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At Legacy, we understand the people who visit online obituaries and why. Every day, we look at the demographics of our users to identify areas of opportunity that ultimately lead to site updates and innovations. Our analytics team looked at demographic data by state to see how that information differs across the country and compares to the Legacy average.

About the Research

For this analysis, we reviewed Legacy’s Google Analytics data from January to May 2017. We looked at data by state of the newspaper affiliate, and we also grouped states based on U.S. Census Bureau data.

Census regions are groupings of states that subdivide the United States for the presentation and analysis of data. There are four U.S. census regions: Northeast, South, Midwest, and West.

Age and Gender Results by Region and State

Across all states, 61% of site visitors are female while 39% are male, but we see some differences when grouping states by census region: The South sees 2% more female users on average, and the Northeast and West both lean slightly more male than the national average, with 4% and 3% increases from the national male average, respectively.


Across all states, the average percentage of female users ranges between 52% and 66%. Missouri had the lowest percentage of female users, 52%, while Alabama had the highest percentage, 66%. The map below illustrates which states are below, equal, or above the national average of female site users, and the chart depicts the gender breakdowns for all regions and the national average.
When looking at the average age breakdown across all states, there is a higher percentage of visitors as users get older, a statistic that we expect for the obituary category. As people age, they are more likely to experience a death in their lives. Almost 60% of Legacy’s total users are made up of people over 55, but compared to last year, the percentage of users under 35 is growing; and it remains a huge area of opportunity for us, as millennials officially overtook baby boomers as America’s largest generation in April 2016.
Drilling down by region, we see that the Northeast’s audience is slightly older than the national average, having 5% more users ages 55 to 64 than the national average, and 7% more users 65 and older. Meanwhile, users in the Midwest skew younger: They see 12% more users in the 18-to-24 age group, 11% more users in the 25-to-35 age group, and 7% more users ages 35 to 44, compared to the national average for each age group.

On a by-state level, there are some interesting insights:

  • North Dakota is the biggest outlier – it sees 46% of its users from the 65 and older age group.
  • Illinois sees the highest percentages of users 18 to 24 with 5.8% (compared to the national average of 4%), and 25 to 34 with 12% (compared to the national average of 8.5%), and sees the lowest percentage of users 65 and older with just 22.7% (compared to the national average of 31%).
  • Maine saw the highest increase in visitors who are of a younger age demographic: Visitors 18 to 25 grew by 15%, 30% for ages 25 to 34, and 26% for 35 to 44 year over year.

Users are People

“User” is a technical term used in analytics. What’s important to keep in mind is that every user on our site is a person who is touched by death in some way – from the mourner who recently experienced the death of a family member or friend, to the browser who habitually reads obituaries to stay informed. By understanding the demographics of the people who visit our site, we can better serve those people and our partners.

Data by Gender

*Source: Legacy Google Analytics sessions; U.S. only; Jan-May data; threshold applied containing 40% of total data

Data from gender.silk.co

Data by Age

*Source: Legacy Google Analytics sessions; U.S. only; Jan-May data; threshold applied containing 40% of total data