A new poll heard round the world (or on a flat world) released on April 2nd by YouGov asked 8,215 United States adults about their theories about whether or not the Earth is round or flat.
Flat Earth theory has received plenty of media attention in recent years but a new poll is giving insight into the people who are open to the fringe theory.
The survey simply asked, “Do you believe that the world is round or flat?” and included five options:
- I have always believed the world is round
- I always thought the world is round, but more recently I am skeptical/have doubts
- I always thought the world is flat, but more recently I am skeptical/have doubts
- I have always believed the world is flat
- Other/Not sure
The overall results found that 84% of respondents answered, “I have always believed the world is round.” 7% are not sure, 5% have some doubts, and 4% have always thought the world is flat. This will likely alarm educators. But when broken down by age group, the poll found that the younger the respondents, the less likely they answered, “I have always believed the world is round.” 66% of 18-24 year olds are in that category, 25% are unsure, and 9% have always thought the world is flat (with some having doubts).
Deeper within the statistics is the Male-Female Breakdown. Of those who gave the strongest flat-earth response, females outnumbered males by 3-1. When including those who have doubts about their flat earth view, females outnumbered males in the survey by 66% (5% females versus 3% males). Overall, females were 21% more likely than males to answer the question with an option other than, “I have always believed the world is round” (17% females versus 14% males).
If we apply all of those proportions to the 18-24 year old results we find that 6% of 18-24 year old females, “have always believed the world is flat,” 5% “have always believed the world is flat,” with some doubts, and a staggering 29% are unsure. This means around 40% of 18-24 year old females are in this unsure if Earth is round category.
The poll also found that those open to a flat Earth theory consider themselves “very religious” by a factor of nearly 3 to 1. It also found income to be a factor. Those who make under $40,000 income are also nearly three times more likely to be open to a flat Earth theory. The Western part of the United States had slightly less people open to a flat Earth theory than the rest of the country. Surprisingly, Democrats are more open minded to a flat Earth theory than Republicans by a factor of 3-2.
Add it up and if you are a 22 year old very religious female Democrat in the Midwest United States making under $40,000, chances are you are very open to the idea that the Earth is flat.
YouGov is a non-partisan research organization. Proportional results of YouGov’s polls were extrapolated from their survey and include assumptions not addressed in the poll.