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Non-Compostela Statistics Question

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timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
Does anyone know of any estimate (and I don't know how it would be possible to make it 🤭 ) of the number of people who walk each year, (or in 2018), who didn't finish in Santiago or who, if they did, did not collect a compostela or distance certificate?
I know 327,378 collected Compostela last year.
And OK I know the answer to my question does not really exist - I could walk 100km from my home in UK 'towards Santiago' and clearly this could never be counted but I could say I was walking to Santiago.
But what about an estimate at least for people who walk within Spain?
 

Jean Ti

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte, Primitivo, Frances,Via de la Plata

Trying to do one camino every year
Does anyone know of any estimate (and I don't know how it would be possible to make it 🤭 ) of the number of people who walk each year, (or in 2018), who didn't finish in Santiago or who, if they did, did not collect a compostela or distance certificate?
I know 327,378 collected Compostela last year.
And OK I know the answer to my question does not really exist - I could walk 100km from my home in UK 'towards Santiago' and clearly this could never be counted but I could say I was walking to Santiago.
But what about an estimate at least for people who walk within Spain?
Dont quote me here to get a loan but I think that at least one million people per year are walking on the various Spain Caminos
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Its a great question @timr even if the only reasonable answer is "42". There has been discussion previously on the forum and i was struck by how many "serial" pilgrims posting here said that they do not seek to claim another Compostella to add to previous collections. Some, like me, walk straight on through or swing past or just drop in to the Cathedral to give himself a hug: but they don't go and claim that certificate or sign on as an arrival. How many? Lots probably.

There is a previous thread https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/statistics-what-percent-finish.61570/#post-733423 that rambles around the topic.

As an auditor and statistician its a bit difficult for me to accept @Jean Ti 's assertions but I've no evidence to contradict them. Your double-the-number-you-first-thought-of is a pretty good estimate too. On my last 5 arrivals in Santiago I've registered my arrival twice. So maybe divide-by-two-and multiply-by-five would work?

Nonetheless we all know that the vast majority of Pilgrims start from Sarria and walk to Santiago and part of their purpose is to receive a Compostella and so I guess the true answer is more than the Pilgrim Office records and less than some of us think it might be ;)
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Nonetheless we all know that the vast majority of Pilgrims start from Sarria and walk to Santiago and part of their purpose is to receive a Compostella and so I guess the true answer is more than the Pilgrim Office records and less than some of us think it might be ;)
I am neither an auditor or a statistician but I am an enthusiastic amateur pedant. According to the pilgrim office statistics for last year only 27.04% of those claiming a Compostela started from Sarria. I make that fairly close to a quarter and quite a bit short of a vast majority ;)
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
I am neither an auditor or a statistician but I am an enthusiastic amateur pedant. According to the pilgrim office statistics for last year only 27.04% of those claiming a Compostela started from Sarria. I make that fairly close to a quarter and quite a bit short of a vast majority ;)
Ach, I should have stated "retired"; or done some research... ;)
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
Does anyone know of any estimate (and I don't know how it would be possible to make it 🤭 ) of the number of people who walk each year, (or in 2018), who didn't finish in Santiago or who, if they did, did not collect a compostela or distance certificate?
I know 327,378 collected Compostela last year.
And OK I know the answer to my question does not really exist - I could walk 100km from my home in UK 'towards Santiago' and clearly this could never be counted but I could say I was walking to Santiago.
But what about an estimate at least for people who walk within Spain?
Intriguing query @timr ... Not based on any facts at all, I'll go against the trend & say of those who do actually arrive in Santiago dC, I think more would actually get the Compostela than not. I'm basing this theory on the assumption that most 'arrivees' are first, &/or only timers, most likely on the CF, rather than serial or repeat offenders. 327,378 is such an enormous number of people. To assume the equivalent or more don't collect a Compostela seems a bit excessive?
Does the collection statistic break down the figures to individual trails? I personally am not one to go over the same ground but I would always get the Compostela arriving on different trails ie CF, CP, VdlP etc.
Just my 5kb worth on an interesting topic! 🤗
👣 🌏
 
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timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
@kazrobbo yes that is also helpful. Probably a large majority of those who arrive in SdC pick up a Compostela, though again that cannot be quantified.
The statistics are there, but are limited in some ways https://oficinadelperegrino.com/en/statistics/ Yes, there is a record of the stated departure point - and a list of 9 caminos, includings the Portuguese route, but routes outside the Iberian peninsula are classed as 'other'. This statistic is rather 'blunt' and cannot take account of people who 'mixed-and-matched' several routes. Only one starting point, and only one route can be recorded - there has been discussion on this point recently.
There is a record of how many people 'register' at St Jean Pied de Port. http://www.aucoeurduchemin.org/statistiques-des-pelerins/17-statistiques-2017/
But no record of people who started elsewhere (except when they collect a Compostela).
And I am not sure from the Santiago statistics whether they include both those who collect Compostela and those who collect (only) the distance certificate - I presume they are added together.
What I can see, in 2017 for example, is that 57,295 registered in St Jean, while in the same year 33,177 registered in Santiago as having started in SJPdP. OK so the number who register in SJPdP will include some people who didn't start there but who had arrived there from France or beyond, but these are surely a distinct minority.
So what I think is that there is no count of people who are walking in any particular year but not 'finishing' and I think this is probably a considerable group of people. Think how many people you meet who are walking all the way to Santiago over several years, - they only get counted once, but they may walk five or six times - or those who are walking only a stretch - such as Baztan or Madrid, without continuing to Santiago.

But I think all we can do is guess..... :oops:
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
Piamonte
Elizabethpfad
Many of the people posting here are camino recidivists, like myself. I have arrived in SdC four times but have only my single initial compostela. This makes me wonder if the assumption that most people arriving in SdC do collect a compostela is actually sustainable.

I actually have asked myself the same question though.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Many of the people posting here are camino recidivists, like myself. I have arrived in SdC four times but have only my single initial compostela. This makes me wonder if the assumption that most people arriving in SdC do collect a compostela is actually sustainable.
I think by its very nature a forum like this attracts recidivists disproportionately. Like moths around a light bulb. I would be hesitant to extrapolate from the opinions and practice of a group like this to make assumptions about the behaviour of the wider Camino world. I think it just as likely that there are many - and perhaps a majority - for whom walking a Camino is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and who do not haunt the internet Camino world afterwards :cool: And I suspect that in that case the majority would choose to receive a Compostela.
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
Piamonte
Elizabethpfad
I think by its very nature a forum like this attracts recidivists disproportionately. Like moths around a light bulb. I would be hesitant to extrapolate from the opinions and practice of a group like this to make assumptions about the behaviour of the wider Camino world. I think it just as likely that there are many - and perhaps a majority - for whom walking a Camino is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and who do not haunt the internet Camino world afterwards :cool: And I suspect that in that case the majority would choose to receive a Compostela.
That's just it though, isn't it? All assumptions/presumptions/suspicions. Actually, I used forum members as an example, an exception to the assertion, and obviously these pilgrims are a subset of the wider camino community. We will never know the actual numbers that never collect one, unless statistics are taken of the total number of persons identifying as pilgrims taking a bed in SdC in a given year, subtracted from the number of compostelas issued. And even that would not be precise, as some may not even stay the night. I'm largely aligned with Timr on this one!
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
The simple answer is “no.” Moreover, there is no way possible to accurately extrapolate from known data - those processed for a Compostela.

Each day there are several, in the low double digits, of arriving pilgrims who only want the Cathedral stamp / sello to signify in their credencial that they made it. These have never been counted, and would not significantly alter the statistics if they were.

Beyond this, there is a tranche, of unknown size, of pilgrims who do their Camino, then go one with their lives, with no ceremony...

So, in the end we will never know accurately how many pilgrims the are. The effort to try to determine a number would be complicated, expensive, and would never result in an authoritative number.

You could just as easily take the pilgrim office number and increase it by 25 - 50% and likely be in the ballpark. But this is just my view.

Hope this helps.
 

Chris Gi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Did April through June 2018 from Pamplona to Santiago. 2020 May or end of September.
Does anyone know of any estimate (and I don't know how it would be possible to make it 🤭 ) of the number of people who walk each year, (or in 2018), who didn't finish in Santiago or who, if they did, did not collect a compostela or distance certificate?
I know 327,378 collected Compostela last year.
And OK I know the answer to my question does not really exist - I could walk 100km from my home in UK 'towards Santiago' and clearly this could never be counted but I could say I was walking to Santiago.
But what about an estimate at least for people who walk within Spain?
6 of us started in Pamplona and walked most of the way but did not get a Compostela as we did not walk every centimeter of the last 100 Km - we took a taxi a couple of times thus disqualify us even though we had walked 300 miles.
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
While doing research for my books, I had read that the Official Pilgrim Office estimated (in part from lodging statistics) that at any given time there are 4-5 times as many pilgrims/walkers on the Camino who did not get the Compostela as there are pilgrims who did get one.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
Its a great question @timr even if the only reasonable answer is "42". There has been discussion previously on the forum and i was struck by how many "serial" pilgrims posting here said that they do not seek to claim another Compostella to add to previous collections. Some, like me, walk straight on through or swing past or just drop in to the Cathedral to give himself a hug: but they don't go and claim that certificate or sign on as an arrival. How many? Lots probably.

There is a previous thread https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/statistics-what-percent-finish.61570/#post-733423 that rambles around the topic.

As an auditor and statistician its a bit difficult for me to accept @Jean Ti 's assertions but I've no evidence to contradict them. Your double-the-number-you-first-thought-of is a pretty good estimate too. On my last 5 arrivals in Santiago I've registered my arrival twice. So maybe divide-by-two-and multiply-by-five would work?

Nonetheless we all know that the vast majority of Pilgrims start from Sarria and walk to Santiago and part of their purpose is to receive a Compostella and so I guess the true answer is more than the Pilgrim Office records and less than some of us think it might be ;)
A little fun fact for you Tinca to learn a little bit about the Colonies on the other side of The Atlantic. Isn't the number 42 a reference to Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy? I read it a very long time ago when my brain was fuzzy a lot. Much more importantly the number 42 was worn by the great Jackie Robinson. He was the first Black person to play Major League Baseball. He had an amazing life as should be expected as he was an amazing man. No baseball player is allowed to wear his number. If you don't know about him check him out. I think you will find it worthwhile reading.
 

Jean Ti

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte, Primitivo, Frances,Via de la Plata

Trying to do one camino every year
It would be interesting to know, how many pilgrim
While doing research for my books, I had read that the Official Pilgrim Office estimated (in part from lodging statistics) that at any given time there are 4-5 times as many pilgrims/walkers on the Camino who did not get the Compostela as there are pilgrims who did get one.
.
Interesting 327378 X 4 = over a million people
 

MagnusPompey

Bwana.
Camino(s) past & future
El Norte 2016, VdlP, el Norte, 2018,
Does anyone know of any estimate (and I don't know how it would be possible to make it 🤭 ) of the number of people who walk each year, (or in 2018), who didn't finish in Santiago or who, if they did, did not collect a compostela or distance certificate?
I know 327,378 collected Compostela last year.
And OK I know the answer to my question does not really exist - It would be possible to make an almost reliable measure by compiling the number of credentials issued and where against Compostellas issued. I myself have been on three Caminos 2016, 2018 and am currently on Portuguesa and I have been to Santiago twice but never bothered with the Compostella. I just know in my heart where I have been and don’t need a certificate to qualify it.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I think that only Guardia Civil could have this answer because albergues and other accommodations must send them data of the people that stayed there overnight. But I don't know if they are cathegorised as pilgrims or cathegorised in any other way. I believe you can assume that for pilgrims-only-orientated albergues but what about all other types of accommodation???

No possible answer I'd say, Tim ;)
 

FRM

How do you walk the Camino? One step at a time.
Camino(s) past & future
O'Cebreiro to Santiago (2014)
Pamplona to Sahagun (March 2019)
I walked from Pamplona to Leon in March. Of the folks I got to know I would guess half were only walking a segment and not continuing thru to Santiago. These included a number of Spaniards who were taking a week’s vacation to walk, as well as a number of pilgrims hiking the full Frances over a number of years
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF: (2001, 2002, 2004, 2014). Hospitalera: 2002, Ponferrada. 2004, Rabanal del Camino.
Many of the people posting here are camino recidivists, like myself. I have arrived in SdC four times but have only my single initial compostela. This makes me wonder if the assumption that most people arriving in SdC do collect a compostela is actually sustainable.

I actually have asked myself the same question though.
Kind of like trying tally the number of freshman first-timers, drop-back-in’s, and transfers who actually finish four years later.

Primarily replying to say: if not for this forum I’d be on psychiatrist’s couch.

Why? You might ask.

Because.

I would swear something must be wrong with me for filling so much of my time either walking and thinking about walking, or viewing and reading about camino.

Not to mention wearing camino shirt to dance class which precipitated yet another convo about “ The Way”.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
Does anyone know of any estimate (and I don't know how it would be possible to make it 🤭 ) of the number of people who walk each year, (or in 2018), who didn't finish in Santiago or who, if they did, did not collect a compostela or distance certificate?
I know 327,378 collected Compostela last year.
And OK I know the answer to my question does not really exist - I could walk 100km from my home in UK 'towards Santiago' and clearly this could never be counted but I could say I was walking to Santiago.
But what about an estimate at least for people who walk within Spain?
See here for an estimate I made based on the registered departures from SJPP and compostelas issued to pilgrims that started there in 2018.

Some comments on using the SJPP figures as the basis for an estimate:
  • One might expect that the proportion who start but don't complete the longer distances on any of the routes would be greater than for starting points closer to Santiago. The probability that a pilgrim will be injured or just run out of the physical, mental or spiritual capacity to continue is greater the longer the duration of the journey.
  • There is also the prospect that more pilgrims start the longer routes with the intention of completing their pilgrimage in several stages. I don't know of any source that would identify these numbers, and the estimate ignores this effect.
  • There is also the fact that the numbers who depart in a year are not the same population as those that arrive in that year. The latter number includes pilgrims who departed SJPP at the end of the previous year, and does not include departures from SJPP in the year that have yet to arrive and get a compostela. Noting that the numbers departing in December and January are relatively low, I thought it safe to ignore the effect when I did the estimate.
  • In addition to which there was no readily available information about the numbers of pilgrims who did arrive from SJPP but chose not to obtain the compostela. I don't know how one might assess whether this is more or less likely for pilgrims walking the longer routes, or is relatively evenly spread across all the departure points.
Considering all of these, I would suggest caution about what I am about to say next. That is that it would appear something in the order of 43% of those who commence a pilgrimage do not receive a compostela. This would give some support to the view that in 2018, a little over half a million people commenced a pilgrimage.

Would the variability be sufficient to support some of the estimates proposed earlier in this thread, ie more than a million or 4-5 times the number of arrivals? Nothing I have done would let me reject these outright, but I do think it unlikely that they are anything but wildly speculative.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
I walked from Pamplona to Leon in March. Of the folks I got to know I would guess half were only walking a segment and not continuing thru to Santiago. These included a number of Spaniards who were taking a week’s vacation to walk, as well as a number of pilgrims hiking the full Frances over a number of years
I remember walking with a similar group for a short while; it was after Burgos. I don't know how typical or frequent this is. Out of curiosity, I watched a video of the dinner at Orisson where everyone gets up and says their name, where they are from and where they want to walk to. Some are not easy to understand, but out of around 50 people, at least 26 and possibly a few more were not planning to go all the way to Santiago, with endpoints ranging from Roncesvalles to Burgos.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
Many of the people posting here are camino recidivists, like myself. I have arrived in SdC four times but have only my single initial compostela. This makes me wonder if the assumption that most people arriving in SdC do collect a compostela is actually sustainable.

I actually have asked myself the same question though.
Another interesting statistic would be the proportion of first (&/or only) timers to repeaters on any given trail. Again with the assumptions (which is really all we have) many of us 'cut our teeth' on the CF & take it from there...from the 'never agains' to 'addicts'.
And @Karl Oz ...thank you for expanding my vocabulary! 😁
👣 🌏
 
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kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
I think by its very nature a forum like this attracts recidivists disproportionately. Like moths around a light bulb. I would be hesitant to extrapolate from the opinions and practice of a group like this to make assumptions about the behaviour of the wider Camino world. I think it just as likely that there are many - and perhaps a majority - for whom walking a Camino is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and who do not haunt the internet Camino world afterwards :cool: And I suspect that in that case the majority would choose to receive a Compostela.
Excellent points as always @Bradypus ...apt & descriptive!
Of course there is quite a number of Forum users/members who are pre-first walk & come on board seeking every skerrick (great Aussie word for you!) of info they can.
Lovely to have your input again...welcome 'home'! Hope your trip to Japan & Australia was all you wished for. 🤗
👣 🌏
 
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debra

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2010, Frances 2010
Via Francigena 2014 bicigrino
Way of St. Francis 2017 bicigrino
I have to guess that the total number that walk in a year is lower than the 4or5 times the count due to a couple reasons.

I feel that the pilgrims office count of Compostelas is about 35% short of the total number of people that walk or cycle in a year.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I remember walking with a similar group for a short while; it was after Burgos. I don't know how typical or frequent this is. Out of curiosity, I watched a video of the dinner at Orisson where everyone gets up and says their name, where they are from and where they want to walk to. Some are not easy to understand, but out of around 50 people, at least 26 and possibly a few more were not planning to go all the way to Santiago, with endpoints ranging from Roncesvalles to Burgos.
Yes, starting from St Jean, there are quite a number who are only planning to get to Logrono, Burgos, etc. that year, and continue on in the future. But I think that once past Burgos or Leon, most are going all the way to Santiago.

Primarily replying to say: if not for this forum I’d be on psychiatrist’s couch.

Why? You might ask.

Because.

I would swear something must be wrong with me for filling so much of my time either walking and thinking about walking, or viewing and reading about camino.

Not to mention wearing camino shirt to dance class which precipitated yet another convo about “ The Way”.
Are we twins? I have actually just booked flights for my second Camino this year. Just a short one from Porto, but when a friend said that she'd love it if I could go with her, I couldn't say no! My husband thinks that I'm crazy, because I've just been home for about two months. But it's still good weather for walking!
 

m108

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011-2016
I have been to different parts of the Camino 7 times (250-300km each) and have never been to Santiago. He finally "called" me and I'm planning to have an Astorga-Santiago or Burgos-Santiago next April. I don't think I'll even go to get compostela/distance certificate even then. I don't know if many are like me, I know it seemed strange to many. But - I think the path is important at least as much as the destination. And - I waited until I got the right feeling.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
I have to guess that the total number that walk in a year is lower than the 4or5 times the count due to a couple reasons.

I feel that the pilgrims office count of Compostelas is about 35% short of the total number of people that walk or cycle in a year.
These figures imply that about 50% of the pilgrims who started further out than the mininum distance won't collect a compostela. One in every two people who start not succeeding seems high, even if this includes people who have completed the walk to SDC but don't collect the compostela. Did you have access to data from other start points that would support that rate?
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Perhaps the statistic that most surprised me was that 29% of the pilgrims were over 60 years old. However, reflecting back on my trip, I encountered a steady stream of men and women who were right around my age. (I was 63 in 2016 when I made my pilgrimage.) It seemed there were many pilgrims who had just retired and had the leisure time to travel, and this was at the top of their bucket list. While I did see people in their 70s, I doubt less than one in 20 pilgrims I saw on my Camino were in this older age group.
The age distribution of pilgrims does seem to have changed very markedly over the years. I have no numerical evidence to support this - just my own perception over the 29 years since my first Camino. When I walked the Camino Frances for the first time in 1990 I met very few pilgrims at all and of those I do not recall many who appeared to be much over 60 years old. That is perhaps not surprising as the comparative shortage of accommodation meant that some stages were inevitably long and it was necessary to carry a larger load including sleeping bag and mat. A much more physically demanding challenge. In 2002 I was aware that amongst the greatly increased numbers there were more older walkers though they were still not particularly prominent. On my most recent Camino Frances in 2016 the much wider age range was striking. I think that the vast growth in infrastructure and support services such as luggage transport has opened the Camino to those who for one reason or another would have been reluctant to take on the physical challenge in the earlier days of the Camino revival. How many would still walk today if 30km stages were obligatory at times and there was no option but to carry their own pack?
 

debra

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2010, Frances 2010
Via Francigena 2014 bicigrino
Way of St. Francis 2017 bicigrino
These figures imply that about 50% of the pilgrims who started further out than the mininum distance won't collect a compostela. One in every two people who start not succeeding seems high, even if this includes people who have completed the walk to SDC but don't collect the compostela. Did you have access to data from other start points that would support that rate?
Thanks for reading and commenting on the data. Please note the only other place than Santiago that I know of for a pilgrim count is SJdP.

I have also thought on the matter more and SJdP counts everyone that stops at the office but not everyone that stops at the office starts at SJdP, but my knowledge of the France stating point that feed in to SJdP or Spanish is not high enough to be able to count the number that start before SJdP and as such have not been counted as SJdP start in Santiago.

As for other data points

YearSantiagoSJdPpercent gained CompostelaRough % that start at ~100KM
2017331775729557.9%30-35%
2016336565895357.1%30-35%
2015310585464756.8%35-40%
2014293575421854.1%30-35%
2013265695071852.2%30-35%
2012222144569748.6%25-30%
20111941639 67548.9%25-30%
20101781935 69849.9%30-35%

Data from

Please note the Rough % that start at ~100KM is the sum of Serria, Tui and Ferrol and could be very low if I should be counting Cebreiro (4-8% depending on year) or other locations that have high numbers of starting pilgrims.


So looking at eight years of data using 2017 as the last year as that is the last year for SJdP pilgrim count.

A growing percentage of people are picking up the Compostela and that 50-40% of the people in SJdP do not get a Compostela however I have no knowledge as to the number that start at SJdP vs. before. However 40% starting before sounds very high.

I am willing to go with the thought that 30% of pilgrims don't get a Compostela that are on the route. I am also willing to think that there many be 10-15% that are weekend or holiday trips but I think those are the same people weekend after weekend. I am not saying that 30% don't complete but that some don't complete and some just don't pick up the Compostela.

The idea that only 1 in 5 pilgrims on the trail pick up a Compostela looks crazy to me but that only 1in 5 visitors to Santiago pick up a Compostela sounds very sane and true.
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
How many would still walk today if 30km stages were obligatory at times and there was no option but to carry their own pack?
The same number as for less traveled caminos with so.e longer stages, probably.
 

debra

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2010, Frances 2010
Via Francigena 2014 bicigrino
Way of St. Francis 2017 bicigrino
These figures imply that about 50% of the pilgrims who started further out than the mininum distance won't collect a compostela. One in every two people who start not succeeding seems high, even if this includes people who have completed the walk to SDC but don't collect the compostela. Did you have access to data from other start points that would support that rate?
Do you know of other pilgrims offices that are on routes that feed in to SJdP that could be asked for data?
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
Do you know of other pilgrims offices that are on routes that feed in to SJdP that could be asked for data?
My direct experience is with the Camino Frances, where I started in SJPP, and the Camino Ingles, where I started in Covas. Along the CF, the places where I observed well ordered arrangements for recording whether pilgrims had started there or were in transit from an earlier start point were at Roncesvalles and Ponferrada. On the CI, the albergue at Covas kept such a record, but I didn't see what was done if one started at Ferrol. I stayed at a hotel; it would have a record of my stay, but they didn't record the fact of stamping my credencial.

At other places the albergues maintain a record, but I have no idea to what extent information is collected from these for statistical reporting purposes on behalf of the broader pilgrim movement. And clearly, it is not just the albergues that provide pilgrim accommodation.

I had expected, given the apparent certainty with which you were prepared to suggest certain percentages, that you had other sources. I was interested to understand what they were given, as I said before, that the percentages you used in one of your posts implies that only 50% of pilgrims who start from further out than the ~100 km start points finish.
 

debra

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2010, Frances 2010
Via Francigena 2014 bicigrino
Way of St. Francis 2017 bicigrino
My direct experience is with the Camino Frances, where I started in SJPP, and the Camino Ingles, where I started in Covas. Along the CF, the places where I observed well ordered arrangements for recording whether pilgrims had started there or were in transit from an earlier start point were at Roncesvalles and Ponferrada. On the CI, the albergue at Covas kept such a record, but I didn't see what was done if one started at Ferrol. I stayed at a hotel; it would have a record of my stay, but they didn't record the fact of stamping my credencial.

At other places the albergues maintain a record, but I have no idea to what extent information is collected from these for statistical reporting purposes on behalf of the broader pilgrim movement. And clearly, it is not just the albergues that provide pilgrim accommodation.completing or getting a Compostela

I had expected, given the apparent certainty with which you were prepared to suggest certain percentages, that you had other sources. I was interested to understand what they were given, as I said before, that the percentages you used in one of your posts implies that only 50% of pilgrims who start from further out than the ~100 km start points finish.
Thank you.

My direct experience is with the Camino Frances starting in Leon in which I never ran across any pilgrims offices until Santiago. My direct experience is with the VdlP was no pilgrims offices until Santiago. I will try to find the information on Roncesvalles and Ponferrada. I was thinking that SJPP was an average starting location but the number is for peopling that stoped at the office both walking in from France and starting in SJPP. So I think the 40-50% not completing or getting a Compostela is too high.

My thoughts on 40-50% not completing or getting a Compostela is that people that start 300+KM out are of the mindset that the journey not destination is the goal and therefore SJPP was a good stand-in for all of those people.

Jean Ti said:
Dont quote me here to get a loan but I think that at least one million people per year are walking on the various Spain Caminos
Thanks. I was inclined to think there must probably be at least as many again as those who DO collect a compostela.
I was trying to answer why I feel that must be wrong.

I looked at the 8 years in SJPP due to feelings that I used a bad year to get numbers from.
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
My thoughts on 40-50% not completing or getting a Compostela is that people that start 300+KM out are of the mindset that the journey not destination is the goal and therefore SJPP was a good stand-in for all of those people.
I agree, but when I conducted my analysis, I felt that this and other factors meant that the completion figure for SJPP would be the lower limit. Using the 2018 figures suggests that about 57% of people who start would get their compostela. The figures you used in your first post indicate that you think it is only 50%, and I still don't think I understand how you have reached that conclusion.
 

debra

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2010, Frances 2010
Via Francigena 2014 bicigrino
Way of St. Francis 2017 bicigrino
I agree, but when I conducted my analysis, I felt that this and other factors meant that the completion figure for SJPP would be the lower limit. Using the 2018 figures suggests that about 57% of people who start would get their compostela. The figures you used in your first post indicate that you think it is only 50%, and I still don't think I understand how you have reached that conclusion.
Bad math and the unknow number that walk 1/2 in 2016 and 1/2 in 2017 as such are on the SJPP in 2016 and Santiago in 2017. Or someone that walks over three three years.
So my 30% of total pilgrims or 50% that start 300KM out, is a guess but most people feel that number of pilgrims counted in Santiago feels low, so I will be a bit generous. However I feel that is the max number of uncounted pilgrims and the real number could be as little as 15% as SJPP is so far that it see a very high number of non completion or non Compostela.
 
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Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy
Well, really you are all just guessing, aren't you? You can't produce statistics without data and you don't have the data.
So, have fun but don't expect to sell your results!
 

debra

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2010, Frances 2010
Via Francigena 2014 bicigrino
Way of St. Francis 2017 bicigrino
Well, really you are all just guessing, aren't you? You can't produce statistics without data and you don't have the data.
So, have fun but don't expect to sell your results!
The real answer is most likely know by the government in Spain but with only two data point it is mostly guessing. I would never try to sell my guess. Do you have links to any other published data points?
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
Well, really you are all just guessing, aren't you? You can't produce statistics without data and you don't have the data.
So, have fun but don't expect to sell your results!
Well, the data is available for SJPP and SDC, and my analysis earlier in the year was based on the 2018 data from both sources. @debra seems to have used the same data but has taken some different approaches. I described the limitations of that in an earlier post in this thread if you care to read it. So no, we are not 'all just guessing', but we are acknowledging the limitations that arise from trying too hard to make the limited available data do 'too much'.
 

FRM

How do you walk the Camino? One step at a time.
Camino(s) past & future
O'Cebreiro to Santiago (2014)
Pamplona to Sahagun (March 2019)
One could argue we are guessing, though 50% plus or minus seems to be a good guess.
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
From a quick data count of our family of 5 we have racked up 28 caminos which would have qualified for a Compostela, but we only hold 10 distance certificates from Santiago and 2 from Finisterre.

Someone once commented that as we didn't get Compostela we didn't count as pilgrims. Having walked thousands of kms crisscrossing the Iberian peninsula I know what we are (and why we did it) so ignored this comment from someone who doesn't even walk to the dairy.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Someone once commented that as we didn't get Compostela we didn't count as pilgrims.
Putting the cart before the horse I think. First you are a pilgrim. Then perhaps you get a Compostela. Or not! And choosing the latter does not alter that in the slightest.
 
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kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
How many would still walk today if 30km stages were obligatory at times and there was no option but to carry their own pack?
Send them off for a stint on the French section of the Via Francigena...that'll sort 'em out! 😄
👣 🌏
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Well, the data is available for SJPP and SDC, and my analysis earlier in the year was based on the 2018 data from both sources. @debra seems to have used the same data but has taken some different approaches. I described the limitations of that in an earlier post in this thread if you care to read it. So no, we are not 'all just guessing', but we are acknowledging the limitations that arise from trying too hard to make the limited available data do 'too much'.
But that doesn't answer the OP question so it's still just a guessing ;)
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
But that doesn't answer the OP question so it's still just a guessing ;)
You are wrong on both counts. Let me explain why I think that.

First, here is a table of estimates provided. Getting from the estimate provided to the number who didn't walk is simple arithmetic, but I have provided it so that it is easy to compare the various estimates.
Forum Member and post #EstimateNumber who don't complete or receive a compostela (based on 328000 compostelas issued pa)
@Jean Ti, #2> 1 million walk > 672,000
@timr, #3at least as many again> 328,000
@Terry Callery , #144-5 times as many who did1,312,000 to 1,649,000
@dougfitz , #21about 43% don't finish~247,000
@debra , #25about 35% short ~184,500
@SYates , #42 quoting a conversation with George Greeniaundercount of 30%~141,000

Second, two of the estimates, @debra's and mine, identified the objective data sources that were used, and for those that have not yet been able to read the whole thread, we have discussed the limitations we identified in basing our estimates on those sources. I cannot speak for the methodology used in the other estimates, but clearly two did establish that they weren't just guesses.
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy
Let me see. You have a table of estimates. That alone reduces your statistics to educated guesses.
More than
About
At least as
As many who
Quoting a conversation.

I might remove the educated from educated guesses. Enjoy yourselves, and take a glass of Rioja while you do it. That way you will have a glass of good wine as compensation for your trouble. What you won't have is statistics. Not even of the "lies, dammed lies, and statistics" variety.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Yes, starting from St Jean, there are quite a number who are only planning to get to Logrono, Burgos, etc. that year, and continue on in the future. But I think that once past Burgos or Leon, most are going all the way to Santiago.
I tend to think that this is correct. I was surprised to see that so many of those who stayed at Orisson did not plan to go all the way. I used to think people who stay at Orisson are the hard core "all the way walkers". Of course, that was just one evening, I don't know how representative it is.

I personally know six people who, at different times, walked from SJPP for anything like a day (having started earlier in France) to 5 days or 2 weeks and and haven't restarted for years now although they enjoyed it and may continue one day. Another person had already walked from Burgos to Santiago and years later did SJPP to Puente la Reina and nothing else since then. I also noticed more recently on the forum that people walk SJJP to Roncesvalles and then travel onwards by bus or taxi to continue elsewhere, be it Pamplona, Burgos, Leon or Sarria. The numbers published for SJPP and sometimes for Roncesvalles are a rough indicator of how many people will walk from SJPP to Roncesvalles or Pamplona and not much more.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Thank you.

My direct experience is with the Camino Frances starting in Leon in which I never ran across any pilgrims offices until Santiago. My direct experience is with the VdlP was no pilgrims offices until Santiago. I will try to find the information on Roncesvalles and Ponferrada.
Roncesvalles doesn't have a pilgrim's office per se. As there is only one albergue, almost everyone who starts there gets their first stamp at that albergue. There are other accommodations, however, for those with a little more money to spend, so we can't guarantee that everyone starting there checks in at the albergue. As well, I don't know if the albergue tracks numbers and distinguishes in those numbers between those who start at Roncesvalles or those who start earlier.

I don't remember a pilgrim office in Ponferrada. If there is one, I think they only see a small fraction of the pilgrims passing through. As well, since there are a number of albergues in Ponferrada (unlike Roncesvalles), I don't think there is any one place that sees the vast majority of the pilgrim traffic.
 

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