Well, well, well. Now what do we have here?

What we have here is a collection of graphs and some writeups from the 2011 Furry Survey, presented for your edification. The graphs are courtesy of the JavaScript SVG library d3 and the information is courtesy of you, the fandom.
At the moment, some stuff is still missing, as you might have noticed. This is because I am not yet certain how to visualize the data. Missing stuffs:
All of the information on this page is released under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license, meaning that if you want to do anything on your own with it (like maybe build prettier graphs? *hopeful look*) you are absolutely free to do so, as long as you don't sell it, attribute the source of the data (this is so people know to come to me, not you, with questions about it, 'cause they can get cranky) and, most importantly, that you make your own work just as freely available.
If you want access to the raw data, please just go ahead and ask me. I don't bite. bce@klisoura.com is your golden ticket.
Alex || Klisoura

Biological sex

No real surprises here.

Self-reported gender

The 2011 survey doesn't ask about non-cisgendered options, which is an oversight on its author's part. That will be corrected for the 2012 build of the Survey. The intermix of people who are not strongly polar is nontrivial here, greater than one quarter of all respondents, suggesting that gender normativity is not strongly prioritised here (or, at least, not as strongly — we'll return to that point later). Note that the breakdown for those people reporting completely male or completely female pushes the male-female skew even higher, to 82%:18%.

Sexual orientation

This is the first year in which I added "asexual" to the list of options, and it comes in with a comparative bang at nearly 5% of all respondents. Pansexuality — that is, sexual orientation that is completely irrespective of sexuality — takes up another 7.5%. The heterosexual side of the fandom maintains its slight historic edge, with a plurality of respondents; there are more heterosexual folks than either bisexual or homosexual individuals. This isn't exactly a weak skew, but there are still more non-heterosexuals — even excluding pansexual individuals from that count.


As of the time of compilation (January 2012) the median age is 21 years, 8 months and the average age is 26 years, 10 months. The average birth year has continued to increase (from 1986 in 2009 to 1988 in 2011), suggesting that the fandom always retains an essentially youthful character. However, I don't believe this suggests that people are leaving the fandom; rather, it suggests that the fandom is increasing in size, with proportionally greater increases coming from younguns. This also helps to explain strong year-on-year growth at more adult-oriented loci such as conventions.

Town Size

The fandom skews more urban, although not sharply so; as many people live in a town larger than half a million people as live in a town with fewer than five thousand.

Note that I do have country and (for US and CA) state-level breakdowns of population, but I don't know how to visualize those right now. You may be able to judge from this writeup that my skills with d3 are... lacking.


Probably not a surprise that the vast majority of folks self-identify as white. Most people in the fandom are Americans, which skews the statistics a little bit, but it's impossible to deny that this is definitely a bleached subculture.


A fair number of people listed "other" as their religion, and went on to describe what is typically a bespoke combination of various other religions. In terms of people willing to label themselves, a majority describe themselves as essentially areligious, with a strong plurality declaring themselves to be avowed atheists. Unsurprisingly, Christians of various stripes take the second spot. There's also a relatively strong pagan contingent, notable perhaps in how far it outpaces established world religious like Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.

Political views: authoritarian vs. anarchism

I divided the "political views" question into two axes concerning social and economic policy. The first, politics, asks respondents how strongly they believe in social liberties, with authoritarianism (total state control) at the top of the scale and anarchism (total lack of control) at the bottom. Most people lean towards the latter end, believing that the government should exact fewer controls on social policy.

Economic views: strict regulation vs. laissez-faire

The economic side of the "political views" question asks people how strongly they believe in economic liberties, with regulated, planned economies at the top and laissez-faire capitalism on the bottom. Folks are a little less libertarian on this, lower by slightly less than 1 point. Bonus Occupy Wall Street statistic: for the last two months of the year, belief in greater economic regulation increased on average by .22 points. Intriguingly, over this same period belief in greater social regulation increased on average by .24 points.


Unsurprisingly given the young age of the fandom, most people are students. Note that whilst most furries are creative to some degree or another (writing, drawing, etc.) just under 3.5% are actually able to make a living at it. On the other hand, turn that on its head: 1 in 30 furries is able to make a living at being furry.

On a scale of 1-10, how strongly do you consider yourself part of the fandom?

Because this is a self-selecting survey, it probably shouldn't surprise anyone too much that most people who chose to take it think they're pretty far into the fandom.

Who knows that you're a furry?

So here's something that's kind of obscured in these graphs: most people don't tell anyone about their hobby. Three quarters of people who self-identify as furry don't even tell their significant other; a whopping 96% don't breathe a word to their coworkers. Self-consciousness about the subculture? Perhaps.

Take a look at the fourth line, though. Ignoring the awkward wording of the question, we're dealing with a fandom in which a substantial fraction of the participants are mum about it even to other people who are taking part.

In general, how do you think outsiders respond to the fandom?

Interestingly, these numbers have remained relatively constant over the four years that I've done the Survey, which suggests to me that people feel the fandom has reached some sort of state of equilibrium. Most interestingly: despite growing convention numbers (and presumably coverage) and the rise of social networks over that time period, the number of people saying that outsiders have no real knowledge of the fandom has been pretty constant at around 10%.

Do people respond to you, personally, differently than they respond to the fandom in general?
In general, you would characterise public perception of the fandom as...

Unsurprisingly a strong majority of people in the fandom think that outsiders have it all wrong. Optimistically, we'd suggest that this is related to the fact that they think about it so negatively. In point of fact, belief in accuracy is chiefly irrespective of positive/negative perception.

How strongly do you consider yourself human?

I guess this is about what you were imagining. Around 5% of respondents don't believe that they are human, with another 6% suggesting that, whilst they are partly human, animal traits predominate. A majority of furries say they are completely human, although it's worth noting that the fandom is still pretty unique in this regard. I imagine the percentage of Star Wars fans who report their religion as Jedi is somewhat smaller.

Do you have an avatar with a gender distinct from your biological sex?

The Internet: where men are men, women are men, and children are FBI agents. Etcetera, etcetera. True?

First off, note that this asks about roleplaying with an avatar different from biological sex, not gender. That is, transgendered or other non-cisgendered persons whose fandom avatar correctly represents their gender would still be counted in this statistic. In many cases this is a primary persona. Since, judging from the comments on the Survey some people have gotten the impression that I take a dim view of this, I should note that I don't, and since it's the category I myself fall into it would be slightly hypocritical ;)

That being said, appearances to the contrary most people don't apparently do this, or don't do it very often: a strong majority (more than 4/5ths) say that even if they might, they don't — and most of them say they would not do so.

Jokes about chatrooms aside, I'll suggest that this is interesting chiefly in how strongly gender normativity remains current here, with a majority of respondents indicating that they are willing to cross species lines with their fandom representation, but not gender identity ones.

Happy with graphs? Good! Now it is time to mix it up a bit! What's that you say? Yes! Bam! Table! Right here!

Number of respondents describing themselves as:

We don't really have all that many unifying touchpoints in the fandom, when you look at it — things that nearly everybody does. Most furries don't go to conventions, as it turns out; a majority like role-playing games and science-fiction, but that's it! Just to note a couple of things, for clarification:

  1. the percentage of people who say they are polyglots is probably skewed by non-English speakers taking this poll (there are quite a few of them).
  2. Convention-going is expanded upon in a later bullet
  3. The percentage of furries self-reporting as zoophiles is identical to the prevalence in the general population. So if you think it's deviant behaviour, furries are no more deviant than anybody else. Well, at least, not that way.
Now hold up, because if d3 cooperates we are about to get some STACKED GRAPHS GOING ON HERE. Hang on to your hats, kitties!

What is your relationship status?

A majority of furries, 60% or so, are single. What's more interesting to me: with the exception of the nebulously defined "other" relationship type, in all cases you're more likely to have a non-furry significant other than a furry one. This, actually, goes against my casual observation, which I suppose goes to show you the value of such observation in the first place.

On a scale of 1-10, how important is sex to the fandom?

What's interesting here is the progression. Most furries don't say that sex is particularly important to them, where the fandom is concerned (now, the popularity of sites like e621 and Yiffstar might suggest otherwise, but I ain't judging). On the other hand, they believe that other furries consider it substantially more important — and, naturally, that the public considers it overwhelmingly important. Note that 66% of furries said sex had an importance of 5 or below to the fandom, where they were concerned; only 11% of furries think the public feels that way about the fandom.

How often do you do the following furry activities?

Unsurprisingly, furry is chiefly identified by its online components. Also note that most furries never attend conventions. Also intriguingly, note that while not everyone does it literally all the time, only a minority of furries say they "never" roleplay or draw furry artwork, and only a slim majority say they never write. Furry is a very creative fandom!

How often do you do the following non-furry activities?

As before, online activities predominate. I don't differentiate here between tabletop and online roleplaying games, so the 20% of people who do this daily may be playing WoW, EVE or some similar online thingy that I know you kids are all about. Note that furries aren't any more likely to attend non-furry conventions than they are furry ones.

On a scale of 1-10, what is your opinion of the following:

In general, furries are relatively positive types, and they have a genial view of typical furry activities like conventions, fursuiting, and various creative pursuits. Two more outré components commonly linked by some to the fandom, plushophilia and zoophilia, are more sharply polarizing, perhaps because of the low numbers of furries who consider themselves participants.

On a scale of 1-10, how important do you think the following are to the fandom?

Of course, artwork holds a clear lead here — almost nobody would argue that the fandom would not be of a manifestly different character without it. Online communities — not surprising given the number of participants — come in a close second. Conventions lag a bit; unanswered is the question of whether people think conventions aren't important because they don't go themselves (for monetary or other reasons), or whether they don't go to conventions because they think they're unimportant.