People responded to the 2022 ARMY Census
Countries and territories represented
Languages were made available for the survey
Trended WW on Twitter and Weverse on launch day
BRIEF NOTESThe ARMY Census had 16 questions. To ensure the survey was as inclusive as possible, it was translated into 36 different languages with the help of ARMY volunteers. It is important to note that while 500,000+ responses is an incredible sample size, it is still only a snapshot and does not represent 100% of the fandom. Results are merely representative of those who completed the survey, and we know that there are many who did not take the survey or were simply unaware of it while it was open.
Additionally, our team acknowledges that there is no such thing as a perfect survey, but we do hope to continue improving and enhancing future ARMY Census surveys. We also sincerely appreciate ARMY's patience as they waited for the results of this project.
INITIAL REFLECTIONSReflecting on the results of the ARMY Census and the general perceptions of fandoms like ARMY, it is important to address the stereotypes placed on them and address what our data reinforces:
"ARMY is just a bunch of teenagers."
During the 2020 ARMY Census, roughly 50% of the fandom was below the age of 18 and 50% of the fandom was above the age of 18. In the 2022 Census, we found that nearly 70% of respondents* were over the age of 18 with the largest age cohort being 18-29 year olds. This could mean either that a majority of the new fans since 2020 are older, or it could mean that over the past two years, a large portion of the fandom became legal adults and aged into the 18-29 classification. Either way, the stereotype that ARMY is primarily teenagers is categorically false (according to all of our data). *Edited for clarity.
"ARMY is made up of a bunch of girls."
It is no secret that a majority of BTS ARMY are women (97% of our data). The stereotype that BTS fans are women implies that a) BTS fans must be relatively vapid and b) the women who love them must be fanatical people. With ARMY’s participation in UNICEF, Black Lives Matter and other massive international philanthropic efforts (see One In An ARMY's tracking of these efforts), media outlets globally have come to realize that ARMY are powerful, intelligent, and savvy. Therefore, by extension, it is WOMEN who are the driving force behind these undertakings, and they are the driving force of positive change and social good. This is not acknowledged enough. On top of their ability to mobilize in support of BTS and their music, they have used their influence to make a difference in the world. The ability to do this effectively and on a large scale is what makes ARMY different from other fandoms, and if the gender identity of the people doing this is “female,” that should be celebrated, not ridiculed. Female fans are often undermined and underestimated, but it is clear that they deserve respect and credit for leading the way.
View the results:Below you will find the results of the 2022 ARMY Census. We encourage you to read through the discussion points for each category, which help to provide greater insight and context into the results, their significance, and points of future inquiry . You are welcome to save graphics below and share on social media.If you are interested in citing this data for your article or research, please include the appropriate credit to our team members.The following is an example for reference:Grover, C. [@amidocumentary], J, Z & S [@BTS_iTunesZA], and Ringland, K.E. [@liltove]. July 9, 2022. BTS ARMY CENSUS. https://www.btsarmycensus.com/.Spread the word using #ARMYCensus and tag @ARMYCensus on Twitter.
- While this ARMY Census survey was primarily disseminated through Twitter, respondents were asked to select all of the different types of social media platforms they use. Displayed are the top five results.
CHALLENGES & LIMITATIONS
As mentioned, this survey is simply a snapshot and only representative of the individuals who completed the survey. We know that there are many who did not take it or were unaware that the ARMY Census project existed before we closed the survey. Capturing the demographics of a global fandom is an enormous challenge, but we are proud of the sample we received for this project. Our goal is to be able to reach even more ARMYs in future surveys so we can compare and continue improving upon these results. This includes finding better ways to reach ARMYs who may not be on Twitter, where the survey was primarily circulated.
Several points of improvement were mentioned in the results section. Overall, based on the results and feedback, we aim to figure out even more ways to make questions and answers as inclusive, accurate, and representative of the global fandom as possible. Additionally, we hope to include even more questions that help to tell an even greater story of ARMY.
* TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAMWORK *
When our team started working on this project in the spring of 2020, we had no idea the type of response we would get through the ARMY Census. To the over 500,000 ARMYs around the world who took the census survey: we are so grateful for your participation.
This project also would not have been possible without the help of 35+ wonderful translators who volunteered and dedicated their time and effort to ensure that as many people as possible can be included in the survey.