November Data on Facebook’s US Growth by Age and Gender: Young Men Following the Women

While women continue to outnumber men on Facebook in the United States, November saw far more men join the site across most age groups. We’ll leave it to readers to guess why — suffice to say this is one of the more interesting results we see in our analysis of Facebook’s US growth in the past month.

Last month, Facebook grew by 4.1 million, from 94.2 million in October to 98.1 million in the US; nearly one-third of the country is now active on Facebook each month. Here’s a closer look at what’s happening by age and gender.

Note: We collect and analyze Facebook’s raw, self-reported demographic data every month, which is how we generate the tables below. While the data is not necessarily available in real-time, it’s the closest look we (or anyone) can currently get at what Facebook itself is seeing.

Women continued to comprise the majority of US Facebook users, although their share dropped slightly from 57% to 56.1%. Overall, 1.04 million more women joined in November, bringing the monthly active total to 52.6 million. But the number of men grew by 2.14 million to reach 41.1 million monthly actives.

Numerically, men ages 18-25 grew the most in the past month, gaining 802,000 — the next closest age and gender group was men ages 26-34, with 467,000. Women ages 18-25, came in third place, with 407,000 additional monthly actives. This information is especially interesting given comScore data from the past several months indicating a drop in Facebook engagement among 18 to 24 year olds. If both Facebook’s own data and comScore’s data are accurate, we have a bit of a conundrum: This age demographic is both growing on the site and using it less. Data sets in coming months should provide more answers about what’s really going on.

The low growth rate among women between 26 and 44 is notable in November versus what we’ve seen in past months — just 0.3% for those aged 26-34 and 2.9% for those aged 18-25. It’s not clear if this is because Facebook is already in use by such a large portion of its potential audience (suggesting other sites, like MySpace, are holding their own), or if this is just a monthly blip, or whatnot. In terms of growth rates, men are clearly going to where the women already are.

Overall, 18 to 25 year-olds continue to make up the majority of the site, with the percentage that each group comprised staying the same as it was last month.

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