To test whether convention-going samples of furries differed significantly from online samples of furries, we compared the results of our largest online furry survey[tagcite tags=W11] to the results of a convention-based survey conducted at around the same time.[tagcite tags=FF11]
Convention-going furries were older, on average, than those in our online survey (28.7 years old vs. 23.0 years old). There are a number of possible explanations for this observation. One possibility is that older furries were more likely than younger furries to complete/return the surveys, suggesting that our obtained results may have been due to sampling bias. It may be the case that older furries have been to more conventions than younger furries, and may have been more willing to stop and complete our survey than younger furries who may have been in a rush to experience a convention for the first time. Older furries may also have been more interested in the idea of furry research than younger furries, and may have been more motivated to turn in surveys. All of these explanations suggest that the average age is younger, but due to sampling bias our sample was a bit older than the actual average age of furries present. It is also entirely possible, however, that the furries attending Furry Fiesta were older—a convention can be quite expensive, and it’s plausible that people in their late 20s (who are more likely to have stable, better-paying jobs) were more able to afford going to a convention than furries in their late teens/early 20s.
Another possibility is that there are simply more age 30+ furries (“greymuzzles”) in attendance at conventions than online, which would push the average age upward. It may be the case that age 40+ furries may simply be less active in online furry communities like FurAffinity, but nonetheless actively attend conventions and other in-person gatherings. While we can only speculate on the reason for the data collected, however, we can say that, despite these between- sample differences, the furry fandom is nevertheless a relatively young one, with an average age likely somewhere in the 20s.