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.

  • Sue October 17, 2014, 9:33 am

    discovered MMM about 6 months ago. I counted myself as other. I work in retail and we don’t make a whole lot but in 6 month I have DRASTICALLY improved my financial situation. I am thinking about going back to school for a finance degree, gotta be better then the Geography one i have!!

  • Liz November 10, 2014, 3:49 pm

    I am a housewife and have been on the saving end of the relationship, husband is a programmer. For many years we saved half of take-home pay. I did not put my kids is preschool until the house was paid off. Once we were secure, around age 35, we did some adventures and gambles which cost us, but never anything stupid enough to risk our future. Our financial extreme freedom was courtesy of Microsoft, but I have since found that the other people I know who got the same stock options are financially strapped. Windfalls really do not make the difference. We live in a smaller house than friends who make more and drive cheaper cars. I think couchsurfing is a wonderful way to travel. My family still think I am a total skinflint, but my daughter who graduated debt free due to our saving up for her college has made the connection and is very grateful. Frequently people assume we are hard up for money because of our habits. We did get a large house once when we made a move from city to country and we sold it after nicknaming it “The Ball and Chain” We also homeschooled which can be very cheap. Our biggest expense was music lessons and instruments and that was worth it to us, but we did not pay for them until after college was fully funded and the retirement as well. Our kids are gone and we are back to more saving. I get more satisfaction from saving than from spending.

  • Kyra March 1, 2015, 3:00 pm

    Everybody on here has a fancy job, and I’m over here like “I am 18 and work at Subway…” Am I the youngest person here?

  • Sarah March 24, 2015, 12:50 pm

    I’m just finishing up my Masters of Social Work. Then I will be looking for work through the county or a local hospital.

  • Elaine March 26, 2015, 9:30 am

    I checked off other, but entrepreneur may be more accurate. I have had my own two-pronged small business since 1986. I have a business degree, as well as three music diplomas (piano, organ, voice). In the business part of my work I do bookkeeping, personal income tax returns, and general business management. Many of my clients are musicians who are happy to have someone doing their work who understands the business they are in. In the music part of what I do, I did a fair bit of performing and a bit of private teaching before moving to Ontario’s cottage country from Toronto in 2000, but now I mostly teach students of all ages and do the odd bit of performing.

    The proportions of business to music are always changing in my work life, but it keeps things interesting. I figured out that in 2014 I worked the equivalent of 1/3 of full time, but my hourly rates result in a decent income for that. I have lots of time to do other things, including spending time working in my garden, which gives me great thinking time, as well as producing lots of good food and nice flowers and plants.

    I turned 60 last week, and off and on I think about retiring. We’re in a financial position that would let me do so, but I love what I do, have complete control over who I teach and work for, and can take whatever time off I like. My husband is 79, retired, and in good health, but you never know what is around the corner, so we are concentrating on doing the things we want to do to make sure they get done. As long as we’re both healthy I’ll probably continue on as long as I enjoy it, possibly decreasing gradually. I have every confidence that I’ll know when to stop.

    In the meantime, both my husband and I agree that like is pretty sweet!

  • Panfrances April 9, 2015, 9:36 pm

    Nuclear Security

  • Frank April 13, 2015, 2:25 pm

    I put “Retired” cus I am even though I’m doing a little part time work and have rental income. I am a Mech engineer with a PE license and an MBA (I used to work on wafer fab infrastructure). I am about to retire my PE license as I don’t use it anymore.. I can reactivate within 5 years if I need to. I finally walked out in Jan 2014 and currently have about $1.5M liquid plus a paid off house worth about $400k. We have small pensions that kick in 6.5 years which should cover our living expenses by themselves. Consequently I am fairly aggressively invested at 86% stock ETFs, 11% bonds and 3% cash. Would like to move to 75,20,5 portfolio, just hoping the market will make a new high before I do so..:)

  • gosusgo November 3, 2015, 5:09 am

    What about sales as a category? Where do we fall? I am not really an entrepreneur (though I am an independent contractor) and I am also not a cubicle jockey. Seems like the impromptu survey was a bit skewed in favor of finding engineers (two categories for them)… Jut sayin’

  • KC November 27, 2015, 5:10 pm

    Dear MMM,

    Probably a little late to ask but, would you please consider adding a category for all the Domestic Engineers (unisex title) who faithfully read your blog.

    We are the foot soldiers working behind the scene at home making the badassity possible for the rest of our families.

  • Mary July 30, 2016, 9:34 pm

    A bit late to the discussion- I am an opera singer! Though we artsy folks are only 4% of your readership, we really do appreciate the help (and probably need it more than most).

  • Maya August 16, 2016, 8:24 pm

    Am I the only yoga teacher/studio owner? Also a part time English teacher at a therapeutic school for at risk youth. Guess I could say NP work?

    Have been reading your blog now for about a week. Can’t stop. I mean, every spare moment I spend scouring your article list trying to find one I haven’t read (guess I should have gone in order, haha).

    Your blog has helped me realize that it might just be possible to do this FI thing, even on just about 40K, with 2 teenage kids, and a non-Mustacian spouse (we had quite a “fun” discussion about your AWD article).

    This might seem like small potatoes, but I’m so excited to have not spent a dime – since I’ve started reading – on an unnecessary item! I’m shocked at how many times I would stop for a coffee, iced tea or other little treat, when i could just as easily wait till I get home and make my own. I’m really excited to get saving for once in my life! Thank you!

  • Proto 'Stache August 24, 2016, 7:36 pm

    Social Worker working as a therapist and case manager in public health. Listed myself as health care. Working on increasing savings and learning to invest…this blog inspired me to pay off student loans that I was making minimum payments on for years!

  • A June 19, 2017, 3:48 pm

    What I thought was interesting is that although I fall into the “cubicle work” category, as I sit in an office and make calls all day, my job is staffing for hardware/software engineers. So although I am not an engineer myself, I am still surrounded by the industry daily.

  • Peter Bhat Harkins June 20, 2017, 10:45 am

    I think the percentage you calculate in the June 2017 update is incorrectly high. The BLS breaks down programmers into several very similar categories. Look under the “Similar Occupations” tab; “Computer Programmers” and “Web Developers” would also be included by most people talking about software developers.

  • Tara June 20, 2017, 12:40 pm

    I’m surprised you don’t have a Non-profit category up there. I get that we all go into categories, but I work for a religious order of nuns in fundraising, so I don’t exactly fit the bill. Glad to see from the comments there’s other NP folks out there.

    And I agree with an earlier comment, when I worked in fundraising in NYC, it was so easy to fall into the consumerist trap. I remember even contemplating buying expensive purses and watches on my pitiful salary because other people in my department had it (people who were still subsidized by parents and/or 10 years my senior). Now that I moved to an organization that is in a suburb of a major BosWash city (not NYC), I don’t work with people like that and it’s a lot easier not having that pressure to fit-in.

  • Francois Renaud June 21, 2017, 5:30 pm

    I am a senior manager of a United Nations humanitarian agency working in weird places. I contribute to your unusual reader ip addresses.

  • Kathy Abell June 25, 2017, 11:39 pm

    I used to work in Software Development, but retired in August 2013. :)
    Can’t recall when I first heard about you and your blog (late 2011? early 2012?), but I do remember the “aha!” moment when I first learned you need 25x your annual expenses to be financially independent, rather than replacing 80% of your pre-retirement salary. As a very well paid software engineer nearing the end of my career, that tidbit of information (and its accompanying change of perspective) brought a HUGE sigh of relief. Thank you!

  • Zcademy September 13, 2017, 10:03 am

    I’m a web designer/developer (so I checked Software Developer) currently occupying a cubicle at a Financial Behemoth. I identify more with my profession than my company.

    They do pay well.

  • Jessie October 3, 2017, 9:31 am

    My husband manages a gas station/convenience store/deli in a small town, and I work at homemaking and making a business out of our fledgling farm (and the goal is for my husband to quit his job and work from home as well within five years.) I couldn’t decide between “Entrepreneur” and “Other”, since there was not an option for Service/Retail (and that’s where our money’s coming from at this point). We’re only in the peach fuzz stage of Money Mustachianism, but this made me curious how many other non-professional/trades people are out there doing this stuff? :)

  • Danielle October 16, 2017, 2:01 pm

    Hi MMM! You seem a little too excited over the “software engineering” category… ;-) I’m a web developer for a major Canadian airline so I checked that button. But I ain’t no software engineer! I imagine many other developers are in my shoes. (Sorry! But we are worthy!!)

  • Gov October 17, 2017, 6:46 pm

    I would like to know how many readers are in Law enforcement. Local, State, or Federal.

  • KyPat September 25, 2019, 7:01 am

    Paintless dent repair technician. So tradesperson, entrepreneur. I fix hail damaged vehicles


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