Wealth Distribution

Chris Woolfe
Dec 1, 2017 · 2 min read

“It’s commonly said that 10% of the worldwide population have 90% of the wealth.” What would the distribution of the ‘wealth’ on a website look like?

Stackoverflow is a website where anyone can ask questions and anyone can provide answers. If a question or answer is useful, any user can vote for it once. This vote gives the associated person reputation points. What’s interesting to me is just how data-driven this approach is, and how we see the 80/20 rule still at play in a virtual world which seems agnostic to common categories which we associate with economic disadvantage. Stackoverflow doesn’t care about where in the world you live, the color of your skin or your socioeconomic status, and yet it remains that the top 10% of users hold 95% of the total points on the site.


My take on the results is that any given system will be set-up for some and set-against others by it’s very nature. Those who conform to the system are rewarded disproportionately to those who do not. What’s your thought on the results?

As a side-note: If you’re serious about data analysis, even from a socological perspective, check out stackoverflow’s user dataset. It is free and open to the public for anyone to analyze.

Image credit: http://hewgill.com/~greg/stackoverflow/stack_overflow/stats.html

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