Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The States with the Most Anime Conventions

Have you ever wondered which states have the most anime conventions? Are there certain regions where otaku culture is highly concentrated? Which states have the most conventions serving the largest number of anime fans? Using data from and other public sources, I've made an attempt to answer those questions. (Disclaimer: This is an informal analysis, not a formal peer-reviewed study)

To create the ranking, I simply used the list found here: Anime conventions in the USA in 2016

I used 2016 since it's a full year's worth of recent data. I excluded conventions that were postponed or canceled. Washington DC, while not a state, is included on these lists.

The top 25 states, ranked by number of anime conventions

California and Florida are the clear winners.

The bottom 25 states (plus Washington DC) ranked by number of anime conventions

Near the bottom of the list, you'll find several states with only 1 convention in 2016, but Wyoming isn't even on the list, the only state without an anime convention in 2016.

California and Florida are not huge surprises, since they are #1 and #3 in the US in terms of population; you'd expect a lot of events in those states. So, what happens we look at each state, ranked by anime cons per capita?

Ranking: States with the most anime cons per person

[not pictured: Alaska (14) and Hawaii (46)]

The picture changes quite a bit, with South and North Dakota jumping to the top of the list, followed by Tennessee and Maine. Florida is still up there, but California with its much larger population lags significantly.

Ranking: States with the most anime cons per square mile

What if we look for states with the most conventions per square mile? Washington DC (not a state, but close enough) is at #1 followed by New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Maryland. Florida manages to stay pretty high at #5.

This is all well and good, but the rankings presented thus far don't really answer one of our primary questions: Which states have the most conventions serving the largest number of anime fans?

In that case, it doesn't make sense to overemphasize anime cons per capita or anime cons per square mile in states which have very few people in it. We want to find out where there are a lot of cons serving a high volume of people. So, let's look at the same data above, but filter the lists by population.

When you look at the states with the most anime cons, they are also the states with the most people, with two exceptions: Tennessee had 15 cons, but only 6.65 million people, compared to New York which had 14 cons and 19.7 million people. Michigan has 9.9 million people, but only had 6 anime cons in 2016.

Here's what it looks like when we calculate state rankings for anime cons per capita, but only focusing on the top 10 states by population:

Populous states with the most anime conventions per capita

Now, Florida is #1 and Ohio is #2. California and Texas, with 36 and 23 cons in 2016 respectively, are not in the top 5 due to their high populations. Florida cons are more spread out than Ohio cons, so there are more events in Florida with overlapping dates. When we only count events with unique dates (assuming no one is likely to attend two conventions in the same day), Ohio actually edges out Florida in this metric (anime cons per capita).

We can apply the same population filter to our state rankings for anime cons per square mile:

Populous states with the most anime conventions per square mile

Florida and Ohio come out on top again!

What does all this mean?

First of all, to interact with this data and apply your own filters, you can visit the dashboard I created:

Secondly, we obviously need to talk about Florida and Ohio. That there are a lot of conventions in Florida is perhaps less surprising, given that Florida is the #2 tourist destination in the US after California. Ohio, on the other hand, is #12 on that list.

Note: It's not just anime conventions. The same people who made also made . Using fan convention data in general, I created some visualizations to examine that. Based on the same type of analysis, Florida and Ohio come out on top there as well (across multiple flavors of fandom, not just anime).

Personal Perspective

To date, I've been to 51 cons in 5 states (California, Maryland, Ohio, Georgia, and New York), but mostly in California where I live, and mostly repeat visits to the same few conventions.

I've had the honor of being a repeat guest at Anime Punch: Armageddicon in Columbus, Ohio. I remember a staffer I spoke to telling me about all the conventions she went to in Ohio, either as an attendee or as con staff. It was hard to believe there were so many, but the data doesn't lie.

I've never been to Florida, but I am acquainted with the folks from the Anime World Order podcast who are from there. I'll leave it to them (and others) to tell us about the particulars of anime fandom in that state.

I do know that both states have old school anime cred, Florida being the birthplace of JACO - the Japanese Animation Club of Orlando - home of JACOsub, one of the earliest pieces of fansubbing software. Ohio is home to the venerable OSU anime club, formerly known as "Animate". Ohio State servers were the original home of the Anime Web Turnpike. Going back even further, it's where the Venice FTP anime-manga archive was first hosted.

I've been to Ohio for Anime Punch 7 times, not enough to really get to know Ohio fans, but the scene there was unique and I really enjoyed it. It gave me a much stronger appreciation for small cons. I've been to Anime Expo, Otakon, and San Diego Comic-Con plenty of times, and they're great, but the energy and enthusiasm of a lot of small cons out there is something to be experienced, and Ohio has plenty of them. You might say: some people attend a few big cons as special events; others attend a lot of smaller cons as a lifestyle.

Ohio has been called the nerdiest state (a badge of honor, in my opinion): people in Ohio apparently visit libraries more often than people in other states. Maybe there's a connection between reading/library-going and anime fandom, but that's another study for another day.

I have fond memories of con-going in Ohio. Someone invite me to Florida so I can get a measure of fandom in the Sunshine State!


  1. I'm about to blow your mind: Michigan had over twice the amount of anime conventions in 2016 than are listed at
    I can't verify that this may also be the case in some other states or not, but I am happy to fill you in on the missing data in the Mitten.

  2. Hi Kip,

    Thanks for the feedback. The analysis is only as good as the data source! focuses on events with (some minimum amount of) anime programming. Perhaps some of the other Michigan events you're aware of are listed on You'll find this list is more inclusive:

    The lists on are larger (for all states, most likely). For future work, I may use that to expand my analysis to cover fan conventions in general.

    If you know of events in Michigan not listed on the page linked above, you can submit the info here: (I presume that will update both and If you see events listed on but not which really ought to be listed on the latter as well, you should contact the owner of


    1. I've helped to submit quite a few cons to in the past, and while I'm happy to be contributing because I also use this site as a database to research conventions, I feel there gets to be a point where the administration should also provide some research legwork. There are some conventions that have happened yearly and weren't listed last year.

      I can assure you, however, the conventions I'm thinking of were 100% anime or Japanese pop-culture targeted and not Western or general pop. One of the requirements to list at (or is to have a real website and not a Facebook or blog hosted site which, sadly, excludes some of these events from being posted, even though they do draw a sizable attendance. I feel steering away from domain hosted websites is sort of a new trend for conventions. In this day and age of social media connectiveness, it is possible the kinds of consumers who attend certain conventions may only need an event page or a fan page to subscribe to without the need for a website intermediary, from which to gather information.

    2. Ah, I see. Thanks for the clarification.

      I haven't thought about the "real website" policy long enough to have a strong opinion on whether it's good or bad. At some point, as the internet continues to evolve, the policy will have to change as well. Whether it should change now or later, I don't know. If you can't change their mind, maybe there's a need for some additional/competing databases.

      Regarding the analysis, as long as the policy is applied consistently across all states & regions, I suspect that including all the events that don't have "real websites" will not change the overall rankings much.

      I don't know enough about to speak about the challenges of keeping it up to date. Maybe they need more staff, volunteer or otherwise.

  3. I forgot to mention, using data from, Michigan does slightly better in the "Populous states with the most conventions per capita" metric: 8th place instead of 10th place.

  4. Hey there! Florida con goer here- and my goodness we have so many conventions- almost one for every week!

    Here's some insider info-
    The con community is so over saturated. Because there are so many cons- smaller cons find it harder to start up and end up closing down.

    Also something: the community is TOXIC!!! I havent been to an out of state con, so I cant speak from my personal experience, but I've heard it's like night and day.
    Cosplay has turned into a popularity contest over here and since we go so often- it is no longer magical and people have become hardened to it.

    There is so much drama. Everyone has become closely knit- but in a clique sort of way.

    We have the most cons- but it's not a good thing.
    Quality over quantity ammiright?

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience. I hope it's not so bad for everyone in Florida, but I've heard similar comments from others. Anyone have a different perspective on Florida cons?

    2. Nope, Graffiti 2D has the community here defined perfectly. "This world is...rotten."
      As someone with 3 Northeast cons, 5 FL cons, 1 GA con, and 1 AL con (with repeated visits to some annual cons it's a total of over a dozen cons for me), I recommend that the FL cons get avoided as much as possible. The people running them are just as toxic as the community that is attending them. I've heard of entire casts of people being blacklisted at cons simply for partaking in shows at other conventions; the same con that blacklisted people also purposefully moved their con date to the same weekend as another con in their city to attempt to run that other con out of business; at a different con, one owner said to a the face of a young woman who was being harassed that she wasn't being harrased, she was just looking for attention (in other words, she was in an attention grabbing outfit and therefore had to be an attention seeker and not someone being legitimately harrassed...yeah... this con is run in a hockey rink and they serve alcoholic beverages left and right, so the guys are kinda known to get wasted and harass women at this thing, skimpy cosplay wearers, pretty women, and girls under 18 are all in danger there). Also, cosplay competitions are easily rigged. The girlfriend of a judge once entered a competition and won a prize despite a minimum of 5 other cosplays being better constructed and more faithful to their characters than her. The girl sat behind the judge during judging and whispered lies to the judges about what went on backstage to ensure that they voted for her. These are the people running the cons. These are just small examples of what goes on in the community. I could go on about things that happen in the community itself, but then I'd have to write a novel.

  5. I am from southwest Ohio.. I'd like to know where all these anime fans and cons are.. most people here look at me like I have 3 heads if I mention anime. I go to Kissimee, FL every year for the Florida Anime Experience con, which is a bit smaller than the other cons, and more concentrated on anime and Japanese culture as opposed to the whole comic fandom etc. Look up the name on FB, they are powered by Green Mustard Entertainment, and are affiliated with Wasabi con as well somehow.

    1. Hi Vicki,

      Thanks for commenting!

      I don't know if any of these are close to you, but here's the 2017 list of anime cons in Ohio:


    2. Interestingly enough, the folks that run Florida Anime Experience also run anime for Origins Game Fair in Columbus, OH. (In case you're interested.)

  6. I was recently shocked and disgusted when I learned about the criminal activity perpetrated by the con chair of Anime Punch, details here:

    Please stay safe at cons, everyone!

  7. On this page you can read my interests, write something special. Harry Potter Cosplay Costume

  8. This is a great post. I like this topic.This site has lots of advantage.I found many interesting things from this site. It helps me in many ways.Thanks for posting this again. cosplay shop

  9. After a long break, in class seven, I again began testing my abilities in understanding anime which ended up being a triumph, when I previously anime online

  10. Pretty great submit. I recently อ่านการ์ตูน discovered the blog and also wanted to state in which I have really appreciated browsing your website content.

  11. Great whip! I actually would like to beginner since you change a person's website, the best way could i actually sign up to for your site website? อ่านการ์ตูน

  12. Wonderful combat! That i wish to newbie some people choose to modify an individual's web site, the way in which can that i enroll for that webpage web site? Any balance aided my family a good adequate bargain. anime

  13. People who enjoy cartoons, computer games, and live-action role-playing all appear to share a passion for anime. What used to be a phrase that only referred to Japanese animation is currently becoming a more inclusive one as artists from all over the world use the same template and techniques to add their own works to the genre. Even if the idea of what an anime convention should look like has altered, anime remains popular.

  14. It may surprise you, but despite their lower overall nerdiness, the South and Midwest have a sizable anime fan base. In Kansas, Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, and Mississippi, anime was the most searched fandom. California, of course, was also representing the otaku.

  15. We want to find out where there are a lot of cons serving a high volume of people. website building Dallas Fort Worth, Tx

  16. Awesome content, I'm really glad to know this information.

  17. Nice information to know, very well written content.

  18. Florida cons are more spread out than Ohio cons, so there are more events in Florida with overlapping dates. When we only count events with unique dates (assuming no one is likely to attend two conventions in the same day), Ohio actually edges out Florida in this metric (anime cons per capita). Foundation Cracks San Francisco California

  19. It's awesome knowing that there are events on some nearby states.
    Enjoy Mexico

  20. Yey! This is so amazing! Thanks check here

  21. Just recently, I've been seeing a lot of conventions in Vancouver and Quebec. I never thought there are a lot of anime fans from these places.
    post office change of address

  22. Hi there! Are you looking for a qualified roofer who can solve all your roofing problems, such as roof repair, moss removal, gutter repair, and critter removal? Look no more because we are all that you are looking for. Roofing Pros of Surrey

  23. We want to find out where there are a lot of cons serving a high volume of people. "drywall repair near me fort worth tx"

  24. Using data from and other public sources, Our fence builder have made an attempt to answer those questions.

  25. Anime conventions are a popular way for fans of Japanese animation and comics to gather and celebrate their favorite works. Every year, many large-scale anime conventions take place in the United States, attracting tens of thousands of attendees from all over the country. With so many events occurring across the nation, it can be difficult to keep track of which states have the most conventions.

    Anyway, visit if you're looking for inflatable rentals in Scottsdale, AZ.

  26. You have a great information! Thanks check this

  27. Florida cons are more spread out than Ohio cons, so there are more events in Florida with overlapping dates. drywall repair near me

  28. Well this anime cons graph are really awesome I didn't think Chicago would have such an high rate.Play Quordle

  29. It's important to remember that the anime convention scene is constantly evolving, and the information presented in the article may change over time. Nonetheless, it's a useful starting point for anyone interested in attending an anime convention in the future, and provides some insight into the level of enthusiasm for Japanese entertainment and culture in various parts of the United States.

    By the way, visit for the best bathroom renovations in Cambridge.