As the 2015 NCAA Tournament begins, I thought it would be interesting to examine exactly who is taking the time to fill out tournament brackets.

While studies show that March Madness costs businesses between one and two billion dollars in lost productivity nationwide each year, data from a HBO Real Sports/Marist Poll shows that just 15% of Americans planned to fill out a bracket for the 2014 NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament.

  • A college degree is one of the biggest predictors of whether or not Americans will fill out a bracket, as 26% of college grads said they would fill out a bracket, compared to just seven percent of non-graduates.
  • Household income closely tracks with education on this measure, as 21% of Americans with a household income over $50,000 say they would fill out a bracket, while just eight percent of Americans in households making under $50,000 fill out a bracket.
  • By gender, males are (not too surprisingly) about three times as likely (23%) to fill out a bracket as females (7%).
  • Americans age 30-44 are the most likely to fill out a bracket, with 22% of those in the age group doing so.  Those age 45-59 fall slightly behind, but still above the national average at 17%.  Younger Americans (14%) and those over 60 (9%) are less likely to fill out a bracket.

So, while your office full of college graduates may be abuzz over March Madness for the next few weeks, on average, Americans as a whole are not finding the time (or desire) to fill out their tournament brackets.

Public Opinion Strategies