Robot 6

‘Our name is bronies, for we are many’


It’s somehow appropriate, given the news earlier this week that Hasbro is expanding its My Little Pony brand with Equestria Girls, that ICv2 should draw attention to the 2013 Brony Herd Census, which is exactly what it sounds like: a tally of how many male devotees there are of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.

So, just how many bronies are there in the United States? As many as 12.4 million, if we go by this survey. Or, in the words of the website, “Thus, we can state with a 95% confidence that between 4.0% and 6.8% of the internet-using US population strongly identify as bronies, or approximately 7 to 12.4 million people.”

I bombed my only statistics class in college, so I’m in no position to scrutinize the methodology, but considering the number of My Little Pony conventions and the countless pins on this brony meetup group map, I don’t have any difficulty accepting 12.4 million.

The survey asked a random online sampling, using an ascending scale from 1 to 5, “How strongly would you identify yourself as a ‘brony,’ a fan of the television show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic?” Those who answered with 4 or 5 were considered hardcore fans, thus providing the bronies estimate.

Among some of the other interesting statics gathered from more than 21,000 respondents: 84 percent are male; 79 percent are between 15 and 25 years old (the mean age is 20.19); 17.7 percent self-identify as furries; and 17.7 percent self identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (as compared to 6.4 percent for the general population).



Rollo Tomassi

May 16, 2013 at 2:17 pm


Sounds like a Hitchcock film waiting to happen.

Is it grammatically correct to call the female fans (16%) “bronies”? Wouldn’t that be, I don’t know, “sisnies”? I know it’s a small percentage, but do that many females identify themselves as “bros”?

(I mean, at its core, doesn’t “bronies” identify teenage to adult men who are unashamed of their MLP fandom? Female fans would hardly carry the same stigma.)

El Santo: I believe they go by “pegasister.” Which is kind of awesome.

@Jason Green: It is! I approve of that portmanteau!

I just . . . don’t get this phenomenon. Bizarre.

I have a friend who is a die-hard brony and another who watches the show with his little girls. The second friend identified a lot of genre in-jokes and references in the show, and generally likes the message the show sends. The other really digs the message and likes the in-jokes, and isn’t afraid to indulge his inner geek-child at all. While I certainly “get” the phenomenon, I don’t feel the need to watch the show at all. I won’t judge anyone for watching it (you know, apart from creepy folks who take Rule 34 too far, but I judge them for that with Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc.) but, ultimately, it’s a cartoon show aimed at young girls. Outside my demographic by a long, long way.

I get this phenomenon! I’m right in the thick of it all.

The brony fandom is right brilliant and creative! I only wish more people outside the fandom really understood. Thank you for this, CBR.

I see you seeing us seeing you too.

Its not funny anymore….you guys should be ashamed of yourselves now. Stop it.

I’m not into it, but I understand it. I’ve watched Japanese animation for decades… and there are plenty of genre subspecies that willingly nurse their own blend of strange/weird.

That all said, I think the number is a considerable over-estimation. For starters, they sampled an over-represented segment of the population (TV-watching internet users). Furthermore, when you’re constructing a survey to gauge familiarity, you don’t inquire bias, you infer it… meaning that you don’t ask the recipient to take a survey about a show and ask them how much they like it; instead, you ask the recipient about a spectrum of programs, have them scale the programs as a whole, and have them identify components of the whole they find most attractive (which analysts, presumably, can tie into any one of the programs provided).

I’m in the fandom, but I’m with Aaron B on the numbers. The same survey stated that 64% of its respondents were in the US and 6% in the UK, where I live. That would imply there being anything up to one million bronies in Britain, a figure which is simply impossible to reconcile with reality. For example, I have never – ever – seen an adult I didn’t know wearing a bronyish item of clothing in the street.

My semi-educated guess is that the British brony population numbers in the tens of thousands. That’s still not bad for a show that’s almost completely unknown to mainstream Britain, but it’s still very much a niche fandom here, and confined overwhelmingly to the internet. You can’t even buy Region 2 DVDs (of any season) yet.

i have some news for you people… 3 months ago the USA Brony population might have been 12.4 million but now 3 months later its Doubled that with 24.3 million +… there’s some real news… before you know it maybe the TV News will be announcing it.

something else… not only are bronies nerds but the ones who are nerds play Minecraft about 94% of the people who play minecraft are bronies so thats 11,763,522 people to be exact… other games like, assassins creed, Skyrim, and terarria are some of the games bronies would play… they dont call me “TheHinch” for nothing…

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