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K-pop isn’t just for teenage girls: “I’m 63 and I can’t live without it”

K-pop fans have been in the news several times in the past year. One time it was positive, the other time negative, but it ensured that everyone formed an opinion about the fans. That’s why we went looking for the real fans of K-pop, are they really the hysterical teenage girls they are often seen for?

We recently launched an online survey aimed at Flemish fans of K-pop. This was distributed via social media and was eventually filled in by 595 K-pop fans. As a result, we can already see clear trends in terms of age.

On average 22 years old

The mean age of the K-pop fans surveyed was 21.83 (rounded to 22) years old. It is particularly striking that the majority of K-pop fans are in the age category of 18 to 21 year olds.

The youngest respondents were 12 years old, the oldest was 63 years old. So saying that K-pop fans are mostly teenage girls is very straightforward. It is also striking that most of the respondents are actually in their twenties.

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Most female in their twenties

The largest group of respondents were in their twenties. 52.96 percent of those surveyed were 20 to 29 years old. The second largest group was that of the teenagers between 12 and 19 years old. They accounted for 39.26 percent. The thirties (30 to 39 years old) follow in third place with 5.25 percent. And finally come the people in their 40s (1.18 percent) and the people over 50 (1.35 percent).

Age categories K-pop Flanders chart
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What is very clear is that the vast majority of K-pop fans are women. No less than 93.1 percent of the respondents identify as female, compared to 4.1 percent as male. 2.5 percent identify as X.

Gender K-pop fans Flanders
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Gisele (63): “I can’t live without it”

It is striking that there is indeed a great diversity among the group of K-pop fans, which is often seen as a group consisting of only teenage girls. We listened to Gisele, who was the oldest respondent in our survey at 63 years old. Gisele is the grandmother of three grandchildren and got to know K-pop in 2014 through Korean television series (K-dramas). “I now listen to K-pop every day. I couldn’t live without it anymore. ”

Gisele is the most fan of BTS, but also listens to many other bands. “It is absolutely wrong that only teenage girls listen to K-pop,” says Gisele. “I’m in a group of K-pop fans of 40 years and older on Facebook and we can talk about K-pop together.”

She regrets that there are such fierce prejudices about K-pop and the fans of the genre. “If people really listened to the music carefully, they might understand. I really enjoy the music and the dancing. ”

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