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    2020 RESULTS

    The 2020 ARMY Census is the largest fan-driven demographic analysis ever conducted to-date. Between July 9 to Sept. 30, 2020, more than 400,000 BTS fans from around the world responded to the global survey, which aims to continue telling the story of the ever-growing ARMY. This project provides a snapshot of the BTS fandom, while also helping to showcase how fans are far Beyond The Stereotypes placed upon them.

     

     

    ARMY CENSUS TEAM:

    >> Read our team bios <<

     

    @amidocumentary | Chaviva Grover

    @OWOL_Movie | Roxana Ciocirlea

    @ResearchBTS | Nicole Santero

     

    VIDEO: 2020 ARMY Census Results

    Produced by: nXoun

    Watch and share the video featuring key highlights from our team's 2020 ARMY Census. View detailed results below.

  • #ARMYCensus

    402,881

    People responded to the 2020 ARMY Census

    100+

    Countries and territories represented

    46

    Languages were made available for the survey

    #ARMYCensus

     

    Trended WW on Twitter and Weverse on launch day

  • BRIEF NOTES

    The ARMY Census had 10 questions. To ensure the survey was as inclusive as possible, it was translated into 46 different languages with the help of ARMY volunteers. It is important to note that while 400,000+ 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 to come. We also sincerely appreciate ARMY's patience as they waited for the results for this project.

     

     

  • INITIAL REFLECTIONS

    Reflecting 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."

    A large number of ARMY is made up of young fans (50% of our data), and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it-- just like there is nothing wrong with very many older individuals sharing the same love and passion for BTS. Part of what makes BTS unique is their ability to resonate with people of all ages. There is nothing shameful about young people viewing BTS as positive role models in their lives, and it is ignorant to suggest that enjoying good music has an expiration date.

     

     

    "ARMY is made up of a bunch of girls."

     

    It is no secret that a majority of BTS ARMY are women (87% 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 2020 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 survey, please include the appropriate credit to our team members.
     
    Spread the word using #ARMYCensus and tag @ARMYCensus on Twitter.

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    • While there is a misconception that still exists that ARMY is made up primarily of fans from Asian countries, the data shows that ARMYs hail from more than 100 countries and territories around the world.
    • The countries highlighted in the results above represent top 10 countries in which ARMY respondents came from.
    • The data is not fully representative of the global distribution of ARMY. For instance, we know that there is a large number of Korean-ARMYs (as BTS is from South Korea), but Korean respondents only made up less than 4% of the data. We attribute this to the fact that our online platform only reaches so far, and reaching every single fan is a challenging (and nearly impossible) task, so there are likely many fans who never saw our survey. We hope to increase each country’s respondents in future surveys, and ask for all of ARMY's help in spreading the word about future surveys to as many people as possible.

    • As you can see from the data above, ARMYs from different era since BTS's debut participated in the census survey.

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    • While the 18-and-younger demographic makes up just over 50% of our respondents, the overall data reinforces the fact that ARMY is indeed diverse in age. They range from young people to those above 60 years old (602 respondents).

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    • As mentioned in our initial reflections, it is no surprise that females made up a majority of ARMY respondents, and our findings are in line with our expectations and initial hypothesis.
    • Some may read the 45,000 number of male fans as insignificant. However, 11.3% is indeed a significant percentage of male fans--- especially considering there is a misconception that males do not consider themselves ARMY.
    • We were also glad that nearly 3,000 non-binary ARMYs were also able to be represented in this survey. 

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    • We often hear that being a fan of BTS is a sign of immaturity, but we are proud that our findings showcased the thousands of ARMY who are parents themselves. We often hear about the ARMY moms and ARMY dads that exist within the fandom, and in our survey, a little over 21,000 of these ARMY parents were identified.

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    • With more than half of our respondents being less than 18 years old, it is no surprise that the majority of the participants answered that they were currently in high school or a grade level below high school.
    • But it is important to point out that the remaining data highlighted that just over 1 out of 5 ARMYs has some form of college degree (89,735 respondents). *Note: This was a correction that was made after the data was released, as the original graphic incorrectly showcased "1 out of 10" instead of "1 out of 5".
    • After the survey question about race, asking about ARMY's education level was the next most difficult to categorize.
    • We acknowledge that some of these categories vary or may be called categorized in different ways in other countries. ARMYs were asked to answer this question and select the option that is most similar to the education level they classify as.
    • Based on feedback, we aim to provide better and more in-depth descriptions of each category in the future ARMY Census to help every respondent select the best option and avoid any confusion.

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    • During this unique climate amidst the pandemic, it was important to us that we acknowledge those who were unemployed as a result of COVID-19. 
    • Because the younger-than-18 demographic represented just over half of our respondents, it is not surprising that a majority answered that they were unemployed or a student. 
    • To further improve this categorization, future ARMY Census surveys will break this category down even further.

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    • This data above represents the top 10 industries that ARMYs work in. This does not include those who said they are currently unemployed or are students.
    • What we hope to convey, especially to the general public, is that ARMY is made of everyday people with diverse career fields and from different industries. They may even be your neighbor or coworker.
    • We know that many ARMYs have found ways to take their skills in the real world and implement them into their everyday activities as a part of the fandom. 
    • Based on feedback, responses, and industry resource guides that continue to be updated, we aim to further improve the categorization listings for future ARMY Census surveys.
    • We would like to thank the many essential workers in the fandom who have worked hard to ensure the safety and protection of those around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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    • 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 in the inaugural year of this project. Our goal is to be able to reach even more ARMYs in 2021 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.

     

    Race demographics:

    Our biggest challenge was in regards to capturing racial demographics. This remains a difficult question to ask a collective community, especially if it is made up of a large group of individuals from many countries and territories that all account for racial diversity in their own specific ways. Even after receiving guidance and referencing official demographic sources from global organizations prior to the launch of the project, we found that there was no consistent or "right way" of approaching this question. In the survey, we offered a set of options one can select, as well as a write-in option---which further opened our eyes to the challenging nature of this question. Based on our assessment of the responses and feedback we received for this question, we aim to improve it for the next ARMY Census. This includes ensuring a more inclusive set of answers/categories and better accounting for ARMYs who are multiracial and identify with more than one race. While we wish we could have provided accurate data for this question this year, it is still clear that ARMY is without a doubt incredibly diverse---especially if you take a look at how many countries / territories took the survey and which ones were in the top 10 for respondents.

    IMPROVEMENT POINTS

    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.

    ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

    Other demographic surveys of ARMY and K-pop fans have also been conducted before. You can view them and compare the results here:

  • SPECIAL THANKS

     

    * 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 400,000 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 40+ wonderful translators who volunteered and dedicated their time and effort to ensure that as many people as possible can be included in the survey.

     

    Thank you to Bangtan Scholars for their collaboration as promotional partners, and thank you to everyone around the world who helped spread the word.

  • 2021 ARMY Census

    Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@ARMYCensus) so you can stay up-to-date with our team and look out for announcements to participate in the 2021 ARMY Census.