Who are the Turkers? Worker Demographics in Amazon Mechanical Turk

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Publication Date


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Social Code Report 2009-01


Computer Science


Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is a crowdsourcing system in which tasks are distributed to a population of thousands if anonymous workers for completion. This system is becoming increasingly popular with researchers and developers. In this paper, we survey MTurk workers about their demographic make-up and usage behavior. We find that this population is diverse across several notable demographic dimensions such as age, gender, and income, but is not precisely representative of the U.S. as a whole. Indeed, certain homogeneous aspects of the population, such as education level and nationality, may impose limits on the appropriateness of Turkers as a target community for some investigations or research areas. An awareness of the demographic and behaviors of MTurk workers is important for understanding the capabilities and potential side effects of using this system.