Fewer people are casting their votes. Check these queries:


https://data.stackexchange.com/stackoverflow/query/1303081/votes-on-posts-year-on-year enter image description here


https://data.stackexchange.com/stackoverflow/query/1303527/cumulative-posts-all-years enter image description here

As is evident, only 21 million votes were casted in 2019 as against 23 million in 2017. Moreover, the 21 M votes includes posts before 2019 as well. Which means the votes/available posts ratio is declining at an even faster pace.

votes/post | year
23 M /33 M | 2016
21 M /47 M | 2019

Considering that cumulative posts by 2020 are well over 50 million, the votes should have also followed the similar upsurge.

Why are people casting fewer votes?

PS: My question isn't specifically about 2020. I understand there are three more months to go in 2020. But even if data till 2019 is taken into account, which has a cumulative post count of 47 M, the point still stands.

  • 3
    How is the rate for new users vs users that can vote.
    – rene
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 10:29
  • I havent made a query on that. Are you hinting that the rate of new users who cant vote is steadily increasing?
    – jerrymouse
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 10:34
  • 1
    The users who can vote are constantly increasing.
    – jerrymouse
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 10:37
  • 1
    this might just be a correlation with the number of active users. In that case users wouln't be voting less, but there would be simply fewer users entirely that vote. There isn't a very big drop if you ignore 2020 which isn't over yet unfortunately. Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 10:41
  • 2
    Toxic behavior from new users whenever they receive a single vote they disagree with might have something to do with it.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 10:42
  • I usually encourage my team to answer and ask quality questions on stackoverflow. But despite their honest attempts, I dont see their answers getting enough upvotes, discouraging them to contribute more. I dont upvote my team's answers to avoid being marked as a sockpuppet.
    – jerrymouse
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 10:48
  • More statistics: data.stackexchange.com/stackoverflow/query/1297747/… and reasons meta.stackexchange.com/questions/9508/… - old Q&As pick up occasional votes, and some more when bumped; but fresh well written posts tend to accumulate the most upvotes while poorly written ones need to be especially poor to go below ~-20. The graph shows that since part way into 2015 voting has been fairly level. With 25% of this year remaining 2020 looks level enough.
    – Rob
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 11:20
  • 1
    Upvotes on questions recently became worth twice the points, that may have something to do with it as well.
    – Mast
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 12:13
  • Considering the downvotes, please let me know if this is somehow an irrelevant question.
    – jerrymouse
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 16:30

1 Answer 1


The year 2020 is only 75% completed. If you take the number of 2020 votes so far (16.05M), and multiply it by 4/3 (to extrapolate the expected total votes at the end of the year assuming the voting rate does not materially change in the last three months of the year), you get 21.4M, which is larger than the 21.28M votes counted in 2019. The data, then, does not show that people are casting fewer votes, but may be casting more.

  • Three significant figures (21.4M) are not warranted for this extrapolation when we know the lowest activity of the entire year is two weeks around Christmas. Commented Oct 2, 2020 at 17:38
  • @robert My question wasn't specifically about 2020. Three months are remaining, agreed. But consider data till 2019. From 2016 to 2019, the votes are 23.24 M, 23.23 M, 22.25 M, 21.28 M. Aren't the numbers declining? That too, when cumulative posts are increasing every year.
    – jerrymouse
    Commented Oct 2, 2020 at 18:48

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