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So many millions that the data takes on almost physical qualities—it’s easier to move by thumb drive than across the Internet, and doing things with it can take a while on the human time scale.
That let us isolate the number of unique people represented in the cache of paying customers.
But, of course, the states with the most people in the database were just the biggest states — California, Texas, New York, and Florida.
So, we took the over-18 populations of the 50 states and the District of Columbia and divided our number of Ashley Madison people by the total adult population of each state to arrive at a per-capita number.
The Ashley Madison hack continues to unfold, as so many of these stories do, with thousands of journalists and other interested parties sorting the data.
The data itself—today’s new data dump excepted—is not very complicated.
There is a member database showing anyone who has ever signed up for the service and then there are daily transaction records from a corporate server. (Receiving messages is free.) We focused on these customers because we figured these were the people who were serious about using the site. The Garden State is followed by our nation’s capital (of course), and Connecticut. And here are the least Ashley Madisoniest from #51 to #41: West Virginia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Maine, Kentucky, Iowa, Tennessee, Alabama, South Dakota. But—perhaps more importantly—there are a lot of poor states on the list, too.
We had a simple question: Were people in some states more likely to pay for Ashley Madison than people in other states? Massachusetts, Colorado, New Hampshire, Virginia, Utah, New York, and Maryland round out your top 10. West Virginia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Alabama rank among the poorest states in the country, year in and year out.
Before we go into the methodology, let’s just be clear that there were wide variations between states. And disposable income has got to play some role in the likelihood of a person to use a paid service to seek an affair.
It’s worth noting that the variations between states are quite significant from top to bottom. All of the transaction data is very similar and amenable to machine manipulation.
We had unique IDs for 0.82% of New Jersey’s over-18 population. The median state, which of course is Nebraska, you’re looking at 0.49%. So based on this data, a New Jersey resident was almost 3 times more likely to use Ashley Madison than someone from West Virginia. With the credit card transactions in particular, each row of data consists of several transaction tracking numbers, a name, the last four digits of a credit card, and an address.
But there are several thousand daily documents, each one containing several thousand records. Add it all up and we’re talking a *text file* that is more than a couple gigabytes.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating