YouGov Ratings FAQ

What is YouGov Ratings?

YouGov Ratings is the biggest and boldest attempt ever made to quantify what America thinks. We’re doing this by publishing nationally representative popularity scores for thousands of things. YouGov Ratings is built on top of our accurate and precise methodology, which the Pew Research Center says "consistently outperformed" other online polling companies.

What is the purpose of YouGov Ratings?

Based on over 24 million responses, and growing daily, YouGov Ratings provides a way to determine the nationally representative popularity score for thousands of things, from brands and products to companies and people.

We’ve then connected each popularity rating in our enormous database to offer a deeper insight into fans of these things. For example, we show you what the fans of each entity are like not only in terms of age-group and gender but all the other things they especially like, giving you a real sense of what distinguishes different groups in the population.

By publishing these nationally representative popularity scores together with our other data, YouGov Ratings showcases the breadth and depth of YouGov data. The richness of the information is astonishing, even to us.

What can I do with YouGov Ratings?

Want to know how popular Taylor Swift really is? Find out with YouGov Ratings. Want to know what the world thinks of your favorite brand? Find out with YouGov Ratings. Want to know what matters to the supporters of the Chicago Cubs? Find out with YouGov Ratings. Want to know… you get the idea.

Where can I access YouGov Ratings data?

We’ve created a new website for anyone to access YouGov Ratings data for free. On the website, you will be able to explore the data in two main ways.

The first is through Rankings Pages where we publish lists of things organized by category in order of their popularity score. This view of the data will enable you to easily see which things in particular categories are most popular among the US population.

The second view is through the individual Ratings Pages we have created for everything we ask about.

How are the results on the Ratings Pages calculated?

You will see on the Ratings Pages we’re showing a lot of data and information. Below is an explanation of the results you see on the page and how they are calculated.

For each thing in YouGov Ratings we show nationally representative popularity percentage scores. The positive popularity score shown at the top of the page (on the left) is calculated by taking the proportion of people who view something positively and showing it as a percentage of all of the people who have given any opinion about that thing, including “have heard of”. The same calculation is used for the neutral, negative & have heard of percentage scores. Our sample mirrors the demographics of the US and the data is weighted to be nationally representative. Nice and simple!

Below the headline popularity scores you will find more information about the people who view a particular thing positively (aka the fans). For this deeper dive into the fans of a particular thing, we show two different types of results.

Wherever you see data (or numbers) on the page, we’re simply showing absolute percentages. For example, for Gender we show the percentage of men and the percentage of women who view that thing positively. For Age, we show the same thing by generation i.e. the percentage of Millennials, Baby Boomers and Generation X who view that thing positively. In this case, Age is defined in generational terms per year of birth:

  • Baby Boomers: 1946-1964
  • Generation X: 1965-1981
  • Millenials: 1982-1999

This data in the form of absolute percentages provides a clear breakdown of the people that view a thing positively.

We also show other information on the page which, instead of percentages, is in the form of showing what fans of something are more likely to think, like or do. These are correlations. In these instances, instead of looking at fans of something in the form of absolute percentages, we compare the opinions of the fan group with the opinions of the population as a whole to find out what most differentiates them. To do this comparison, we use a statistical method called a Z Score, which helps to highlight what is particularly true of fans compared with another group of people. Crucially, the top Z Score doesn’t necessarily show the majority opinion of the group, but what is most different about the opinions of that group compared to the general population. For example, if we take a group of 1,000 people that like a certain mobile application and see that 20% of them are fans of David Bowie and we take another group of 1,000 people (e.g. a nationally representative group) and find that only 15% of them are fans of David Bowie, in this case, even though just 20% of people that like the mobile application are fans of David Bowie (which isn’t a majority) we are able to see that compared with the rest of the population, the people who like that mobile application are more likely to be fans of David Bowie. The Z score is therefore a very interesting statistical tool used to better understand audiences because it brings to the surface information that particularly differentiates a group that might otherwise be missed, or be difficult to see just looking at absolute percentages or majority proportions.

Over what period of time is YouGov Ratings data collected?

We collect data for YouGov Ratings each and every day, and it’s updated every Monday. The data we collect accumulates and every quarter we update the website with the data collected over the past 90 days.

When did data collection for YouGov Ratings begin?

For the majority of things in YouGov Ratings we started collecting data on 11/15/2017. However, we are always looking to add more entities to our data collection systems which means there is a chance that some entities were added after this date.

How is the data weighted?

As with any nationally representative survey, we use weighting to fine-tune the demographic balance of the YouGov Ratings sample. We calculate weight values using rim weighting (raking), which ensures that the marginal proportions in the sample match those of the target population across a set of key demographic variables.

In the US, the key demographic variables we target and weight to are:

  • Gender
  • Race
  • Age
  • Education

Can I use this data on my website / proposal / billboard / homework?

Sure. Help yourself. A link back and attribution is all we ask.