YouGov Ratings FAQ

What is YouGov Ratings?

YouGov Ratings measures the popularity and fame of anything and everything, based on millions of responses from the British public. It is the biggest and boldest attempt ever made to quantify what Britain thinks. YouGov is 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 millions of 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.

Each popularity rating is then connected in our enormous data set to offer deeper insight into fans of these things. For example, we show you who the fans of each thing are 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.

What can I do with YouGov Ratings?

YouGov Ratings is free, robust, searchable data from which the public, brands, agencies and the media can gain an understanding of how popular and famous things are in Britain today.

Want to know how popular David Attenborough really is? Find out with YouGov Ratings. Want to know what the world thinks of your favourite brand? Find out with YouGov Ratings. Want to know what matters to the supporters of Chelsea FC? Find out with YouGov Ratings.

A vast hub of popularity opinion, YouGov Ratings also shows links between the fans of one thing and fans of another, giving marketers the ability to match brands and public figures that complement each other. Be it fans of a TV show and chocolate bar; pop star and car model or politician and social media platform, YouGov’s data shows it all.

The data is a fast, powerful and reliable source from which the marketing and PR community can inform pitches, show correlations between consumers of different brands and celebrities, as well as contribute to topical content.

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 British population.

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

How are YouGov Ratings results 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 in a green box at the top left of the page 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 and heard of percentage scores shown across the top of the page.

Our data mirrors the demographics of Great Britain and is weighted to be nationally representative. Nice and simple!

How do you calculate data about fans of things?

Below the 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 by 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 time period is YouGov Ratings data collected?

We collect data for YouGov Ratings each and every day. The data we collect accumulates and what you see on the website is updated once a quarter, and is an average of all the data we have collected over that time period.

When did data collection for YouGov Ratings begin?

For the majority of things in YouGov Ratings we started collecting data on 15 May 2018. However, we are always looking to add more things to our data collection systems which means there is a chance that some things were added after this date.

How is the YouGov Ratings 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 Great Britain, the key demographic variables we target and weight to are:

  • Gender
  • Race
  • Age
  • Education
  • Politics

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

Sure. Help yourself. YouGov Ratings is a free, robust, searchable data source, which can be used by anyone. Attribution and a link back is all we ask.