National Metal detecting survey results.

Recently professional survey firm Populus conducted an online national poll among 2,071 respondents. The survey was tasked by Desctorlist.

The aim of the survey was to gain an insight into how the public currently view the hobby of metal detecting.

Between 31st January – 3rd February 2020 members of the Populus polling community offered answers to several questions to gain an overview of the hobby.

Q1. Would you ever consider trying metal detecting as a hobby?

  • We opened this short survey, asking respondents if they would ever consider trying metal detecting as a hobby. Overall, 4 in 10 respondents (43%) claimed they would either definitely consider it or may consider it.
  • Of those who would consider it, males (47%) were significantly more likely than females (40%) to consider it at all. Middle aged respondents (45-54) were the most likely age group to consider it as a hobby with 54% agreeing.
  • The C2s and DEs were the most likely segment to also consider it at as a hobby.
  • Among respondents who have children aged 18 or under, over half (54%) would consider trying metal detecting as a hobby, particularly those who had children aged under 5 years old (58%).
  • Over half (55%) of respondents wouldn’t consider trying metal detecting as a hobby. Those aged 65+ were the least likely to consider it with two thirds (66%) of people aged 65+ stating they wouldn’t consider it at all.
  • A small 1% state they already do metal detecting as a hobby.

Q2. Do you think your children would enjoy metal detecting?

  • Among respondents who have children aged 18 or under (n=553), we asked them if they think their children would enjoy metal detecting. Overall, 59% felt their children would enjoy it with females agreeing more so (66%) than males (52%). 15% claimed they were unsure if their children would like it or not.
  • Among age, region and social grade, there were no significant differences to report.

Q3. Please tell us, in as much detail as you can, your thoughts about metal detecting.

  • This question concluded the short survey and was an opportunity for respondents to write their thoughts about metal detecting into a large open text box we provided. Using the verbatim comments, we added all of these into a wordcloud template to establish themes.
  • Overall, respondents felt metal detecting could be interesting, exciting, a hobby, a way to find buried treasure but some respondents also felt it could be a waste of time and boring.

The results of the survey suggest that metal detecting is a popular hooby, with 43% of respondents willing to try metal detecting as a hobby and 59% of respondents believing that their children would enjoy it.


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