Who Are the Comic Book Fans on Facebook? – 11/01/12

It’s been almost one year since I did the last update of the demographic breakdown of self-identified comic book fans on Facebook. One year and we’ve had some of the biggest comic book movies ever released, the first year of the DC New 52, and now Marvel NOW!. Beginning today a new monthly installment of this series begins. Expect it around the first day of each month and maybe there’ll be some special ones in between.

This information is gathered by look at over 30 different “like” terms in Facebook and all information is for individuals in the United States. To make this clear if someone says they like “comic books” they are included in this, if they say “Superman” then they are not. Just because someone likes a character doesn’t mean they are a fan of comics, same with movies. So, that’s over 30 terms of comic book terms, publishers, etc.

In that year, there’s been a hell of a shift, so lets begin!

Facebook Comic Book Fan Population: Over 1,870,760 in the United States

Since a year ago, that’s a loss of almost 800,000 individuals. But, interesting enough there’s now 79,140 Spanish speakers that are fans. That’s an increase of about 24,000 individuals even with a loss of overall population. That comes out to 4.23% of the total fans.

Gender

The gender gap has decreased. Men now account for 59.85%, down from 63.03%. Women are now 40.06% of the fan base, an increase from 36.5%. This continues the trend we saw one year ago when the female identified fan base was increasing.

But, things get crazier….

For the first time since I began tracking this, women are the majority in one of age breakdowns. Women account for 53.92% of the comic book fans for those age 17 and under. That caught me off guard, so it was run multiple times with the same result. I dug down further to figure out what accounts for this. When looking at just Manga fans (included in this demographics report), women 17 and under were 60.99% and men just 38.97%. When Manga is removed from the greater list of terms, the majority flipped. Men accounted for 59.61% of fans while women were 40.34%, just a little bit higher than the overall percent. Could this blip show a key to getting women interested in comic books? Is Manga the way to sell to women? This would indicate there just might be something there.

Looking at the general age trends, we see the expected dip in age when it comes to their percent of the fan base. Not much has changed over the year and this breakdown is pretty consistent.

Relationship Status

With the massive population drop there was little change in the relationship status of fans. Percentage wise married fans decreased and those in a relationship increased since one year ago.

Education

Education is something I’ve been tracking, but haven’t been including, now for the first time it’ll be added regularly to reports. When it comes to those identifying themselves in high school or in college, women outnumber men as far as percents of their population. However, when it comes to college graduates, men outnumber the women in both percent and raw count.

Gender Interest

The most controversial of information is included again. Gender interest is measured by people’s designation of “interested in.” Some take that as who they’re interest in dating, some think that might be friendship, some might see that as general networking. I wouldn’t read too much into this, though people interested in the same sex have increased percentage wise for both men and women.

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5 comments

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  • Brett, I think you need to take a step back and assess the reliability of the data. There’re a lot of people on FB, and these are large numbers, so probably means _something_. But the idea that, in one year, the total number of comics fans in the US who are on FB dropped from around 2.7 million to around 1.9 million is just not credible. I don’t think there are any social or market forces that could conceivably explain that much of a drop in one year. Or if the number of comic fans in the US really did decin by 30% in one year, wouldn’t that be big news, worthy of discussion? Jeez, even newspapers are doing better than that!

    Seems far more likely that this big shift in raw numbers reflects some change in FB architecture, or something else affecting the categories you’ve chosen to track in order to count “comic fans.” Or maybe not, maybe I’m wrong– but seems like yu’ve got to at least ask and consider the question. Accepting FB-based stats as an accurate & distortion-free reflection of the real world does not seem like a good bet, anyhow.

    That said, the relative or internal comparison of these numbers, across categories or across time, is very interesting, and I’ll look forward to more of your posts on this in the future. Thanks for posting the info.

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    • Thanks for the input and the data is much more important when it comes to trends, but since I first reported on this I have been able to check these stats using two other methods, survey and purchased data. All three results are very similar which makes me think this is a pretty good idea, though not perfect.

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