What's a TV Rating and Who Is It Dating? 2012-13 Edition


These are  Nielsen US TV universe estimates for the 2012-13 season which are being used effective August 27, 2012.

Nielsen TV ratings are merely percentages of whatever is being measured.  Sometimes it gets confusing because so many different things are measured.

If you see a 3.4 national adults 18-49 rating, that doesn’t mean 3.4 million adults 18-49, it just means 3.4 percent of the 126,540,000 adults 18-49 in the United States (down from 127,860,000 last season) who live in a household with a television were watching based on the Nielsen estimates for the 2012-13 television season.

So a 3.4 adults 18-49 rating works out to be around 4.3 million adults 18-49.

Here are some of the ratings slices we frequently post data for and the total size of the populations being measured.

Nielsen Estimates 2012-13 Popluation (Millions) A 1.0 Rating Equals
Households 114.20 1.142 Million
People 2+ 289.42 2.894 Million
Adults 18-49 126.54 1.265 Million
Women 18-49 63.98 639,800
Men 18-49 62.56 625,600
Adults 18-34 67.66 676,600
Women 18-34 33.89 338,900
Men 18-34 33.77 337,700
Adults 25-54 118.70 1.187 Million
Teens 12-17 24.02 240,200
Kids 2-11 39.61 396, 100


The 2012-13 estimates for households, P2+ and adults 18-49 were all down vs. the 2011-12 estimates which were 114.7 million, 289.7 million and 127.86 million respectively.

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