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April 4, 2017

Burning Man Census 2016

The Black Rock City census for 2016 has been released. I suspect the results are not accurate because completion of a census form is entirely voluntary and, I imagine, birgins are more likely to fill one out than veterans. But the BRC census people insist they know their statistics and can correct for the sampling bias. Maybe they are right. Anyway, I want to point out just a few of the interesting bits in the census that I noticed.

  • 39.3% of the Burners in 2016 were birgins, which is consistent with prior years. 4.2% had been to Burning Man 8 to 10 times...that includes me.
  • Only 1.3% of Burners were under age 20.
  • 72.5% of Burners had attended college.
  • 3.4% had an income above $300,000.
  • The median household income (back in the default world) was $94,200.
  • 56.8% male, 41.4% female, 1.8% fluid/both/neither.
  • 8.8% said they were sexually attracted to either mostly or exclusively the same sex. 7.8% identify as gay or lesbian. (I thought it would be higher).
  • 35.9% were not in a committed personal relationship (i.e., married or something like that).
  • 1.1% of Burners identified themselves as black. 4.3% as Hispanic/Latino. (I thought it would be higher).
  • 6.7% reside in Canada; 5.5% in Europe.
  • In the U.S. 48.5% of Burners resided in California. New York was the second most popular state of residence at 8.1%. Nevada was 5.7%, in 4th place behind Washington.
  • Only 2.8% named Spanish as their primary language, while 3.7% claimed French! 2.2% Russian.
  • 46.5% "spiritual, not religious." 24.8% atheist (hoo boy!). 14.7% agnostic. 6.1% "religious." (I had no idea!)
  • Breaking it down by religious denomination shows Burners were 7% Catholic, 2.6% Protestant, 6.4% Jewish, 4.6% other Christian, Buddhist 1.9%.
  • 89.6% arrived at the gate by motor vehicle. 1.1% flew into the landing strip.
  • 18.8% came in an RV (I thought it would be higher). 47.3% arrived by car, pickup truck or SUV. 0.8% came in a semi with trailer.
  • Most popular reason to come to Burning Man? Survey says "To see/experience the art" at 62.5%! 3.7% said it was to consume intoxicants. "Bucket list" was 10.2%. "To grow or connect spiritually" was 21.6%
  • 91.8% said they enjoyed Burning Man either "extremely" or "a lot." 0.1% said "not at all."
  • 94.4% absolutely or probably intend to come back. 0.4% said they would absolutely not be back.
  • 81.6% sort their trash at Burning Man.
  • Power sources include batteries (54.1%), a camp generator (46%), solar (40.1%). 4.3% get it from the Black Rock City grid. Burning Man, using diesel generators, supplies electricity via buried cables to a few select camps and installations...how did you think they got the lights on the Man to work?
  • 64.3% were in a placed (i.e. theme) camp.
  • 52.6% of those not in placed camps said they chose their location based just on where they could find space.
  • 34.7% were in camps with a population of 50 to 199.
  • 32.6% came with at least one family member.
  • 28.4% stayed in an RV or camper-trailer. I guess it just seems like there are more RVs than that because each one takes up so much more space than a tent.
  • 66.7% spent $1000 to $5000 on Burning Man, exclusive of ticket price.
  • On average, each Burner spent $635 in Nevada, mostly on food and lodging. 0.9% spent more than $5000 in Nevada.
  • 39.4% got a ticket in an open sale from Burning Man. 3.1% got their ticket from a stranger.
  • 2.5% paid more than face value for a ticket. 1.7% paid less than face value and 7.8% received theirs as a gift.

Filed under Burning Man | permalink | April 4, 2017 at 06:58 PM

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