What do the Top 10 Twitter Surnames in Australia tell us?


We recently ran a blog post, here on the MyHeritage Blog, about the top ten Australian surnames.

That blogpost got me thinking – would those top ten surnames be the same if we revisited the list in 10 years?

The question kept bothering me so I decided to see if I could answer it. Rather than do the same old research, though, I thought I’d do something a little more fun (and interesting) and see what the top ten Australian surnames on Twitter were.

I chose Twitter because it is a readily available source of information and I guessed that the average age of Twitter users would be younger than that of the general population, thus giving some insight into what the top ten surnames of a future Australia might look like.

I also chose Twitter because of Tim Bull, a man who has created some innovative market research tools based on analysis of Twitter, through his technology startup Tribalytic. I’ve known Tim for a little while now and when I started thinking about how I might be able to get the information I wanted out of Twitter I knew he was the man to go to.

I spoke to Tim and he was able to look at the 220,000 twitter accounts Tribalytic monitors to come up with an answer, which I’ve included below

Surprisingly, there is an incredible similarity between the 2. If you delve a little deeper into the list Tim provides (he’s written a blog post about it here) you’ll find all of the top 10 names from the general population in the top 15 on Twitter and vice versa.

I did a little more research on why this might be the case, and it turns out that in Australia the spread of ages of Twitter users actually reflects the demographics of the general population, that is,12-24 yo’s only make up just under 20% of Twitter’s audience 60% of twitter users are over 35 and 36% of users are aged  35-49 (caveat: the latest figures i could find were from last year so this may have changed, though our surname list may suggest it hasn’t)

So, while I didn’t manage to come up with any shockwaves about the future state of surnames in Australia, you’ll be happy to know that I’m actually quite glad that I went down the path of trying to find an answer.

And speaking of Twitter, if you have an account are you following MyHeritage?

By clicking on any of the relevant accounts below and following us you’ll be kept up to date with what’s happening here at MyHeritage, news about Genealogy and Family History more generally and you’ll also have a chance to enter some competitions and participate in some special offers we’ll be running soon.

So please, start following the accounts that are relevant to you and feel free to say “Hi”. Also feel free to let us know if you have any ideas or suggestions for how MyHeritage can be better for you. We’d love to hear from you.

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