But staying home mom lately and husband is working.

  • Tara September 18, 2013, 4:06 pm

    Looks like I missed the voting time cutoff… I am an administrative assistant for a Fortune 500 telecommunications engineering company. I save 50% of my income and am looking to retire at 50, in 2.5 years. No windfalls for me, just a lot of frugality!

  • At Home Mom September 18, 2013, 4:21 pm

    I clicked “other” because I may be one of your “unique” readers as I’m a 50 plus stay at home mom (a great privilege), homeschooling my 5th child through high school, introduced to MMM by my computer science major son who knows his parents are in deep debt doo doo….who KNEW not to get in debt when we were in our 20’s but did it anyway and really regret it now!!! So as I read your blog, I try to apply your principles best I can and pass on your insights to my family and friends in hopes they don’t make the same mistakes we did. It’s never too late to change! P.S. I have 2 side businesses that supplement our income and pay off debt.

  • Terr September 18, 2013, 4:28 pm

    I’m a bit surprised that there aren’t any more folks in working in the arts. But maybe they categorized themselves as entrepreneurs?

    I’m an artist, as I’m an internet writer. However, I’m a freelancer so that makes me an entrepreneur as well. In any case, both of these groups should be interested in this blog, since artists and entrepreneurs usually don’t start off rich, lol.

    I feel that it’s prudent to learn how to live well off of little bits of money. Then when I start earning a lot more money, I’ll already be used to living a satisfactory lifestyle. Then, I can stash the excess money away and not miss it!

  • krissie September 18, 2013, 4:30 pm

    I guarantee I am the only one here who can’t be put in any category. I could be put in a service category I guess. I do TNR; trap, neuter, and return for feral and stray cats >^..^<

  • Subversive September 18, 2013, 4:34 pm

    IT Infrastructure consultant/contractor here, I chose the second option “Other high tech job”. Gonna be at it for awhile, since we dug ourselves a nice hole full of shiny consumer/vehicle debt, but we’re on the upswing, and at least I make a good income so we can dig out.

  • RMD September 18, 2013, 4:45 pm

    Cube dweller in a CRO serving pharma companies as the develop drugs. I audit documentation for accuracy to internal SOPs. If it sounds boring and awful…it’s because it is.

  • Matt September 18, 2013, 4:46 pm

    oil and gas

  • Pretired Nick September 18, 2013, 5:04 pm

    What, no category for semi-pretired stay-at-home dad? (:

  • Casey September 18, 2013, 5:20 pm

    I’m in the military, but I have a Finance degree.

  • jeff September 18, 2013, 5:22 pm

    NOT an engineer (NP = nurse practitioner)
    I am “seasonal” and select where and when I work now, and will blow out 50 candles in November. Was already adhering to core MMM rules for 15 years or more. I go to high end retail stores to make sure I’m not missing anything and to watch conspicuous consumption. If everyone were like me, we’d have a discount grocery store, rare fast food, Salvation Army, Good Will, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and a local hardware store. Every other retailer would be out of business.
    I have ridden my bike 2000 miles this year and have been riding my bike for 5 years.
    I’ve never owned a new car and bought a Subaru with 140,000 miles on it for $4200. It now has 162,000 miles on it 8 months later, and every button and accessory on it still works. (I must drive long distances to do my job — no way around it — but compensation is adequate) :-)
    No debt
    I am able to live on an expense account while on the road and so enjoy the tax advantage of that.
    I wear flip flops years round by moving with the sun….and that does not suck.
    Thank you for teaching us all and for making us into a community. Glad you are still here after global warming came to Colorado over the weekend.

  • Dividend Mantra September 18, 2013, 6:09 pm

    Service advisor at a major car dealership here.

    Work 50+ hours per week mandatory, while dealing with upset customers who don’t want to bring their cars in for repairs and technicians not happy about having to perform repairs under warranty. It’s a rather miserable existence.

    But there’s FI to look forward to! :)

    Best wishes!

    • RGB September 18, 2013, 10:34 pm

      Hmmm, “Ditch the car” certainly comes to mind for this scenario!

  • Lynn September 18, 2013, 6:17 pm

    I retired at 54 with no debt, new (small) house that’s paid for, some savings, and a small pension. Worked one full-time job and one to two part-time jobs, seven days a week, for over a decade, was very frugal, and it all paid off. :-)

  • Another planner September 18, 2013, 6:22 pm

    With a science background I’ve been a university lecturer/researcher, development worker, … and yes very recently retired/semi-retired! Am an avid saver & investor with small but increasing rental business, farming & other investments. Been FI for a long time but finally had the courage to jump out of the cage.

  • Bakari September 18, 2013, 6:43 pm

    I’m in the smallest category of all! One of the very few representing the blue collar class.

  • Badrx September 18, 2013, 6:48 pm

    Emergency Physician in Ontario

  • Doug September 18, 2013, 6:56 pm

    Further to my above comment, there’s another reason why a lot of science and engineering (S&E) types are drawn here and are mustachian. As myself and many others here have said in above comments, we are practical and efficiency minded types. I believe another reason is we S&E types are the inquisitive type, a small minority who have retained the curiosity we’re all born with to adulthood whereas most people lose it in teenage years. For that reason we S&E types have a lot of hobbies and interests outside our job or profession and see the value in retiring earlier, or at least being semi retired, so we can have more time to pursue these interests. For example I would much rather see, do, or experience something new and exciting rather than spend a pile of money on some fancy expensive car in a failing attempt to impress people who really don’t give a damn.

  • Nalena September 18, 2013, 7:12 pm

    I am a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay, living on a $400 a month stipend, still able to save while fellow volunteers always succumb to extreme poverty the two weeks leading up to the end of every month. Unrelated but pertinent, I also had the good fortune to meet a Canadian Mustachian headed to the meet up in Ecuador while traveling in Peru!

  • Ray September 18, 2013, 7:30 pm

    Scientist here – close enough to engineering, I guess. Five years as a grad student I lived on $15k/yr and recently I’ve found other like minds. Meanwhile, I’ve graduated and my salary has greatly increased and so has my spending, so this blog is a great, much needed, reality check (aka: facepunch). Great blog, keep it up!

  • Jennifer September 18, 2013, 8:04 pm

    Any other actuaries out there?

    • Anu September 21, 2013, 8:46 am

      Can’t call myself an actuary yet, but well on my way there!

  • Donna September 18, 2013, 8:06 pm

    I’m in orchestra management, a monstrous hybrid of cubicle jockey and artsy industry.

  • ML Chan September 18, 2013, 8:09 pm

    I’m a stay at home mom that manages our finances and optimizing our investments so I can get my spouse to retire soon. I love your site because it encourages me to stay the course in my frugality even while living in the middle of Silicon Valley. Keep up the great blog and other followers, I also enjoy your many comments and suggestions. Thanks!

  • Tony September 18, 2013, 8:11 pm

    I’m a trombone player. There’s a joke there somewhere…

  • Sid Zorbo September 18, 2013, 8:21 pm

    Other–cook. My job is pretty awesome. I am technically in management, and hope to run the kitchen I am working in at some point. Been in the industry for almost ten years. The people are fun. It’s a physical job, which I enjoy. Doesn’t pay terrible, but not great either. Hope to change that soon. A large part of my job is being a teacher, training younger cooks, and helping them grow in technique, knowledge, and palate. I also get to be an activist, supporting local foods, sustainability, green practices. I work at an affordable cafe/coffee shop helping redevelop the role of cooks in the world where everything is made in house instead of bought frozen and premade from a large distribution company, which to say the least is not very mustachian. I also get a free meal and coffee daily!

    Been applying Mustachian principles for about nine months working our family out of debt by not spending! It’s working. Hope to begin saving and paying extra on our mortgage by January 2015. A knee surgery and a sewer pipe burst on our income property set us back a little. I want to semi-retire in 15 years at age 47.

  • Momster September 18, 2013, 8:23 pm

    Where is you category for services / logistics or even support or admin . what about emergency workers? Put me the honey badger category for warehouse supervision and buyer

  • Steve F September 18, 2013, 8:26 pm

    Other: cell phone tower development – site identification, leasing, zoning/permitting. I usually select “Real Estate” or “Telecommunications”. Thanks for the blog!

  • Spike September 18, 2013, 8:29 pm

    Love the survey idea. I think Mustachians would revel in the chance to engage more with the blog and the Mustachian community as a whole. Maybe another such survey with basic demographic details or a personality question would be fun?

    I work for a nonprofit in the energy field, called OurEnergyPolicy.org, so I wasn’t sure what to check off, but ended up choosing “other.”

  • Chris September 18, 2013, 8:34 pm

    Air Force Officer/Pilot. 5 years to go for twenty!

  • Cris S September 18, 2013, 9:09 pm

    My job? Well gee! I have been a cancer patient for the last 2 years but the field I would like to get into is Architecture/Engineering. Sadly I am only 21 which means I will start college really late and, for that matter, retire early later than expected. Also, my country, Chile, is nowhere to be found on the statistics (of course) but I do believe at least someone other than me has to read this blog.

    Fyi I have been a reader since december 2011.

  • Denise September 18, 2013, 9:19 pm

    I’m an “other.” I’m a waitress, have been for 36 years. I would really, really like to not have to do it anymore.

  • Paul September 18, 2013, 9:23 pm

    Telephone man!

    I work in a central office with all kinds of high tech stuff, I suppose I’m technically a tradesman, but spend much of the day in a cube. Decisions decisions!

    Glad to be able to walk to work year-round. :)

  • mango September 18, 2013, 9:24 pm

    I’m an undergrad student of the social sciences and humanities.

    Interesting we have a poll about identity that only asks what our “occupation” is…when this blog is about learning to do more than fill your time with a traditional job. I know it’s still important to our sense of who we are, but what other identifying characteristics might be meaningful to us, as Mustachians?

  • plam September 18, 2013, 9:48 pm

    Multiple categories: professor of software engineering.

  • MeldaSilas September 18, 2013, 9:53 pm

    Almost-graduated student, but I’m already working in the tech industry. As a Business Analyst, not a developer, but they sure are trying to pull me to the dark side. :)

  • Paula September 18, 2013, 10:01 pm

    Let me just first say that I’m relieved that you are ok after the floods in your geographical area; I was worried about you and your family.

    Second, I am a buyer for an electrical contractor so I parked myself under Trades; I was completely unsurprised to find that the Trades fall lowest is your stats. By and large the folks in my trade make a lot of money and they tend to blow it on toys.

    I have to reveal, however, and before I do I want to say that I found and started following you first, that my husband is……you guessed it…..a software developer.

  • Heather Renee September 18, 2013, 10:35 pm

    I’m fully disabled and only bring in disability, but my husband works under my dad at a business that is slowly, steadily been growing. So, while we are extremely frugal due to need now, I watch your blog with an eye for the future. :)

  • Nate September 18, 2013, 10:51 pm

    Airline/part time military pilot…still with wife #1 and no frivolous spending on toys.

  • mike September 18, 2013, 10:53 pm

    Utility-scale wind energy project developer. I do all the legwork that happens before the engineers get there. Previously, battle manager for the u.s. air force. I guess I just have a thing for niche career fields.

  • Cecilia September 18, 2013, 10:53 pm

    I’m a registered nurse. I work 3-12 hour days a week and I love my job- Pediatrics. My husband is a computer programmer. I am working to become a SWAMI.

  • Mrs Dixon September 18, 2013, 11:21 pm

    I’m a lawyer from New Zealand working in Australia – I’ve noticed most lawyers like material status symbols – we’re about 4% MMM according to the stats so far. I have had periods of spending all of my quite reasonable income. Presently I am focussed on not owning stuff but I still like to spend some money doing stuff. Have a bike, haven’t owned a car in about 3 years.

  • Jim September 18, 2013, 11:32 pm

    Finally, I’m a 1 percenter! (painter).

    Though, in a previous life, I was an engineer or glorified cubicle jockey. Visiting a corporate office building now makes my stomach clench…

  • NoWayMe September 18, 2013, 11:38 pm

    Dentist in Canada (BC). Love the blog, pretty much sums up how we have been living for years. Only difference is I follow Garth Turner’s blog on Canadian real estate and am a proud renter as our “bubble” has not yet popped in this country.

    • Doug September 23, 2013, 7:32 pm

      I’m another follower of Garth’s real estate blog, good informative stuff. Besides living efficiently, I follow Garth’s advice not only about avoiding Canadian real estate, but also pertaining to investments.

  • PC September 19, 2013, 12:19 am

    I’m a supply chain operations manager working for the largest salty snack food company in the us. I work an insane amount of hours, get compensated very well and have significantly decreased my stress by adopting some MMM style in my already low cost standard of living. Targeting retirement in my mid 40’s and can’t wait.

  • Mira D September 19, 2013, 12:30 am

    I’m a pharmacist MBA with a Corp Comm profile working in pharmaceuticals…plus I do literary translations…
    marked healthcare but that’s a wide one!

  • MeeriR September 19, 2013, 12:53 am

    A very interesting poll. I wonder why the software engineers are nr 1? Is it because you’re most frugally minded or because you’re more tech-savvy than other occupations, and know how to use internet to dig out information on the topic?

    I think it might also be because software/tech people are more free-minded and nonconformist because the software industry is the most free-market industry that currently exists.

  • Charles September 19, 2013, 2:27 am

    There was no option for sales so I checked other.

  • KruidigMeisje September 19, 2013, 2:45 am

    Ehm, trying to mess up your calculation: I read this blog from work (lunchtime) and at home. 2 different IPadresse, one person. If many more software engeneers (and cubicle jockeys) do this, (alas likely), your numbers should be tempered a little.


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