In May 1972 subscribers to REASON magazine were asked to fill out a questionnaire which asked for their preferences for articles in REASON and also for personal data about themselves. We would like to thank the 322 persons who replied to our questionnaire. They represent approximately 10% of our subscribers and while conclusions based on such a self-selected sample must be regarded with caution the sample size is large enough to permit some generalizations to be made.
The bulk of these REASON subscribers are in the 22-29 age group (46.9%) with another 26.2% in the 30-39 age range. Approximately 57% of the sample is single or divorced; the rest (43%) married. The 296 persons reporting marital status also reported having 181 children among them.
REASON subscribers are found in all occupations: students (28%), laborers (4%), professionals (28%), business (16%)—even one tax collector! About 60% of the respondents had at least a B.S. degree, with 23% of the total having an M.S. or higher. Approximately 27% are members of some professional society—I.E.E.E. (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) had the most members.
In general, the subscribers are affluent: the average family income is $13,000 (a very respectable figure given the large number of single people and low income students in the sample) with incomes ranging from $0 to $70,000+. Over two thirds are renting rather than buying their home.
In general the respondents are content with REASON. Over half wanted more interviews and more "Trends". The only category that drew any substantial number of "less" votes was poetry, which in general seemed to provoke very strong positive or negative reactions. Favorite articles were the Nathaniel Branden interview, Hospers' "Impressions of Soviet Russia", Poole's "Contracts—Key to Urban Rebirth", and Armentano's "Great Electrical Equipment conspiracy" in that order, although almost every article that REASON has published got at least one vote. About half our respondents declined to state a least favorite article; of those that did state they liked LeFevre's "Justice on Trial", Forrester's "Counterintuitive Behavior of Social Systems", and the Robert Rimmer interview the least.
Some reader comments:
"I have found the issue on education useful in teaching a college class in political science. I hope the quality continues to improve as it has from the beginning."
"Keep up the good work. Get more ads, and more pages of articles."
"Fast becoming my favorite magazine."
"Would like to see more articles by professionals who are doing original thinking in their fields, e.g., economics, military, investing, law."
"I prefer articles on economics and relating to possibilities of realizing libertarian principles in practical terms."
"I am more interested in articles about ways to reduce government authority and replace them by free market alternatives. I am not very interested in articles about how good the world would be if the whole system could be changed at one stroke."
"Why aren't you listed in Ulrich's?"
[We're in the newest edition —Ed.]
"Your magazine has helped more than anything in years to relieve the feeling of being philosophically and politically alone in the world. I love it!"
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Reader Survey".