Since its premiere in 2010, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has attracted a rapidly growing adult male fanbase outside of its target audience of young girls. An online survey of over 20 thousand fans of the show reveals statistics behind the show's fans.
The 2013 “Brony Herd Census” surveyed over twenty-one thousand fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic through the internet.
Fans of the show that took this survey are mainly male, coming in at 84%, but there is a notable female fanbase as well. Looking at age, the vast majority of Bronies come in between the ages of 15 and 30, with the average age coming in between 19 and 20. Likely owing to that young age, most Bronies are single, but nearly one quarter of them are currently in a serious relationship. Over 65% of those surveyed were heterosexual, with a little more than 17% indicating they were in the LGBT categorization.
The largest number of these fans live in the United States and Canada, but there are also groups of fans of notable size in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Germany, as well as smaller pockets of fans in other countries all across the world.
According to the survey, Bronies come from families more stable the national average. Nearly 70% of them come from households that have not seen a divorce or separation, compared to the 40 to 50% estimated to be the average.
Those between the ages of 18 to 24 are also nearly two-thirds less likely to have failed high school than the national average. This is despite the fact that the majority of those surveyed are in that 18 to 24 year old age range. And, nearly 70% plan to attain a college degree of some kind. Nearly five percent of them are or have served in the military.
A majority of those who took the survey did not watch previous versions of My Little Pony, and prefer "Friendship is Magic" to the others owing to the characters, the art style and animation, the storylines and the music.
Over 21 percent of Bronies have donated to various charities created by or supported by the fanbase, some of which News 4 has reported on before, such as Bronies for Good.
Aside from watching episodes, many fans listen to fan music or read fan fiction celebrating the show. Over 20% of the fans surveyed create their own fan art, while others create music, fan fiction or even videos about the show.
Aside from questions like you see above, many that took the survey also took a Jungian personality test. By a large number, those that took the test ended up with the categorization of INTJ (Introversion, Intuitive, Thinking, Judgement). According to the Herd Census, INTJ “is thought to occur in perhaps 1 to 3% of the population, while it seems to occur at something like 10 to 20 times that rate in the [fandom.”] According to a description of the INTJ type, they are “known as the "Systems Builders" of the types, perhaps in part because they possess the unusual trait of combining imagination and reliability.” Despite the term introversion in the description, the writers of the study note that "Introversion is not the same as shyness or a fear of people. It instead refers to the direction that the individual draws their strength and inspiration from...Introverts use contemplation and inner dialog as their source of motivation."
The census-takers plan to release more results in the future, including a follow-up on the unique personality type results.
To see the full results of the survey, we have provided a link below to the Brony Herd Census website. For more about the show itself, we've provided a link to a previous report from our year in review, "2012: Year of the Pony."