Anime and Religion Survey: Introduction
In mid-December, I conducted an Internet survey regarding anime and religion. The results are in, analysis done, and conclusions drawn! Over the next week, I’ll reveal the results and discuss some of the most interesting items from the surveys. I hope you’ll join in the discussion and offer your own opinions, analysis, and critiques.
The first thing I want to note, and maybe the most important thing I learned in this process, is that the anime blogosphere is full of wonderful people. I was overwhelmed with the response to the survey and the many encouraging words about it. Connected through blogs, twitter, podcasts, forums, emails and other methods, anibloggers have formed a digital family, and it showed through your response to this beginner’s crude survey.
And a special, super-duper thanks to Lauren of Okatu Journalist, who along with her boyfriend, took much of their precious time to create the awesome infographics you’ll see in these posts. I’m beyond grateful to you two!
Another thing I should note is that there were many who were unhappy with the survey – some were vocal in their dislike, while I’m sure others held back their displeasure. I’d written up a large commentary about problems with the survey, but I think it’s better just wrapped up with a couple of words:
For any people who were angered by my wording, lack of wording, disorganization, leading questions, and so forth, I’m sorry. Whether I intended these things to happen or not, and whether I have experience with surveys or not, I should’ve considered these issues before sending out the survey en masse. My apologies.
Now, onto the results! Each day this week, I’ll discuss a different aspect on the survey and give you some analysis. Again, I encourage you to comment with your own takes. Today, I just want to discuss demographics information from the surveys. If you want to hear about all or most of the results, please read the Number, Numbers, Numbers section. If you want the short of it, just skip ahead to The Skinny. And please be sure to read my conclusion section, What It All Means, and comment on whether I missed the point entirely, if you think I need to make some additions, or otherwise how you would break down this information.
Number, Numbers, Numbers
I received 124 responses to the survey and I sent out approximately 150-200 invitations. That said, some invitations were sent more than once to the same person, and some invitations were sent to inboxes accessed by multiple people. Still, the response was better than I expected. I had hoped I would received 100 completed surveys, but thought 50-75 would be more realistic.
Of those who responded to the age questions, a vast majority are 18 or older (93%). They are almost split equally between groupings of 19-22 (31%), 23-28 (33%), and 29 and older (25%). 45% of anibloggers completed their education with a bachelors degree, while 13% hold post-graduate degrees. Most (91%) are either attending college or have completed post-secondary schooling. The numbers are less impressive when including those that didn’t answer – considering this, 52% hold bachelors or post-grad degrees.
Male anibloggers (55%) outnumber females (29%) almost two to one (others did not answer).
Regarding race, 59% of respondents are white. The second largest category is Asians, who make up 29%. Three respondents identified themselves in the “other” category as either Hispanic or Latino. Five anibloggers identified themselves as black, and four as Native-American. Also note that individuals in this category could select multiple choices to represent multiethnic backgrounds. However, only four individuals selected more than one choice. On a personal note, had I taken the survey, I would’ve selected two choices (white and Asian).
51% of respondents were born in the United States and 6% in the United Kingdom. The remaining 22% who answered were born in a wide range of places, from Hong Kong to France to Bangladesh. However, all answers were countries in North America, Europe or east Asia. No one entered an African, Oceanic, South American, Carribean, or central/south Asian nation. However, 21% did chose not to respond to this question. Responses were similar to the question of which country one currently lived in.
Finally, the “languages spoken on a basic conversational level” answers were very interesting. 84% of those surveyed speak English well. Next was Japanese – nearly 20% of respondents speak that language well. And in a virtual tie for third were French, German, Mandarin and Spanish. The other languages mentioned were Cantonese, Tagalog, Russian, Hebrew, Czech, Portuguese, Hakka, Malay, Italian, Urdu, Bengali, and Norwegian.
Out of the 124 respondents, 93% are 18 or over, with almost the same amount current attending college or already graduated from an institution of higher education. Males outnumber females about 2 to 1. Over half identify themselves as white, and more than 1/4 are Asian. At least half of anibloggers were born in the U.S.; others were born in one of a number of different nations. 84% speak English well and about 1 out of 5 speaks Japanese well.
What It All Means
If anything, this survey shows the wide range of those blogging about anime. That a “typical” blogger may be a white, 20-something male attending college and living in the U.S. will come as no surprise. I am surprised by the ages of the bloggers. Fully one-fourth of the respondents have hit the age of 30 or will in the next year. At least 60% are older than the age we normally associate with college students. College is a relatively free time for many, so I expected the number of college bloggers to be much higher than 28%. I believe this supports the idea that aniblogging is more than a whim for the respondents; it is a serious hobby. After college, work and family comes to the forefront of many individuals’ lives. Yet, these postgrads dedicate time to blogging about anime, when there is already a preponderance of aniblogs out there. It’s worth it, to them, to continue with this hobby despite time constraints.
Then again, perhaps responsibility catches up with us all. Perhaps the time of life has as much to do with the trend of many blogs closing after two years as disenchantment. Maybe anibloggers are reaching an age of marriage and children (I failed to ask about this!), and that has as much to do with many dropping out recently as does the disappointing 2010 year of anime.
Interesting to see the breakdowns, isn’t it? Any conclusions you want to draw? Any numbers especially stick out to you?
Tomorrow, we’ll jump into the purpose of the survey and discuss the religion of the responding anibloggers.