We knew there were a lot of them, but not how many.  Now a My Little Pony:  Friendship Is Magic fan has taken a census of brony fandom for the last two years, and has done a survey estimating that 7 to 12.4 million people are bronies.  The survey estimating how many people are bronies asked a random sample of Internet users, "How strongly would you identify yourself as a "brony," a fan of the television show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic?"  A scale from 1 (Not at All) to 5 (Extremely Strongly) was provided, and based on the percentage of respondents who answered 4 or five, the estimate of 7 to 12.4 million bronies was derived.

The brony census, titled State of the Herd (My Little Pony: Statistics Are Magic) provides a wealth of data on the characteristics of My Little Pony fandom.  The census was filled out by over 21,000 respondents, so it stands a good chance of being representative of hard core fans.

Here are some key take-aways from the 50+ page report:
  • Gender:  84% male
  • Age:  Mean age is 20.19 years, with 79% of bronies between 15 and 25, and 95% between 10 and 30.
  • Marital Status:  96% have never been married (probably connected to age).
  • Serious Relationship:  76% have never been in a serious relationship
  • Country:  63% are American, with Canada, the UK, and Australia the next three countries.
  • Student Status:  64% are full time students, 6% are part time students.
  • Furry Status:  17% self-identify as furries, a pretty big number.
  • Sexual Orientation:  17.7% of bronies self-identified as LGBT, vs. 6.4% in the general population.
  • And the money question:  Over 50% have purchased Hasbro toys in the last year, over 40% have purchased MLP clothing, over 20% have purchased calendars, posters, or books, over 10% have purchased MLP DVDs, and around 10% have purchased officially licensed games.
This is fascinating stuff, and gives us a better idea of the nature of this huge fan community.  Given its size and passion, it’s no wonder that the trading cards and comics, among other products, have been big hits (see "Bronies Drive 'MLP' Hits").