Libertarians Verses Everyone Else—Numbers
[This information article was written for another site, so I'm including here for anyone who might be interested]
Sometimes it is good, merely for the sake of perspective, to stand back and see where one's own views and positions stand in relation to society as a whole. The following statistics have been gleaned from several sources and are not meant to be authoritative, but only to provide a general picture of where libertarian views stand in relation to others in the United States.
Democratic Party—72,000,000 members
Republican Party—55,000,000 members
Constitution Party—370,000 members
Libertarian Party—280,000 members
[NOTE: ""About one-in-ten Americans (11%) describe themselves as libertarian ...." There are approximately 240 million voting age adults in the US, if 11% regard themselves libertarian, that is 26.4 million. However, these self-described libertarians have some very unlibertarian views: 43% of them say, "it is best for the future of our country to be active in world affairs," and 41% of them say that "government regulation of business is necessary to protect the public interest," for example.]
Green Party—250,000 members
[NOTE: in 2012 the Green Party garnered 470,000 votes (Jill Stein), and in 2000, 2,882,955 votes (Ralph Nader)]
Socialist Party—4500 members
Communist Party—no members
[NOTE: The Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) was a Moscow-controlled Marxist-Leninist party in the United States. It nominated a candidate for president from 1924 through 1984, sometimes with funding from the communist Soviet Union. With the collapse of the Soviet Union it became a hollow shell and has urged voters to support the Democratic Party. (In case you wondered where all the communists went.)]
There are certainly many liberty minded people in this country who will never show up on anyone's survey or membership rolls. It is doubtful that there are anything like the 26.4 million of them suggested by the Pew research, however.
I suspect that Mencken was right, "... that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth," because as G.B.S. said, "liberty means responsibility, that's why most men dread it."
How many individuals truly want and seek liberty? I have no idea, but I suspect the number would be shockingly small if I did know.