The United Kingdom (UK) voted on the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, commonly referred to as the Brexit vote, on June 23, 2016. This referendum was to gauge citizen support for whether or not to remain a member of the European Union (EU), an economic and political partnership involving 28 European countries. Overall, the UK voted 51.9% to leave the EU, with 71.8% turnout. The world reacted when the news was announced on June 24. I've spent the last two weeks reading about this historic vote and what it means for the people of the UK, the EU, and the rest of the globe. It has already had some effects on international economic markets. It remains to be determined how it will affect the future, but I find this to be a fascinating time for trade, politics, economics, and international relations.
The first thing that interested me was the demographic breakdown of the vote. Various exit and other polls were done with information about how different demographics voted. I sifted through the information available at Lord Ashcroft Polls, and noticed some clear correlations between education level and age and how an individual in the poll voted. Older voters, less educated voters, and less employed voters were more likely to vote to leave the EU. I wondered if those in less-than-ideal socioeconomic situations were looking for anything different that may help provide a higher quality of life. Another issue that caught my attention was when voters made their decisions. Nearly 25% of those polled made their decision within the week before casting their votes! Just over 1/3 always knew how they would vote. The remaining ~40% made their minds up in the last 6+ months. To me, this shows some uncertainty about how to vote or perhaps uncertainty about what the effects of the vote would be on the individual and UK.