Fannish Age Survey: RESULTS!




A few days ago, I ran a poll asking people who are part of fandom their age. 5,026 people responded. Here’s what I learned:

The average age of people in fandom is 26 years old. 

However, because there are more people above that average than below it, the data is going to be somewhat skewed so the median age is more accurate in this case. The median age of people in fandom is 24 years old.

My youngest respondent was 11 years old, and my oldest was 74 years old. The most common age of respondents was 20 years old.

The distribution was interesting as well. There are as many fannish people who are 47-50 as there are fannish people under 15. But what does the distribution look like overall? I made some graphs under the cut to help illustrate this.

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Interesting fandom demographics data.  The distribution is about the same as centrumlumina’s age results from their AO3 census.  Both surveys recruited on Tumblr via word of mouth and thus are (as the authors note) not representative samples.  But it’s still quite interesting!

Cool! There are even graphs of the age distribution!

Interesting if you click through and look at the details, it shows:

  • 5026 survey respondents
  • 111 respondents 50+ years of age (woo! Tumblr elderly represent!)
  • That means about 2.2% of Tumblr’s users are 50 and above

That made me want to estimate how many 50+ Tumblr users there might be overall. For that, I’d need to know how many active Tumblr users there actually are, which Tumblr doesn’t reveal.

At the time of the Yahoo acquisition a year ago, Peter Kafka wrote that their announced “300 million unique monthly visitors” figure might translate to something around 30 million to 50 million active users who interact regularly with the Tumblr dashboard. If the response rate in this survey holds for the active Tumblr user population generally, that would mean an estimated 663,000 to 1.1 million active Tumblr users over 50.

That’s… more than I would have expected. I guess it brings home the fact that the part of Tumblr I interact with is just one teency little part of a few teency little fandoms. And that Tumblr itself does a really good job of letting users organize themselves into tiny niches in which they share their most passionate interests with a self-selected group of fellow obsessives.

I realize that’s nothing new. Compuserve forum participants were doing the same thing on a much smaller scale back in the 1980s. But it’s still kind of cool to think that there might be as many as a million Tumblr users over 50.

Reposted from

Tags: oldest person on tumblr, tumblr elderly.

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